School Legends

Peripart

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To his credit he did, and the bloke went absolutely gibbering APESHIT with rage. Wish I'd seen it!
I heard from many others that he went ballistic, threatening to punch anyone who laughed and to personally beat the crap out of whatever FUCKING BASTARD put THAT FUCKING PIECE OF SHIT there, etc.

This was nearly 30 years and a. the bloke STILL doesn't know and b. it's STILL funny.
I think you're safe with "a". He probably thought he could safely blame the kids, not his colleagues!

Incidentally, I've been trying to imagine what the lady's name was. I've got as far as Shipton or Wookey, but neither seem likely.
 

escargot

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I think you're safe with "a". He probably thought he could safely blame the kids, not his colleagues!
No, the pigeonholes were only accessible to staff so it had to be another teacher. What a cutting betrayal. :chuckle:
 

catseye

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She never told me, Escargot :D She told my nan (her mum) who was really vague about it, too. And then I forgot about it for years and never remembered to ask for the details. Wonder if my dad knows? I’ll have to text him and see. (He was/is the kind of bloke who would normally have been: ‘Oh, don’t be so stupid, etc, etc,’ but I don’t recall him saying anything at all).
Shades of 'something nasty in the woodshed'.
 

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The former Mr Snail was a high school teacher and heard interesting stories of colleagues' affairs/adultery.

One pair, who were both married to other people at the time, stood out a little as She was over 6' tall and ginger and He was barely 5'4''.

They'd be spotted wherever they sneaked off to together, like the couple in Last of the Summer Wine, but somehow thought they'd kept it quiet.
This was a big joke to everyone else.

The ex and I took the kids for a visit to a place called the same as Her surname. Being discreet here so bear with me; let's say it was Cheddar.

You could buy souvenir badges saying (something like) 'I WALKED THE CHEDDAR GORGE'. (The actual wording was obscenely suggestive in context.)
I did of course secure one and dare the ex to sneak it into the bloke's staffroom pigeonhole.

To his credit he did, and the bloke went absolutely gibbering APESHIT with rage. Wish I'd seen it!
I heard from many others that he went ballistic, threatening to punch anyone who laughed and to personally beat the crap out of whatever FUCKING BASTARD put THAT FUCKING PIECE OF SHIT there, etc.

This was nearly 30 years and a. the bloke STILL doesn't know and b. it's STILL funny. :rollingw:
Don't you find though that small blokes have really bad tempers?
 

Peripart

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Don't you find though that small blokes have really bad tempers?
That's a shocking generalisation.

Yeah, they do. :rollingw:
Which reminds me, there was a legend at our school concerning what one boy did on his last day. Nothing horrible, but funny if it had been true.

The reason I'm reminded of this now is that the former pupil in question is a very well-known man, noted for being the smallest and grumpiest of a famous 70s comedy trio.
 

gordonrutter

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Which reminds me, there was a legend at our school concerning what one boy did on his last day. Nothing horrible, but funny if it had been true.

The reason I'm reminded of this now is that the former pupil in question is a very well-known man, noted for being the smallest and grumpiest of a famous 70s comedy trio.
Come on then what did Bill Oddie do?
 

Peripart

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Come on then what did Bill Oddie do?
Since you asked...

As I say, it's nothing terrible, but the story (that everyone in our school learned) was that on his last day at school, Bill managed to cone off the adjacent A38 and divert all the traffic up a side road and through the school grounds.

Only problem - it was nonsense! Years after I heard the story, he was interviewed for a school magazine, and said that, while he'd have loved it to be true, it wasn't. Of course, that might be what he wanted us to think, but in the rest of the article, he came across as surprisingly amusing and friendly (maybe his reputation is unwarranted), so I tend to believe him.
 
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Aurora Newman

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Yes at school did hear the one about head being smashed on the roof. Lots of escalator and children accidents and deaths. Never play with fireworks or matches horrifying tales. Rabid Rogue Dogs. The other side of the fence at school was a mirror universe. (I did smash my way through it towards the end of infant school. It was the junior school grounds. I brought back a shell i found lying on the floor. My first archaeological find!) Rogue Blacked Out Windows Cars that followed children. Mutated Animals and People. Invisible Monsters sitting next to you in school. Loose Laney the local poltergeist prostitute!!
 

Aurora Newman

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Lived in a singular area. Loose Laney didn't exist i found out later from my parents that some of the mums at junior school used to tell their boys these tales to keep them away from older women, because there was a woman who did live not too far away, who didn't mind coming on to teenage boys. Then my parents explained who it was then I actually remembered the woman. She was found by her own parents about 10 years ago in bed with a 15 year old and she ran away. She has turned up once to my knowledge to that area 3 years ago but she then vanished again.

There was rumours that the reason she was like that is because her next door neighbor used to abuse her as a child. But he's long dead so there's no telling if he did.
 

Aurora Newman

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But horrors like this did get me a little paranoid. Or though the thing that really got me as a child was GERMS. My Mum used to go on and on about them. I used to cover my water, I used to cover my plate if I needed to get something whilst I was eating. I didn't like mess on my hands of face. Thank Goddess it was the days before antibacterial hand sanitizer I'm glad I snapped out of it later. Because i wouldn't of made a very good date.
 

Kondoru

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Yipe.

Germs are good to build an immune system.

Yet being careful is very good. How do you get a happy medium?

(I once had a friend go down with septicaemia from a minor cut when chopping firewood. He refused care, and it swelled up something horrid. After much fighting we managed to drag him to the A&E. There was a big gushing of pus when the surgeon gave it an experimental jab, dare I say. You do not want to hear more).
 

Aurora Newman

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I had something similar in my mouth. At the time I lived in Chiswick they did every brand under the sun apart from strepsils in the chemists there, i used to put it over any bites inside my mouth. That's why it got worse a big bulge in my mouth. I had it removed at the hospital. I put honey over any inside mouth cuts now.
I grew out of the germs thing when I wanted to start kissing other girls. I really couldn't worry about that and other things.
 

Quercus

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I can recall a few urban legends doing the rounds when I was at school, mainly the old chestnuts about 'the Hook-Handed Man' or 'the Escaped Psycho on the Car Roof' - and even then, I think they came via Cub Scout camp. But there were a few more homegrown tales too.

At primary school, there was a persistent rumour that 'devil worshippers' came into the school grounds at night and did awful things down in the tangle of pine trees at the far end. Now, as the trees backed on to a large cemetery, there was perhaps good reason to suspect some nefarious activity, especially when occasional forays down into the treeline on a dare did reveal evidence of fires and ripped-up printed matter which was confidently described by the older kids as "pages from the Bible soaked in blood" (but which they wouldn't show us).

More lurid claims that the 'devil worshippers' would disinter freshly buried bodies, carry them over the wall and then do obscene things to them were never substantiated - but if a burial was observed to be taking place over in the cemetery, a rumour would flash around the playground that the local Satanists would be out that night in the school grounds, to steal the corpse.

All I can say from my observations is that I didn't realise Satanism was such a thirsty pursuit, as the quantity of empty beer cans was easily the most terrifying thing down there by the wall. Even so, it was the 1980s and the whole 'Satanic Panic' was a bit of A Thing, so we were careful to avoid the school grounds at night. Just in case.

There was also a vague rumour of a ghost on the stairs right at the top of the school's main block that would push you if you stood right on the edge of the very top step of the upper flight, closed your eyes, and held your arms above your head (think like the 'Y' movement in 'YMCA')... supposedly, a former pupil had taken a tumble down the staircase and died, and now wanted some sort of unspecified vengeance. Kids would dare each other to stand on the top step and perform the requisite actions; much squealing and attempted shoving would result, until a teacher would come out and restore order.

Interestingly enough, I understand that the school was actually haunted - though not by a child. The kids didn't seem to know much about it, but the teaching and cleaning staff certainly did. More about that on a more appropriate thread...

School trips had their own lore, especially the residential trips in Year 6. One of several venues the school used was an old Victorian mansion which had been thoroughly gutted inside and converted into a modern outward bounds centre; nonetheless, it was reputedly haunted by the ghost of The Blue Nun - which, it's just occurred to me, was probably a veiled joke on the part of the staff members to keep the kids in the dorms at night.

It was never quite clear what The Blue Nun did, other than drift about a bit, though there were some claims that if you saw her, you would die on the trip or, in other versions, within a year. Some kids were petrified; one or two even refused to go on the trip altogether when it turned out that's where their class was staying, so strong was the fear generated by these tales.

Another school residential venue was right on the edge of the beach up on the north coast; veterans of the trip in the year above would regale us with tales of the phantom Bull-Headed Man, who would come walking up out from the sand dunes at night, and he would - well, he would... oh, for goodness' sake, he has the head of a bull, what else do you need to know? Be scared!

The lack of plausible detail, motivation or backstory rendered me quite sceptical about this peculiar 'Ulster Minotaur'. I felt it was probably invented out of jealousy, so those in the class that wasn't going to Cabra Towers - the lair of The Blue Nun - could still try to scare their classmates of a more nervous disposition.

Oddly enough, the beach hostel was in a small town called Castlerock, which anyone with even a passing knowledge of their parents' Stephen King novels could surely have used to their advantage to borrow any number of terrifying plot devices from his oeuvre and, better yet, brandish a copy of The Dead Zone, Cujo, Skeleton Crew or The Dark Half to 'prove' that it all really happened right there in Castlerock/ Castle Rock - because it was actually in a book (a veritable mic drop for ten-year-olds, right there).

I'm not sure whether other schools used Litter Duty as a punishment, but in my primary school a restorative justice measure was to order the miscreant go around the playgrounds picking up the litter after break or lunch, in full view of the rest of the school. Once they'd filled a bag, they would have to go and empty it into a huge (to us) cylindrical metal waste bin on wheels beside the canteen, which always smelt sticky-sweet of banana peel and dribbles from Panda Pop bottles.

One chap in my year was put on Litter Duty and afterwards told us all that when he'd finished and toddled over to the bins, the canteen dinner ladies were in the bin pulling out all the rubbish - so they could reuse all the discarded sandwiches and apple cores in the school meals, somehow.

It seemed implausible, yet curiously the story gained currency as legitimate fact in a surprisingly short space of time. I brought sandwiches with me every day, so I can't comment whether the quality of the canteen food did indeed bear this rumour out as a very real possibility.

By secondary school, there were also standard legends doing the rounds like Bloody Mary and Candyman, though I never hung out with the kind of kids who did that for kicks (though I did see the film Candyman on TV late one night, and kinda wished I hadn't. It also ruined Sammy Davis Jr for me).

The legend of the ghost kid on the stairs also did the rounds at secondary school, with very little variation, other than a light embellishment that the last students walking down the stairs at the end of the day might hear invisible footsteps quickly pattering down after them... but it seemed such a lame story that it didn't get much credence.

What was odd though was that there had actually been a genuinely gruesome and still-unsolved murder on the school premises - yet I never heard any rumours or legends in circulation about it while I was there, which you'd surely think would be rocket fuel for a bunch of over-excitable teens.

Without wanting to go into gory details, workmen putting the finishing touches to what was then the new school, back in the early 1960s, arrived into the library one morning to find the body of a 15 year old girl from the local area. It was clearly murder. Extensive police enquiries never ascertained who did it, or even how she'd got into the building, which was still securely locked (you'd imagine suspicion might have fallen on the workmen, but apparently they were ruled out).

I heard this story outside of a school context, and was very reluctant to believe it was anything other than a wild fabrication - but then I spoke to older people from the area who were around at the time and eventually looked up the local paper's microfiche archive, to find that it was in fact horrifyingly true. The former library had become the school's Sixth Form Centre by the time I was there - but I can't say I ever saw, heard or felt anything odd in all the hours I spent in that room.

More scurrilous rumour than legend, but similar to a previous post, was that one of the music teachers was reputed to be a paedophile - and the fact he left very suddenly midway through one term without any explanation elevated the rumour to the status of 'fact' (one girl claimed she'd reported him for playing the piano using something other than his fingers, but it was never proven). He did look disconcertingly like Steve Pemberton's Herr Lipp character from The League of Gentlemen, although his disappearance predated the show by about five years. Many years after I left, one of the maths teachers was prosecuted and convicted for some material on his laptop of a deeply inappropriate nature - though he never taught any of my classes.

Meanwhile, another teacher (physics) drove a somewhat down-at-heel Ford Transit camper which he always parked outside the school grounds. The rumour went that he'd been thrown out by his wife so he had to live in the van. He was a grumpy old so-and-so - maybe that one was true.

Finally, one that does fit the status of true urban legend concerned that semi-mythical figure, the school caretaker. A tall, virtually silent chap with a flowing mane of white hair, he habitually wore a Led Zeppelin t-shirt under his brown overalls and carried a simply enormous bunch of keys clipped to the belt loop of his jeans. You could hear him clinking as he walked up and down the corridors.

The caretaker was reputed to 'take care' of a number of unconventional issues around the school. One popular legend stated that many years ago, a maths teacher with a notoriously short fuse had kept a misbehaving student back after class and then, enraged by their insolent backchat, had accidentally killed them in a fit of rage. The caretaker had been called upon to dispose of the body.

He had supposedly buried the luckless youngster in the sandy long jump pit at the far side of the hockey pitches, and provided the killer teacher with an alibi, saying that he'd seen the kid board a bus outside the school on the day they went missing.

One chilling twist on the story went that during field athletics training in PE, students slow to vacate the pit after practicing their long jump or triple jump might feel a skeletal hand closing around their ankle...

On a more salacious angle, and apparently more of a topic of discussion amongst female students, was the persistent rumour that the caretaker had been a roadie for Led Zeppelin during the 1970s, and as such had developed a penchant for exotic sexual practices (probably a reference to the notorious and lurid 'red snapper' incident supposedly involving Zep's tour manager and road crew).

It was rumoured that he kept a fold-down bed hidden at the back of the caretaker's store, and certain girls with a reputation for, ahem, easy virtue were reputed to pay him visits over lunchtime, for which they would receive a handful of penny chews from the tuck shop by way of compensation... all complete nonsense, of course, but it's interesting to see where the hormonal teenage imagination goes...

'Penny Chew' seemed to then become a general derogatory term for any student perceived to deviate from accepted standards of female chastity (e.g. "OMG Claire, everyone knows what you did with Andrew at Mary's party, you're such a penny chew") - and woe betide any luckless female student who happened to be observed at breaktime removing a penny chew from her blazer pocket by some of the meaner girls (e.g. "OMG Justine, have you been down at the caretaker's store again? Did he tie you up? Did he make you do that thing with the keys? Did you love it?"). At the time it seemed funny and naughty - funny because it was naughty - though now it comes across as exactly what it was - bullying. Usually whoever had been clocked unwrapping a Blackjack or Fruit Salad would scuttle off, red in the face, which was then crowingly announced to be a de facto admission of their guilt. Kids can be a bit horrible.

So, what did all this teach our young minds?

1 - don't be alone in isolated spots;

2 - don't trust adults unconditionally;

3 - if it happened to a friend of a friend, or 'someone from another school', it didn't happen;

4 - kids would apparently rather invent their own deeply unconvincing and narratively flawed ghost stories than repeat actual known tales; and

5 - don't be caught with a pocketful of penny chews, or the rumour mill will destroy you.
 

ramonmercado

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I can recall a few urban legends doing the rounds when I was at school, mainly the old chestnuts about 'the Hook-Handed Man' or 'the Escaped Psycho on the Car Roof' - and even then, I think they came via Cub Scout camp. But there were a few more homegrown tales too.

At primary school, there was a persistent rumour that 'devil worshippers' came into the school grounds at night and did awful things down in the tangle of pine trees at the far end. Now, as the trees backed on to a large cemetery, there was perhaps good reason to suspect some nefarious activity, especially when occasional forays down into the treeline on a dare did reveal evidence of fires and ripped-up printed matter which was confidently described by the older kids as "pages from the Bible soaked in blood" (but which they wouldn't show us).

More lurid claims that the 'devil worshippers' would disinter freshly buried bodies, carry them over the wall and then do obscene things to them were never substantiated - but if a burial was observed to be taking place over in the cemetery, a rumour would flash around the playground that the local Satanists would be out that night in the school grounds, to steal the corpse.

All I can say from my observations is that I didn't realise Satanism was such a thirsty pursuit, as the quantity of empty beer cans was easily the most terrifying thing down there by the wall. Even so, it was the 1980s and the whole 'Satanic Panic' was a bit of A Thing, so we were careful to avoid the school grounds at night. Just in case.

There was also a vague rumour of a ghost on the stairs right at the top of the school's main block that would push you if you stood right on the edge of the very top step of the upper flight, closed your eyes, and held your arms above your head (think like the 'Y' movement in 'YMCA')... supposedly, a former pupil had taken a tumble down the staircase and died, and now wanted some sort of unspecified vengeance. Kids would dare each other to stand on the top step and perform the requisite actions; much squealing and attempted shoving would result, until a teacher would come out and restore order.

Interestingly enough, I understand that the school was actually haunted - though not by a child. The kids didn't seem to know much about it, but the teaching and cleaning staff certainly did. More about that on a more appropriate thread...

School trips had their own lore, especially the residential trips in Year 6. One of several venues the school used was an old Victorian mansion which had been thoroughly gutted inside and converted into a modern outward bounds centre; nonetheless, it was reputedly haunted by the ghost of The Blue Nun - which, it's just occurred to me, was probably a veiled joke on the part of the staff members to keep the kids in the dorms at night.

It was never quite clear what The Blue Nun did, other than drift about a bit, though there were some claims that if you saw her, you would die on the trip or, in other versions, within a year. Some kids were petrified; one or two even refused to go on the trip altogether when it turned out that's where their class was staying, so strong was the fear generated by these tales.

Another school residential venue was right on the edge of the beach up on the north coast; veterans of the trip in the year above would regale us with tales of the phantom Bull-Headed Man, who would come walking up out from the sand dunes at night, and he would - well, he would... oh, for goodness' sake, he has the head of a bull, what else do you need to know? Be scared!

The lack of plausible detail, motivation or backstory rendered me quite sceptical about this peculiar 'Ulster Minotaur'. I felt it was probably invented out of jealousy, so those in the class that wasn't going to Cabra Towers - the lair of The Blue Nun - could still try to scare their classmates of a more nervous disposition.

Oddly enough, the beach hostel was in a small town called Castlerock, which anyone with even a passing knowledge of their parents' Stephen King novels could surely have used to their advantage to borrow any number of terrifying plot devices from his oeuvre and, better yet, brandish a copy of The Dead Zone, Cujo, Skeleton Crew or The Dark Half to 'prove' that it all really happened right there in Castlerock/ Castle Rock - because it was actually in a book (a veritable mic drop for ten-year-olds, right there).

I'm not sure whether other schools used Litter Duty as a punishment, but in my primary school a restorative justice measure was to order the miscreant go around the playgrounds picking up the litter after break or lunch, in full view of the rest of the school. Once they'd filled a bag, they would have to go and empty it into a huge (to us) cylindrical metal waste bin on wheels beside the canteen, which always smelt sticky-sweet of banana peel and dribbles from Panda Pop bottles.

One chap in my year was put on Litter Duty and afterwards told us all that when he'd finished and toddled over to the bins, the canteen dinner ladies were in the bin pulling out all the rubbish - so they could reuse all the discarded sandwiches and apple cores in the school meals, somehow.

It seemed implausible, yet curiously the story gained currency as legitimate fact in a surprisingly short space of time. I brought sandwiches with me every day, so I can't comment whether the quality of the canteen food did indeed bear this rumour out as a very real possibility.

By secondary school, there were also standard legends doing the rounds like Bloody Mary and Candyman, though I never hung out with the kind of kids who did that for kicks (though I did see the film Candyman on TV late one night, and kinda wished I hadn't. It also ruined Sammy Davis Jr for me).

The legend of the ghost kid on the stairs also did the rounds at secondary school, with very little variation, other than a light embellishment that the last students walking down the stairs at the end of the day might hear invisible footsteps quickly pattering down after them... but it seemed such a lame story that it didn't get much credence.

What was odd though was that there had actually been a genuinely gruesome and still-unsolved murder on the school premises - yet I never heard any rumours or legends in circulation about it while I was there, which you'd surely think would be rocket fuel for a bunch of over-excitable teens.

Without wanting to go into gory details, workmen putting the finishing touches to what was then the new school, back in the early 1960s, arrived into the library one morning to find the body of a 15 year old girl from the local area. It was clearly murder. Extensive police enquiries never ascertained who did it, or even how she'd got into the building, which was still securely locked (you'd imagine suspicion might have fallen on the workmen, but apparently they were ruled out).

I heard this story outside of a school context, and was very reluctant to believe it was anything other than a wild fabrication - but then I spoke to older people from the area who were around at the time and eventually looked up the local paper's microfiche archive, to find that it was in fact horrifyingly true. The former library had become the school's Sixth Form Centre by the time I was there - but I can't say I ever saw, heard or felt anything odd in all the hours I spent in that room.

More scurrilous rumour than legend, but similar to a previous post, was that one of the music teachers was reputed to be a paedophile - and the fact he left very suddenly midway through one term without any explanation elevated the rumour to the status of 'fact' (one girl claimed she'd reported him for playing the piano using something other than his fingers, but it was never proven). He did look disconcertingly like Steve Pemberton's Herr Lipp character from The League of Gentlemen, although his disappearance predated the show by about five years. Many years after I left, one of the maths teachers was prosecuted and convicted for some material on his laptop of a deeply inappropriate nature - though he never taught any of my classes.

Meanwhile, another teacher (physics) drove a somewhat down-at-heel Ford Transit camper which he always parked outside the school grounds. The rumour went that he'd been thrown out by his wife so he had to live in the van. He was a grumpy old so-and-so - maybe that one was true.

Finally, one that does fit the status of true urban legend concerned that semi-mythical figure, the school caretaker. A tall, virtually silent chap with a flowing mane of white hair, he habitually wore a Led Zeppelin t-shirt under his brown overalls and carried a simply enormous bunch of keys clipped to the belt loop of his jeans. You could hear him clinking as he walked up and down the corridors.

The caretaker was reputed to 'take care' of a number of unconventional issues around the school. One popular legend stated that many years ago, a maths teacher with a notoriously short fuse had kept a misbehaving student back after class and then, enraged by their insolent backchat, had accidentally killed them in a fit of rage. The caretaker had been called upon to dispose of the body.

He had supposedly buried the luckless youngster in the sandy long jump pit at the far side of the hockey pitches, and provided the killer teacher with an alibi, saying that he'd seen the kid board a bus outside the school on the day they went missing.

One chilling twist on the story went that during field athletics training in PE, students slow to vacate the pit after practicing their long jump or triple jump might feel a skeletal hand closing around their ankle...

On a more salacious angle, and apparently more of a topic of discussion amongst female students, was the persistent rumour that the caretaker had been a roadie for Led Zeppelin during the 1970s, and as such had developed a penchant for exotic sexual practices (probably a reference to the notorious and lurid 'red snapper' incident supposedly involving Zep's tour manager and road crew).

It was rumoured that he kept a fold-down bed hidden at the back of the caretaker's store, and certain girls with a reputation for, ahem, easy virtue were reputed to pay him visits over lunchtime, for which they would receive a handful of penny chews from the tuck shop by way of compensation... all complete nonsense, of course, but it's interesting to see where the hormonal teenage imagination goes...

'Penny Chew' seemed to then become a general derogatory term for any student perceived to deviate from accepted standards of female chastity (e.g. "OMG Claire, everyone knows what you did with Andrew at Mary's party, you're such a penny chew") - and woe betide any luckless female student who happened to be observed at breaktime removing a penny chew from her blazer pocket by some of the meaner girls (e.g. "OMG Justine, have you been down at the caretaker's store again? Did he tie you up? Did he make you do that thing with the keys? Did you love it?"). At the time it seemed funny and naughty - funny because it was naughty - though now it comes across as exactly what it was - bullying. Usually whoever had been clocked unwrapping a Blackjack or Fruit Salad would scuttle off, red in the face, which was then crowingly announced to be a de facto admission of their guilt. Kids can be a bit horrible.

So, what did all this teach our young minds?

1 - don't be alone in isolated spots;

2 - don't trust adults unconditionally;

3 - if it happened to a friend of a friend, or 'someone from another school', it didn't happen;

4 - kids would apparently rather invent their own deeply unconvincing and narratively flawed ghost stories than repeat actual known tales; and

5 - don't be caught with a pocketful of penny chews, or the rumour mill will destroy you.
Wonderful post but I especially loved:

One chap in my year was put on Litter Duty and afterwards told us all that when he'd finished and toddled over to the bins, the canteen dinner ladies were in the bin pulling out all the rubbish - so they could reuse all the discarded sandwiches and apple cores in the school meals, somehow.
 

Quercus

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Cheers folks, glad you got something out of all that too!

Funny, I'd started the post by typing "there weren't really any urban legends at my school", but the more I thought about it, the more came back to me... I mustn't have thought about The Bull-Headed Man for thirty-odd years. But, for about a week in 1990, it was the only topic of playground conversation.

I'll let you know if I can remember anything else worth a mention!

There were a couple of boys I knew who were simply liars on a grand scale, wowing the playground crowd with various tales that stretched the laws of physics, biology and quite a few legal statutes, yet were never called out for bring the supreme bullsh***ers they unquestionably were.

I'm sure there's a suitable thread somewhere for stories of these pre-adolescent Walter Mitty types...
 

Peripart

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There were a couple of boys I knew who were simply liars on a grand scale, wowing the playground crowd with various tales that stretched the laws of physics, biology and quite a few legal statutes, yet were never called out for bring the supreme bullsh***ers they unquestionably were
Yes, I think that most schools had a resident world-class bullshitter. Usually their dad was an astronaut, or spy, or both.

But then, as teenagers, we were just naive enough to think that maybe, just maybe, there was something to his tales, even though we knew it was more than likely a load of bobbins.
 

Quercus

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Yup, that's what only just clicked into place today, with my advancing age and wisdom (well, one of those at least) - it was most likely a tongue-in-cheek teacher reference to the only thing that made staying for a week in a draughty castle with a squad of ten-year-olds even vaguely bearable... "No Jimmy, best stay in your bunk - if you wander around at night you might just encounter the Blue Nun - and it's horrible!"

If I'd run into my Primary 6 teachers made merry on several bottles of Liebfraumilch, I definitely would have been psychologically scarred for life...
 

CarlosTheDJ

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Did every Cub / Scout Master tell the "hook handed man bouncing the boyfriend's decapitated head on the car roof story" at camp?

Maybe it's in the training. Maybe Baden-Powell wrote it?

There must have been local variations, in my case the story was told to a bunch of us terrified boys around a cub camp near Hatton, Warwickshire. Which was conveniently located near to Hatton Central Hospital, a mental health centre which has since been converted into a housing estate but was still very much in use at the time. The local 'loony bin' if you will (it was the early 80s, different times).

So in our story it was an escapee from the hospital, who could have been hiding in the very woods we were camping in, ready to wield his hook and bounce our heads around. Just a reminder here that we were 8 years old. Different times, as I said.

So the story trickled back into the schools, and anyone who grew up around Warwick will know the tale of The Mad-Man Of Hatton.

Plenty of info on the old hospital is available online, but nothing about the Mad-Man Of Hatton.

Until now....

bounce.....bounce....bounce.....
 

salt-man

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Yipe.

Germs are good to build an immune system.

Yet being careful is very good. How do you get a happy medium?

(I once had a friend go down with septicaemia from a minor cut when chopping firewood. He refused care, and it swelled up something horrid. After much fighting we managed to drag him to the A&E. There was a big gushing of pus when the surgeon gave it an experimental jab, dare I say. You do not want to hear more).

Does make me wonder what state everyones immune system i going to be in after the current fetish for masks and hand sanitiser burns itself out.
 

Jepra Peld

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I'm a school caretaker and can attest that many a school has a phantom crapper
....
We had one of those, though I think we all knew who it was.

The only other legend I remember from junior school is that a girl in my year's bother's friend died climbing into an abandoned fridge and not being able to get out again. It wasn't true. The strange thing is that we did have children there who lost family members in tragic circumstances and no-one ever discussed those.

From secondary school there were the usual rumours about affairs, dodgy teachers etc, then we had some more niche ones.

Male art teacher was rumoured to have swastikas tattooed under his beard.
Male history teacher was said be terrified of elastic bands and if you hung on the door handle he wouldn't enter the classroom.
Female French [subject, she wasn't French]teacher was said to have been in porn mags, not that odd a rumour but it always puzzled me that they chose this teacher, who looked like a little gnome and not the teacher who a bit liked Meg Ryan or the one who looked a lot like Kristen Scott Thomas.

I have no evidence that any of those are true. I do know one of the affair rumours turned out to be true and they are now married.
 

Rushfan62

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We had one of those, though I think we all knew who it was.

The only other legend I remember from junior school is that a girl in my year's bother's friend died climbing into an abandoned fridge and not being able to get out again. It wasn't true. The strange thing is that we did have children there who lost family members in tragic circumstances and no-one ever discussed those.

From secondary school there were the usual rumours about affairs, dodgy teachers etc, then we had some more niche ones.

Male art teacher was rumoured to have swastikas tattooed under his beard.
Male history teacher was said be terrified of elastic bands and if you hung on the door handle he wouldn't enter the classroom.
Female French [subject, she wasn't French]teacher was said to have been in porn mags, not that odd a rumour but it always puzzled me that they chose this teacher, who looked like a little gnome and not the teacher who a bit liked Meg Ryan or the one who looked a lot like Kristen Scott Thomas.

I have no evidence that any of those are true. I do know one of the affair rumours turned out to be true and they are now married.
In high school, there was a story that our female French teacher (who was actually very attractive) had lost her bikini top during a French excursion, and everyone saw her Bristols! Many a lad who'd been on the visit swore it was true, but I wasn't there so who knows for sure.
 

Quercus

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One chap in my year was put on Litter Duty and afterwards told us all that when he'd finished and toddled over to the bins, the canteen dinner ladies were in the bin pulling out all the rubbish - so they could reuse all the discarded sandwiches and apple cores in the school meals, somehow.
Just as a bit of a follow-up, I mentioned this primary school legend to MrsQ the other night, and she's convinced that she read a children's book back in her own schooldays with a very similar plot.

She couldn't remember the title or author, but says the cover showed a malevolent-looking cartoon dinner lady stirring a bin brimming with a sort of grey-green soup with fish bones and apple cores floating in it, and a queasy-looking child in the foreground holding an empty bowl.

I've no recollection of this title (and I avidly demolished pretty much every novel in the school and public libraries), but we spent an entertaining hour or so searching online, though with no positive results.

I've no doubt such a book exists - hey, it's hardly a wildly original concept - but I'd be interested to know whether the book was the source of the story that went round the school as 'fact' in 1988 or so, or if it didn't appear in print until afterwards.

There's a few years between the two of us, so she probably would have read it in the early/mid 1990s - if it rings any bells with anyone, do tell!
 
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