The Top 25 Urban Legends

Trending topics this week

Here are the Top 25 trending topics in Urban Legends this week:

1. Is Hobby Lobby Really Closing 500+ Stores?
The headline of a viral article attributed to Hobby Lobby CEO David Green misleadingly suggests the company is closing more than 500 stores. Status: Misrepresented

2. Can YOU Spot the Fakes?
Can you tell a fake image from the real thing? Take our hoax quiz and find out! Start here

3. The Russian Sleep Experiment
In the 1940s, Russian researchers conducted an experiment in which five prison inmates were kept awake for 15 days straight.

To say it didn't go well is an understatement. Status: False

4. The Clown Statue
A babysitter calls the parents who hired her to ask if she can cover up the disturbing, life-size clown statue in the living room. Status: Urban legend

5. The Dead Boyfriend
Wouldn't you know it, they picked the worst possible night to go necking on Lovers' Lane. Status: Urban legend

6. Aren't You Glad You Didn't Turn on the Light?
After coming home late and getting ready for bed in the dark, a college coed wakes up the next morning to receive the shock of her life. Status: Urban legend

7. Bloody Mary
Urban legend says if you stand in front of a mirror and chant "Bloody Mary" three times, a terrifying ghost will appear. Status: Urban Legend

8. Are Terrorists Sending Poisoned Perfume Samples in the Mail?
Viral warnings claim perfume samples received in the mail have proven to be poisoned and are responsible for the deaths of at least seven people.


9. Carmen Winstead Was Pushed Down a Sewer
Chain-letter-style Internet postings tell the story of Carmen Winstead, a 17-year- old girl supposedly pushed down a sewer and killed by a gang of girls from her school. Status: Urban legend

10. The True Origin of the F-Word
In which we are asked to believe that the word "fuck" originated as the acronym of "Fornication Under Consent of the King," "Fornication Under Command of the King," "For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge," or some variation thereof.

Status: False

11. Is This Obama Praying at a Mosque?
Viral image purports to show President Obama kneeling at a "mosque prayer session" on the White House grounds in Washington, DC. Have we been lied to? Status: Is This Obama Praying at a Mosque?False

12. Donald Trump and the Good Samaritan
Have you heard the viral story about Donald Trump (or some other celebrity) richly rewarding a good Samaritan for helping him fix a flat tire? Status: Urban legend

13. The Knife in the Briefcase
A female driver agrees to give a ride to the good Samaritan who helped her fix a flat tire. Turns out he's not such a good Samaritan after all. Status: Urban legend

14. The Babysitter and the Man Upstairs
A babysitter receives harassing phone calls from a stranger who keeps telling her to "check the children." Status: Urban legend

15. Richard Gere and the Gerbil
Several years ago, "they" say, actor Richard Gere was admitted into the emergency room of a Los Angeles hospital with a foreign object lodged in a bodily orifice. Status: Urban legend

15. Premature Burial
A long time ago, before adequate technology for detecting patients' critical life signs existed, people were sometimes buried alive. That's a fact. Status: See details

16. The Hook
A teenager drove his date to Lovers' Lane for a make-out session before it was time to take her home. The place was dark and deserted. They were just getting started when an announcement came over the radio that sent them scurrying. Status: Urban legend

17. The Vanishing Hitchhiker
The honeymooners came upon a young woman hitchhiking on a deserted road in the middle of the night. It proved to be an encounter they'd never forget. Status: Urban legend

18. Humans Can Lick, Too
Home alone, but there's nothing to fear with your trusty dog keeping watch under the bed. Or is there? Status: Urban legend

19. Black Lion Photo
Circulating via social media, this viral image supposedly documents the existence of a "melanistic" or black lion on a game refuge in Africa. Status: Fake

20. What Does "420" Have to Do with Smoking Weed?
Notwithstanding the many and various urban legends that have grown up around the meaning of "420" and its connection with marijuana, the true story behind that connection is surprisingly prosaic.

Read more

21. Why Is the Ocean Salty?
According to Internet lore, a typical blue whale produces over 400 gallons of sperm when it ejaculates... and you wonder why the ocean is so salty! Status: False

22. AriZona Tea Contains Human Urine
A viral "news story" claims that products manufactured by the Arizona Beverage Company contain human urine as an "active ingredient." Status: False

23. Jamie Lee Curtis Is a Hermaphrodite
Dear Urban Legends: I've heard from a few places that Jamie Lee Curtis is genetically male. Status: Unlikely

24. The Killer in the Window
A 15-year-old girl was babysitting her little sister while her parents were out at a party. She had just curled up on the couch to watch TV when she noticed a wrinkled old man approaching the sliding glass door. Status: Urban legend

25. Was Kids TV Show Host Mr. Rogers a Military Sniper?
Rumor has it that children's TV show host Mr. Rogers was a tattoo-wearing Navy SEAL or Marine sniper with dozens of kills to his credit. Status: False