Everyone loves a good urban legend. Years ago, when people used to go outside, they would sometimes sit around a campfire and tell stories; the scarier the better. Urban legends, sometimes called contemporary legends, were the very best. Usually tales of horror and violence, urban legends gave an increased sense of excitement to being outside and vulnerable. If you shone a flashlight up from under your chin, you could even enhance the scariness tenfold. In most cases, urban legends involve a lesson in morality for the listeners, similar to the heavy-handed morals in slasher flicks from the 80s. The storyteller incorporates themselves into the real event to make it more believable, commonly done by suggesting it happened to a friend of a friend, but this relation also serves to personalize the story. In the years before the Internet, it wasn't crazy to actually believe that these legends were true. At least, there was no easy way of disproving the events, so there was always the possibility, however slight, and that was exciting.
The most popular urban legends spread like wildfire. Even though the versions changed over time and with place, the general premises stayed the same. Some tales told cautionary tales, warning about the dangers of a particular place or an event, while others were more of a dare, setting up a scenario, which, if replicated, would end in disaster, something only the bravest of the brave would try. Because these urban legends already proved they could entertain an audience, it makes perfect sense that filmmakers would pick them up and turn them into feature films. We know the films that dealt with the big ones, Urban Legend, Campfire Tales and Boogeyman. The urban legends in these are by far the most popular. But what about the lesser-known legends and their films. Maybe you've never seen the film or maybe it deals with a legend that has disappeared with age or was never really well-known to begin with. We're here to educate. Here are 15 movies you didn't know were based on urban legends.
15 Alligator (1980)
14 Black Christmas
12 Dead Man on Campus
11 Hold Your Breath
10 The Burning/Friday the 13th
7 Amityville Horror/Conjuring 2
5 I Know What You Did Last Summer
3 The Hitcher
1 The Mothman Prophecies
After a number of sightings were reported in West Virginia in 1966 and 1967 of a Mothman, an urban legend began to grow and fester. Author, John Keel, took these events and put them into a book, The Mothman Prophecies, in 1975. In the book, he claims that all of these sightings and paranormal events led to the eventual collapse of the Silver Bridge and the death of 46 people in December of '67. In 2002, the film The Mothman Prophecies brought these events to the masses. Even though it exaggerates some of the details, it paints a fairly accurate and terrifying account of the events. Since the collapse of the bridge, there have been no more reported sightings of the Mothman in the area or anywhere else, but maybe he's just lying in wait somewhere.
Sources: List25; MoviePilot; Wikipedia
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