Urban Legends have fascinated me for quite some time. I relate urban legends to ghost stories told around the campfire, it leaves me wondering as to whether there is truth or not in these stories. With the advent of Photoshop and other photo enhancing products, pictures that are now circulating the web and email have drawn my attention to as whether or not they are real.
One of the websites that I visit is http://www.snopes.com/. I find that I can usually decipher whether a current legend or rumor I have heard is true or not. For example, I heard on the radio and the announcer was serious, that if you were ever to be forced to withdraw money from your account via an ATM, that you could enter your PIN backwards and it would immediately dispatch the police to your location and still give you the money. This turned out to be false and being the information was given out via the radio, how many people could have and did receive bad information? A quick check of this website as well as others could have cleared this up.
So, what exactly is an urban legend? According to www.scambusters.org, an urban legend are "stories that are either funny and/or contain horrifying content that may or may not be true. They spread quickly, and often have many different variants." This site also provides great information on current urban legends and their origins. They give great information on how to verify concerns you may have regarding these urban legends. For example, there was a rumor circulating that UPS uniforms were being purchased and used by terrorists. This rumor was deemed false and the site even gave phone number to UPS if a reader had a concern.
Urban legends have fascinated me for as long as I can remember. I know I spend more time than I should reading this sites, but there are probably a lot worse things I could be doing.