A ll this October, we've been examining urban legends and other shared tales that get passed around as if they're factual, generally to inspire dread and provide salacious entertainment. We hoping to learn more about how and why troubling, seemingly ludicrous stories like these proliferate, and why we can't get enough of them.
So we're diving into the ways that regional sensibilities morph collective nightmares and stoke conspiracy theories. We how childhood institutions like slumber parties help spread these disturbing tales. We'll look at how the internet became a bastion for myth-telling, whether it's a string-boarded fan theory with scant plausibility or a story about a time-traveling future-dweller who returned with a mission of posting his musings on early 2000s message boards. We'll also bust open some of our most societally entrenched legends and conspiracy theories -- and, yes, that includes the Illuminati.
One piece of advice? Do not, under any circumstance, let the Black-Eyed Children into your home.
Acquired Taste: Blood Rice Cakes With Timothy DeLaGhetto and Justina Valentine
Inside the strange obsession with a non-existent Disney theme park.
By Drew Taylor
The internet keeps fueling an unsubstantiated rumor about a Disney theme park dedicated to its animated villains. This is how the concept gained momentum and why its unlikely future only ensures the chatter won't end.
How the Life cereal kid survived a rumor that won't die.
By Natalie O'Neill
Eating a pack of Pop Rocks and drinking a six-pack of Coca-Cola didn't kill John Gilchrist, even though everyone thinks it did. In fact, he's totally fine (and we talked to him). The only victim of the legend that wouldn't go away? Pop Rocks.
How the Denver travel hub became an icon of the Illuminati.
by Colin St. John
Ever since opening in 1995, the Denver airport has been the subject of rumors linking it to government cover-ups and the world's elite. Also: a giant demon horse waiting to suck the souls from unworthy travelers.
Editors: Leanne Butkovic, Matt Patches, and John Sellers Copy Editors: James Chrisman and Will Robinson Production Assistants: Eliza Dumais and Amy Schulman Designer: Daniel Fishel Animation: Evan Lockhart Writers: Janelle Albukhari, Sylvie Borschel, Molly Fitzpatrick, Wil Fulton, K. Thor Jensen, Andy Kryza, Matt Lynch, Kelsey McKinney, Natalie O'Neill, Dustin Nelson, Alex Robinson, Lindsey Romain, Tanner Saunders, Colin St. John, Jennifer Swann, and Drew Taylor