When it comes to horror movies, the ones that scare me the most are those that seem the most plausible. I’m terrified by the realistic villains in films like “Saw” and “Psycho” (the Hitchcock version, not the new one—Why, Vince Vaughn? Why?).

 

Now, that theory goes out the window when it comes to scary books. When I’m reading, realism is less important to me. I like to let my imagination run free, and I love reading about urban legends, no matter how far-fetched. Urban legends can be great fodder for the mind on a dark night. Some of them are too ridiculous to believe, but others just might be true.

 

Urban Legends: 666 Absolutely True Stories That Happened to a Friend…of a Friend…of a Friend

The title says it all. This collection of urban legends will make you laugh on one page and give you chills on the next. Either way, I’m convinced every one of the 666 stories is real.

 

Urban Legends

Nick Harding takes a unique approach in “Urban Legends,” part of the Pocket Essentials series (also available as an audiobook). Harding believes there’s something more important than the validity of the story, and that we can use urban legends to get a better understanding of our own fears.

 

Encyclopedia of Urban Legends

Can’t get to sleep? Need to know what’s true and what’s a hoax? Jan Brunvand is an authority on urban legends, and his “Encyclopedia of Urban Legends” contains more than just the stories themselves—Brunvand analyzes each legend from a researcher’s standpoint. You’re guaranteed to read about some new legends you’ve yet to discover.

 

Debunked

Richard Roeper’s “Debunked” covers urban legends,  conspiracy theories, and evil plots of the 21st century. Some of the theories are even scarier than typical urban legends…in the sense that someone actually believed them!

 

Finally, if you’re looking for a general introduction to the genre, I would strongly advise against watching the 1998 thriller “Urban Legend.” Anyone who already made that mistake knows exactly what I’m talking about. Stick to the eBooks here, and let your imagination have fun. Or be scared. Or both!

Title availability may vary by geographic location.

Beau Livengood is a Training Associate at OverDrive.

 

 

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