Do urban legends exist anymore? When I was a kid, I spent a lot of time afraid of the Goatman, Bloody Mary and the hook swinging off the teenager’s car door. I remember confessing these fears to my mom on a regular basis, usually after a slumber party. My kids don’t bring such tales home after a night with friends. It’s kind of shame, actually.
The Goatman was a legendary figure right in my own neighborhood. There were woods behind the elementary school, and that’s where the Goatman lived. It sure made recess interesting. I didn’t like climbing high on any of the playground equipment because what if the Goatman came bounding from the trees? I’d be trapped. I much preferred rainy days, when recess was spent inside.
The worst, though, were hot summer nights. Sometimes I’d fall asleep on the couch, and my parents would’ve forgotten to close the front door (you could do that back then). I’d wake up in the middle of the night, terrified to open my eyes for fear of seeing the Goatman on my porch, peering through the screen door at me. Even now it gives me the shivers!
And Bloody Mary - good grief. How many times did my friends and I gather in a dark bathroom during a slumber party, both scared and giggling trying to say “Bloody Mary” ten times while rubbing the mirror? I don’t think we ever made it past five without busting out of the bathroom screaming. Someone always knew someone who knew someone who had gotten her face scratched by Bloody Mary after completing the chant. I swear, to this day I have trouble being in a dark room alone if there’s a mirror in there. I wouldn’t chant those words on a bet!
I’m glad my girls don’t spend time obsessing over such things as I did, but I think that freaking out and giggling over horror stories and legends is a fun part of childhood. I’ve told them about the Goatman and Bloody Mary, and they pretty much just shrugged over it. I guess urban legends aren’t as exciting as cell phones and iPods.
But that’s OK. The original Night of the Living Dead is in my Netflix Instant Watch Queue. Their quiet lives are going to get a bit more exciting.