Urban Legends and Horror
Folk lore of olden days is now known as urban legends. Mostly this is of the odd type such as the ghostly hitchhiker chick who leaves a sweater behind, and when the hapless lad tried to relocate this hot girl, he finds she has been dead for years. Or maybe the hook, who enjoys attacking couples who are making out.
Sometimes these stories are more creative. The Hanged Man of Oz has been used in horror stories for a few decades. It’s said that in the video of Wizard of Oz (1939) in the background at the Tin Woodsman’s cabin, a stage hand hung himself and filming caught an unnoticed glimpse of this. DVD has effectively killed this illusion, as it is just a blur that some thought was a hanged man.
Perhaps the most enduring legend is that the Eagles’ Hotel California song was a tribute to Anton LaVey. The legend goes that there are three elements to this, that the Hotel was LaVey’s sacred hangout, that “stabbing the beast with a steely knife” was a satanic ritual, and that on the cover, LaVey is peeking out of a window.
The band remains furious that their esoteric lyrics are thus interpreted, and that the song is a simple rendition of the extravagance of Los Angeles. The image on the cover was a staff member, “steely” was a reference to the band Steely Dan, and they disavow wholeheartedly any reference to LaVey.
Yet these and many other urban legends continue to haunt the pages of horror novels.
Below, a love song by LaVey.