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Superstition, legend and urban legend Venn diagram

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Jason Bradley

on 5 March 2015

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Transcript of Superstition, legend and urban legend Venn diagram

Urban Legend
1.1. Compare and contrast the concepts of fairy-tale, fable and myth.
Definition of Superstition
Examples of Superstition elements
Definition of Legends
Elements of Legends using examples
Definition of Urban Legend
Elements of Urban Legends using examples
Elements that can be linked/compared between
Legends and Superstitions
Elements that can be linked/compared between
Superstitions and Urban Legends
Elements that can be linked/compared between
Legends and Urban Legends
Elements included in all three
(Superstitions, Legends and Urban Legends)
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What you need to do-instructions
A belief or cultural ritual with beliefs that one event may cause another event that is not directly linked or cause a change of luck either for bad or good. Usually will have an ancient cultural reason or anecdote.
Old, traditional stories from a particular period in history with seemingly exaggerated events or characters. Sometimes popularly regarded as historical but not authenticated.
Contemporary stories that may or may not be true usually with an element of horror.
Not necessarily from urban areas, the name 'Urban legend' is used to differentiate between the more traditional 'legend' and tells tales of modern folklore both verbally and through literature.
Animals and Nature
Animals and nature seem to feature often in superstitions around the world.
Lucky to see a black cat, unlucky to see one magpie, lucky to see two, lucky to find a four leaf clover plant, lucky horseshoes, lucky to catch a falling leaf in Autumn.


Many superstitions have links with death.
If a robin enters house means a death is imminent in the family, If a clock which has not been working suddenly chimes, there will be a death in the family.
Origins from various Mythology -

Most originate from ancient Mythology

such as
candles on birthday cakes (Ancient Greek Mythology) walking under a ladder is bad luck (Ancient Egyptian Mythology) broken mirrors equal seven years bad luck (Ancient Rome) number 13 is unlucky (Norse Mythology) wishing upon dandelions (Ancient Celtic Mythology)
Word of mouth -
Despite the origins of most superstitions being widely unknown, they are still passed from generation to generation by word of mouth.
Legends are perceived as a part of a historical event or assigned a time period in history despite lack of evidence of the event or persons existence.
Robin Hood, King Arthur, Queen Boadicia, Big Foot and Wild Bill Hickok.
Generally focuses on a person or people.
Usually old or
historical in nature
to be considered a legend
Word of Mouth
- Passed down orally or written in history and have been embellished and changed throughout various generations.
Robin Hood of York (1226) Robin Hood of Locksley (1245) King Arthur (5th and 6th Century) King Arthur (10th Century)

Stories of bravery or deeds of good are often associated with legends.
Robin Hood Stealing from the poor to give to the rich
Usually have an element of horror associated -

Jack the Ripper, Alligators in New York sewer system, Kidney Heist
Modern settings -
Backseat killer, Disappearing hitchhiker, poisonous daddy long-legs, dead body under mattress
Unauthenticated Truth -
usually happened to a friend of a friend at an unspecified place or date.
Believable stories -
unlike myths or legends, urban legends tend to be believable for shock effect -
Chain letters about serial killers and gang initiations in the local areas.
Focuses on People or a person
Word of mouth -
Passed on from person to person through generations. Can often be embellished from individual teller
Can both be
stories and can still be created today whereas
Legends are old
stories in nature.
Both try to specify origins or back story by specifying dates or places involved.
Both can be very old in origin and have links with ancient mythology.
Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece
Word of mouth
- all three are passed on by word of mouth and through generations.
Robin Hood, Don't walk under ladders
Body under mattress horror story
Unauthenticated truth -
Despite lack of evidence people tend to try and pass the stories off as truth.
Legend and urban legend both told for

Both focus on
people or a person
Often differ from individual story teller -
details can differ or be embellished

Both are narratives -
Both are told as stories
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