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Trick or treat? ’Tis the season for urban legends

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Posted: Sunday, October 28, 2007 12:00 am

In the spirit of Halloween, urban legends and how they vary through story telling and change with time always fascinate me. Most urban legends, started way back when, often get the “modern” update so that they sound like they might be real.

But oddly enough, there are a few urban legends that have come true (see below).

So without further ado, here are some frightening tales:

A Classic: The Letter

This is an older legend and takes place just after World War II in Berlin. Following the war, the city was in shambles and famine had run rampant. A lady is approached by a blind man, who asks if she would deliver a letter for him. The lady is all to eager to help this poor man and takes the letter and starts off on her journey only to turn around and see the supposed blind man run off while discarding his cane and glasses. Suspicious, she summons the police and sends them to the address the man had given her. Upon their arrival, they make a gruesome discovery: a processing plant selling human meat to starving citizens. And the letter that was supposed to be delivered had just one sentence: “this is the last one I’m sending you today.”

Often heard: The Hook

Probably everyone has heard this urban legend and it varies little in the way it is told each time, unlike most urban legends which have liberties taken with them to “modernize” them and make them a little more truthful.

The story is of a teenage couple in a remote location making out. In the midst of this make out session, they hear on the radio of a maniac who uses a hook to kill his victims. The girl becomes nervous and asks to be taken home. The boy, frustrated, does so. When they finally get out of the car, they find a bloody hook hanging from the door. A haunting example of their narrow escape.

Halloween: Poisoned Candy

Here’s one that used to frighten me as a kid. I always loved trick or treating and seeing just how much candy I could gather. Of course the biggest frustration came when I had to sit and look at this big pile of candy while mom checked each and every one.

This urban legend, which has unfortunately come true over the years, is told annually as police send out warnings and of course the story thrives even more.

There are many variations of the story, basically of a grumpy old man who gets revenge on greedy little children with tampered Halloween candy. Razor blades, needles and screws inserted into apples and popcorn balls. Cyanide or arsenic laced candy.

This urban legend will probably always be around and I just remember it sort of took the fun out of Halloween. I mean what kid wants to think with every bite of every candy may reveal some poison?

And One More Thing…

In the spirit of Halloween, here’s another odd way to make a lifetime commitment to someone.

Haunted house, grim reaper provide chills at couple’s Ohio wedding

BEREA, Ohio (AP) — As well-wishing zombies and witches looked on, a couple got married at the haunted house where they work.

Tina Milhoane, 22, and Robert Seifer III, 24, exchanged vows Wednesday at the entrance to the 7 Floors of Hell haunted house’s outdoor cemetery.

The groom made his entrance in a hearse, emerging from a coffin borne by six pallbearers.

“It’s weird watching your son get out of a coffin,” said his father, Robert Seifer II. “Usually when you see someone in a coffin, they’re going the other way — in, not out.”

The minister, clad as the Grim Reaper, read The Lord’s Prayer from a scroll clutched in bony-gloved hand.

“This is the sweetest wedding that I’ve ever been to,” said co-worker Tim Perrien, his face caked in makeup. His date, Jessica Repas, was dripping with blood as the lead character in the horror move “Carrie.”

“It was morbid,” gushed friend Katie O’Malley. “Beautiful.”

© 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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