Death Around Children

The one thing I love so much about my research topic is that it is so broad. My three collective stories that I have picked for now are “The Baby-sitter and the Man Upstairs (1),” “The Ghost in Search of Help (2),” and “La Llorona (3).” These stories are connected through using children and death as a factor in their urban legends. “The Baby-sitter and the Man Upstairs” is also referred to as “When a Stranger Calls.” The story includes a man who repeatedly calls the house at which a babysitter is working and says, “Have you checked on the children?” In fear the babysitter calls the cops, and they say we will trace the next call. They call her back and tell her to get out of the house because the call is coming from inside. The story ends with the babysitter either going crazy or dying. The children in this story were the warning, they had already been killed, and in the 2006 remake of the movie, they lived while. In “The Ghost in Search of Help” a child goes knocking on a doctor’s door and says she needs help and that her mother is sick. The doctor rushes to her mother and begins to provide aid, when the mother asks how did you find me, he says your daughter led me here. With the mother in surprise she answers that he daughter has been dead for some time and this fact surprises the doctor. In this urban legend the kid played as the guardian angel but was already dead, so to me this would be a great way to develop a guardian angel of a hero, maybe. My third urban legend is “La Llorona” which includes a woman who has lost her kids, sometimes by her own doing. She is usually seen close to bodies of water because she is known to of drowned her kids and then herself due to her husband cheating on her. The worst part is that she lurks on men that stop to help her and she kills them if they come onto her. These three urban legends are connected through kids in different situations, and the horrible death may be missing in one, but it is made up in the other two.  The reason I picked these three legends is because they give several details that I could potential use in the monsters unleashed legend that I plan to create. The urban legends I have picked to start with are well known and are broad enough that it will allow me to further the death that is being searched for, because the story I create could have a hero (I’m hoping) or a victim.

 Brunvand, Jan Harold. Encyclopedia of Urban Legends. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2001. Print. I found all three of my urban legends (1) pg. 28 2) pg. 170 3) pg. 233)) in this book and I had also previously heard about them.


2 thoughts on “Death Around Children

  1. These stories are really interesting and I think the connection that you make between children and death will be rich for interpretation. What does it mean that stories like this captivate us enough to be retold time and again? I would caution you about using three stories from the same source. You might want to look at the ways that other people tell the stories and think about what the small choices and differences that the authors bring up mean. It will be difficult to do deep textual analysis of encyclopedia entries. I know that finding retellings of urban legends might be difficult, but I encourage you to look for more.


  2. Personally I would have gone with the Babysitter. It seems so dark, but I also believe La Llorona was a good choice. It makes me think back on when I used to babysit and that just creeps me out. Makes me think if these things actually happen. The story about the ghost in search of help is interesting. I do see her as a guardian angel and in all the stories the kids serve as a sort of warning or a sign of help. I think you chose a good topic to go off of and I enjoyed your story when you had finished it.


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