Wednesday, October 25, 2017

31 Days of Horror Lists by the Losman- Urban Legends in Horror Movies

For the month of October I will put out a list of Top 10’s on a number of subjects each day, this should be fun as I would enjoy feedback and discussion on my list and will welcome feedback on how to improve the list as I plan on featuring them on my website.

Urban Legends in Horror Movies

The Babysitter

Looking after kids is a typical job that many young ladies do in their teens, this legend has the young lady taking a phone call from a stranger who implores her to check on the children as a ploy to attack her. This terrifying scenario was utilized in Black Christmas and When A Stranger Calls. In the later movie, Carol Kane plays the young teen who answers a series of creepy calls only to learn that the caller is in the house and ready to kill her. 

When A Stranger Calls (1979)
Black Christmas (1974)

Bloody Mary

This legend comes from a ritual that is performed by saying the name in front of a mirror while you are alone in the dark. What is expected is not sure, but stories of a bloody woman appearing are great fodder for slumber parties. The Bloody Mary legend was best employed in the film Candyman where the name said three times who summon the spirit and often lead to the brutal death of the person.  

Candyman (1992)
Bloody Mary (2006)


Stories about picking hitchhikers have often been used to warn people of the dangers of picking up a total stranger in the middle of nowhere. Usually, these stories are followed by tales of hooked killers or ghostly women who disappear when you reach your destination. The 1986 film The Hitcher is easily one of the best movies that take the hitchhiker story and utterly messes with the viewer by reminding them that some strangers are best left on the side of the road.

The Hitcher (1986)

Bell Witch

In the early 19th Century the Bell family of Adams, Tennessee reported coming under attack by an invisible spirit that was able to speak, change form and affect things around it. Since then the Bell Witch has been a story spread throughout the community as a tale of terror and urban legend. The mythos of the Bell Witch was utilized as in the 1999 blockbuster hit The Blair Witch Project. 

Blair Witch Project (1999)
Bell Witch Haunting (2004)
Bell Witch: The Movie (2007)

Organ Theft

One of the scariest travel legends is that of not allowing yourself to fall victim to organ theft. This urban legend warns of a person who met a pretty stranger who invites them for drinks, yet they find themselves in a bathtub with ice and a note indicating that their kidneys have been removed and you will need to call a hospital. This shocking urban legend was used in the following film.

Turistas (2006)
Paradise Lost (2006)

Dead Roommate= Good Grades

 One of the sillier myths is the legend that if your roommate commits suicide, you will get perfect grades as a way of consoling you over the tragic event. The origins of this myth are relatively recent, but no one University can claim to be the one that offered this policy. Nevertheless, it spread and became a popular urban legend that spawned two movies.

The Curve (1998)
Dead Man on Campus (1998)

Sewer Alligators

This legend tells of the result of what happens when a single pet is flushed down the drain, feasting off rats and other sewer dwellers the baby gator grows into a monstrous size and prowls the dark sewers attacking workers and people who venture into the sewers.

Alligator (1980)


In Point Pleasant, West Virginis local lore speaks of a man-sized winged creature that was spotted by residents over the course of a year in 1966 and 1967. The creature was described as grey, with eyes that glowed red when a light was shined and featured a ten-foot wingspan. Most of the reports of sightings proved to be harmless until late December of 1967 when the Mothman was blamed for a fatal bridge collapse that resulted in the deaths of 40 people. Despite this, the Mothman is celebrated in an annual festival held in late September. The Mothman has been featured in these movies. 

Mothman Prophecies (2002)
Mothman (2010)

Satanic Panic

In the 1980’s stories were spread of secret satanic groups operating within seemingly ordinary organizations and businesses. The Satanic Panic became a national sensation as the result of some high profile abuse cases were kids claimed they participated in rituals and acts of violence. These stories proved to be hoaxes as a result of ambitious people looking to make a name for themselves. The Satanic Panic did inspire this movie.   

House of the Devil (2009)

Snuff Films

 Before the dark web stories abounded in the early days of the Internet about movies that showed people being killed in real life for money. Often these stories were the result of people watching extreme gore movies like Faces of Death or the Guinea Pig series and thinking there was the real thing. In recent years the existence of “Red Rooms” on the dark web has spread the word of genuine snuff films, and it is not known if there are genuine or yet another urban legend. 

8 MM (1999)
Guinea Pig Series

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