10 Spine-Chilling Urban Legends from Childhood

Globalization today is touted as a recent and (post) modern phenomenon, but as children we all partook of one of globalization’s aspects;the universality of tales, myths and stories. Some of these come in the form of urban legends, horror stories spread verbally and frequently purported to have happened to a “friend of a friend.” Urban legends are rich cautionary or moralizing tales that have managed to spread far (including to other countries and cultures) and withstand the test of time despite their word of mouth nature. Their impact is powerful, as when a 1970s urban legend about a satanic message hidden in Procter & Gamble’s 10th century logo forced the company to change it; or the myth of poisoned, tampered or needle-laden candy handed out to children during Halloween with the intent of harming or killing them, which has been around since at least 1890 and periodically cause mass hysteria among parents (incidentally, this particular urban legend has been debunked several times, but to no avail). The modern means of transmission for the once orally-transmitted urban legend is, of course, the internet, where now millions of people can instantly read someone’s cockamamie concoction almost immediately. But let’s concentrate on the one’s from that golden period in our lives; the spine-chilling urban legends from childhood. Read on.

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