- “In elementary school there was a big urban myth I guess is what I would call it. So near my elementary school there was a willow tree, and there was this whole willow man myth. All the kids were scared of it. Kids were not supposed to go near the tree but we did anyway. There was a forest next to my elementary school and the only way to get in was to go under the willow tree because the grass was too tall. Yeah we weren’t supposed to but we all would, go run around, and explore the forest. There was this urban legend of the willow man, I guess he lived in the forest and if you went into the forest you would see him sometime. It was a creepy thing but there was no explanation, no ‘take you away’ it was just the willow man. He was just there, living in the forest near the willow tree and he just would creep us all out.”
- I obtained this piece of folklore from my cousin Clay. Clay is a year older than me, and grew up in Mill Valley California, which is located in Marin County (just North of San Francisco). Marin County is nationally famous for its breathtaking natural elements (forest, beaches, lakes etc.), and all his schools as well as his home is surrounded by forest basically.
- This piece of folklore, according to Clay, is incredibly popular among the kids at his elementary school. It is passed down grade to grade and is therefore kept “alive.” Now that he and his friends are older, they no longer believe in the willow man myth, as their age and height allows them to explore the forest and it is no longer scary for him and them. This legend is unique to Clay’s school, and therefore will probably not exists in other schools to this exact detail, but I and he is sure that other schools probably have similar legends.
- I never had never heard of any legends like this when I was in elementary school, but in high school I had many legends about teachers and substitute teachers. None of which were scary or frightening like the willow man legend. Either way, I think that these types of legends like the willow man bring students closer, and they establish a unique basis for communication within this specific community.