Author Archives: Alexandra Papadopoulos

Urban Legend- New Jersey

Urban Legend. Dangerous Men
So You Meet This Guy In A Bar…

There are a lot of urban legends that deal with the ways in which men lure women to their death. Alex Romano told me a story like that that is probably the creepiest I’ve ever heard.
In it, a girl goes to a bar one night looking to meet men, and she ends up making out with a random guy on the dance floor. After a period of dancing and kissing, he asks her if she’d like to come back to his place. Even though she wanted to make out with someone and possibly go home with them, she isn’t really feeling this guy and turns him down. A few days later, she isn’t feeling well and has developed a type of rash on her mouth, so she goes to the doctor to get herself checked out. The doctor asks her if she’s been with anyone in the last few days, and she tells him of the guy she made out with at the bar. He takes a sample from her mouth with a cotton swab and sends her home, telling her he’ll call her if he finds anything. A day or two later, she gets that call, and the doctor says, “We need to find that guy you met at the bar. The bacterium in your mouth is a kind that is only found on dead bodies.”
When I first heard this, I was like, “So wait, the guy was dead?” But then Alex explained to met that it meant the guy she met at the bar had been kissing dead bodies, and probably having sex with them, and that he probably intended to kill this girl by taking her home, only later to get busy with her body.
Alex told me that “at least two people” have told her that same story, saying that it happened to “some friend in France or whatever.”
I’ve noticed a lot of urban legends concern a dangerous man luring the innocent female to her death. Oftentimes though, the big twist comes with the reveal that the man would have done something to the girl, had he gotten her to come with him, but her female intuition told her not to. These urban legends seem to serve as warnings for women, advising against going anywhere with men you don’t know, and that if you do, you might end up in the arms of some necrophiliac, never to be seen again.
I think the large amount of urban legends dealing with this issue directly correlates to the high number of female rape victims in the United States. “One in six American women are victims of sexual assault…” With such a high number, most people know a girl who’s been sexually assaulted or raped, and therefore it’s pretty easy to believe one of these stories. And if you do, maybe it can serve as a warning. Urban legends are different than plain-old legends because they can serve as responses, and warnings, to modern issues.


Throw Ice Out The Window For A Snow Day

Get Those Cubes Ready

I maintain contact with all my friends back home through the Internet. One of the sites that helps me to do that is  HYPERLINK “” On this website, people that I’m friends with can post what are called “bulletins” which are like little e-mails that go out to all of their friends. People usually write them saying something like “Ugh, my day sucked” and then friends who are interested in hearing why can write back and ask.
One day I was checking out the bulletins that my friends posted, and I came across one that my mother’s best friend’s daughter (who I went to Elementary school with), Olivia posted, which said:

throw ice out your window…

we want snow

my sister and her class did it their senior year and you know what happened

the blizzard of ‘05

so hoes get your ice cubes ready”

That’s the literal text, transcribed exactly how it was written. I immediately copied and pasted this bulletin for this project. I’d never heard of this tradition, but I believe that people back home would do it. We love to get snow days, a day off to chill inside or go out and go sledding, especially the seniors, who don’t have to make up the missed school days at the end of the year. The fact that Olivia mentions how her sister’s high school class did it supports the fact that this is an up and coming tradition. I almost wished I was back home so I could participate in this new tradition. It might just result in a bunch of ice cubes making square-shaped holes in an inch of snow, which would be somewhat disappointing. But if there was a snow day the next day, I’d feel really great about throwing those cubes out the window. In the end, it’d be worth it to at least try.



I went to Chabad for dinner with my friends Lindsey and Alex one night and we ended up sitting next to Rabbi David, who told us a lot about Orthodox Jewish culture. He told us that the reason they keep their beards so long and never shave is because they feel it is wrong to take a knife to something that God created. They see growing out their beard as part of devoting themselves to God, and showing their dedication to Him. They also believe that God wants them to keep their hair long in order to single them out for people to recognize them as followers of Him.

Hair can be used as a representation of who you are, your femininity, your masculinity if you get a short crew cut (although men these days are much more free to do what they want with their hair than anyone else), or your religion. Many people and groups take hair very seriously, making rules about hair upkeep part of their culture. It can be an easy way to show off a certain part of you. But, hair should only do that if you want it to. It should never drag you down, or be forced upon you to keep you in a certain group. Women should not be forced to have long hair to maintain their femininity. Women can have short hair and be feminine all the same.



I Am Not My Hair

People can be finicky about their hair. For years during high school, and for most of my freshman year of college, I refused to cut mine. Finally I did, because all that hair just became too much to handle. Sometimes I wonder how girls can constantly deal with having so much hair atop their head. It’s a lot of work to deal with. But, girls having long hair is a custom that has been around in almost all of society for as far back as we as a species even go.

Savannah has medium length hair, but that’s because she’s over 18 and her dad can’t control her decisions anymore. Her father is normally very strict in enforcing that his daughters do not cut their hair. Savannah’s younger sister, Tiffany, is 15 and still in high school, and her hair goes almost down to her knees. It’s long and curly, and very frizzy, and the pure weight of it has actually caused her sister to have a premature bald spot, but her father still doesn’t want her to cut it. He thinks girls should have long hair, and that girls with short hair “are just ugly.”


Spill Salt, Throw Some Over Your Shoulder

No Use Crying Over Spilt Salt

Another co-worker of mine, coincidentally the youngest of all the people I asked, seemed to have the most insight on the topic. She said that she thinks the reason people do it is because salt was so valuable and important back in the day, that spilling it was seen as a bad sign, because you were wasting it. To this, I asked, “But, if it’s bad luck to spill salt because you’re wasting it, why waste more by throwing some over your shoulder?” She had no answer for this.
She also mentioned that her mother was very aware of this particular superstition and won’t even let them simply throw away the things of salt that you buy, but rather makes them pour it down the drain and dilute it with water if you’re going to do so. She says it has something to do with “putting salt back into the water.”

I read online that the reason people do this is because, like Mayra said, salt was very important in the past, and that “spilling salt was considered an almost sacrilegious offence, and left one perilously exposed to the devil’s machinations. Throwing salt over your shoulder is akin to blessing someone after they’ve sneezed – it’s a way of keeping the devil at bay while you’re in an especially vulnerable moment.”