Take a look at the below list of Top 10 Most Popular Urban Legends of All Time until 2017. People have never been able to resist the lure of a good urban legend. They’re scary, they’re captivating, and they’re almost always shocking. Some of these stories are based in reality, most are not. Regardless of that fact most of these stories at some point are passed off as truth. That’s probably what makes the urban legend so compelling. The question we are always left with at the end, “Is it real or fake?”. Let’s take a moment to go over some of the most popular urban legends ever told, starting with this tale.
List of Top 10 Most Popular Urban Legends of All Time until 2017
10. Alligators in the sewers
Stories of Alligators in Sewer’s date back to the late 1920’s. In modern times the story is told that someone bought a pair of baby alligator’s in an attempt to raise them as pets. At some point, the owners had second thoughts for some reason or another, so they decided to flush the gators down the toilet. The baby alligator’s survived the trip and began to reproduce. They are all now fully grown and residing in the sewers, waiting to viciously devour any unsuspecting victim that might venture near. The setting of the story is usually New York city, although some variations tell the tale in Louisiana or Florida.
9. Walt Disney is cryogenically frozen
Another very popular urban legend that most of us have heard. It says that Walt Disney, in an effort to be brought back to life at some point in the future, had his dead body cryogenically frozen. As cool as this legend might sound, it’s 100% fiction. Records show that Disney was cremated in 1966.
8. The Lost Bride
Also known as “The Missing bride” and “Bride-and-go-seek”. In this urban legend, a young woman has just gotten married in the backyard of the farmhouse that she grew up in. Everything went perfectly and all the guest enjoyed the ceremony. Afterwards, the attendees decide to play some casual party games. Someone suggest hide-and-seek, after all, it wouldn’t be hard to hide around the house. The groom was selected as “it” and the bride wanted to make sure she would be the winner. So she snuck into the house when no one was looking, journeyed to the attic, and hid in an old trunk she found. After hours of searching, no one could find the bride. They searched and searched but she was never found. The groom and her parents eventually filed a missing person’s report. A few years later her father found her decaying body in the old trunk in the attic.
7. Pop Rocks and Soda will kill you
This urban legend was first told in the late 1970’s or early 80’s. We’ve all heard it before “If you eat Pop Rocks and drink soda it will kill you.” The legend first began as a story about the “Life” cereal kid Mikey. As it was told Mikey would eat anything. So one fateful day Mikey ate a whole bag of Pop Rocks and chugged a can of Soda. Supposedly, Mikey’s stomach exploded from the combustible combination and he died. Needless to say, none of it was true. However, the story still persist even til this day school children are still telling each other “If you eat Pop Rocks and drink soda your stomach will explode.”
6. The kidney thieves
This story started out as a rumor about the organ transplant black market. In the end, it became one of the most popular urban legends of all time. In this tale, after a night of drinking and partying, a very unlucky traveler wakes up in his hotel room bathtub surrounded by ice… The most shocking thing… His kidney is missing!
5. The dead body under the mattress
This legend tells the tale of a couple spending the night in a hotel room. Soon after getting in bed they notice a foul odor. They try to ignore the stench but after awhile they can’t stand it anymore and decide to call the front desk. When the staff arrives they discover the smell is coming from under the bed. They remove the mattress and discover that the odor is coming from a rotting body that was hidden beneath it. One of the more shocking facts about this Urban Legend is that it actually has happened…and more than once…
4. Don’t turn on the lights
This legend has been widely circulated around college campuses for years. As the story goes two girls have a big test in the morning. However, one of the girls was invited to a party the night before. The girl goes out, and after a long night she returns to her dorm room, she doesn’t want to wake her friend so she quietly tip toes to her bed and doesn’t turn on the lights. When she awakes in the morning she rolls over and sees that her friend has been brutally murdered. Already frantic, she quickly notices writing on the wall. Written in her friend’s blood is the phrase, “Aren’t you glad you didn’t turn on the lights?”
3. The babysitter and the man upstairs
Also known as “The Baby Sitter” or “The Sitter” this urban legend is about a teenage girl that is babysitting at night. The children are asleep upstairs and the babysitter is downstairs watching TV when the phone rings. On the other end is a laughing man, he tells her to check on the children. She hangs up and dismisses the call as a prank. After a second call of the man laughing and telling her to check the children, she asks who it is, the man hangs up. Instead of checking the children, the teenage sitter decides to ignore the prankster and continue watching television. The phone rings again… It’s the stranger… Now worried, the girl calls the police, they tell her it’s likely just a prank caller and they will trace the call. After the stranger calls again, the police call back, telling her that the calls are coming from inside the house! This urban legend has been adapted many times in film, including “Foster’s Release” (1971), “The Sitter” (1977), “When a Stranger Calls” (1979), “When a stranger calls back” (1993) and most recently in the horror film “Amusement” (2008).
2. The Hook Man
We’ve all heard this Urban Legend before. The tale of the Hook Man is one of the most told, and most timeless urban legends of all time. In fact, references of this legend have been found dating back to the mid 1950’s to 1960’s. The basic premise is that a young man and young woman drove off into the woods to lover’s lane to make out. While getting cozy a news bulletin interrupts the music playing on the radio. The bulletin reports that a serial killer has just escaped from a nearby institution. The killer has a hook for one of his hands. For varying reasons the young couple decide to leave lover’s lane early. In the end, the killer’s hook is found hanging from the car door handle. Different variations of this story include a scraping sound on the car door. Some versions have the couple spotting the killer, then narrowly escaping. In an alternate version, the story has the young man leaving the car to relieve himself, or they are experiencing car trouble so he leaves searching for help. While waiting, the woman turns on the radio and hears reports of an escaped mental patient. She is then frightened by a methodical thumping sound on the roof of the car. She eventually exits and sees her boyfriends butchered body hanging upside down from a tree, his body slightly swaying to and fro, his fingers scraping the roof of the car.
1. Bloody Mary
No way you haven’t heard the Bloody Mary urban legend! It is one of the most widespread urban legends ever told, and it continues to scare children til this day. As the legend goes, if you turn out the lights, and look into a mirror and say bloody Mary five times an evil ghost named Mary will appear and scratch your eyes out. Fortunately for us all, this is just a myth.
These are the Top 10 Most Popular Urban Legends of All Time until 2017. Who doesn’t love a good urban legend? We’ve all heard them, and maybe even told a few ourselves. Many of these stories are relayed as fact, however, most are pure fiction and are just meant to be harmless fun. There are literally hundreds of urban legends out there so this list could go on forever. What’s your favorite?