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The 1998 film Urban Legend featured student discussing popular urban legends while at the same time falling victim to them.Between 19, The Guardian newspaper "Weekend" section published the illustrated "Urban Myths" column by Phil Healey and Rick Glanvill, with content taken from a series of four books: Urban Myths, The Return Of Urban Myths, Urban Myths Unplugged, and Now! The British writer Tony Barrell has explored urban legends in a long-running column in The Sunday Times.In America in 1938 a radio dramatization of The War of the Worlds supposedly caused mass panic, though the program had a relatively small audience.Some urban legends have passed through the years with only minor changes to suit regional variations.These include the story that Orson Welles began work on a Batman movie in the 1940s, which was to feature James Cagney as The Riddler and Marlene Dietrich as Catwoman; The capacity of the internet to spread rumors has been used in marketing, for instance with the low-budget film The Blair Witch Project, which was advertised as if it were about a genuine urban legend, rather than a work of original fiction. Not the scary, bloody ones, but the funny ones that involve sex in some way, given a gay hardcore spin !
For this reason, it is characteristic of groups within which a given narrative circulates to react very negatively to claims or demonstrations of non-factuality; an example would be the expressions of outrage by police officers who are told that adulteration of Halloween treats by strangers (the subject of periodic moral panics) is extremely rare, if it has occurred at all.
According to the "Lights Out" rumor, street-gang members would drive without headlights until a compassionate motorist responded with the traditional flashing of headlights, whereupon a prospective new gang-member would have to murder the citizen as a requirement of initiation.
A fax received at the Nassau County, Florida fire department was forwarded to police, and from there to all city departments.
Because people frequently allege that such tales happened to a "friend of a friend" (FOAF), that phrase has become a commonly used term when recounting this type of story.
Urban legends are spread by any media, including newspapers, e-mail and social media.
As in the case of myth, these narratives are believed because they construct and reinforce the worldview of the group within which they are told, or "because they provide us with coherent and convincing explanations of complex events".