An anthology of the most chilling urban legends of all time collected by the maestro himself.
Urban legends are those strange, but seemingly credible tales that always happen to a friend of a friend. For the first time, Professor Jan Harold Brunvand, "who has achieved almost legendary status" (Choice), has collected the creepiest, most terrifying urban legends, many that have spooked you since your childhood and others that you believe really did occureven if it was one town over to some poor hapless coed who left a party early only to be followed by a man who just got loose from a mental hospital. From the classic hook-man story told around many a campfire to "Saved by a Cell Phone," these spine-tingling urban legends will give you goose bumps, even when you know they can't be true. Still, you'll continue to check the backseat of your car at gas stations and look under your bed at night before praying for sleep.
Author Biography: Jan Harold Brunvand is professor emeritus at the University of Utah and the author of numerous books, including The Vanishing Hitchhiker and Too Good to Be True. He lives in Salt Lake City.
Adult/High School-Brunvand is known to many as the godfather of the American urban legend. In this collection, he has compiled the scariest, grisliest ones-some that are unfamiliar but many that have been heard at sleepovers and depicted in horror movies over the past several years. Since many of them will be known to urban-legend lovers, the book's real strength is in the subtle changes within different versions of a legend. The runaway madman with the hook for a hand, the ghost of the dead girl, the slasher under the car or in the backseat all make appearances here, but in slightly different circumstances. Sometimes the distances are great, but the differences are few. For example, the "Hairy-Armed Hitchhiker" appears in two versions, one from England and one from Los Angeles. Brunvand also integrates how much the Internet, particularly e-mail, has changed the dissemination of urban legends. He gives credit to urban-legend debunking site www.snopes.com, and the final chapter concerns the widespread hysterical e-mails that purport to come from experts but actually originate from the usual dubious sources. All in all, this is a good addition where such titles are popular.-Jamie Watson, Harford County Public Library, MD Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.