Author: Hal Pierre Livingston
An urban legend is a
humorous or horrific story or piece of information circulated as though true.
Usually the one purporting around, telling the story, has no clue or is vaguely
related to the person who originally told the story. There are thousands of
urban legends out in the public right now, some true some false. Some examples
of urban legends are Bloody Mary, the belief that Walt Disney’s body isn’t dead
and is frozen, and the myth that alligators inhabitant the sewers of New York
According to the Bloody Mary myth, if you turn off the lights and say Bloody
Mary three times in a mirror, you will summon the spirit of Mary Worth. Mary
Worth was a woman who was said to be killed execution style, for being a witch.
The myth about the sewer gators states that several
alligators who were brought up from Florida to be kept as pets in New York
City, grew too big and violent and escaped into the sewers where they now live
freely. This myth dates back to the 1930’s, and has been proven false but is still
being circulated around the United States.
The Urban Legend I chose was Suicidal Roommates/
Straight A’s. This myth says that if somehow your roommate or suitemate dies,
you receive a 4.0. Prior to this research assignment, I would have argued to
the end that this was absolutely true. Coincidentally my suitemates and I were
talking about it at the beginning of the year and were making jokes about one
another saying that we better watch our back. I personally thought this was a
well-known rule. This Urban Legend have been proven false but different
versions are still being told to this day. Depending on where you from, the
stipulations may be different. Not all versions of the myth specify that the
roommate has to die. Some versions actually say that the death of a parent, or
other close relative, or anybody who is important in the student's life, also
qualifies. Some say that if your roommate commits suicide in front you then you
get a 4.0, but if you didn’t witness it then you only receive a 3.4. This just
proves how easily things can be manipulated and taken seriously by society.
• Brunvand, Jan. “The Truth Never Stands In The
Way Of A Good Story”. Chicago, Illinois. Library of Congress Cataloging in
Publication Data. Year 2000. Web.13 Oct. 2013.
http://www.snopes.com/college/admin/suicide.asp - the website gives the
most information about the urban legend of getting a 4.0 if your roommate
commits suicide specifically.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urban_legend - Wikipedia gives the
initial origin behind urban legends in general.
http://akorra.com/2010/03/04/top-20-urban-legends - This websites gives a
variety of urban legends to read and look into.