Posted December 31st, 2008 by Murray By Moonlight
Filed under: That Pop Cult Thing, Unknown, Urban Legends
Tags: crime, human behaviour, humour
Arthur Black over at Parksville Qualicum Beach News has written an amusing article about the common gangster movie concept of fitting a victim out with ‘cement shoes,’ for the purposes of not only disposing of the victim, but also of disposing of his or her body in a convenient way as well.
His take on whether or not it has ever happened in real life is that he hasn’t been able to find a credible reference for any historical examples, and he puts this down to a belief that gangland assassins simply don’t want to mess around with complexities of convincing someone to hold still while you pour cement over their feet. So much simpler to kill them in a more direct way, and dispose of the body  when convenient, right?
Interestingly enough, Mark ‘Chopper’ Read  – a self-proclaimed ex-gangland enforcer in Melbourne, Australia – once appeared on Australian television making the claim that he had, in fact, murdered a man using pretty much this method.
His quote (you can see it extracted here), was:
‘It took us hours to get him in , the bastard. He kept climbing out.’
Of course, Chopper Read has been accused more than once of embellishing his gangland experiences, and since no-one (at least publicly) followed up on this claim it’s anybody’s guess whether or not it truly happened.
To read Arthur Black’s article, visit: Two feet equals six feet under, and other urban legends
Photo courtesy of julianrod
|1.||Perhaps by weighing the body down with cement weights.|
|2.||Sometimes credited as ‘Reid’ instead of ‘Read’.|
|3.||…to the cement mixer.|
Posted December 29th, 2008 by Murray @ ulblog
Filed under: Folklore, Murray by Moonlight, That Pop Cult Thing
Tags: popular beliefs, television
The question that seems to be on everyone’s lips — well, let’s be honest, the question I’ve been asked at least a couple of times by email, anyway — is what do I, Murray By Moonlight, amateur urban legend investigator, think of the MythBusters show?
Do I like the show? Do I respect the things Adam, Jamie and the rest of the crew are attempting to achieve with it? Do I secretly envy them for all the things they get to blow up? For that matter, do I secretly envy Jamie (that’s him on the right in the picture) for his silly moustache and his even more silly hat?
The answer to at least some of these questions is yes… Read the rest of this entry »
Posted December 27th, 2008 by Murray By Moonlight
Filed under: Folklore, Ghost Stories, Scarelore
Okay, so if you ever spent an evening sitting around a campfire listening to ghost stories, then the chances that you’ve heard the story of ‘The Man With The Hook’ are somewhere around about 2 billion percent. It’s one of those wonderfully chilling tales that never fails to send a tingle up the spine, and it has made its way into any number of folk stories told all over the world .
I recently discovered a wonderful retelling of the tale over on AmericanFolklore.net, and I’d love to encourage you to go over and read the story, if for no better reason than it might remind you (as it did me) of some great times you spent at a younger age being scared out of your wits by a good tale.
Interestingly, I’ve encountered two different main retellings of this tale in my life. The first is very much like the version over on American Folklore, where the young couple discover the psychopath’s bloodied hook attached to the car door handle, indicating a very narrow escape.
The second, which may well have been borrowed from some other tale of a terrible encounter with a maniac, is even grislier still!
In this version the boyfriend leaves the young woman to go for help. A few minutes later she hears a sound on the top of the car, and moments after that a police loud hailer instructs her to run from the car for her life, and that whatever she does, she’s not to look back. Of course, she does risk a glance back at the car as she flees, and the story ends with her screams as she sees the The Man With The Hook standing on the roof of the car, holding the severed head of her unfortunate boyfriend .
Hope you enjoy the read, and I’d love to hear about your own encounters with the story of ‘The Man With The Hook’ in the comments below.
PS: Fans of scary movies will probably recognise the way the cult horror classic, Candyman, combined the story of ‘The Man With The Hook’ with the equally scary story of Bloody Mary, to create a single very scary character!
Photo courtesy of TJ Scott.
|1.||For example, I first heard it when I was about 12, at a Christmas Camp I attended just south of Brisbane, here in Australia.|
|2.||Seriously, when I look back on stories like these, is it any wonder we all had nightmares as children?|
Posted December 26th, 2008 by Murray By Moonlight
Filed under: Things That Go Bump
I thought I’d share a poem I was asked to read at my Father’s funeral service on Christmas Eve, this year.
It’s called Where the pelican builds its nest, by Mary Hannay Foott.
It speaks very much of my Father’s lifelong love of Australian poetry, and also gently tugs at a deep sense of longing and perhaps also of regret.
Where the pelican builds its nest
by Mary Hannay Foott
The horses were ready, the rails were down,
But the riders lingered still —
One had a parting word to say,
And one had his pipe to fill.
Then they mounted, one with a granted prayer,
And one with a grief unguessed.
"We are going," they said, as they rode away —
"Where the pelican builds her nest!"
They had told us of pastures wide and green,
To be sought past the sunset’s glow;
Of rifts in the ranges by opal lit;
And gold ‘neath the river’s flow.
And thirst and hunger were banished words
When they spoke of that unknown West;
No drought they dreaded, no flood they feared,
Where the pelican builds her nest!
The creek at the ford was but fetlock deep
When we watched them crossing there;
The rains have replenished it thrice since then,
And thrice has the rock lain bare.
But the waters of Hope have flowed and fled,
And never from blue hill’s breast
Come back — by the sun and the sands devoured —
Where the pelican builds her nest.
Posted December 26th, 2008 by Murray By Moonlight
Filed under: Folklore, Things That Go Bump
I recently picked up a copy of Italian Folktales by Italo Calvino in a wonderful little bookstore while in Hobart. It’s a collection of distinctly ‘Italian’ folk stories , and while I’m only partway through it, I’ve discovered some interesting things when compared to folk tales with which I am more familiar, which generally come from Western Europe or the US. Read the rest of this entry »
|1.||Though some are quick to point out that it’s difficult to define ‘Italian’ in a folk sense, since historically what we think of as ‘Italy’ was in fact a number of distinct provinces with their own folk traditions and tales.|