Friday, May 29, 2009

Urban legends

Okay, we all know that urban legends aren't true, or at least, we should know that they aren't true. I'm not claiming any of these stories as fact. I'm just retelling them here because of their enduring popularity.

The Vanishing Hitchhiker
Yes, it always happens to somebody. A young man (always a young man, never an older man or a woman) is driving along a deserted highway late one night during a rainstorm. He is flagged down by an attractive young woman wearing a light-colored dress. He gives her his jacket to wear, since it's so cold and wet, and she gives him directions to her house. On the way, wondering why she's so quiet, he glances over at her... and she's gone.

Either that same night or the following day, he travels to the house where she claimed to live. The door is opened by her elderly parent, usually her mother, who listens wearily to the young man's story before telling him that her daughter died some years ago, in a car accident on the way home from a party. The parent tells him where the daughter is buried, and the disbelieving young man visits the cemetery.

On the gravestone, he finds his jacket.

Chicago lays claim to having the original Vanishing Hitchhiker, known as Resurrection Mary, after the cemetery (Resurrection Cemetery) where she is buried. Unusually for the story, Mary has also been spotted inside the gates of her last residence, peering out.

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