Contemporary Legend

“So there’s this urban legend.  So a girl was lying in her bead and she hears the faucet leaking.  So she gets up and closes the faucet.  She gets back in bed, but it keeps happening and she keeps getting up to shut it off.  Every time she gets back in bed, she puts her hand down towards the floor so that her dog can lick just to reassure her.  In the morning, she gets up and goes to the bathroom and she sees on the mirror “People lick too” written in blood and her dog is hanging from the shower head.”

Angie told me she heard this urban legend first when she was in middle school at a sleepover party.  However, she told me that she has heard this urban legend from different people throughout her life.  She says even though she has heard it from many people, the versions she has heard have not varied that much.

When she told this urban myth to me, her friend was there as well. I asked Angie if the story affected her in any way and what she thought of it and she answered by saying that it has not affected her and she has not really thought of it.  However, her friend noted that she gets scared and worried whenever she hears dripping water.  Angie said that she never realized this and began to think that the urban myth had a factor in that uneasiness.

I have also heard this urban legend before.  I have heard it from about five or six different people and I have never seen any major variations of the tale.  However, I have heard another tale that is similar to this.  In that tale, there are two roommates and in the middle of the night, one gets up to grab some books.  Since her roommate is sleeping, she does not want to turn on the lights.  She accidentally trips on something but moves on, grabs her books, and leaves.  The next morning, she comes back and finds that her roommate is dead and on the mirror, in blood, is written, “Aren’t you glad you didn’t turn on the lights?”

It seems that more and more people are sharing legends, like these, and they have even become a part of popular culture.  There was a movie, “Urban Legends”, and it illustrated one urban legend after another.  I have not seen the movie, but I heard that one of these two legends was depicted in the movie.

These stories are legends because they could be true and real.  They occur in the real world and questions people’s beliefs.  Some may believe in these legends while others may automatically disregard them.  Nonetheless, these legends “invite discussions about belief.”

Also seen in:  Brunvand, Jan Harold, Robert Loran Fleming, and Robert F. Boyd.  The Big Book of Urban Legends. New York: Paradox Press, 1994.