Historical story

Discover the Enigma of North American Urban Legends Through the Storytelling Process

Last updated:2022-07-25

Urban legends have continued to fascinate people perhaps since the dawn of humanity, but what makes them beloved is the mystery of not knowing if they are fact or fiction. A true nightmare experience for one or just a powerful figure of someone's infinite imagination. Moreover, superstition plays a key role in this genre. As we mature through life and go through different mentalities and goals in our time on earth, for one reason or another, one is always attracted to the unknown, no matter how scary, stimulating or fascinating it may seem, according to Each. . Mostly because of the endless possibilities for what can happen, something that excites us, along with mystery or even the fact that we have a new chance to do things better than before.

"The Thing" painted through Alvin Schwartz's knowledge and interpretation.

Storytelling and knowledge

In this article, we will review the importance of life lessons in storytelling, such as self-preservation and inquisition. So in the end, it leaves a strong impact on others. Overall, it is always a lesson to learn from certain experiences we encounter or see modeled through other perspectives, because it visually instructs us on how to maneuver around life's challenges and sometimes setbacks.

"The last night of his life, Sam visits his old friend as usual to show support, but is later shaken to the core when he discovers that the now deceased Ted vaguely mirrors the appearance of the same skeletal figure he and his friend once met. In turn, he thought to himself "Was this just a coincidence or pure superstition"? (Schwartz 2). When we imagine things that break at night. Most people tend to let their imagination run wild to see an answer based on their own personal experience with the unknown and the supernatural.

Relationship to get inspiration through experience

From a random bogeyman lurking under a cloudy bridge, to a vengeful spirit that can be summoned in a mirror with a cantation. There are always surprises to discover when searching for answers to the unknown. All in all, each story is inspired by personal accounts that were once met by the individual who experienced this event. Which later developed into a riddle factor in storytelling. As we learn more about the deeper meanings of Urban Legends, there will be a clearer path to their purpose in our lives. Through a number of different styles and narrative perspectives. A general magnetic influence becomes effective when it affects a specific target group.

Entertainment background in North America

For example, in North American countries such as Canada and the United States. The arrival of European settlers brought prosperity to existing folklore as the new people were inspired by remarkable and foreign faiths. With an old and new world mythology meeting came a hybrid of stories. As figures and symbols such as the dead, ghosts and Lunatic murderers. To illustrate, the story of "The Thing" as told by Alvin Schwartz was inspired by an original tale set in Novia Scotia, Canada. Comes from the literary play entitled "Blue Nose Ghost" by Helen Creighton. Which stems from ancient European superstitions where if one sees the spirit of a still living human being. Then it was a sign of death for that person. Although the stories may vary in detail through each interpretation, the account remains for the same purpose. Which is to succeed in guiding readers with a clear purpose of entertainment.

The window to Ted's home imagined where he and Sam took refuge after going beyond The Thing.


To begin with, in the introductory story of "The Thing" by Alvin Schwartz, we are informed about the lesson of pursuing self-preservation. For example, when Sam decided to return and confront the skeletal figure. He should have been running, because if these events had not happened, Ted could still have lived to tell the story for decades throughout his life. I know that when individuals get upset or scared, they tend to behave irrationally and impulsively out of what first happens through their mind, but that's where things can get difficult because it's generally a true test of the character's strengths and weaknesses.


Another important thing was when Sam and Ted decided to stay out of the post office in the isolated field late at night. They could have traveled home before or to a better-lit place for safety, but at the same time they were distracted and communicated, and who knew what other activities they were doing at the meeting. Besides these two cases, I think this was a very unfortunate and frightening experience because the story seems almost like an indication or a symbol of what was to come, despite the characters' attempts to avoid the fate that had already befallen them . To add, it can also symbolize a metaphor associated with the fear of getting old. In summary, the story of "The Thing" really has some interesting concepts about self-preservation, accepting fate and meeting one's fears.

The church where Ida experienced meeting the dead in the short story "One Sunday Morning"


Equally important is the story of "One Sunday Morning", also by Alvin Schwartz. Originally, the story begins in an innocent tone when the main character, Ida, begins to hurry and prepare early on Sunday morning to get to church when she thought she would be late. Because of the church bells that signaled that the service had begun. In a later event, she soon finds herself trapped in a gloomy scenario when everyone around her is dead.


With this at hand, the key element of symbolism shines in this narrative because it represents uncertainty in real life. Such as finding oneself trapped in a way where there can be no quick fix. Personally, I think this message is still effective in capturing readers' attention because many can relate to the feeling. Despite the story painted under a mythical element. In essence, the story of "One Sunday Morning" provides an abundance of metaphors found in the story itself.


Later in the afternoon, her friends from the congregation came to visit her at home to return the restored clothes taken with nipples by the same deceased in the cemetery just behind the church. Overall, Ida left forever in a traumatized state where she decided never to return to the place where the service was offered there ”(Schwartz 3). In the same way, I think this story is another good example of superstition and mystery because it is full of surprises, scares and figurative messages. For example, the fact that Ida is trying to do the right thing by coming to church despite the fact that it is late and that it turns out to be a macabre experience is just worrying. It perfectly demonstrates how someone is exposed to the dangers of all walks of life.


Eventually, with stories like these, there is room for many theories to emerge from it. Which can be discussed in an abundance of ways, as the narrative concentrates more on the element of surprise and inquisition. Sometimes we may find ourselves in certain situations where we become speechless and later ask ourselves how a particular event happened, but with enough reasoning at the end, sometimes the problem on the other hand is perfectly depicted in the story we talked about earlier. I think what makes this story so exciting is the fact that the twist that unfolded. To be in a place where it is usually safe and to imagine that it suddenly becomes a dangerous environment. Which, of course, made the video an overnight sensation. In essence, the process of inquisition can be a way of thinking.

"High Beams" visualized through Alvin Schwartz's story and knowledge.


Our latest story comes to a story called "High Beams", also by Alvin Schwartz. To sum up, "High Beams" is a story about a high school who decides to travel back and forth to his house for a homecoming football game alone. It had turned out that while the girl was pumping petrol into her tank, the masked man with the knife had sneaked in on the other side of the back door, and the semi-truck driver could not help but intervene in that situation. "So, he followed the girl down the road and always lit the high beams when he saw the masked man almost crawling to hurt the forgetful girl, but only to make the masked man bend down with the light when he was finally exposed" ( Schwartz 4).


Looking back, this is probably one of the most alarming urban legends that exists because of the real possibilities that it will exist. Apart from this, readers and listeners can gain some insight from the experience of these characters on how to avoid certain real scenarios which of course pose potential risks and threats to their families and themselves. The story of "High Beams" is notorious in North America. Since the story continues to rattle the audience. In addition, the story gained fame from humble beginnings through college-age students in the 1960s. I think with an experience like this, there are greater chances of exposure. Due to the legend's genre aimed more at younger audiences. Without a doubt, a story with a message as illustrated here should be noted. Nearby, some urban legends are more disturbing than others.

People's understanding Fantasy illustrated in relation to Urban Legends.

The Importance of Urban Legends and Their Hidden Messages

In conclusion, Urban Legends is an interpretation of the deepest and darkest part of one's visions, fears and insecurities. They will continue to entertain new generations of listeners and intellectuals. On the other hand, it will provide guidance and warnings to thrill seekers. Personally, they will always have a special place in my memories. Since there is a large selection of genres and total flexibility. It continues to provide listeners with modified versions of each story, depending on factors such as location, experiences, and finally different styles of storytelling.


For example, in the story of "High Beams", the story usually alternates between the protagonist's age and time in the story. In the version written and told by Alvin Schwartz, the young girl is a high school senior. Who decides to come home after leaving a homecoming football match. Then she quickly fills up her gas tank in the process.


In contrast, in other interpretations, the character is drawn as a young woman of college age. Who decides to go home alone after meeting their friends for drinks at the bar. As a result, these certain factors in topics such as urban legends and storytelling in general. Become the core and beauty of the overall appeal. In addition, the gag element of making high stories out of these scenarios. Add extra depth to the fun of drawing certain audiences as well. Which creates the experience to make the storytelling experience more engaging and fun.


Since there are several resources available to gain motivation and influence from. The purpose will always be the same. Aimed at entertaining, frightening and leaving a lasting effect on the listeners. To add, there is always room for growth and expression in this field. So it is best to keep that in mind, as you may one day be suddenly motivated to create. Or expand on an Anthology series like the books discussed in this article. Just like "Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark" and "More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark".

Total Message

With what started as a simple and thoughtful ambition for the author Alvin Schwartz. Which was to entertain young children with his collection of dark stories. As a result, it became a well-known, prestigious and personal literary favorite piece. To at least three different generations of readers. Also, never set boundaries for yourself or get into the life of them. Since you can be great and create something that can motivate others and give a positive and lasting impression. On the lives of others, just as Alvin Schwartz did with the series "Scary Stories". Then it became a childhood treasure for its now adult audience. Who witnessed, experienced and shared all the nightmares and screams along the way to gain recognition. All things considered, many will continue to be entertained by the many stories and legends. It will continue to emerge, evolve and emerge.

Works Cited

Schwartz, Alvin. Scary stories to tell in the dark, "The Thing" 1981, print.

Schwartz, Alvin. More Scary stories to tell in the dark, "One Sunday Morning" 1984, print.

Schwartz, Alvin. Scary stories to tell in the dark, "High Beams" 1981, print.

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