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Urban Legends: The Basics

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Here we'll explore the fundamentals of folklore and urban legends -- what they are, where they come from, and what roles they play in human cultures, now and down through history.
  1. Test Your Urban Legends IQ
  2. All About Urban Legends
  3. Netlore: Online Rumors, Hoaxes & Legends
  4. General Folklore

Test Your Urban Legends IQ

Welcome to Quiz Central. Here you can test your knowledge of folklore and urban legends, including many of the most commonly told tales. Choose from the list below.

All About Urban Legends

Urban legends (also known as contemporary legends) are apocryphal, secondhand stories, told as true and plausible enough to be believed, about horrific, embarrassing, exasperating, or ironic things that have supposedly happened to real people. For all practical purposes the present-day equivalent of the legends and fables of old, urban legends tend to revolve around the most vexing aspects of modern life.

Netlore: Online Rumors, Hoaxes & Legends

Once upon a time, urban legends were considered almost exclusively an oral tradition, spread by word of mouth alone. Only when they were collected and published in books were these popular stories ever written down. The Internet, needless to say, has changed all that. Email and the Web are now the primary way legends, rumors, and hoaxes are spread. The term "Netlore" was coined to provide a handy label for this new phenomenon.

General Folklore

Folklore is a broad topic comprising the everyday customs, beliefs, crafts, legends, sayings, songs, and other traditions specific to different places, times, and cultures. Mythology is the subset of those traditions pertaining to the spiritual realm -- including beliefs about the origin of the universe, about gods and goddesses, and what happens when we die.

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