What urban legends did you NOT fall for as a kid?

As a kid I was always a sucker for urban legends. Bought almost all of 'em hook line and sinker. Except one. Going around my school (grade school, probably close to 25 years ago) was the story that of a kid who had drowned when he was accidentally knocked unconscious while seated for a meal - because his head came to rest facedown on the table with his mouth covering the bowl of a spoon which was full of liquid. It was possible to drown, I was informed with an air of great conviction, in a teaspoon.

I thought about it for about a second and said “no way.” Which is odd, since some of the legends I did buy into were equally implausible.

Anyone else?

I use preview and I still screw up… :rolleyes:

I wasn’t a kid, but the first UL I ever heard was the Kentucky Fried rat one, I didn’t believe it, because it sounded so stupid - since when were you allowed to take fast food into the cinema, what lab was there to go to?!? I found out years later that it was a UL and all of a sudden I got why it was so implausible

There was one several months ago on all the radio stations and even the newspaper.
It was about a man who jumped off a building and was shot on the way down by his father-in-law as he passed an open window.

Too much coincidence for me, and of course the retractions were soon coming.

I was pretty much the skeptic, and my sister was not. We had quite the sibling rivalry going, with the upshot being she fell for about every UL that came along, and I would almost automatically not believe her.

She was adamant that the following ULs happened:

-Earthworms as filler in McDonalds hamburger
-The person falling down the elevator shaft while recording Love Rollercoaster
-KFC rats
-Pepsi bottle mice
-Spider eggs in Bubble Yum
-The Pop Rocks exploding stomach
-The mugger under the car

The mid 70s: the golden age of the Urban Legend

I lived in Indiana which apparently was the LAST place to get an urban legend, so I didn’t fall for most of them. (I’d read about a jillion legends in the books of Jan Brunvand before I’d ever hear anything similar.)

The one I DID fall for (which is super stupid, I admit) is that a CD will “sound” better if you soat the perimeter with green magic-marker. Supposedly if you put a standard CD in a player when the laser read the info bits of the light were allowed to “escape” though the edge of the disc. Coating the edge of the disc were said to “contain” the light rays and concentrate them on the data.

It wasn’t until Brunvand came out with “The Baby Train” about 2 years later that I realised I’d been duped. I laughed at the time because I’d forgotton all about it!

I did bust a co-worker though, who claimed she knew someone who went to Vegas and a black man got on her elevator and said “hit the floor” and turned out to be Lionel Ritchie. I brought the book in to show her it was a hoax and she was so frustrated. “why would that little old lady lie to me?” She was MAD! I suspected I created a skeptic for life, haha.

I’d never even heard about this one until I saw it portrayed at the beginning of the movie Magnolia. It’s an interesting story, that’s for sure.

:smiley: No kidding. I quit chewing Bubble Yum for that very reason.

I heard the “Love Rollercoaster” one (wasn’t the song just called “Rollercoaster”? I may be wrong) was that one of the performers’ girlfriends was stabbed in the control room by a jealous ex-girlfriend as the song was being recorded. They thought the scream was “cool” so they kept it in rather than re-record the song.

I heard all of these at some point. My mom told me the mugger in the car one (where a strange car follows the woman, flashing his brights, she’s scared of that car and drives to a police station/gas station/wherever and screams for help, the guy gets out of the second car and says there’s a guy in the backseat of her car - every time he rose up, the guy in the second car flashed his brights and he backed down) soon after I got my license. I checked the backseat of my car before getting in for years.

A buddy of mine tried to convince me the center of a golf ball was full of acid. I called bullshit, and we made a bet (5 bucks maybe). Then we went into my garage (OK, my parent’s garage), put a golf ball in a vice, and sawed it in half.

Needless to say, there wasn’t even liquid, let alone acid, in the damn thing. Then the damn weasel wouldn’t pay, saying crap like “I meant a different kind of golf ball…” I almost beat his ass for that crap.

Wait a minute…I thought the scream in Love RollerCoaster was from one of the guys in the band who was electrocuted when the song was being recorded. I’m sure I heard this on “American Top 40 with Casey Kasem”!!!


I’ve been enjoying my new Home Group at church (bunch of us who live nearby having Bible study) when the lead guy ups and says he beleives the missing day theory.

I didn’t have the heart to say anything.

I was pretty thick skinned as a child. I bravely ate my pop-rocks and drank Coke, chewed my bubble yum and bit happily in to my McDonalds worm-burger.

The only one I can remember falling for was the couple bringing home the dog from vacation and it being a rat. The only reason I beleived it was because it was in a “Yes it really happened” article in the newspaper.

The first UL I heard after finding Snopes was the one about KFC using cloned chickens. Someone brough KFC to a potluck at work and one of the women refused to eat it because it was cloned. I explained how there’s no way a company would pay a scientist to create chickens when the chickens happioly do it for (wait for it…) chicken feed. When she wouldn’t beleive me, I went to mycomputer and looked it up on Snopes and there it was. I’m not sure if she even beleived it then.

Also, a few weeks ago, we were bowling and my stepson refused to drink the Mountain Dew my wife got him because :it reduces sperm count". When I told him it was a UL, he replied, “No, it’s true, all the kids at school say so”. I guess he told me.

Must not have been in the northern end of the state, because all of the ones I listed made their way to the bastion of backwardness, Elkhart County…

I distinctly remember not falling for the one where the kid swallowed his Bubble Yum and the spiders hatched out of the eggs in his stomach and “ate his veins”. Ummm, yeah. Right.

Which, of course, is exactly the reason for urban legends in the first place: to warn young people of various dangers that they should watch out for (at least in the opinion of the teller).

Thus, don’t go parking (The Hook), don’t pick up hitchhikers (The Hairy-Armed Hitchhiker), don’t be a single girl alone on a college campus (The Roomate’s Death), keep an eye on your kids at the mall (The Dressing Room Abduction), watch out for that (black) guy hiding in your closet (The Choking Doberman) et cetera, et cetera, et cetera…

One of my personal favorites is the story of the (single) woman living alone who slams the door on the fingers of a masked man attempting to break into her appartment, presumably to rape her. The man runs off and she runs to the appartment of a local family who have become close friends. When she gets there, she finds the entire family caring for the father, who has suffered several broken fingers!

The neat thing about this legend is its essential identity with the old story of an early settler who is riding home one night when a demon cat jumps onto his horses neck, terrorizing the poor animal. The settler stabs the cat with his pitchfork and it falls off. The next morning, the settler’s neighbor, an old woman, is found dead – with pitchfork marks across her back!

The two stories are essentially identical, only the setting and the nature of the evil (witchcraft vs. sexual predation) has changed. Yet one is hundreds of years old, and the other is still current.

This reminds me strongly of the old werewolf story: A guy is out hunting at night, runs across a wolf intent on finishing him off. He lops the wolf’s right front paw off with his sword (apparently this was awhile back), and the wolf takes off howling. The guy looks down at the paw and sees that it has turned into a human hand. So you think “ah, there’s the kicker: it was not just a wolf, but a werewolf.” Then the guy goes home and gets the real kicker - his wife is laying on the floor covered in blood, with her right hand missing.

I wonder if the werewolf story is the source of this UL.

Several of the ULs/myths featured on “Mythbusters” I already knew were bogus before they demonstrated them and I neved did believe them to be true in the first place, even when aI was a kid. For example:

A penny dropped from atop the Empire State Building (or any tall building) will attain enough velocity to be lethal should it strike someone’s head by the time it reaches the ground.

The Pop Rocks/soda/exploding stomach one-- I knew Adam and Jamie (the Mythbusters guys) were wasting their time debunking this one, but what the hell, let them have their fun, I thought. I drank soda and ate Pop Rocks all the time while growing up and my stomach is still intact.

I don’t recall ever hearing the ones about Bubble Yum being made of spider eggs, McDonald’s hambugers using worms for meat or the KFC rats, but if I had heard them as a kid I would have likely dismissed them as bullshit.

This said, there are a few ULs and hoaxes I have fallen for. The most notable one that comes to mind the most is the one where alerting a motorist driving with his headlights off by turning your own headlights off and then back on, could be risky as gang members could shoot at you, doing this as an initiation rite. For several weeks I stopped turning off my lights to alert people to not having their headlights turned on.

One of the Sweet Old Ladies at church, during a discussion of The Passion, came out with the “Man w/o A Face/Mel Gibson” story. I also didn’t have the heart…

Oh! I will admit, as a Jr High Schooler, that I fell for the Missing Day one also.

A few years ago in church, one of the elders related the Vanishing Angelic Hitchikers (“Jesus is coming soon!” poof) story which he heard from his State Trooper brother (who said they got reports of it).

My pastor did call bullstuff on the P&G Satanist stuff a few years back.