Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Hookman

Author: Seth Mathis

The Hookman’s hook

The Hookman is a classic example of an urban legend. Hookman legend is an urban
legend that began to be told and circulating in the 1950’s. There are many versions or variations
to the legend but the basic story is the same in all stories of the hookman. It begins when a
teenage boy takes his date out to Lovers’ Lane for a make out session. While there, they hear a
report of a murderer who has escaped from a nearby insane asylum; the newscaster says
everyone should be on the lookout for this crazy man, who has a hook in place of his right hand.

            According to Credo references, most teenagers and adults remember there high school
days and fears, will recognize this story that is summarized in a 1990 collection of urban legends
from South Africa. The Hook is also a favorite of folklore scholars; there are no less than 33
references to it in the standard bibliography of urban-legend studies published in 1993. The
urban legend has been corporate into comic strips, films, and TV programs to such a degree that
the very image of a hook dangling from a car-door handle is enough to suggest for most people
the whole genre of urban legends. Although the image of the hook destroys the suspense of the
urban legend version, it highlights the fact that the hook is known now days as a simple scary
story rather than something that really happened. Best known claim is Alan Dundes’s Freudian
interpretation; it explains the hook as a phallic symbol and its amputation as a symbolic
castration. Other scholars have been content to see the story more literally as an warning against
parking, a dramatic example of the reason for parental concern for their children, an expression
of fear of the handicapped, or depiction of the danger possible from a rampaging antisocial
            According to several sources including, from article on the hookman. People
have been telling the legend since the 1950’s; it sends a moral message “Sex is naughty and bad
boys and girls will be punished!” it seems more appropriate in the modern era. Jan Harold 
Brunvand has observed that most story tellers narrate the urban legend nowadays as a scary story
then as a believable legend. Most people under the age of 30 assume that the story was invented
by screenwriters.
            Barbara and David P. Mickleson the writers for a website for the snope on
the urban legend of the hookman. It’s possible that the roots of the legends the hookman and the
boyfriend’s death lie in distant memories of real life murders at lover’s lane. There are actual
cases of kids who have gone necking that have come back in pine boxes. Real life roots or not
the urban legend of the hook has been a legend for as long as anyone can remember. The key to
the legend is the boyfriend’s response to the girl’s demand to end the date immediately. Untold
in the story is the realization that if the girl hadn’t said no, and hadn’t left right away, the couple
would have been killed. 

Edward Wayne Edwards
According to natural plane blog spot, gives you truth behind the urban legend of the hookman.
There are many varations of the story but the basic is still the same, the supposed urban legend
began to circulate after world war II and more widely during the 1950’s. In Seymour,
Connecticut there is a cemetery that has been used since the 1800’s and it is the preferred
haunting grounds of the hookman. In the 1940’s the story began to circulate about a caretaker
with a hookman that lived on the property at one time. Another version of the tale says a man by
the name of the hookman was wrongly accused of the murders and since then haults the
cemetery. Then there is more contemporary allegory of Edward Wayne Edwards, who could easily been the rumored psycho-killer to haunt lover’s lane in the country. He has earned the name the man with the hook from author Phil Stanford, although he never used the hook as a weapon as far as they
know. He published a book called “Metamorphosis of a criminal” which talks about all of his
crimes even talking about his hints as a serial killer. He was finally arrested in 2009 for his
murders of a young couple in Wisconsin and Ohio.

Works cited:
Brunvand, Jan Harold Encyclopedia of Urban Legends. 14 Oct. 2012 Web. 2001.
Emery, David “The hook” (the hookman) guide. 23 Oct. 2012 Web.
“Emery, David-The hook” photo of the hook. 23 Oct. 2012 Web.
Mickleson, Barbara and David P. 1995-2012. 23 Oct. 2012 Web.
Strickler, Lon “Phantoms and Monsters” 12 Oct. 2012. Web. 23 Oct. 2012
“Strickler, Lon- Edward Wayne Edward” “Phantoms and Monsters” 12 Oct. 2012. Web. 23 Oct. 2012.

Links for further research:
The hook
A spooky campfire tale and a version of the story

Hookman legend

More information on the hookman

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