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A DARK and dingy night. A lone woman. A car. The classic ingredients of an urban legend, the kind of which is currently the talk of Whittlesey. But why do we love hearing these tales so much, and is there any ever truth in them? Jemma Walton delved into the murky world of myths to find out.

He said: "According to the Encyclopedia of Urban Legend this tale, known as "The Killer in the Back Seat," first sprung up in America. It was also the opening scene of the 1998 film Urban Legend except in this case the woman was attacked by the man in the back of her car.

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"This myth has been going since the Second World War, when the grateful person would have been a German, during the Troubles of the '70s it would have been an Irish person, and after 9/11 it's been an Asian person."

It isn't often you hear the above sentence reverberating around the hallowed walls of theET newsroom, but sometimes, just sometimes the god of current events can unleash a golden newsy thunderbolt on Priestgate.

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Rolex Submariner Black No Date

"A lot of myths seem to pop up when there's something new in society," he added. "For example, when I was a reporter working on the Sheffield Star in the 1980s, lots of people told me that someone had been stabbed with a syringe in a nightclub in the city, and caught Aids.

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´╗┐Dispelling the mystery of the urban myth

was, when our reporters phoned the garage and the police to check it out, they didn't know what we were talking about.

Sadly for the senior ET newshound, and the rest of us, all too often that golden newsy thunderbolt isn't actually a golden newsy Rolex Datejust Ii 41mm Blue Dial

"I've heard the strangest thing over the weekend," he said. "Apparently, a woman went to the Esso garage in Whittlesey late at night, you know, when the shop is all shut up and you have to pay through that little plastic window?""Well, this woman pulled up, pumped her petrol and went to pay at this window. But the garage attendant said to her 'Don't panic, but I'm going to open the door and I want you to come in here.'

Take the other week, for example. A senior member of staff rushed into work on a Monday morning his tie was askew, his eyes bulging, his temple sweaty.

A DARK and dingy night. A lone Rolex Submariner Black No Date woman. A car. The classic ingredients of an urban legend, the kind of which is currently the talk of Whittlesey. But why do we love hearing these tales so much, and is there any ever truth in them? Jemma Walton delved into the murky world of myths to find out."OH my god, what a story! You'll never guess what I've heard over the weekend, yeah?"

"A white person picks it up and gives it back to them, and the Asian person says 'Thanks for this and make sure you stay away from here on Sunday a bomb might just go off.'

thunderbolt: it's what Sir Alan Sugar would refer to as "a load of old tut." However, that hasn't stopped the story from spreading around Peterborough, and we have had dozens of phonecalls asking us why we are ignoring the most sinister, spookiest bit of news to hit the city in a long time.

"They called the police and waited, and when the police came, sure enough they found a man with a knife in the back of the car."

Rolex Submariner Black No Date

Rolex Submariner Black No Date

"There are two versions of this myth the one that's gone around, plus one that features a female driver being followed by a driver flashing his lights behind her. Eventually she pulls over and the person behind her saves her from her attacker."

"There have also been a lot of myths spring up after 9/11. One version of this is "The Grateful Arab". In this, an Asian person drops a wallet in a crowded place, such as a shopping Rolex Datejust 36mm Rose Gold

David was also a reporter in Birmingham, and there were reports that someone had been bitten by a vampire. In fact, someone had been bitten. But by a human, not a vampire someone with a very active imagination had added that element.

Rolex Submariner Black No Date

Rolex Submariner Black No Date

But how do these myths start, and why do we have such a passion for them?

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"The girl did as she was told. And as soon as she was inside the garage, the attendant explained that as she had turned her back to pay for her petrol he had seen a man tuck himself into the back of her car and crouch in the back seat.

Three of the things which never seems to change about them, however, is that they are completely untrue, that they will spread like wild fire, and people will absolutely love to hear them.

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Dr Clarke said most urban legends had a moral in this case, the moral is that you should always lock your car when you're away from it, and check the back seat before getting in.

(And this member of staff isn't normally the kind of bloke to sport a sweaty temple.)

Dr Clarke said that urban legend was a misnomer, as these myths could spread anywhere, particularly quickly in small communities such as villages or college campuses. Often, they have a grain of truth in them.

The truth is, we not. We and many of you had just fallen prey to that most seductive and scary of things, the good old urban myth.

centre.

"It was, of course, not true.

According to Dr David Clarke, who has taught courses on traditions of supernatural belief and urban legends at the University of Sheffield, the Whittlesey myth has been doing the rounds for quite some time.

The ET staffer was right it was a hell of a story. Only trouble Gold Rolex Watch Red Face

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