It Was a Dark, Stormy Night…

…and all of the ghouls were naked.  Well, at least it’s partly true!

This year’s second annual Naked Ghouls Reading was truly an unforgettable night!  From the decor to the “costumes”, it was an event unlike any other.  Last year, I read a few pieces that were really quite dark and haunting.  This year I decided to lighten it up a bit (okay, a lot) by reading a few urban legends. 

Urban legends have always intrigued me.  Sure, when they’re told to you as a child, they can be terrifying.  Reading them now is a laughable experience, but, nonetheless, they still make me wonder.  Urban legends have been passed from person to person over many years and are always told as being true stories.  The storyteller always seemed to know someone who was friends with the person who knew the guy who…

Yeah.  You get the point.  It’s always insisted that the story is true (and it’s usually just plausible enough to be believed), although it can never really be verified.  And there are always (ALWAYS) many different versions of any one story being told. 

Many urban legends serve as cautionary tales.  One of the stories that I read was “The Hook”.  We all know it – the young couple that drove to a park to make out.  They heard on the radio that a one-handed lunatic was on the loose nearby.  Frightened, the young woman wanted to leave, but her boyfriend insisted there was nothing to worry about.  The couple began kissing and then the girl heard a noise by her door.  Alarmed, she made her boyfriend drive her home.  When they arrived at her house they discovered a bloody hook attached to the door handle.

Some psychologists believe horrific urban legends are a release valve of sorts for society to vent common fears and anxieties, while the tale above, which began circulating in the 1950s, was probably intended to warn teenagers away from premarital sex.  I’ve yet to see any sort of news report documenting something like this.  However, if I do, I promise that I will share it here – immediately. 

For now, I’m going to tuck away the urban legends along with the marshmallows and prepare for the Literary Honors gala.  I’m incredibly excited for this unique event and I hope to see you there!!

Greta Layne

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~ by Greta Layne on November 11, 2010.

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