I think some of them are completely made up. Some of them do have some historical basis, but usually gets skewed as it gets retold, particularly once it starts traveling to new areas and gets adapted to that new locale.
Yes, I am a cynical and jaded jacknape. I try to see all three sides of the coin- do you?
It doesn't matter, who you are, you always get judged by others
Posted 28 November 2012 - 01:35 AM
Well, that's a difficult question...i think that the majority of the urban legends are true, but up to a certain extent. Most of the urban legends and myths are not just made-up from a paranoid person, but they contain an important quantity of truth in them. Some fake legends might as well exist, but i am not turning down the possibility that the rest of them are true...All of them are sure a bit extravagant though...sorry for not being able to answer this question with absolute certainty!!
Edited by CuriousGreek, 28 November 2012 - 01:36 AM.
Αν ανάμεσα σ’ όλον τον κόσμο,
νιώθεις πως δεν υπάρχουνε λύσεις,
τότε μόνο δυο μάτια μπορούνε,
να σε κάνουν να θέλεις να ζήσεις.
I feel as though many urban legends are based in some sort of perception of truth, or what was once thought to be truth. For example, most people who have reported seeing Mothman have said that they've seen a large, bird-like creature. Who knows what they actually saw - a large bird, trees with weird branches, a wild animal's eyes, they made it up, the actual Mothman, whatever. Frankly, it doesn't really matter. Enough people have believed them to the point that Mothman is now a fairly well-known entity. Another example is the vampire legend. There were actual physical symptoms of vampirism a few centuries ago - before people understood decomposition, the longer hair, nails, and teeth were misinterpreted as the person still being alive (longer hair and nails) and a vampire (longer teeth). This is also where the whole sleeping-in-coffins thing came from.
Then there are the general stories. A pretty famous one is the one where the babysitter gets stoned and puts the baby in the oven. This never actually happened, but it originated sometime during the 60s and 70s when it was widely known that many people used drugs heavily. This story was meant to make parents wary of drugs and drug users, particularly around their children.
Point being that these stories are not 100% made-up, even if they never actually happened. Many people have believed them to be real, and it is because of this belief that they have become so famous. Hell, even Slenderman, who is a known Internet creation, got famous because of videos of people hunting or being stalked by him.
TL;DR: Urban legends are often based on the fears of society. Sometimes they are exaggerated versions of true events, misinterpretations of true events, not at all real, etc. It doesn't matter how real the story itself is. If the belief in it is real, it will eventually become an urban legend.
Edited by Madam9, 20 December 2012 - 01:21 AM.
It's important to be both skeptical and open-minded.