An unfortunate incident has once again come about to haunt newspapers with a tragic story of loss that mirrors a commonly referred to Urban Legend. The tragic story of someone who commits suicide and later is mistaken for a Halloween decoration has been told for years and often ignored as an urban legend. And yet this time, the story has come quickly on the heels of another similar tragedy. Police are currently investigating this urban legend nightmare turned reality.
The Conowago Valley Mobile Home park in York Pennsylvania was just one location that would forever be affected by the tragedy of suicide in its vicinity. But even as the community recovers from the shooting, they are almost as troubled by the circumstances surrounding its discovery. Trick or treaters attempting an early festive trip through the community in a safe daytime trip roamed through the area and discovered what many passers-by had just assumed was a Halloween decoration. But as they got closer, they discovered that the man lying on the porch was actually a human being – dead from a gunshot wound to the head. Police and parents have voiced their concerns and regrets over the conditions of the discovery, and are currently working to counsel the children involved as well as others in the area to minimize psychological scarring.
The legend is reminiscent of another where trick or treaters would come across a dead body and think it to be nothing more than a Halloween decoration only to learn later that it really had been the corpse of a suicide victim who had hung himself in a tree near his house.
And this isn’t the first time this year such a story of a realistic Halloween decoration turning out to be real has unfortunately come true, although the last was far less grim. A yard sale shopper picked up a skeleton at a local yard sale for three dollars in Florida only to later learn that it actually was the skeletal remains of a human being. As Halloween is a time for unusual and often elaborate decorations, there is no end to the amount of effort that goes into such decorations to make them real. As a result, very real looking fakes are created all the time in the nature of festivity and good natured fun. It’s interesting to note how drastic the concept of fiction makes these stories. And truth can turn something fairly innocuous into something truly terrifying fairly quick.
Is this the first urban legend to come true around Halloween time? Certainly not. Will it be the last one this year? While it seems possible that more urban legends may ring true as Halloween approaches fast, we can only hope the next few have a happier ending for all those involved.
But even so, other Halloween Urban Legends such as the blue star tattoo being laced with LSD or the Campus Axe Murderers tale claims should still be taken with a grain of salt as they are often made up. But in this strange case – indeed series of cases – truth has taken to mimicking fiction and has once again turned out to be far stranger.