Contemporary Legend – Henderson, NV

“In a certain park in Henderson, there is a little boy that is seen swinging by himself. When visitors to the park approach him, his face changes to that of a demon, and then he vanishes. He is supposed to be the spirit of a boy killed by a drunk driver near the park.”

Robson heard this story from his mother, who heard it from a friend. Usually, urban legends do have a “friend of a friend” format. It is usually hazy who actually did see these occurrences. This urban legend is no different: Robson does not know anyone who has actually seen this boy, he only knows people who know people who know people who have possibly said they have seen this boy. He says he has also read this urban legend on websites and in the book Weird Nevada.

Robson lives across town, so this story has not affected him in particular. However, it does scare him a little bit. He finds the story slightly spooky and very eerie. He is not sure whether or not he actually believes the demon boy exists, but he does not want to take his chances so he will just avoid the park altogether if he ever comes across it.

Robson only really ever tells this urban legend when people in a group start telling ghost stories. Because he is from Nevada and lives in the same city as the park, he tells what he has heard about the urban legend whenever people bring it up. It is a pretty popular urban legend in Las Vegas, so people have brought it up multiple times. People might also tell this urban legend when passing by the park, or when actually visiting the park. According to Robson, this urban legend has actually driven down attendance at the park. People will purposely go to other parks instead of this one.

People are not really sure whether or not they believe in ghosts in general, let alone the demon boy. This demon boy seems more real because the back-story is that it is the ghost of a child killed by a drunk driver. I agree with Robson that this is a spooky story, and honestly I would probably completely avoid the park, too. If I ever saw it, I would probably feel terrified and agitated. If someone tried to pull me to the park as a joke, I would undoubtedly fight against it and probably scream in terror. I find it interesting that I, or anyone else who feels as I do, would react so strongly to something they are not sure is even real. The demon boy has not been proven by science. Most people admit to having never seen the boy, just hearing about the boy being there.

I am not sure why the ghost of a boy killed by a drunk driver would take on the face of a demon. Because I think it is people making this up (at least I think/hope it is people making this up), I wonder why people would assign a demon face to a poor, young boy who got killed.

Urban legends invite discussion about beliefs and this urban legend is no different. When people hear this legend, including myself, they are unsure about whether or no they believe in this demon boy. Considering the fact that attendance at the park went down though, I think people are leaning towards believing it is possible for demon boys to exist.

Annotation: Oesterle, Joe, Tim Cridland, Mark Moran, and Mark Sceurman. Weird Las Vegas and Nevada: Your Alternative Travel Guide to Sin City and the Silver State. New York, NY: Sterling Pub. Co, 2007.