Saturday, January 14, 2017

Ryder Guide to Urban Legends

Urban Legends, every culture has them. It always happens to a friend of a friend of a friend's brother or sister and the details are so intricate and intense that, how can you not believe it? I've been obsessed with urban legends forever and a day. I was terrified of "the bloody hook" in the 80's and 90's so much so I wouldn't go outside at night. I locked my windows when they talked about alien abductions, and I would never ever ever go parking. With my boyfriend because we might just meet the lovers lane killer. 

Looking back at these fears and phobias that were so powerful they frightened me makes me feel a little silly, but crazy things do happen. The line between fact and fiction is always being skewed and turned to a gray's a fact of the human mind. Some people see things as black and white, others see things in shades of gray, and even more can see things painted in technicolor. 

We look to explain our fears in a reasonable manner. Would you go parking in lover's lane if you knew a killer had been spotted? Probably not and if it happened to a friend of a friend....well it must be true.

So here for your enjoyment are a few of my favorite Urban Legends: 

The Headless Ghost of Old Fort Niagara

One of these stories stems from a place that was dear to my heart when I was growing up in Buffalo, NY. My parents were leaders of an Explorer Post which is a branch of the Boy Scouts that is Co Ed. Every year we'd go  to a big event at Old Fort Niagara in Lewiston, NY. Every year my mom and I wold go on the tour of the fort. One year, I heard the story of the headless ghost of Fort Niagara. Apparently the story goes two officers were at a dance at the fort and they got into a spat about a woman. They dueled with swords and one killed the other. He was afraid someone would find out so he beheaded the man and threw his corpse in the well for the fort. the head was forever lost. On nights when there is a full moon, the man comes out and looks for his head and heaven help the person he encounters in the darkness.

If you were 9 or 10 and superstitious you'd believe that. Well I didn't sleep that whole weekend. Courtesy of the ghost of Fort Niagara. In recent years the tale has been proven to be just a tall tale. However it lives on in the history of the Fort. 

Friday the 13th and Camp Scouthaven

Another story from western New York comes from Camp Scouthaven in Freedom, NY. Scoutmasters have been terrifying the campers for years with the tale of Jason Voorhees and how that film was made at that camp. Jason drowns in the lake and comes back to wreak havoc with his crazy mother leaving a trail of blood behind them. The lake was called Crystal Lake and Friday the 13th happens at Camp Crystal Lake, and for good measure it was based on a true story. (which is also false) 

Yeah I bought into that one when I was a little girl as well. We were up there  for a trading event and I was about 11 when I heard the story. Didn't sleep all weekend. Nope if Jason was coming for me I was going to be ready and outrun him. 

Many years later, and a few google searches later I found out that the camp where Friday the 13th was shot was not even in New York State, it was in New Jersey. Yes, it was a Boy Scout Camp but unfortunately it was not camp Scouthaven as much as people believe it. 

Those are a few from my hometown, every town has them and if you don't know them you should learn them! It's what makes where we come from unique and beautiful and gives the places their own distinct identity. 

If you ever come across something on the internet that seems wild and crazy you can always check out 

Snopes is an excellent page to go to if you want to read about urban legends or if you hear a rumor that has to be true but it's not all over the internet yet. It's a reliable and up to date proof or disproof of rumors. 

I'm always interested to hear from my followers, do you have a ghost story to tell, do you know of a crazy urban legend that's actually true? 

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