Thursday, July 02, 2009

Thrilling Thursday: Myths, Freak Shows and Urban Legends

When I was a kid, I stood in front of the bathroom mirror and said Bloody Mary three times, fully expecting to have some whacked out zombie girl rise up from behind and murder me where I stood. Of course, nothing happened. Part of me though, truly believed it would.

Humankind has always developed (sometimes complicated) mythologies and legends to explain what they can't otherwise explain. The question remains, though—what came first, the chicken or the egg? Did we find things we couldn't explain and therefore did our best by creating these myths and legends? Or did our imaginations get carried away and we created myths and legends that we later believed were (at least) based in truth?

Was there something unexplainable? Or did we just make it up and infected generations of humanity with these stories?

Who began Bloody Mary and how did it happen in the 70s a little Polish girl in Wisconsin stood in her mirror and said those words?

Freak Shows may offer a hint about where some of these stories began. Lacking the science and insight we've gained over time, how must those people born genetically or otherwise 'different' have impacted the people around them?

What did you believe in? Were there legends of a boogeyman under your bed that made you keep your feet tucked safely under the covers all night? Or perhaps one in your closet that made you leave the light on. Was there house on your block you knew was haunted? Or did you believe that ghouls and goblins came out on Halloween or a troll lived under a bridge in your town?



Pamela K. Kinney said...

Sometimes there is truth behind many legends, least the urban ones. If I could find the truth, then I put it in my new book, Haunted Virginia: Legends, Myths and True Tales. is a place you might find the answers to many that are true or not.

J.R. Turner said...

I love snopes ;) I always go there to check out stuff email sent to me and often come away an hour later inspired to write something off the wall ;)

Thanksfor the comment! It' really true ;)


Iris Black said...

I never tried to call Bloody Mary, but in elementary school there was something about a ground creature? I think it had to do with grave robbers and zombies- that I tried. And no, nothing happened.

I still enjoy a good ghost tour in an old town though!


J.R. Turner said...

Oh yeah, I love the thrill of getting a little chill, too Iris! :)

I think people are all attracted to getting spooked in one way or another, we just all have different thresholds ;) Like some people hate the idea of fortune telling and get weirded out, and others make their living at it.

Just interesting to me what a wide range we have in the human personality.