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Urban Legends Still Creep Me Out

How exactly do you trace the origin of an urban legend?

Perhaps a better question: why bother?

Urban legends still give me the chills, well into my seemingly rational adulthood years. Oftentimes what makes for a good story is a healthy dose of malarkey and embellishment, the perfect recipe for untold thousands of creepy urban legends.

My hometown has its share of urban legends, some of them more believable than others.

The first example is a doozy. Drive a few miles down a specific gravel road until you cross the railroad tracks, at which point you’ll make a U-turn, parking a few feet from the tracks. Turn off your lights and wait patiently in silence for a ghostly milk truck to appear in your mirrors. Don’t glance out the back window. Doing so will discourage the milk truck from recreating its impending doom: a t-bone collision with a train, over and over again. You’ll see the crossing gate engage, both headlights rush towards you closer and closer; you’ll hear the train whistle, the screeching of metal, the explosions, the screaming;  And then…BAM! You’ve just witnessed a ghost train wreck.

Believers of another local urban legend report sightings of a nude female apparition wandering aimlessly on a stretch of country road, the exact site where years ago a woman was murdered, her body left to decay in a ditch. Or so the story goes. The woman is said to never look up as she stumbles, placing one clumsy foot in front of the other, perhaps eternally searching for help. Or revenge.

The third – and possibly the silliest – urban legend from my hometown involves another country road. This time you’ll slowly crest a hill with your headlights shining directly at a particular headstone in a long-forgotten graveyard. The headstone will glow mysteriously in the night, as if awakening haunted spirits from their slumber!

But the glowing headstone is not even the creepiest aspect of this legend! Look to your left, far up the hill, to a small, dilapidated farmhouse nobody has occupied in 50 years. So you think, until out comes a man with a mushroom shaped head, pointing a sawed-off shotgun at your car. You better step on the gas, man!

In reality, an old farmer is probably tired of dumb kids flashing their bright lights on his property every other night. He really should get that mushroom head thing checked out, though.

Anyway, I could go on about the adventures of a group of bored teenagers cruising country roads, making stories up and creeping each other out. Because I didn’t even tell you about the other farmhouse where a man who murdered his entire family 100 years ago waits patiently for his next victim to enter his residence (which we did, and nothing happened). I’ll save that for another time.

Because I’d rather hear about your local urban legends. I could use some fresh stories to pursue.

Teamwork!

Teamwork.  Together everyone achieves more. There is no “I” in team. The whole is greater than the sum of the parts. A successful team beats with one heart. The path to greatness is along with others. Individually, we are one drop.  Together, we are an ocean.

Oh, blah blah blah. Teamwork is throwing your hands high, taking in the sweet, exhilarating air of victory. This moment belongs to you. Teamwork is having the poor schmuck in the back dig in deep to keep the team’s ducky straight, while you do your best “I’m on a roller coaster!” impression.

Babe, you and I are the epitome of teamwork, as evidenced here. Go team.