These are different types of urban legends.
An urban legend is simply a misnomer, a story, an optical illusion, that has been told through filtered systems of years and years of generations, the kind of tale that somewhere, somehow someone hasn’t heard and when they first do, don’t know to believe it not. Usually associated with something horrific or disgusting or just utterly ridiculous, they have this strange twist of truth that you never know when you might encounter them.
Films and television have used urban legends as plot lines, be it the entire film or a minor detail since the beginning of film. Well, okay, maybe not that far back, when film began it was just trains and people in crowds and stuff like that and early silent films were all about high drama or high comedy.
Besides the point, there are three films with the title “URBAN LEGEND”; none of them have anything in common other than murder, plot twists and the usage of Urban Legends as the basis for the murders (and a minor twist of character cameo in the end of the second film.)
Once there was even a comic book of Urban Legends. It was published by DC Comic’s Paradox Press imprint. I could easily pull out a random urban legend from that. One that you somehow had never read, been told, told yourself or somehow experienced. That would be cheating.
I could make up an urban legend. They’re very easy. Basically you come up with a premise involving a person or persons or about a place, then you put in a creepy or unwieldy element and then you tell it to someone as if it was true and you tell them to tell others and they tell six people and they tell six people and so on and so on. So as much, an urban legend and rumor is practically the same thing, just one is more intriguing, and less damaging and can live for a lot longer.
There’s a movie that implements all of the urban legends I described at the beginning of this essay. You may have seen it if you grew up in the 80’s, have a love or passion for 80’s cult classics or just stay up late at night. It starred Elisabeth Shue, Keith Coogan, Anthony Rapp, a young, obscenely hunky Vincent D'Onofrio and was directed by Christoper Columbus… “Adventures in Babysitting” is the perfect example of an urban legend, because in some circles… the film itself has become one and when you mention it's particulars it sounds like one!
It’s been years since I’ve watched it despite owning a pristine VHS copy and I never remember it exactly each time I try to explain it to a person. So was there really a scene where the kids were perched on the non existent ledge of skyscraper 100’s of flights up? How about them performing at a Jazz club trying to get away from bad guys? The truck driver with the hook on his hand…that happened right? Is that really Law & Order's Detective Goren? Is that REALLY future star of Broadway hit RENT? No way, this movie has to be an urban legend. Yet, it isn't. What does that say about all other urban legends?
Like the dwarf who hung himself on the set of Wizard of Oz? Or that Kane Hodder kills young campers to gain method for playing Jason Voorhees? Or that Mr. Ed could really talk or that Alfalfa was 45 when the Little Rascals was on the air. What about them?
Urban Legends or... something far more scarier and closer to the truth?