“In my home town this one girl left my school and move away. Her mom said that she moved in with her dad when her parents divorced. That was probably the truth, but there was still this story that stuck around that she had actually died. This girl was super high maintenance and tanned a lot in tanning beds. The story goes that she was getting ready for prom and went tanning, but she stayed in too long and the bed and the lights actually cooked her. I am pretty sure that the story isn’t true, but now whenever some girl leaves my school to move away they joke that she was cooked in a tanning bed.”
The urban legend of the tanning bed has been around for many years, and I have heard version of it myself. The idea that tanning beds, which give off ultraviolet rays, can be compared to microwaves (and so cook a person) is ridiculous, but the urban legend has been very popular since the late 1980s.
In 1987 Jan Harold Brunvand wrote a story in The San Diego Union-Tribune called “Hot Sotry: Girl Cooks Her Insides at Tanning Salon,” and that claimed a girl was cooked inside a tanning bed. In 1989 The Associated Press printed a story called “Woman Dies of Burns from Tanning Booth.” The fact that Morgan’s story is still relevant shows both the popularity of the gruesome tale, and the concern people have over tanning beds.