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the13bats

question, urban legend or ?

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the13bats

okay so to me a "legend" is a story that may or may not be believed but doesnt have proof sort of akin to folklore,

i enjoy mysteries so i like this stuff but what do i call or where does in fall in if for example its a mix of reality and unproven story, heres an example,

im making this up,

in fredville they claim to see a ghost with a lantern walking train tracks, its said to be the ghost of tommy the trainworker who died one night on the tracks,

so lets say there really was a tommy killed on the tracks but no way to prove his ghost walks the tracks with a lantern,

is this still considered urban legend/folklore?

i guess jersey devil falls into what im asking about.

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Imaginarynumber1

Still urban legend, which is just folklore 

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Piney
3 hours ago, the13bats said:

is this still considered urban legend/folklore?

Every railroad going through a wood has a similar legend.  :lol:

The Pine Hill Ghost is the one in the Pine Barrens. He has half a head and is missing a hand. 

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the13bats
17 minutes ago, Piney said:

Every railroad going through a wood has a similar legend.  :lol:

The Pine Hill Ghost is the one in the Pine Barrens. He has half a head and is missing a hand. 

thats why i used it as example, :tu:

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Manwon Lender
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Piney said:

Every railroad going through a wood has a similar legend.  :lol:

The Pine Hill Ghost is the one in the Pine Barrens. He has half a head and is missing a hand. 

That is true, where I grew up there was a train trestle that crossed the Missouri River to St Charles, Missouri. It is a very narrow trestle and if a train is coming you have no where to go, except for few wider sections spaced out along the crossing. Story has it that a guy named Johnny got killed trying to cross this trestle, and many people claim to see some one running from a train who just disappears. This urban legend is close to 80 years old, real or fake I have never seen Johnny.

Dont know if this is a unban legend or folklore, I think the different s between the two is how long the story has been around. I think all stories like this start as an urban legend and over many many years if it is still active it becomes folklore. 

Edited by Manwon Lender
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Piney
2 minutes ago, Manwon Lender said:

Dont know if this is a unban legend or folklore, I think the different s between the two how long the story has been around. I think all stories like this start as an urban legend and over many many years if it is still active it becomes folklore. 

I think the Pine Hill one started out as a Boy Scout campfire tale. That's who I heard it from the most.

There is also one in Woodbury Heights, Gloucester County. He got knocked off a trestle according to the local story. 

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Manwon Lender
Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, Piney said:

I think the Pine Hill one started out as a Boy Scout campfire tale. That's who I heard it from the most.

There is also one in Woodbury Heights, Gloucester County. He got knocked off a trestle according to the local story. 

Here is link that explains the difference between an urban legend and folklore.

https://paranormal.lovetoknow.com/urban-legends-folklore

Edited by Manwon Lender
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darkmoonlady

I would label it historically based urban legend vs apocryphal urban legend. If it's connected to a documented historical event that would be one type. If it's made up from whole cloth and nothing happened then it's apocryphal. For example the Mothman is a historically based urban legend. The bridge collapse actually happened and is well documented, and so the urban legend has a connection to that event. Slender Man was just completely apocryphal and made up. Both types are not real but the historical stories seem more real because they have a connection to a real event.

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Desertrat56
Posted (edited)
22 hours ago, the13bats said:

okay so to me a "legend" is a story that may or may not be believed but doesnt have proof sort of akin to folklore,

i enjoy mysteries so i like this stuff but what do i call or where does in fall in if for example its a mix of reality and unproven story, heres an example,

im making this up,

in fredville they claim to see a ghost with a lantern walking train tracks, its said to be the ghost of tommy the trainworker who died one night on the tracks,

so lets say there really was a tommy killed on the tracks but no way to prove his ghost walks the tracks with a lantern,

is this still considered urban legend/folklore?

i guess jersey devil falls into what im asking about.

I think a legend has to be older, something based on truth but has probably changed over the centuries and it does not involve ghosts.  Urban legend is probably not based in truth, it is a story, not even folklore.

Edited by Desertrat56

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rashore
On 7/7/2019 at 5:02 PM, the13bats said:

okay so to me a "legend" is a story that may or may not be believed but doesnt have proof sort of akin to folklore,

i enjoy mysteries so i like this stuff but what do i call or where does in fall in if for example its a mix of reality and unproven story, heres an example,

im making this up,

in fredville they claim to see a ghost with a lantern walking train tracks, its said to be the ghost of tommy the trainworker who died one night on the tracks,

so lets say there really was a tommy killed on the tracks but no way to prove his ghost walks the tracks with a lantern,

is this still considered urban legend/folklore?

i guess jersey devil falls into what im asking about.

I consider legends and lore that have historical reality to them as having backbones. A surprising amount of ghost lore has backbones. As in there really was a death or tragedy or whatever, that the legend then grows from. Occasionally there's lore with backbone that shifts to other locations. Some lore has an utter dearth of backbone considering how big the story is. Like there's a farmhouse in Illinois with a killer farmer ghost legend- only the original location where an actual family killing happened is now paved under a mall, and the farm location has moved a couple times since the original backbone happened. Another location has two roads side by side that both have a lot of the same lore- of incidents that never happened.

Urban legends I think are a bit separate from ghost lore. It rarely has backbone, though sometimes it grows from a hoax or a prank or just a good story. And also different from ghost lore because often urban legends have the living as their focus. Sometimes human, sometimes not so much. Slenderman I think is a great example of what might be the first digital UL to make it- guy just had a great story, and folks took it to a whole UL level that a lot of creepypasta does not get.

A bit of a crossover is ghost cars, or cars that chase you kinds of stories. Some of those probably did start out with some backbone, like some of the legends out of the midwest during the mafia era. Or that local road with the killer truck might really have had some crazy local being a jerk at the core of it.

Folklore can be a lot harder to tell if there ever was a backbone or not, mostly because a lot of folklore is old. The older stuff gets, the more difficult it can become to trace down any truth behind the legend.

Cryptids can often be a crossover- sometimes folklore will spawn a newer UL form. Sometimes they are just supposed to be weird animals. Often they are their own folklore or UL's. Every once in a while they might be true- I'm fond of the notion that kraken were just really big squid made bigger with the retelling, or the occasional animal is discovered to be true. But guys like the Jersey Devil usually fail to have a backbone. On occasion you can get the fun cryptid that can have a backbone like the original Mothman, but then the UL can change locations, and Chicagolands Mothman is usually just birds.

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the13bats

i figured it was a convoluted answer but that helped me a lot, question what did you see as backbone to the irgi2nal mothman i ask as i studied it more than i care to admit.

i recall about 15 -20 years back some ghost hunter friends were always spewing about the abandoned "haunted" mental hostpital, brought it back to the front of my mind the details of course varied and the cooler part is i had heard tales of it way back in the 80s from various people.

it was built of course at least 100 years ago, had of course the crazed dr doing horrors to the patients, lots of deaths lots of spooks, and many who swore to have been there described all the cool medical gear just laying around, that got my atrention, lol,

i was in the worse health of my life my ghost hunter friends invited me along but since they didnt even know where it was i ended up passing, a month or so later one friend tells me all excited they found it spent hours there, lots of ghost ahem orb pics, very haunted, but no medical gear laying around, i got the basic location, did a bit net research, it was a defunct fruit packing plant, never anything else on that ground no haunted indian burials, not nut house, no cemetery just packing fruit.

mona was less than thrilled when i showed her but chimed right back they did find the right location and were going soon, i dont know how that worked out, she stop speaking to me because i was involved in a hoax that went too far.

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rashore

The original Mothman, the one out of West Virginia, had the Silver Bridge collapse connected to it. Regardless of what folks thought they were seeing prior to the collapse, the bridge really did collapse. The continuation of the sightings and tellings after the collapse has the backbone. The Chicagoland Mothman that has shown up in the last few years has no historical event or backbone to it. It really does seem to be mostly birds- I've been posting up stories about it here on UM as they have come out for a while now.

A place I worked at. The area had an old UL that had gone on about a beastman of some sort out by one of the cemeteries. I worked with an old coot that laughed so hard one day when I was talking to him about local legends. Turned out he knew the beastman! It was a prank he and a couple buddies of his played one of their friends back in the 50's. It was interesting to find that what I had rather assumed was just fiction that few folks talked about anymore turned out to have a backbone. A real prank pulled off by some kids just to fun themselves accidentally turned into a UL for a while.

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ScotDeerie
On 7/7/2019 at 5:02 PM, the13bats said:

 

so lets say there really was a tommy killed on the tracks but no way to prove his ghost walks the tracks with a lantern,

is this still considered urban legend/folklore?

 

IIRC, from reading the Urban Legend Books (The Choking Doberman, etc.) "urban legends" always had a subtext of a morality lesson of some sort woven into them.  The girl with the teased hair who ended up with a nest of spiders in that mess should have tended to her hygiene.  Disappearing hitchhiker in the back seat was the old "don't pick up hitchhikers", of course. And so on. They explained it better, of course, but you probably get the idea.  

Going by that premise, I'd say the RR ghost is a local legend or folklore, not an "urban legend" per se.

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Scholar4Truth

It seems these stories go back to one that is told concerning the Canadian Railways. The spirit is called Farmer Brunet. From there it seems other railway ghost latern stories developed ie Maco Light in North Carolina, and the Gurdon Light in Arkansas. 

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Alchopwn

Here's a good one:  Polybius Video Game

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rashore
On 10/11/2019 at 7:47 AM, Alchopwn said:

Here's a good one:  Polybius Video Game

I'm pretty sure that one is just UL, and without any real backbone to it.

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CryptidSeeker

um this might be me being dumb af but i thought the diffrence between folklore and urban legend was that folklore was old stuff that you kinda know isnt true and urban legends are about stuff thats happening now?

Dunno if that made sense.

Eg. Folklore is like fairies and trolls and stuff. Bedtime stories. You can talk about fairies and trolls and tell stories about them without ever believing its true

Urban legend is like some serial killer who lives in the sewers or some ghost who haunts the library or whatever. its still happening and some people think its true. i dont think it would be an urban legend if you went 'there used to be a ghost here but hes gone now'?!

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Scholar4Truth
19 hours ago, CryptidSeeker said:

um this might be me being dumb af but i thought the diffrence between folklore and urban legend was that folklore was old stuff that you kinda know isnt true and urban legends are about stuff thats happening now?

Dunno if that made sense.

Eg. Folklore is like fairies and trolls and stuff. Bedtime stories. You can talk about fairies and trolls and tell stories about them without ever believing its true

Urban legend is like some serial killer who lives in the sewers or some ghost who haunts the library or whatever. its still happening and some people think its true. i dont think it would be an urban legend if you went 'there used to be a ghost here but hes gone now'?!

I always thought Urban Legends had some basis in fact but over time they became embellished the longer the stories were passed down. 

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MissJatti

I think urban legend is what recently happens, and folklore is what happened in the distant past.

I may be wrong.

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