25 Most Popular Urban Legends Still Being Told

Posted by on October 29, 2012

Whether its an unsolved mystery, a popular misconception, or sometimes just a big hoax urban legends are an inevitable part of any culture. Usually they are handed down by word of mouth from generation to generation and many times have their origin in some vaguely twisted version of a true story. Regardless of their veracity, however, these are the 25 most popular urban legends still being told.


Mr. Rogers was a Navy SEAL

According to this legend Mr. Rogers, the popular children’s show host, was once a Navy SEAL sniper in Vietnam responsible for numerous deaths. It goes on to say that the only reason he always wears a sweater is to cover up all of his tattoos. As you may have guessed, Mr. Rogers was never a Navy SEAL and he had no tattoos, in fact he was never even in the military. This isn’t the first time, however, that this rumor has circulated concerning a clean cut celebrity.


Bloody Mary

Possibly one of the most popular urban legends told among school age children having sleep overs, according to this myth if you turn out the lights, look into a mirror, and say Bloody Mary three times (in some versions the number of times differs) then you will summon the spirit of Mary Worth, a woman who was supposedly executed for being a witch.


Kennedy and the Jelly Donut

The legend goes that Kennedy made a trip to Germany back in the 60′s in an attempt to connect with the German people. While giving a speech in the capital he told the crowd, “Ich bin ein Berliner” or “I am a Berliner”. Apparently though, a “berliner” is also a type of German pastry. Since then numerous stories have circulated claiming that he was practically laughed off stage afterwards. The truth is, however, that that the crowd understood him perfectly and nary a single eyebrow was raised at the statement.


The Dissolving Tooth

There are numerous urban legends involving Coca Cola. In fact, there are so many that these legends all now have their own category known as “Colklore”. The most popular is that if you were to leave a tooth in a cup of coke overnight by morning the tooth would be completely dissolved. Like most of the other legends involving the popular drink this is totally untrue.


The Good Samaritan

Circulating for years this legend tells the story of a motorist who stops on the side of the road to help someone fix their flat tire. The person being helped then asks the motorist for his address to send a reward. Several weeks later the motorist receives $10,000 in the mail. Over the years this story has been attributed to several celebrities, most recently Donald Trump.


Walt Disney is Cryogenically Frozen

This is another one of those popular stories that most of us have probably heard. It says that Disney supposedly had his dead body frozen in hopes that future technology could bring him back to life. Unfortunately for all the gossip magazines though, records show that Disney was cremated in 1966.


Sewer Gators

This story tells the tale of how several alligators were brought up from Florida to be kept as pets in New York City. After they got too big and violent they escaped into the sewers where they now live freely. Dating back to the 1930s and spread by sensationalist newspapers the story is completely untrue yet continues to be circulated to this day.


The Vanishing Hitchhiker

Possibly one of the oldest urban legends still being told the story tells of a motorist who picks up a female hitchhiker on a lonely stretch of road. He then drives her home only to find that she has disappeared from his backseat. After knocking on her door he is told the girl died in a car accident years ago in the very same spot that he picked her up.


The Kidney Heist

Immortalized on TV and the internet, this legend dates back to 1997 when an email was circulated warning people of a crazy new crime wave catching on in big cities. It usually involves a traveling business man being bought drinks by a stranger only to wake up in a tub covered in ice with a phone next to him telling him to call 911. Covered in blood he later learns that his kidney has been removed by criminals who intend to sell it on the black market. Although the story almost sounds feasible with all the craziness you see on the nightly news, even after the National Kidney Foundation asked victims to contact them no one has come forward and the email has been written off as a hoax.


The Killer in the Backseat

This is one of those popular urban legends that just never seems to die. It tells the story of a woman who is driving down a dark road at night only to have a strange car pull up behind her and start flashing its lights. As she takes off on her exit and approaches her home the stranger continues to follow her. She pulls up in her driveway ready to make a mad dash to her front door only to hear the stranger behind her get out of his car and yell to her to lock her door and call 911. Only after the police arrive does she learn that the stranger was actually trying to protect her. In her backseat was a man holding a butcher knife ready to stab her to death. The stranger had noticed his shadowy form and started flashing his lights to get her attention after which the figure slouched back down in the seat.


Babysitter and the Man Upstairs

This urban legend tells the story of a baby sitter that starts getting phone calls from a strange man asking her questions that get progressively more personal and conclude with whether or not she has checked the children. She ends up calling the police who proceed to trace the strangers call. They immediately call the babysitter back and tell her to get the kids out of the house immediately because the calls are coming from within the homes itself. It is at this moment that police arrive to find a man in the upstairs room where the kids are sleeping but it is already too late as all of the kids have been brutally murdered.


Humans Can Lick Too

In what is probably one of the more disturbing urban legends out there a girl is given a dog by her parents to keep her company while they are away. One night she was awakened by a dripping sound. She got up and went to turn off the tap properly after which she came back to bed while letting her hand hang over the edge as the dog licked her fingers. The dripping sound didn’t stop though so this scenario played out several more times with the girl returning to bed and falling asleep with the dog licking her fingers yet again. The final time, however, she decides to try locating where exactly the drip is coming from. She looks around only to find the sound emerging from within her cupboard. She opens it up to find her dog with its neck cut and a note saying “humans can lick too”.


Aren’t You Glad You Didn’t Turn On The Light?

Widely circulated on college campuses this legend tells the story of two girls about to have a big test the next day. One of the girls gets invited to a party the night before and when she returns to her dorm room she doesn’t want to wake her friend so she goes straight to bed. When she wakes up in the morning she rolls over to find her friend had been brutally murdered during the night and written on the wall in blood is the phrase, “Aren’t you glad you didn’t turn on the lights?”


The Jedi Religion Form

This far reaching hoax claims that if enough people fill out “Jedi” as their religion on their census forms the government will have to make it an official religion. In fact, at one point thousands of people tried to do just that but to no avail. Just because a large number of people check something on a census form is not grounds for introducing it as “official”.


Snuff Films

For those of you who don’t know what snuff films are, they are movies in which a person is murdered during the course of filming. Usually they are said to be funded by twisted rich people but as of yet not a single snuff film has been legitimately found in spite of numerous rewards going to anyone with information on their production.