Urban Legends: Where did they come from? Fact or Ficton?

Essay by xprstravelCollege, UndergraduateA+, December 2002

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Stacy Nadelberg


English 102-010

Urban Legends: Where did they come from? Fact or Fiction?

Everyone has heard an Urban Legend at one time in his or her life. What some wonder however is; are they fact or fiction? Everyone has heard the story of the girl whom had her insides fried from a tanning bed. How about the lady who ate at Taco Bell and then later found that a cockroach had got into her lip from a burrito and laid thousands of eggs? Then there is always the one about the car driving without headlights on in the middle of the night and when they are flashed to be warned they chase you down and kill you. Are these legends based on fact or are they fiction stories created to teach a lesson about harmful dangers we face everyday? Jan Harold Brunvand, author of Curses! Broiled Again! Believes though little fact, these legends are used to teach valuable lessons, while other are just created for college entertainment.

Even the fact that most these legends have happened to young teenage girls, also portrays the typical horror movie plot of the "big breasted" girl running back up the stairs instead of out the front door for help. Are women more at risk for terrible tragedies? These legends seem to think so.

In the 1980s a legend was started about a young girl from the Midwest who was going to a tanning salon and her insides became fried beyond repair and she eventually died. Though many variations of this story circulate, the generic version goes something like this: A young teenage girl was trying to get a nice tan for her prom, but because the tanning salon told her she could only go for 30 minutes a day, she...