Sunday, October 13, 2019

Haunted Elevators at the University of Maryland :: Urban Legend Myths

Haunted Elevators at the University of Maryland A good urban legend is like a play: so well written and delivered the audience cannot tell if the performers are acting. The legend is carefully crafted to resonate with the audiences’ â€Å"hopes, fears, and anxieties† and the delivery works to suspend their disbelief. One urban legend epitomizes these characteristics. This urban legend was told by an eighteen-year-old African American college student at the University of Maryland. The urban legend dealt with Denton Hall, where he currently lives. The storyteller claimed that one of the dormitory’s early residents was a girl who, due to some kind of calcium deficiency, had an unusually weak bone structure. The storyteller could not recall her name, but indicated that it had just slipped his mind and was on the tip of his tongue. One day, she was going to the dining hall with a friend of hers when she realized she had forgotten her I.D. card. She asked her friend to hold the elevator while she ran back to her room to get it. She was just reaching the elevator with her card when the elevator, having been held open for too long, began buzzing and the doors closed. The girl tried to jump onto the elevator at the last second but the doors closed on her and crushed her. According to the storyteller, some of her â€Å"brain fluid,† c omposed of neurotransmitters and other electrically conductive chemicals, sprayed into the elevators control panel and fried some of the circuitry. From that point on, the elevators in Denton have been on the fritz and break down whenever anyone holds them open for too long. The urban legend was delivered excellently. The storyteller had also selected a perfect time for his performance. He was speaking too a small group of other Maryland students who were waiting for the elevator in Denton. He had enough time to finish his story, because only one of the elevators was working. The storyteller presented the story as if he was simply relating the facts. He did not fill the story with dramatic pauses or extensive efforts to get an emotional response from the audience. If he thought his audience was going to find a part of the story disturbing or unbelievable he qualified it by saying â€Å"Now I thought this was really gross.

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