Urban Legends

Urban Legends are the modern form of Folklore, rather than just being exclusive to traditional societies, narrative is always developing throughout history.  The term Urban Legend was most famously coined by Professor at University of Utah, Jan Harold Brunvand, in his 1981 publication The Vanishing Hitchhiker: American Urban Legends & Their Meanings.

Urban Legends offer a way to present moral meanings in a contemporary way, and generally have contemporary themes that the audience is familiar with and can generally not be traced back to an actual event, although may be based on an extended joke presented as truth, which has become distorted over time.  As with Legends and fables, urban legends often present to be truth, however the actual content may have been adapted and evolved as the story is passed from person to person.

Urban legends are interesting, as they show the evolution of narrative coming full circle, but even more relent, it shows that society is ever producing new stories which can develop into more than what they started out as.  In time, the legends of the future may have evolved from the urban legends of today, which can, in turn, shape societies and our moral code.



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