Contemporary Legend

Candy Man

So, in elementary when  a large group of girls would go to the bathroom, they would hit the mirror three times or more, I’m not sure, and say candy man and then the mirror would shift, or the toilet would get off and we would all get scared.

This game or invocation was the thing to do to get scared when she was younger. At the time she remembers that a movie by the same name had come out recently and their game emerged soon after seeing and learning about it. Cathy said that she still had not seen the movie, even though she did participate in this game when she was younger. She commented that it was mostly a way to get a rise and a thrill when they were younger and also a way to get away with something that they maybe should not have been doing.

Cathy’s initial eagerness to share this urban legend is interesting to note because although she did say that used to participate alongside her friends, she did emphasize that she thought it was all very silly. She emphasized that the Candy man story/ game was more about the exhilaration and anxiety of the moment than anything else. For example, when she said that the mirror would shift or the toilet might go off mysteriously, she did also later add that it was most likely because all of the girls had gotten quiet waiting for something to happen in the bathroom. In this way, the smallest sound or sudden movement could have easily shocked them and also perhaps made them believe that their invocation of this so called Candy Man had worked. Regrettably, she did not remember details about the Candy Man or his story, most likely because she did not see the movie that may have sparked their bathroom games. It is however significant to note that the movie by the same name had such an impact and influence on popular culture. Whether the movie inspired their beliefs and game, or it simply portrayed an already prevalent urban legend, it nonetheless held its own power over a captive audience such as Cathy and her childhood friends.