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Top 10 Urban Legends & Myths


We’ve all heard them. Usually, they happened to a friend of a friend’s
second cousin, and in almost every case they’re completely untrue. Still, some urban legends have managed to
gain a remarkable amount of credibility. From creepy folklore to rumors about celebrities
and politicians, here are the top ten urban legends that have managed to gain a popular
following. 10. The Automatic 4.0 This one has been making its way across college
campuses since the 1970s, and it’s been popping up as a plot point in movies and TV
shows for years. It says that any college student whose roommate
commits suicide will automatically receive a 4.0 grade point average for the semester
as part of the college’s bereavement policy. Other versions tweak it a bit to include murder
or an accident, but all stick to the basic principle of dead roommate=good grades. Not a word of the story is true, of course,
and it’s said that the rumor most likely started out as a joke among stressed out college
students. 9. Mr. Rogers Was a Navy Seal Fred Rogers and his classic children’s show
Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood were legendary in the TV world, so it was only a matter of
time before a few scandalous rumors started floating around about him. Probably the most popular and downright ridiculous
was the legend that claimed Rogers was a Navy Seal during the Vietnam War, and that he had
numerous confirmed kills as a sniper. This same rumor often asserted that the only
reason Rogers wore sweaters was to cover up all the tattoos he had gotten during his time
in the service. Both tales are completely untrue, but this
is one urban legend that refuses to die, and it is often applied to other clean-cut, wholesome
celebrities, most notably John Denver. 8. Bloody Mary Although it’s more folklore than an urban
legend, the Bloody Mary story is so old and well known that it had to make this list. A common game at children’s slumber parties,
the story states that the ghost of Mary Worth, a woman who was supposedly executed for being
a witch, will manifest when summoned. This usually involves going into a darkened
room and shouting her name three times, at which point her face will appear in a mirror. There are a number of variations on the story,
with some claiming that the face of Satan appears or that the mirror turns red, and
others stating that the name must be said 13 times, but all follow this same general
theme. 7. JFK and the Jelly Doughnut Speech The story dates back to 1963, when then-President
John F. Kennedy traveled to Germany to give a speech. Wanting to express solidarity with the people
of Berlin, Kennedy said to them “Ich bin ein Berliner,” which translates to English
as “I am a Berliner.” But since a “Berliner” was also a certain
kind of popular pastry in Germany at the time, many have surmised that the phrase translated
to the crowd as “I am a jelly doughnut,” and over the years a number of stories have
surfaced saying Kennedy was nearly laughed off the stage after saying it. It’s hard to say where the story originated,
but it has been proven to be a myth, and reports have shown that not only did Kennedy have
the phrase translated by a professional interpreter before using it, but that the crowd understood
him perfectly. 6. Cokelore Over the years, there have been so many urban
legends about the popular soft drink Coca-Cola that they’ve been given their own name:
Cokelore. Probably the most famous urban legend in this
regard is the old claim that eating Pop Rocks candy and then drinking Coke will cause stomach
damage. Meanwhile, another legend says that the acids
in the soda can dissolve a tooth if it’s left in a glass of the drink overnight, and
still another asserts that mixing Coke with aspirin produces a drug-like high. All these claims are false, but another popular
claim, that Coke originally contained cocaine as a part of its formula, is verifiably true. The drink was created in the 1880s, and even
after the negative aspects of cocaine were uncovered, the company continued using trace
amounts of the drug in its soda until the 1920s. 5. The Good Samaritan The Good Samaritan legend has been around
for years, and it’s been attributed to a number of famous rich people, from Bill Gates
to Nat King Cole. As the story goes, a motorist stops to help
a man change a flat tire. The man asks for the motorist’s address
so that he might send a reward. A few weeks later, the motorist receives a
thank you note in the mail with a check for $10,000 signed by a famous celebrity. The story tends to vary depending on whom
the grateful celebrity is, with one popular version claiming that Donald Trump paid off
a helpful stranger’s mortgage. Trump himself has even tried to confirm this,
but all proof points to it being nothing more than an often-repeated rumor. 4. Walt Disney Is Cryogenically Frozen
Image result for Walt Disney This is another rumor that’s been around
for a long time, and it seems that everyone has heard it at some point or another. It says that Walt Disney arranged for his
body to frozen upon his death in the hope that future technology would be able to bring
him back to life. No one’s exactly sure how this one got started,
but records show that Disney was cremated when he died in 1966. It is suspected that the amount of secrecy
surrounding his funeral, coupled with his reputation as an inventor, led to the creation
of this long-standing myth. 3. The Sewer Alligator This story, one of the most popular of all
urban legends, asserts that the New York City sewer system is infested with deadly alligators. In the most popular versions, the animals
were brought north from Florida by people who wanted to keep them as pets. When the gators started getting too big and
violent, they were released into the sewers. This story dates back to the 1930s, when sensationalist
newspapers started reporting countless stories of alligators being found in and around New
York City, with some even claiming that police were making regular trips underground to hunt
the creatures down. Nearly all of these stories are false, and
the few that are true almost undoubtedly concern animals that escaped from local zoos, but
the sewer alligator story has continued to be passed down through the years, and it still
exists today in many different forms. 2. The Vanishing Hitchhiker One of the oldest and most often repeated
urban legends, the vanishing hitchhiker story comes in many forms. The most popular version involves a man who
picks up a young hitchhiker (usually a girl) on a deserted country road. He drives her to her house, but when he turns
to say goodbye he finds that she has inexplicably disappeared from the back seat of the car. Confused, the man rings the doorbell of the
house, whereupon he learns that the girl has been dead for years, killed in a car accident
on the very spot where he picked her up that night. There are a number of variations of this story,
and it dates back so far that earlier versions take place on horseback or in covered wagons. 1. The Kidney Heist The most ubiquitous and persistent urban legend,
“the kidney heist” story has been immortalized on the internet, TV shows, and even a few
movies. It supposedly dates back to 1997, when an
e-mail started circulating warning people of a new and frightening crime that was catching
on in some cities. In most versions, a business traveler is relaxing
in a bar when a stranger strikes up a conversation and then offers to by them a drink. After taking a few sips, the traveler becomes
woozy and then blacks out, only to awaken in a hotel room bathtub covered with ice. There is a phone next to them, and a note
that says to call 911 immediately. When the paramedics arrive, the person learns
that their kidney has been harvested by people who hope to sell it on the back market. This story is completely false, but it has
been circulating for years, and its appearance on the internet is one of the oldest e-mail
hoaxes. In order to quell the rumor, The National
Kidney Foundation has even asked supposed victims of the crime to contact them, but
to this date they haven’t had any takers. A scary tale, but still an urban legend.

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100 thoughts on “Top 10 Urban Legends & Myths

  1. The story about JFK started from a speech he gave of which there are videos. He said it, it just doesn't mean what urban legend claims.

  2. You cant really prove that the vanishing hitchhiker story is false, because its not a single driver and a single ghost. Many have claimed to drive different people/ghosts around the world to have them disappear, its not just a single story.

  3. About the JFK story, the full name of the "jelly doughnut" is: Berliner Pfannkuchen, basically "Berlin Pancake", because they were fried in a big pan from a Berlin cook in the 17th century in a field kitchen. It became popular all over Germany and the name was shortened to "Berliner". Only in Berlin, that would have been weird, so the second half of the name is used "Pfannkuchen" (Pancakes are called "Eierkuchen" in Berlin, which means egg cake). So when JFK 's speech in Berlin took place, no one from Berlin would think of a fried pastry, they only thought of JFK calling himself one of them. Whoever created the story, was most likely never in Berlin and especially not in a local bakery here.

  4. I think the "Automatic 4.0" came from series 3 episode 1 of Breaking Bad. A student mentions this urban legend after people died in a plane crash.

  5. Organ harvesters won't just take a kidney and sew you back together. You disappear, are murdered, and whatever can be taken from you, is.

  6. Walt Disney is alive and well, his head attached to a robotic spider body; and, he wanders the tunnels beneath DisneyWorld, where the workers feed him his favorite delicacy: Cuban children. <_< >_>

  7. The vanishing hitchhiker actually happened to a friend of mine, she later found out the boy was hit a truck and the driver had dead at the wheel of a heart attack.

  8. In 2000 when I went to Disney World. I was on one of their tour rides and it was said by the tour guide that he was frozen and waiting for the day he could be unfrozen. So even Disney employees have been given false information.

  9. Kind of on the other side of #5. My brother was leaving some friends up in West Lake Hills just across the Colorado River from parts of Austin (Texas.) He, not being the most practical of teens, ran out of gas before he got out of the area. He pulled over and, because it was the middle of the night and not being close to a pay phone (remember those?) He decided that he was MUCH closer to the friends he had just left than home, he'd go back there until some gas station opened in the morning. He started walking back when a big car drove up next to him and the driver asked what was the problem. He told him that he had run out of gas and was going back to some friends' place. The driver told him to hop in the back and my brother could call from his place. Turned out he was just relaying the instructions from his passenger in the back seat. When he got in the back, it turned out to be Willie Nelson's car and his driver. They took him to the place Willie had at that time in West Lake Hills. My brother said he hung out for a couple of hours before he decided he needed to call his friends.

  10. Every university campus I've ever been on has some myth about a building that has some ridiculous design flaw b/c the architect didn't account for something (ie the library is sinking b/c no one thought about the weight of the books. I've heard several variations on this over the years)

  11. FYI… OLD COKE..IE, the recipe prior to "NEW COKE" (the current recipe) was acidic enough to completely dissolve a copper penny.

  12. My relatives said that it is Jelly Donut in the sense that it was a regional slang. The same as Lederhosen are a regional costume.

  13. Oh and another false urban legend was the whole "poison Halloween candy" thing. It only ever happend once when a father tried to directly murder his own son. look up Timothy Marc O'Bryan and his father, Ronald Clark O'Bryan, in Houston, Texas. The child died at 10 p.m. on 31 October 1974

  14. Kidney Story is true. An old friend when he was a school boy faked being sick to get the day off.
    One thing lead to another and he found himself in Hospital getting surgery. He told them he made it all up and didn't need surgery but ended up getting anyway against his pleas.

  15. Inaptly named video. Should be entitled "Top 10 US Urban Legends & Myths". I live in the UK and had only heard of three of these and all of them from US sources.

  16. The term 'Berliner' does in some parts of Germany refer to a Jelly Donut, but not when you are actually in Berlin. In their local dialect they call the same treat a 'Pfannkuchen', so nobody in Berlin would have misunderstood the Kennedy Speach because of this. Also, people, context! We are not that daft lol

  17. The movie "Frozen" was made so that googling "Disney frozen" has diverted people from the truth….. Also; Epstein didn't kill himself.

  18. Simon!!!! The binge continues! My dad was telling me about this cool new YouTube channel the top tenz不不. I said dad! What rock have you been hiding under!? Ive been watching this dude and all his channels for a long time! Why? Because Im a legend!

  19. Number 10 is at least partly wrong in my country / not the whole story.. At my university (University of G繹ttingen Germany) if someone dies during an exam every student passes the exam with best grade (1.0) due to the unbearable circumstances.

    Source: Allgemeine Pr羹fungsordnung (general examination regulations) of my university

  20. Also, one confirmed myth about Coca Cola is that the phosphoric acid makes it a better chrome cleaner than actual chrome cleaner (credit goes to Mythbusters)

  21. 3:13 Soda can dissolve a tooth, not "completely to nothing" over night, but it can.
    In the mouth there is also bacteria that can brake down certain things into certain acids,
    to help aid in digestion, which is why you should always rinse your mouth after eating.

  22. I don't know, I really really enjoy the urban legend about Mr. Rogers. When I first heard it, it was that he was a Navy SEAL and that he actually has the highest kill count for a sniper. I know it's not true. I've known for a very long time but I really want to keep this urban legend going because it's just awesome. I don't know why I find it awesome it just is.

  23. Really? #1 should be the girl that gets out of the shower only wrapped in a towel and her brother is eating from a pack of hotdogs on the couch. A hotdog falls between the couch cushions and the girl sits down and gets the hotdog stuck somewhere. Every school in the US had a girl that happened to.

  24. John Denver wasn't a clean cut guy. He was arrested for DUI and cheated on his wife. Guess some people were fooled by his wholesome songs.

  25. Somewhere in an alternate universe, Frankfurt is the capital of Germany, and the alternate JFK said "I am a Frankfurter".

  26. If you stare into a mirror and say "Pumpkin Spice Latte" three times, a young blonde haired white girl wearing Yoga pants will appear and tell you everything she likes about fall.

  27. I have always loved urban legends and folklore, my favorite is to find how long they have been around (some have been around for hundreds of years) although it is stupid people call them 'creepypasta' now it is still awesome to see kids still telling them today!

  28. Hell in Tennessee we have our own version of bloody Mary called the bell witch you say I hate the bell witch 3 times in the bathroom mirror and she's supposed to appear

  29. Coke won't dissolve your teeth overnight, but drinking coke with cocaine on a 6 month meth binge will most certainly make you lose a few

  30. Trump doesn't even pay off his own debts. Just files bankruptcy and establishes a shell corporation to buy them back at a much lower price.

  31. In 1968 a girl named Maria Roux died in a car accident on the N9 between Willowmore and Uniondale, South Africa.
    And then the hitchhiking started !
    This has been witnessed by a number of people, and even the Police confirmed seeing one of the events.
    I drove past there late one night. Flat-out. And drowning all sound with Jethro Tull playing at full volume.
    My thoughts ? Apart from being (ever so slightly) "careful", I hoped to out-speed her, and if THAT did not work,
    the sounds of Jethro Tull might just do the trick !
    What happened, do you ask ?
    My secret. But if you attend the anniversary in 2068, I will share the secret with you…

  32. This list reminds me of Simons original set; clean shaven and a green screen. With traffic noise. Love the growing set tho. Just nostalgic.

  33. I think part of the origin of the Mr. Rogers was a Navy SEAL, or Ranger, or other military badass rumor is that some celebrities known for being softspoken WERE actually military badasses. For example, Julia Child, the chef, was actually a spy during WWII for the OSS (predecessor to the CIA), and Bob Ross, the painter, was a master sergeant and drill instructor in the Air Force during Vietnam.

  34. I have heard a version of the vanishing hitchhiker myth where the roles are reversed. The teller of the story is the hitchhiker, who is picked up by a mysterious trucker. He gets off at a bar, where the bartender tells him that the trucker who gave him a ride is actually the ghost of a trucker who died in a fiery crash years earlier. This story was made into a country music ballad.

  35. That's funny because my wife work at Disney as a security guard and she had to not only guard his head she had to wipe it off every day with a towel at exactly 7:30 p.m.

  36. You likely wouldnt wake up if you were anesthetized and had a kidney removed and then put in a tub and covered with ice. And if you did you would be so stupid when you woke up, you wouldnt be able to function for hours at least if you were even able to get out of the tub. If you tried to sit up or get out of the tub you would likely rip all your sutures out and bleed to death. And as mentioned, it would be much easier for someone to simply take all the harvestable organs and then dispose of your remains rather than leave you alive with possibly identifying information leading authorities to them.

  37. No Walt Disney had his head severed and put on top a spider like mech that stalks the underground tunnels of Disney world feasting on any lost children

  38. There aren't any alligators in the NYC sewer system, that's just ridiculous… but there are radioactively mutated turtles that know karate.

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