urban legends on college campuses

Posted : October 3, 2005
Last Updated : September 14, 2015

urban legends on college campuses

College campuses are breeding grounds for urban legends. While many colleges have urban legends that are unique to their campus, several of the same urban legends are retold time and again at different colleges. Have you heard any of the following stories being spread at your school? If so, you have encountered a college campus urban legend.

Halloween Massacre
There are several versions of this story. The gist of the legend is that a famous psychic predicts on a television show that a serial killer will strike on a college campus on Halloween killing several students. The details of this myth vary from campus to campus. Many reports of this myth have the killer dressed as Little Bo Peep or donning a Scream mask. Several versions have the mass murder taking place on a Big 10 campus that starts with the letter 'M' or 'W' and near a pond/lake/river, railroad track, or cemetery. These details have caused this urban legend to run rampant at the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, the University of Minnesota, and the University of Wisconsin.

While this urban legend has been spread around college campuses for many years, no school has ever reported a Halloween slaying on campus grounds.

Killing over Holiday Break
This legend involves two female roommates who remain at their deserted college dormitory over a holiday break. One of the girls decides to go out on a date, while the other roommate chooses to stay in and go on to bed. Later that night, the sleeping girl is awakened by gurgling and scratching noises coming from the dormitory hallway. The girl gets really scared, so she locks the door and hides in her closet until morning. When the girl finally opens the dorm door, she discovers the corpse of her roommate in the hallway. Her throat had been slit, and there were scratches on the door where she had been clawing to try to get in the dorm room. In some versions, the dead girl's fingernails have been ground down to bloody stumps, and the frightened roommate's hair turns white overnight from the shock.

Although this legend has been spread at various college campuses, it has never been proven true.

Aren't You Glad You Didn't Turn on the Light?
This legend is about a female college student who has been studying at the library late one night and returns to her dorm room to get some books. She thinks her roommate is sleeping, so she doesn't turn on the lights for fear of waking her sleeping friend. Later when the girl goes back to her dorm room, she discovers the corpse of her dead roommate and a note written in blood on the mirror that said, "Aren't you glad you didn't turn on the light?" In some versions, the girl returns home to find a scarf tied to the door meaning that her roommate was "entertaining" a guest, so she just slips into bed without turning on the light and finds the corpse and note the next morning.

This is another legend that has never been proven true.

Organ Thieves
This legend involves a male college student who attends a party and has a few beers. He meets an attractive girl who invites him to go to another party. He agrees, so she takes him to another apartment where they continue to drink and take illegal drugs. The guy blacks out and wakes up completely nude in a bathtub filled with ice. He is completely alone in the apartment. He starts to get out of the tub and notices a note written in lipstick on his chest. It reads, "Call 911 or you will die." He notices a phone beside the tub, so he picks it up and dials. He explains his situation to the 911 operator saying that he doesn't know where he is, what he took, or why he is really calling. The operator tells him to get out of the tub and look in the mirror at his back. He does and notices two 9 inch slits on his lower back. She tells him to get back in the tub immediately and wait for a rescue crew. After being examined, he finds out that his kidneys have been stolen. They are worth $10,000 each on the black market. Apparently, the second party had been a sham and the people involved were medical students. Now the guy is in the hospital on life support waiting for a spare kidney.

As part of an effort to end the spread and belief of this urban legend, the National Kidney Foundation has asked that anyone who claims to have had their kidneys illegally removed to contact them. No one has stepped forward so far.

Cadaver Arm
This legend is about a medical student who secretly takes an arm of a corpse. One night, he decides to hide the arm in his girlfriend's room as a practical joke. He and his roommate wait in another dorm room for the girl to start screaming. After an hour passes and nothing happens, the two medical students decide to go into the girlfriend's room. They find the girl sitting in the corner of the room with a glazed expression on her face eating the arm. The practical joke had driven her mad.

This legend has also never been proven true.

Live Statues
The gist of this legend is that statues on college campuses come to life when a virgin walks by. This legend has been spread across various college campuses for many years. Here are some of the statues that are said to be affected when a virgin walks by:

  • The University of North Carolina has a statue memorial for UNC alumni who died fighting for the Confederacy in the Civil War. The statue is a bronze soldier named Silent Sam. Legend has it that the soldier will shoot his rifle if a virgin passes by.
  • According to legend at the University of Tennessee, if a virgin walks under the statue of The Torchbearer, his flame will go out.
  • At the University of Maryland, Testudo, the terrapin mascot, will sprout wings and fly away if a virgin ever graduates from that school.
  • The stone lions at the Universities of Missouri, Michigan, and Cincinnati will roar if a virgin walks between them.

Obviously, there are no credible records of statues coming to life when a virgin walks by.

Information gathered from snopes.com.


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urban legends on college campuses

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