Urban folklore is the often hilarious, always engaging, occasionally
bizarre, and almost-always-with-a-moral stories that we've all heard, known,
and shared as part of our daily lives. They run the gamut of simple ghost
stories told around a campfire or slumber parties to rumors of industrial
and governmental conspiracies and coverups. Their study provides us with
insights into human nature and how people come to perceive and cope with
the uncertain and complex world.
The alt.folklore.urban newsgroup (AFU) loves to discuss these stories
and it, like all newsgroups, has developed an interesting subculture of
its own. I post the world-famous Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) list
for AFU approximately twice a month to the following newsgroups: alt.folklore.urban,
news.answers, alt.answers newsgroups with an expiration date approximately
one month from the date of posting. If the FAQ is not available on AFU
at your site please check the other newsgroups or check out: . .
Notice: New Book by Jan Harold Brunvand
Don't forget Jan Harold Brunvand's, the pioneering researcher in modern
urban folklore research, new book published in August 1999. It's
to be entitled Too Good to be True and published by W.W. Norton.
Look for it!
With a special thanks to Jason Heimbaugh and the tireless effort of many
others, there is a hilarious collection of materials from the subculture
known as AFU.
Forsome seriously good urban folklore pages, check out the pages by David
(snopes) and Barbara Mikkelson.
AFU in the Media
Cancer Chain Letters
Most of us have seen these circulated via email. What's the poop
Here's some advice from the pioneer urban legend researcher, Professor
Jan Harold Brunvand. Or you can just laugh uncontrollably at them whenever
you hear one. Warning: You may become a boor.
Ray Wiles posted an article on the "magnetic girl" phenomenon (i.e., smallish
women who seemed to defy the laws of physics in their displays of seemingly
incredible strength) that swept the US at one time.
Arthur Goldstuck, author of The Ink in the Porridge: Urban Legends of
South Africa's Elections and other urban legend books in South Africa
has a great site.
If you're interested in general information about urban folklore and related
subjects, following is a short list of references (which are the same as
the last part of my FAQ list).
This page is maintained by Terry