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Urban Legends Around the World

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Lynn Shuryan

on 19 May 2014

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Transcript of Urban Legends Around the World

An urban legend, urban myth, urban tale, or contemporary legend, is a form of modern folklore consisting of stories that may or may not have been believed by their tellers to be true. As with all folklore and mythology, no one knows for sure the truth behind the stories, or what motivates others to preserve and propagate it.
The term "urban legend," as used by folklorists, has appeared in print since at least 1968. Many urban legends are framed as complete stories with a plot and characters. The appeal of the legends is in its elements of mystery, horror, fear, or humor. Many "teach" a lesson. For instance, many depict someone, usually a child, acting in a disagreeable manner, only to wind up in trouble, hurt, or dead.
What are they?
Why do they exist?
Examples from around the world...
In the Northwest Bigfoot is very popular urban legend. Some people describe Bigfoot as a large gorilla type species that are known to live in the forest of mountains. In the year 986AD before the well known explorer Christopher Columbus( The first European to discover North America). Leif Erikson apparently reported a very large, hairy, black eyed gorilla like being. Bigfoot has another name that he is well known for which is Sasquatch.
In other examples, miners allegedly shot a 7foot tall ape rummaging through their provisional cabin that they made specifically for mining, and later on when they attempted to sleep wreckage and stones were being thrown at their home from a group of 3 Sasquatches. Later the miners measured a 19 inch footprint and discovered another Ape and shot it into a canyon, making the ape plunge 400 feet into the canyon, but there were no remains recovered.
Appearances
So many people have testified about seeing Sasquatch. They say he has ... Large black eyes
Ape like creature
A range of 2 to 3 meters tall
Weighing about 500 pounds
Covered in dark brown and grey fur
A man known as Albert Ostman claims to be abducted and he apparently was held against his will by Sasquatch. Two men named Rodger Patterson, and Robert Gilman recorded a video of Bigfoot. Many think that it's real than again some think it is a human or a robot in a costume. There have been sightings of Sasquatch in people's yards, but they say he left before 911 could reach them.
Bigfoot/Sasquatch
Compiled by Vine Middle Magnet School 7th & 8th Grade Students
(through iearn.org)

Urban Legends Around the World
Lysa Hora
Provided by students from Kyiv, Ukraine
Legends, Myths, & Riddles of Moscow Kremlin
Shared with us by students in Moscow, Russia
Provided by students from
Seattle, Washington, USA
Mount Rainier & Little Tahoma
Also from students in Seattle, WA
Pikes Place Market
Seattle, Washington, USA
Coyote & Wishpoosh
from the Chinook Indian Tribe told by students in Seattle, Washington, USA
Other Native American Northwest Myths & Legends
also provided by students in Seattle, WA
An Urban Legend from Belarus
provided by students from Negoreloe, Belarus
Urban Legends from Romania
Shared by students from Constanta, Romania
The Baciu Haunted Forest
Provided by students from Cluj-Napoca, Romania
The Hidden Secret of Witches
shared by students from Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Dracula
also provided by students from Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Vlad Tepes
Submitted by students from Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Creative writing inspired by urban legends
Written by Vali in Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Moscow Kremlin has alot of mystery secrets.Many legends associated with cave of Kremlin.Map of caves was lost a long time ago.Today underground labyrinths are unstudied.Scienetist think that there is a legendary library of Ivan the terrible under Kremlin.People argue about existence of this library nowadays.During searches archaeologist Shcherbakov came to a standstill. He also found secret rooms and passages.For example one of the towers has a torture room which was made by order of Ivan the Terrible.

Someone tells that the ghosts live in Kremlin. Long time ago emperor Nicolas the 1st told his wife that he seen ghosts of Ivan the Terrible. Also nowadays someone have seen the ghosts of Lenin, Stalin etc.And drops of blood which themselves disappeared.
We can't to know it's true or false but i think that legends can't be born just like that!
A legend tell of a spirit, most ofter referred to as the "fat lady barber" continues to lurk about the market evidently, in the 1950's this lady barber known to sing her customers to sleep soft lullabies. After they were comfortable snoozing, she helped herself to anything in their pockets. However, sometimes before the renovation were made at the market in the 1970's an area in the an area in the floor gate away and she fell to her death. Maintenance workers report that they hear the sounds of lullabies when they are cleaning at night.
A long time ago there once was a women who had a son. Her husband had another wife and they fought constantly. She got tired of the cramped space where she lived. So the women took her son to the plains to grow. So with the new space with fresh air they grew and grew mt. Rainier and little Tahoma. And so the peaks were hailed the women and her son.
A Tennessee Legend
Submitted by students from Knoxville, TN
Barbara Radziwill was the daughter of a powerfu magnate of the Radziwill family, castellan, voivode, and hetman of the Grand Duch of Lithuania Jerzy Radziwill, and Barbara Kola. According tot the writings of the contemporaries, Barbara was one of the most beautiful women in Europe. She was tall for her time, (162 cm) with a slim, shapely boday, blonde hair,, and even white teeth. Moreover, Barbara had an interest in fashiion and cosmetics; she used perfumes and face powder. She had been well educated by her parents and spoke Lithuanian, Ruthenian (Old Belarusian) and Polish. She could also write in these languages. She lived in Nesvizh Castle with her two brothers, Mikalai Radziwill Chorny & Mikalai Radziwill Rudy. At that time, they were famous politicians of the Great Duchy of Lithuania.
Legend says that there was a ball in a castle one day and Polish King Zhigimont was invited to the ball. He was tall and very handsome with dark hair and blue eyes. Barbara fell in love with him. Barbara became his wife secretly but Zhigimont's mother Bona Sfortsa was against their love. When she found out about the marriage, she was angry and gave Barbara a poisoned ring. Soon Barbara fell seriously ill and doctors couldn't help her. In a month she was dead.
After Barbara's death Zhigimont found a magician and asked him to help him to see Barbara again. The magician agreed but said that Zhigimont couldn't touch the ghost of Barbara. But when Zhigimont saw Barbara he couldn't keep his word and tried to touch her. Barbara disappeared but her soul couldn't find the way to her grave. Zhigimont couldn't live without Barbara and died. After these events people say that the castle is visited by the ghost of Barbara Radziwill. She is always in black clothes as if she is sad about her lost love. Some people call her the Black Nun. She appeared in a castle when young ladies were wearing frank outfits and frightened them. Nowadays there is a special room in a castle with 2 big mirrors where Barbara's ghost appears.
"One day, Johnny and Peter wanted to go to the legendary Baciu forest. They spoke to each other, one to bring some food and the other one some flashlights. Johnny brought the food and Peter brought the flashlights. At midnight, they were in the forest. For one hour they didn't see anything. Then some strange things happened. They saw some strange lights in the sky. The light shone very powerfully. They were afraid and they stopped eating. They heard some scary shouts. Johnny brought the flashlight and turned it on. He saw a puppet hanging from a tree. On the puppet it was written: "You're next!" He screamed. Peter wasn't there any longer... Johnny looked for him. Nothing. No track of him. All Johnny wanted to do was leave. He walked for a while, and he heard some footsteps. He asked, "Who's that?!! Peter, is that you?" No answer. He turned back and saw Peter hanging from the tree. Johnny ran. Someone stopped him. It was a wall. He saw cars and people on the other side and he was out. He was safe as sound but Peter.... Anyway, he went home and told the parents what happened..... but Peter was still there... somewhere ... in the Haunted Forest!"
There are many Native American myths and legends many Native American tribes believes that spirits lives at the Summit of mountains. In 1833, a Native American guide led a party of European settlers to the base of Mnt. Rainier.
The guide thought that the top of Mnt. rainier had a lake of fire where the spirit lived. That's why none of the Native climb above the mountain snow line.
Urban legends came from folktales.We have heard of many legends like legends of King Arthur and Robin Hood.We also use 'legend' to describe a visionary or other unique individual. They are carried along or have been changed (Like the people, time, or place.There is a meaning behind it. It could be funny or sad but there is always a lesson (moral). They're passed by people usually by mouth.
People believe that a long time ago,the population of the world kept going up, and there was a huge lack of food. men were having dreams and visions of a large flood. they had a idea of making lots of small boats and tying them together. They made the raft but people laughed at the men. One night it started raining the largest raindrops, and soon enough there was a huge flood. They got people on the boat and they survived, but all they could see for the longest time was water. Just water.
Our home city is Kyiv, an ancient city with the long history, so we have some urban fables which lead un in ages past and gone. But we decided to choose the most mysterious legend, about evil powers, Satan and pagan, witches and other mythic creatures. We want to tell you about Lysa Hora (Bald Hill). However, we don't know where it is exactly. Some say, there are four Bald Hills in Kyiv, while others claim about 13 Bald Hills. Researching and discovering some facts, we surmise the real Bald Hill is located on the left bank of the river Dnipro.
The legend says, that several times a year all witches and imps gather at this place of power. They have a Sabbath there. Holily sitting on the stone throne, Satan waits for them. Evil spirits greet him on their knees with honor. Then every witch tells him and the others about evil deedds she managed to do. They also discuss and organize new plots. Historians say that more than 1000 years ago this Hill was used as a chapel and a place for pagan rituals. There were many caves in the Hill. In the year 1240 Han Batyj, the leader of the Golden Horde came in Kyiv. Kyiv tried to hide in those caves, so Han Batyj lured them inside the Hill. However, we don't have any evidence of this fact.
Peter the First, Russian czar ordered to build a military fortification inside the hill. The wells, where the water from the river Dnipro was stored, were built there in order to flood the Military fortification if enemies attached it. Nowadays, it is a reservation area, where people can have a walk and look at tunnels left from the fortification, pagans meet there on some special days. However, most people don't like this place. Some resources say that in the 20th and 21st centuries about 70 people tried to commit suicide....

Where I live is (semi-rural east Tennessee) we was told a true or not true story called "Skinned Tom."
In life, Tom was a good-looking guy who liked the ladies. ONce he'd dated all of the available girls in the area he started seeing a girl in the next town- not knowing she was married. Eventually her gusband got wind of what was going on and vowed to get revenge on the two of them. He told his wife he was going out of town for the weekend, and hten he hid in the woods behind their house. As he'd guessed, that evening Tom showed up to take the lady out. The husband follows them to Lover's Lane.
Things were great when all of a sudden the car door was jerked open and Tom came face-to-face with one huge, very angry-looking guy wielding a hunting knife.
"Oh no!" screamed the lady who had started all of the trouble in the first place. "It's my husband!" That's right you cheating jerk!" yelled her husband. "And I'll teach you a lesson you'll never forget!" He pulled her away from Tom, rammed the knife in her stomach, and pushed her aside. Then he turned back to Tom, grinning maniacally. "Don't hurt me!" Tom begged. "I swear I didn't know she was married!" The wronged husband wouldn't listen. He dragged Tom outo f the car and skinned him alive with the hunting knife. Then he went to town and turned himself in to the police.
When the police arrived at the crime scene, they found the lady, who was miraculously still alive. But Tom was nowhere to be found.
They say he's still hanging around Lover's Lane, waiting to catch a couple and "teach" them the same lesson his girlfriend's husband taught him. He's described as a bloody skeleton in "20's clothes, carrying the knife he was skinned with. All the teenagers around here grow up hearing, "Don't go to Lover's Lane if you don't want to be Skinned Tom's next victim."
To us, it sounds like a crock; like something parents and cops made up to keep their kids from going "parking." But still, many will not go to Lover's Lane.
wwww.urbanlegends.about.com

The witches were considered in alliance with evil creatures. They practiced, "discussions" with the gods. They had dolls that were endowed with magical powers and magic wands. Witchcraft practices were always accompanied by songs. Punishment fro witchcraft were the hanging and the decapitation.
In Transylvania there were witches processes in every town. They mostly occurred in Cluj. To see if the accused was a witch, the person was bound hand and foot and thrown into the river. If the person floated, she was innocent.
The most interesting case was Ana Lazar's. It was said that she walked into houses and turned into a dog. A witness claimed that he grabbed her and he tied Ana with a chain. Then, she was transformed into a woman.
Even if cases of heresy stopped, it is clear that the folk magic is still hiding many secrets.
The character of the Bram Stoker novel and Hollywood movie is said to have lived somewhere in Transylvania, not far from Cluj.
There are a few places that can be connected with its name and somehow he got to be associated with one very respectful figure in Romanian history: Prince Vlad Tepes.
Romanian prince Vlad Dracul III got his name -Tepes- from the habit of impaling his enemies alive, a practice that seemed to be quite frequent in medieval times. During the early 1400's, Vlad's father, Vlad II, was the military governor of Transylvania and he was made a member of The Order of the Dragon. When Vlad was born, he was known as the "son of the dragon."
Medieval legends from Western Europe give a bad image of him. He was even said that he used to drink the blood of his victims from a bowl. At the same time, in his own country, he was well-known for making justice to the poor and for being brave and clever in his battles against the Turks.
Vlad was killed in battle in 1476. He was also decapitated. His head is in Instanbul and his body in Snagov, Romania.
Paranormal Stuff
In the forest in the village of Baciu, near Cluj, weird stuff happens, people say.
Even in the past the people were scared by the forest. As soon as you walk in the forest, you have the feeling you are being watched, or that there are things which cannot be seen by the human eye.
Reports have included ghost sightings, unexplained apparations, faces appearing in photographs that were not visible with the naked eye, and in the the 1970's, UFO sightings were reported.
Http://www.hoiabaciuforest.com
In 1968 the Hoia forest became famous when biologist Alexandru Sift captured a photo of a UFO.
Dr. Adrian Patrut has been studying occurrences in the forest such as unexplained splotches of light and luminescent orbs hovering in the sky. He says that when you spend too much time in the forest, you can have symptoms such as anxiety, insomnia, vomiting, and headaches.
People who went there for a TV show about paranormal activity, tell this story:
"Evan is sent out to do the next isolation session. He hears female voices from the woods behind him. The team rushes to the clearing and finds him lying on the ground several feet from where he had been sitting, somewhat unresponsive and in shock. He has numerous fresh linear scratches "like clawmarks" up his arms, which had been covered by sturdy sleeves. When he finally recovers he says that "it felt like wind just blew at me," and suddenly pushed him across the clearing. Replaying the footage frame by frame shows Evan caught in a split second with his arms blown up and out behind him, as though he had just been hit by an invisible force."
The Lady's House
This house is said to be haunted by ghosts and thieves. The origins can be traced from the past, from people's belief in something that cannot be logically explained, or has incomplete answers. The Lady's House is an old house, where a young, newly-wed couple, had died and whose spirits are said to have been haunting the house ever since.

The Catacombs
The Catacombs are in the old center of Constanta, Romania. They are Roman tunnels and German fortresses built and used during the Second World War. They are spooky and mysterious and you have to be strong-hearted to go down there.
St. Anton/Anthony's Cathedral
St. Anthony Catholic Church is considered to be holy and sacred and bring health and happiness to the ones that pray there. Many people march there, make wishes and stand in line, waiting to be blessed by the priests, while praying.
These stories and others are shared by oral tradition and in writing, or on the internet.
Most of these stories are based on a 'grain of truth' and are meant to give mystery to real facts.
Some urban legends are amusing, some are spooky, and others are full of hope. All add "pepper and salt" to life!
Once there was a beaver monster named Wishpoosh. He drowned the people that liked animals. When Coyote heard of this he was enraged because he killed the animal people. Coyote decided this had to end. He had to kill Wishpoosh. Coyote snuck up on Wishpoosh. He threw a spear at Wishpoosh and Wishpoosh fell into the lake. The spear was tied to Coyote's wrist so he also fell in the lake. They tackled each other and fell into the side of the lake making a big hole so it formed another lake. They fought all the way into the new lake. Wishpoosh clawed and bit at Coyote. Coyote finally killed Wishpoosh. Coyote then called his friend, Muskrat, and they dragged Wishpoosh on to the shore. They used his body parts to create new tribes such as the Nez Pierce and Chinook tribes.
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