How Legend-Tripping Can Spin Out Of Control

How Legend-Tripping Can Spin Out Of Control

"Legend-tripping" is what folklorists refer to when youths tell scary stories about a place and then create the framework for dares out of those stories. But what starts as just fun and games can lead to widespread panic, as was the case in 1970 at the Highgate Cemetery in London. On a Friday the 13th in 1970, the cemetery was overrun with teenagers bearing wooden stakes and crucifixes going so far as digging up graves in search of the wandering vampire. This vampire myth was likely created by legend-trippers, but spun out of control once the media covered the tale.

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Key Facts In This Video

  • 1

    The beautiful Victorian cemeteries of London are known as "The Magnificent Seven." (0:14)

  • 2

    The Highgate Cemetery was overrun with teenagers carrying wooden crosses on Friday 13th in 1970—known as the Vampire Panic. (0:30)

  • 3

    "Legend-tripping" is what folklorists refer to when youths tell scary stories about a place and then create the framework for dares out of those stories. (0:59)

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