Encyclopedia of Urban Legends

Editor/Author Brunvand, Jan Harold
Publication Year: 2012
Publisher: ABC-CLIO

Price: Core Collection Only
ISBN: 978-1-59884-720-8
Category: Mythology & Folklore
Image Count: 50
Book Status: Available
Table of Contents

This exhaustive and compellingly readable reference work offers alphabetical entries on every aspect of the subject, including descriptions of hundreds of individual legends and their variations, legend themes, and scholarly approaches to the genre.

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Table of Contents

  • List of Entries
  • Preface to the Updated and Expanded Edition
  • Introduction
  • Volume 1: A-L
  • A
  • Abductions
  • Academe, Legends of
  • “The Accidental Cannibals”
  • Accidental Multiple Deaths
  • “The Accidental Stickup”
  • Accidents
  • “The Accuser Rebuffed”
  • “The Acrobatic Professor”
  • Africa
  • “AIDS Harry”
  • “AIDS Mary”
  • AIDS-Origin Traditions
  • “The Air-Freighted Pet”
  • “The Air Samplers”
  • “Alligators in the Sewers”
  • “All That Glitters Is Not Gold”
  • Amusement Park Dangers
  • Analysis and Interpretation
  • Anecdote
  • Animals in Urban Legends
  • “The Animal's Revenge”
  • Ankle Slashers
  • “The Announced Quiz”
  • Anti Legend
  • Ants or Termites Invade the Body
  • Architects’ Blunders
  • Argentina
  • “The Arrest”
  • “The Assailant in the Backseat”
  • ATM Dangers
  • Atrocities
  • Atrocity Stories
  • “The Attempted Abduction”
  • Australia
  • Automobiles
  • “The Avon Flasher”
  • B
  • Babies
  • “The Baby Headache”
  • “The Baby Lure”
  • “The Baby on the Roof”
  • “The Baby-Roast”
  • “The Baby-sitter and the Man Upstairs”
  • “Baby's Stuck at Home Alone”
  • “The Baby Train”
  • Backward Buildings and Statues
  • “The Bargain Sports Car”
  • “The Barometer Problem”
  • “The Barrel of Bricks”
  • “Bart Simpson Acid”
  • “The Bedbug Letter”
  • Belgium
  • Belief Legend
  • Big Cats Running Wild
  • “Bikers versus Smokers”
  • Bird Kicked into Fireplace
  • “The Bird-Foot Exam”
  • “The Biscuit Bullet”
  • “Black and White”
  • “Blackout Babies”
  • “The Blind Date”
  • “The Blind Man”
  • “The Blood Libel”
  • “Bloody Mary”
  • “Blue Star Acid”
  • “The Body in the Bed”
  • “The Body on the Car”
  • Body Parts Rumors and Legends
  • Bogus Warnings
  • “Boil on Troubled Waters”
  • “The Bosom Serpent”
  • “The Bothered Bride”
  • A Performance in Context of “The Bridegroom's Revenge”
  • “The Boyfriend's Death”
  • “The Boy Who Played Superman”
  • “Bozo the Clown's Blooper”
  • “The Brain Drain”
  • Bubble Yum
  • “A Bug in the Ear”
  • “The Bug under the Rug”
  • “The Bullet Baby”
  • “The Bump in the Rug”
  • “The Bungled Rescue of the Cat”
  • Bungling Brides
  • “The Burglar in the Bin Bag”
  • “Buried Saint Sells Property”
  • Business Legends
  • “The Butcher's Prank”
  • “Buying Tampax”
  • C
  • “The Cabbage Patch Tragedy”
  • Cadavers
  • Campus Rumor Scares
  • Canada
  • “The Can of Snakes”
  • “Car Stolen during Earthquake”
  • “Career Decisions”
  • “The Castrated Boy”
  • “The Cat (or Dog) and the Nude Man”
  • Catfish
  • “The Cat in the Package”
  • “Cats Out of Their Skins”
  • “Caught in the Couplers”
  • “The Celebrating Arabs”
  • Celebrities
  • “The Celebrity's Car Breakdown”
  • “The Celebrity's Telephone (or Phone Card) Number”
  • “The Cement-Truck Driver”
  • “The Chicken in the Hat”
  • “The Chicken on the Bus”
  • Child Ballad
  • Children
  • China
  • Chinese Restaurants (and Other Ethnic Eateries)
  • “The Choking Doberman”
  • Chupacabra
  • Church's Chicken Rumors
  • Cigar Insurance (“Cigarson”)
  • Classifying Urban Legends
  • “The Clever Baby-sitter”
  • “The Climax of Horrors”
  • Clowns
  • Cokelore
  • “The Colander Copier Caper”
  • Collagens in Cosmetics
  • Collecting and Transcribing Urban Legends
  • “The Colo-Rectal Mouse”
  • “Come and Get It!”
  • Comics and Urban Legends
  • Communal Re-creation
  • “The Communist Rules for Revolution”
  • Companies
  • Comparative Approach
  • Computers
  • Conspiracies
  • “The Contaminated Comforter”
  • Contamination
  • Contemporary Legend (Term)
  • Contemporary Legend (Journal)
  • Context
  • “The Cooked Pet or Baby”
  • “The Corpse in the Car”
  • “The Corpse in the Cask”
  • “The Counselor's Death”
  • CPR Annie Legend
  • The Craig Shergold Legend
  • Crime
  • “Cruise Control”
  • “The Crushed Dog”
  • “A Cry for Help”
  • Culture-Clash Legends
  • “The Curse of 9/11”
  • “Curses! Broiled Again!”
  • “The Cut-Off Finger”
  • “The Cut-Out Pullman”
  • D
  • “The Daughter's Letter from College”
  • “The Day Trip”
  • “The Dead Cat in the Package”
  • “Dear John's Revenge”
  • “Dear Mr. Thoms”
  • “The Death Car”
  • “The Death of Dr. Charles Drew”
  • “The Death of Little Mikey”
  • Decapitated Riders and Drivers
  • “The Deer Departed”
  • “Define ‘Courage’”
  • Definition of “Legend” and “Urban Legend”
  • Denmark
  • Dental Death
  • Department Store Snakes
  • “The Devil in the Dance Hall”
  • “Dial 911 for Help”
  • “Ding-Dong, Dinner Bell”
  • Disaster Rumors and Stories
  • “The Dishonest Note”
  • Dissertation Legends
  • “The Dog in the High-Rise”
  • “Dog's Corpse Is Stolen”
  • “The Dog's Dinner”
  • “The Dolly Parton Diet”
  • “Don't Mess with Texas”
  • “The Dormitory Surprise”
  • “The Double Theft”
  • “The Double Whammy”
  • “Do You Know Who I Am?”
  • “The Dream Warning”
  • “Drugged and Seduced”
  • Drug Horror Stories
  • A Drug-Smuggling Legend
  • Dutch Urban Legends
  • E
  • Earthquake Stories
  • Earwig Stories
  • “The Eaten Pets”
  • “The Eaten Ticket”
  • “The Economical Car”
  • Education and Urban Legends
  • “The Elephant That Sat on the VW”
  • Elevator Accidents
  • “The Elevator Incident”
  • “The Elizabethan E-mail Hoax”
  • Embarrassment
  • Emergent and Ephemeral Legends
  • England
  • The Escalating Medical Problem
  • Estonia
  • Exploding Animals
  • “The Exploding Bra”
  • “The Exploding Butane Lighter”
  • “The Exploding Toilet”
  • F
  • “The Failed Suicide”
  • “The Fallen Angel Cake”
  • Fan Death
  • “The Fart in the Dark”
  • Fast Food
  • “The Fatal Boot”
  • “The Fatal Cleaning Lady”
  • “The Fatal Golf Tee”
  • “The Fatal Initiation”
  • FBI Stories
  • “The FCC Petition”
  • “Fear of Frying”
  • “Fifi Spills the Paint”
  • “The 50-Dollar Porsche”
  • Film and Urban Legends
  • “Filmed in the Act”
  • “Find the Hat”
  • “The Finger in the Pickle Jar”
  • Finland
  • “The Five-Pound Note”
  • “Fixing the Flue”
  • “Flights of Fancy”
  • “The Flying Cow”
  • “The Flying Kitten”
  • FOAF
  • FOAFtale News
  • Folk Etymologies
  • Folklists
  • Folklore
  • Folktale
  • “The Foreign Hotel”
  • Fortean Approach
  • France
  • Freudian Approach
  • “The Frozen Brain”
  • “The Fused Cornea and Contacts”
  • G
  • “The Gasoline Thief”
  • “Gassed and Robbed”
  • “The Gay-Jesus Film Petition”
  • “The Gay Roommate”
  • Generation Gap Legends
  • The Gerber's Settlement Hoax
  • “The Gerbil- (or Snake-) Caused Accident”
  • Gerbiling
  • Germany
  • “Get Out of Here!”
  • “The Ghost in Search of Help”
  • “The Ghostly Videotape”
  • “The Giant Catfish”
  • “The Girl on the Gearshift Lever”
  • “Give Me a High Three!”
  • “The Golf Bag”
  • The Goliath Effect
  • “The Good Old Days”
  • “The Good Times Virus”
  • Government Legends
  • “Grandma's Washday”
  • “The Grateful Terrorist”
  • “The Graveyard Wager”
  • “Green M&Ms”
  • Greenroom Stories
  • “Green Stamps”
  • The Gremlin Effect
  • “Grenadians Speak English”
  • “The Grocery Scam”
  • “The Grumbling Groom”
  • “Guardian Angels”
  • “The Gucci Kangaroo”
  • “The Guilty Dieter”
  • Gummed Paper Dangers
  • H
  • “The Hairdresser's Error”
  • Hair Turned White
  • “The Hairy-Armed Hitchhiker”
  • “The Halloween Party”
  • Halloween Sadists
  • “The Hammered Child”
  • Handwriting on the Wall
  • “The Hapless Water-skier”
  • “The Hare Dryer”
  • “The Harried Baby-sitter”
  • “The Hatchet in the Handbag”
  • “The Heel in the Grate”
  • “The Helpful Mafia Neighbor”
  • “The Heroic Hacker”
  • Hilarious Reports
  • “The Hippy Baby-sitter”
  • Historical Approach
  • Hoaxes
  • “Hold the Mayo”; “Hold the Mozzarella”
  • Holland
  • “The Holy Place”
  • “The Homemade Lie Detector”
  • Homosexuality in Urban Legends
  • “The Hook”
  • Horror Legends
  • Human Nature
  • “Human Sausage Factories”
  • “The Hunter's Nightmare”
  • Hunting
  • “The Husband Monitor”
  • I
  • “I Believe in Mary Worth”
  • “The Ice-Cream Car”
  • “The Ice-Cream Cone Caper”
  • Iceland
  • Immigration Rumors and Legends
  • “The Improved Product”
  • “The Incautious Swimmer”
  • “Indecent Exposure”
  • India
  • “The Inept Mother”
  • “The Ineradicable Bloodstain”
  • “The Insight Legend”
  • International Society for Contemporary Legend Research
  • International Urban Legends
  • Internet Resources
  • Interpretation
  • Ireland
  • ISCLR
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • J
  • Japan
  • “The JATO Car”
  • “The Jewish Secret Tax”
  • “The Jogger's Billfold”
  • Joke
  • Jumping to Conclusions
  • K
  • “The Kangaroo Thief”
  • “The Kentucky Fried Rat”
  • “The Kidney Heist”
  • “The Kilkenny Widow”
  • “The Killer in the Backseat”
  • “Kitty Takes the Rap”
  • Ku Klux Klan Rumors
  • L
  • “La Llorona”
  • “The Last Kiss”
  • “The Laughing Paramedics”
  • Law Legends
  • “The Lawn-Mower Accident”
  • “Lawn Order”
  • Leaning Towers
  • “The Leashed Dogs”
  • Legal Horror Stories
  • Legend
  • Legend-Tripping
  • “A Lesson in Compassion”
  • “A Lesson in Perception”
  • “Letters to Ambrose Merton”
  • “A License to Practice”
  • “The Licked Hand”
  • “Lights Out!”
  • Linguistic Approach
  • Linguistic Urban Legends
  • Literature and Urban Legends
  • “The Loaded Dog”
  • “The Locked-Out Nude”
  • “The Locked-Out Pilot”
  • “The Lost Wreck”
  • “The Lottery Ticket”
  • “The Lover's Telephone Revenge”
  • LSD Stickers, Transfers, and Tattoos
  • Volume 2: M-Z
  • M
  • “The Madalyn Murray O'Hair Petition”
  • “Mag Wheels”
  • Malls
  • Mall Slashers
  • Malpractice Stories
  • “The Man in the Middle”
  • “The Man on the Roof”
  • “The March of the Sewer Rats”
  • Mary Worth
  • Masturbating into Food
  • McDonald's Rumors
  • Medical Student Pranks
  • Medical Themes in Urban Legends
  • Medieval Urban Legends
  • Memetics
  • Memorate
  • Mercantile Rumors and Legends
  • “The Message under the Stamp”
  • “The Messenger Boy”
  • “The Mexican Pet”
  • Mexico
  • Mickey Mouse Acid
  • “The Microwaved Pet”
  • Microwaved Water
  • Mikey
  • Military Legends
  • Mint-Condition Vintage Vehicles
  • “Miracle at Lourdes”
  • “The Misguided Good Deed”
  • “The Missing Day in Time”
  • “The Missionaries and the Cat”
  • Mistaken Identifications
  • “Mobile Phone Sparks Explosion”
  • “The Modem Tax” and “The E-mail Tax”
  • “The Mole Hill and the Jaguar”
  • Mongolia
  • “Monsters with Iron Teeth”
  • “The Mother's Threat Carried Out”
  • Motif
  • “The Mouse in the Coke”
  • Movies
  • “The Mrs. Fields Cookie Recipe”
  • Music and Urban Legends
  • Musicians and Urban Legends
  • “Mutant Chickens”
  • “The Mutilated Boy”
  • “The Mutilated Shopper”
  • “The Mystery Trip”
  • Myth
  • MythBusters
  • N
  • Naive Computer User Stories
  • Naive Hunter Stories
  • “Nasty Legends” and “Nastier Legends”
  • “National Gang Week”
  • Native American Contemporary Legends
  • “The Nativity Play”
  • Needle-Attack Legends
  • “Neiman Marcus Cookies”
  • The Netherlands
  • “The New Identity”
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • “Not My Dog”
  • “The Nude Bachelor”
  • “The Nude Housewife”
  • “The Nude in the RV”
  • “The Nude Surprise Party”
  • Nudity
  • “The Nut and the Tire Nuts”
  • O
  • “The Obligatory Wait”
  • “Octopus Eggs Impregnate Swimmer”
  • “Old versus Young”
  • “The One-Word Exam Question”
  • “The Open-Book Exam”
  • Organ Thefts
  • Ostension (or Ostensive Action)
  • “The Other Guy”
  • “Out of the Mouths of Babes”
  • P
  • “The Package of Cookies”
  • “The Packet of Biscuits”
  • Panthers on the Loose
  • Parodies of Urban Legends
  • “Pass It On”
  • “Paul Is Dead”
  • “The Peanut Butter Surprise”
  • “The Pearls”
  • “Pencils as Deadly Weapons”
  • “The Penguin Story”
  • Penis Captivus
  • Performance of Urban Legends
  • Perfume Attacks
  • “The Pet and the Naked Man”
  • “The Pet Nabber”
  • Pets
  • “The Phantom Clowns”
  • “The Phantom Coachman”
  • “The Phantom Hitchhiker”
  • “Pharm Parties”
  • “The Philanderer's Porsche”
  • Photocopy Lore
  • Photographic Urban Legends
  • “The Pig on the Road”
  • “The Pinpricks in the Condom”
  • “The Plant's Revenge”
  • Poetic Justice
  • “The Poinsettia Myth”
  • “The Poison Dress”
  • Poison in Urban Legends
  • “The Poisoned Pussycat at the Party”
  • Poisonous Tomatoes?
  • Poland
  • Police
  • Policy Legend
  • Pop Rocks Cause Death
  • Popular Culture and Urban Legends
  • “Postcards for Little Buddy”
  • Pranks
  • “The Pregnant Shoplifter”
  • Prejudice Rebuked
  • “The Price of Cabbage Memo”
  • “The Procter & Gamble Trademark”
  • “The Proctological Examination”
  • Professions
  • “Promiscuity Rewarded”
  • “The Promiscuous Cheerleader”
  • Proto-Legend
  • Pull-Tab Collecting
  • “Push-Starting the Car”
  • “The Python”
  • Q
  • Queensland Folk
  • “The Queensland Poet” [James Brunton Stephens]
  • “The Queer Roommate”
  • R
  • Racism in Urban Legends
  • Radio and Urban Legends
  • Railroads in Urban Legends
  • “The Rape Trial”
  • “The Rat in the Rye Bread”
  • “The Rattle in the Cadillac”
  • Razor Blade Sabotage
  • “The Rear Window Carjacking Ploy”
  • Redemption Rumors
  • “Red Velvet Cake”
  • Reebok Rumors
  • “The Relative's Cadaver”
  • Religion and Urban Legends
  • Restaurants
  • “The Resubmitted Term Paper”
  • “The Resurrected Rabbit”
  • Resusci Anne Legend
  • Revenge in Urban Legends
  • “Revenge of the Rich”
  • “‘R’ Is for Race”
  • “Roaming Gnomes”
  • “The Robber Who Was Hurt”
  • Rolls-Royce Legends
  • Romania
  • “Room for One More”
  • “The Roommate's Death”
  • “The Roommate's Suicide and the Four-Point Grade”
  • “The Roughneck's Revenge”
  • Rumor
  • “The Runaway Grandmother”
  • “The Runaway Patient”
  • Russia
  • S
  • Satanic Panic
  • Saudi Arabia
  • “Saved by a Cell Phone”
  • “The Sawed-Off Fingers”
  • SCA Legends
  • Scandal
  • Scary Stories
  • Scotland
  • “The Scuba Diver in the Tree”
  • “The Second Blue Book”
  • “The Second Death”
  • “The Secret Ingredient”
  • “The Severed Fingers”
  • “Sex in Disguise”
  • “Sex in the Classroom”
  • Sex in Urban Legends
  • “The Sheriff's Daughter”
  • “The Shocking Videotape”
  • “Shooting the Bull”
  • “The Shoplifter and the Frozen Food”
  • Shopping Malls in Urban Legends
  • “Shrink-to-Fit Jeans”
  • Sinking Libraries
  • Sinking Shopping Malls
  • “The Ski Accident”
  • Slapstick Comedy in Urban Legends
  • “The Slasher under the Car”
  • Slovenia
  • “The Small World Legend”
  • “The Smashed VW Bug”
  • Smiley Gangs
  • “The Smuggler”
  • “The Snake (or Spider, etc.) in the Bananas (or Greens, etc.)”
  • “The Snake in the Store”
  • “The Snake in the Strawberry Patch”
  • Snakes
  • “Snakes in Playland”
  • “Snakes in the Tunnel of Love”
  • Snuff Films
  • Social Class in Urban Legends
  • Society for Creative Anachronism
  • Sociological Approach
  • “The Solid-Cement Cadillac”
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • “Sperm in the Swimming Pool”
  • “The Spider Bite”
  • “Spider Eggs in Bubble Yum”
  • Spiders
  • “Spiders in the Cactus”
  • “Spiders in the Hairdo”
  • “The Spitting Image”
  • “Spunkball”
  • “St. Joseph Sells Real Estate”
  • “The Stanford Origin Legend”
  • State Police “Balls”
  • “Sticky” Urban Legends
  • Stolen-Corpse Legends
  • “The Stolen Exam”
  • Stolen Kidney Legends
  • “The Stolen Specimen”
  • “The Stolen Speedtrap”
  • “The Stolen Wallet”
  • Storytelling and Urban Legends
  • Stranger Danger
  • Street Legends
  • “Stripping the Car”
  • Structural Approach
  • “The Stuck Baby”
  • “The Stuck Couple”
  • “The Stuck Diver”
  • “Stuck on the Toilet”
  • “The Stuck Santa”
  • “The Stuffed Baby”
  • “The Stunned Deer”
  • Stupid Pet Rescues
  • Style of Urban Legends
  • Suicide
  • “The Suicide Rule”
  • “Superglue Revenge”
  • “Superhero Hijinks”
  • Supernaturalism in Urban Legends
  • “The Suppressed Product”
  • “The Surpriser Surprised”
  • “The Swallowed Contacts”
  • Sweaters and Tattoos
  • Sweden
  • “Swiss-Charred Poodle”
  • Switched Campus Buildings
  • Symbolic Approach
  • T
  • Tabloids and Urban Legends
  • “Take My Tickets, Please!”
  • Tale Type
  • Talk Shows, Game Shows, and Urban Legends
  • Tapeworms in Diet Pills
  • Technical Incompetence
  • “The Technology Contest”
  • Telephones in Urban Legends
  • Television and Urban Legends
  • “The Telltale Report”
  • Terrorist Rumors and Legends
  • Theft in Urban Legends
  • “The Through Train”
  • Toilet Ghosts
  • Tolerance Taught
  • Toll-Booth Pranks
  • “The Toothbrush Photo”
  • “Toppling Penguins”
  • Tour Guide Stories
  • Tourist Horror Stories
  • “The Trained Professor”
  • Transfer Myths
  • Trashed Public Housing
  • Tricky Questions and Answers
  • “Truckers and Bikers”
  • True Urban Legends
  • Truth Claims in Urban Legends
  • “The Tube on the Tube”
  • “The Turkey Neck”
  • “Two-Buck Chuck” Legends
  • “The Two Hitchhikers”
  • U
  • “Uncle Don's Blooper”
  • “The Unexpected Inheritance”
  • “The Unfortunate Gas Thief”
  • “The Unlucky Contact Lenses”
  • “The Unlucky Driver's Examination”
  • “The Unrecognized War Hero”
  • “The Unsolvable Math Problem”
  • “The Unstealable Car”
  • Unwitting Thefts
  • “The Unzipped Fly”
  • “The Unzipped Plumber or Mechanic”
  • Urban Belief Tale
  • Urban Legend (Film)
  • Urban Legend (Term)
  • Urban Myth
  • “Urban Pancake”
  • Urban Panthers
  • “Urine in Corona Beer”
  • V
  • Vampires
  • “The Vanishing Hitchhiker”
  • “The Vanishing Lady”
  • Variants and Versions
  • “The Veterans’ Insurance Dividend”
  • “The Videotaped Theft”
  • Violence in Urban Legends
  • Viper-Release Legends
  • W
  • “Waiting for the Ice Man”
  • “Walking the Dog”
  • War in Urban Legends
  • Warnings
  • “The War Profiteer”
  • “Watch the Margins”
  • Water-skiers
  • “Welcome to the (Wonderful) World of AIDS”
  • “The Welded Contacts”
  • “The Welfare Letter”
  • “The Well to Hell”
  • “What Is Jazz?”
  • “Which Tire?”
  • White-Slavery Legends
  • “Why I Fired My Secretary”
  • “The Wife Left Behind”
  • “The Wife on the Flight”
  • “The Wife's RV Revenge”
  • “The Wildcat in the Suitcase”
  • “The Will”
  • “The Wispy Wire”
  • “The Witch Who Was Hurt”
  • “The Witness's Note”
  • “The Wordy Government Memo”
  • “Wormburgers”
  • Worth, Mary
  • “Writing High”
  • Written or Printed Traditions
  • “The Wrong Car”
  • “The Wrong Rattler”
  • “The Wrong Rest Stop”
  • “The Wrong Teeth”
  • X
  • Xenophobia in Urban Legends
  • Xeroxlore
  • Y
  • “The Youngest Fan”
  • Z
  • Zipper Stories
  • “The Zoo Section”
  • Urban Legends in the Media, 2004–2011
  • Selected Bibliography
  • A Type Index of Urban Legends