Debunking The Urban Legend

I love a good horror film. I’m the sort of person that will hide behind a pillow, scaring myself to death with that little bubble of anticipation in my throat when I know someone is going to get murdered terribly. I will put all the lights on in the flat to ensure I am safe (makes sense) and recently after I watched the terrible Insidious, I still checked in my shower for any dead kids that might be lurking there, looking a bit peaky. When I am alone in the house I shut all doors on the understanding that I won’t freak myself out wondering why the bathroom door is open when I can’t remember if I left it ajar or totally shut it or….. This way, there is no concern. Door shut means I am sane, door open means some dude with a fish hook has snuck in and is now lying in the bath awaiting my need for a wee. But I sometimes feel that some of the urban legends that these films are based on are slightly farfetched. So I thought that I would have a go at debunking some of the popular ones, so that you all sleep better at night. Please send me cake by way of thanks.

The killer in the backseat

 I’m sad to say that the urban myth of the killer in the back seat is something that I am guilty of being slightly freaked out by when driving late at night on my own. The myth states that a girl drives home, being flashed by the car behind her all the way. She doesn’t stop, as she is scared that she might be attacked (those police emails really make you worry) so she carries on driving. When she gets home, she realises too late that the person behind was trying to make her aware of the knife wielding maniac crouching in her boot ready to fillet her like a fish. Or something.

So this one has its flaws, doesn’t it? A sensible girl like me can realise that if you make sure that your car is tidy (no coats or other hiding materials on the back seat) then the only place the killer would be able to lurk is the boot. Problem solved! By ensuring your parcel shelf is always in your vehicle, you remove the element of surprise. By the time Norman Bates has worked his way out of the boot, you will be firmly in your house and the kettle will have boiled. Magic.

The Hook

The hook is a slightly ridiculous one. Picture the scene, young couple making out in car with the radio on. Which announces a serial killer on the loose that has a hook in place of a hand. They decide to go home, and the legend ends with the killer on the roof pretending they are a tin of sardines, and eventually the couple are dead.

This one is so simple. Don’t park up and have a romp in the car. Its frowned upon, and I think the police might assume that you are dogging. If you feel that you must, don’t put the radio on. What you don’t know won’t hurt you. (When researching this post, I love how Wikipedia informed me that interpretations are that there is ‘a depiction of danger from a rampaging antisocial person’! that’s me  most mornings).

Aka Manto

This one is a Japanese one, and makes me laugh because whoever dreamt it up covered all bases. Basically it’s a ghost that haunts bathrooms (As if you would. You would haunt somewhere a bit better than the loo, wouldn’t you?!) And is most commonly found in the end stall in the girl’s loos. When the victim is going about their ablutions, they hear a voice asking if they want red paper or blue paper (brilliant. I imagine this voice to be Billy Connolly, but insert comedy voice as needed). If the toilet user opts for red they are killed violently and drenched in blood (I assume their own) but if they choose blue they are strangled and bled dry, causing you to go blue. If they have any questions, or would prefer a different shade of loo roll, hands come out of the toilet and drag them to hell. Via the U-bend.

The licked hand

Aother simply solved urban legend. The myth is that a girl is home alone and hears on the radio that a serial killer is on the loose. She takes her dog and hides in her room, with the dog under the bed. In the night, she hears dripping and is freaked out when the light won’t turn on, so she puts her hand under the bed and when the dog licks it, she is reassured that everything is OK (because obviously this is a measure of how OK the situation is). When she wakes up in the morning she finds her dog hanging from the ceiling dripping blood, and in blood on the wall are the words “humans can lick too”. Goodness me. This one has always puzzled me. Why do people get so worried? If the killer was in your room with the light off you would surely hear something. If you had been eating your carrots like a good girl you might even see a shape. Best way to avoid this one? Don’t get a dog. That way if something licks your hand from under the bed in the night, you know to grab your baseball bat and get the hell out of there. But whatever you do, don’t head to the basement by yourself. That’s just asking for trouble.

What urban legends do you find the most unbelievable? And for a bonus point, what celebrity voice would your Japanese loo killer have?