Halloween is a weird thing. And, much like other weird things, we treat Halloween as a weird thing. No, that doesn’t mean we ostracize it and beat it up to take its lunch money. It means we are afraid of it for pretty much no good reason.
So in the tradition of the storytellers of yore, we weave a new set of legends, urban legends–which are kind of like the old legends but they smell less like cow dung and more like hobo urine. With no more ado, here’s three of my Halloween Favorites.
First, we have the old tale of a psychic predicting a rash of grisly murders on campus. Well, he predicts that it will be on a campus at least. Then he throws in some other clues like how many people will die, what letter the name of the school starts with, and how the killer prefers his coffee. Before long, campus life becomes a huge mess.
The only problem is that this psychic never really existed outside of his stories. Yet time and time again this rumor gets people to run hiding on Halloween weekend, leaving trick or treating freshman high and dry with no free candy to get them through a rough November.
Our second legend departs from the campus scene and finds itself cast instead in a totally different kind of place: the recreational haunted house. Unlike college campuses, haunted houses are full of people pretending to be something they’re not, bright lights and loud noises, and more jacked up hormones and adrenaline than a Neil Diamond concert. Actually, it’s sort of exactly like a college campus.
This is the legend of the kid at the haunted house with the job of being a “hanged man” for the perverse pleasure of the masses. He pretends to jump, a loose noose around his neck, and before it becomes apparent that the noose is a phony, the harness snuck behind his back catches and everyone enjoys a good old fashioned small heart attack.
Of course the problem with tying a rope around you neck and jumping is that it’s a great way to kill someone. Legend has it that more than one unlucky kid met his fate like this, pretending to jump to earn a scare at his haunted house. Sounds like a bunch of scary malarkey, huh?
Well, it’s apparently totally true and not that uncommon.
And just like that, we’re on to myth three. This time we learn in the realm of parties. Remember that time that you wanted to go to a party with your spouse and had a headache and didn’t want to go? Well Mary remembers it well. It was right around Halloween when she was expected to go to the ball dressed as a sexy R2-D2 while her hubby went as C-3PO. Instead, she sent her husband ahead and stuck around home to sleep off that headache.
A few hours she wakes up, feels great, and heads over to the party. When she arrives she finds C-3PO hitting on a Playboy bunny in what must be the funniest thing to ever enrage a person. Rather than make a scene though, she spends the rest of the night seducing c-3PO until she takes him to bed.
When she arrives home, she finds her hubby already home and asks him about his night. “It was alright,” he says. “It was boring when I got there so I just went to play cards with the guys, I gave my costume to Jeff. He said he had a great night!”
As far as that one goes, it’s just a joke from a slew of old magazines. Bwa bwa bwaaaaa.
And that’s that for the urban legends–for now. Maybe we’ll get some more in the future. Or maybe we’ll get a long winded story that scares us away from urban legends because they’re some sort of social problem. Either way, something will be up here tomorrow.