The Argentine doctor case involved a couple being transported over a vast distance and not knowing how they got there, I can't remember the full details but remember reading the debunking after someone really researched it.
How about the Ourang Medan?
This enduring tale of a supposed ghost ship discovered with the crew all dead and with expressions of terror on their faces, was debunked in a recent FT as being completely fictional.
Similarly, the Ghost of Flight 401 and Santiago Flight 513, whilst cracking short stories, turned out to be exactly that - creepy fiction masquerading as true events.
... The Argentine doctor case involved a couple being transported over a vast distance and not knowing how they got there, I can't remember the full details but remember reading the debunking after someone really researched it.
This is a really interesting topic. I think a lot of times it's satire that serves as the seed. A great example of that is a TV documentary spoof called When Cars Attack. It's apparently a bit of a rarity, having aired on network TV only a few times and it was not on Youtube the last time I looked. I just happened to be watching TV one evening in the 90s when it came on. I had never heard of it, but it looked like fun so I watched it. It's a wild collection of crazy stunts from movies and other bits of video showing what look to be cars attacking people. There is a silly story about Mortimer Ford, the little known brother of Henry Ford, and his invention called the hydroscillator, which is present in every car made since the 20s or something. These hydroscillators go bad sometimes and cause the car to turn evil. Hilarity ensues.There has to be an interesting psychological shift in here somewhere. Someone, somewhere, reads a made-up story, quite often in a work of fiction (I'm not considering deliberate hoaxes here) and somehow that made-up story gets translated to being a real event. How? Misreporting or misreading, where it's made clear that this isn't a true story, but someone ignores that or gets the wrong end of the stick? Deliberate attempts to get people to believe something demonstrably (if you know the work of fiction) untrue?
I've heard that repeated as true. Of course as my mechanic uncle pointed out...why/how? His guess was that IF something like that did happen, it had a hidden downside, like half fuel consumption, half horsepower.Around that same time, an acquaintance told me about his uncle's neighbor's big old pickup truck that got 35 miles per gallon or something, until some engineers from "the factory" showed up one day to replace the carburetor, since the truck had mistakenly been equipped with one for the European market. After that, the truck went half as far on a gallon of gas. I politely explained that it was a classic urban legend, always about two people removed from the teller, that there were some variations but the story was always absurd if you knew anything about cars or how they were made. He looked confused and said his uncle had told him about it, and he knew it was true. Of course if you buy a big honkin' American pickup in Europe or anywhere else, it will still be a gas guzzler. I think that guy was in law school, but it has been a long time and I'm not certain, but he was no rube. I suppose his uncle told him about his neighbor's cousin who had this big pickup that got phenomenal gas mileage until...
Yeah, while lowering fuel use might seem good you need X amount of power to get down the road. The most fuel efficient vehicle I've heard of had fantastic fuel economy... by being made of plastic. Lower vehicle weight = quicker acceleration = less gas burned. But it's also not crash resistant so deemed "unsafe" to use on the road.It's not a linear relationship though. Two tons of Yank Tank takes a certain amount of work to move it along, and a too-small engine will not do it as efficiently as a big one. Back in the late 70s, lots of people learned this the hard way when they bought Detroit iron with smaller engines than previously. One of my employers back then had a huge van with a boom on it, and a small six under the hood. It was a slug, and got about 7 miles per gallon. Everyone hated driving it.
American cars sold in places where fuel cost two or three times as much as here did often have less beastly engines, and they did a little better on fuel, but the difference was not huge and back then probably had as much to do with tighter emission rules here. That has changed. There are many other problems with the urban legend too.
Yeah, while lowering fuel use might seem good you need X amount of power to get down the road. The most fuel efficient vehicle I've heard of had fantastic fuel economy... by being made of plastic. Lower vehicle weight = quicker acceleration = less gas burned. But it's also not crash resistant so deemed "unsafe" to use on the road.
Slender man actually has a real world inspiration. Look up "shadow people". Sweeny Todd though? hmmm I don't know of any real killer he has more than a vague similarity to.The fact that something is considered a Fortean anomaly, event, experience or sighting always implies that it may or may not have happened.
Hoaxes and honest misidentifications both sometimes leave a residual level of perception that the incident happened, long after they are debunked or properly explained.
There are many cases where a deliberately fictional version of a story has become inextricably intertwined with the "actual" or "legendary" version. The genuine mystery of the Mary Celeste has been contaminated by fictional elements from the Marie Celeste version. Werewolf and Vampire lore have been heavily infected by the tropes of horror films.
However, one case that seems to me to fit the OP's question is Slender Man. Slender Man has no basis in tradition. He was made up by a known individual and was always openly fictional, and yet the character "has taken on a life of his own". There has been at least one high profile incident in which someone was stabbed by a person who "believed in" Slender Man.
Another is Sweeney Todd, the demon barber. Until quite recently, I simply assumed that Sweeney Todd was an actual historical person like Jack the Ripper or the Boston Strangler. It was only when I looked up the details that I discovered he was entirely fictional.
Hi.I researched the Vidal Case since the eighties, revisioning the 1968 flap. Is true that Vallee published in "Passport to Magonia" the clips of that years. Casually ,meanwhile studying film writing,one of my professors put me in the path to resolving the case. The case was an spreader rumor created to support the launching of an Argentinian film ("Che Ovni"),directed by Anibal Usset. He was connected with a news agency linked with the intelligence service,who help to create the stunt,used also as psychological experiment during a period of military dictatorship. Is a complete article in a Fortean Times' s issue from a couple years ago.I think Jacques Vallee used some contacts he had in South America to try to get more details on the story, and found there was nothing there. None of the people mentioned in the story seemed to even exist, that sort of thing.
... The case was an spreader rumor created to support the launching of an Argentinian film ("Che Ovni"),directed by Anibal Usset. ...
All the sources used by "Inexplicata" were discovered by my work in 1982 when I interview the film director,but already I hinted that the case was false as nobody could find direct family members of a very common family name. My research was followed by younger then ufologist Alejandro Agostinelli who also passed the info to Luis Gonzalez. I never published my research until recently in a book wrote in the eighties but published last year: OVNIS:LA CONFRONTACION FINAL/UFOS IN ARGENTINA: THE FINAL CONFRONTATION.(Matrioska Ediciones,2021,Spain)Yes ... That was the conclusion in this 2007 online article:
Argentina: The Vidal Case Exposed
It's a little more than that. It seems the term "spring-heeled jack" was more of a generic term for a type of ghost or apparition, sort of like boggart. It was only toward the latter half of the 20th century that the Fortean publications publicised Spring-Heeled Jack as a single entity, though there may have been earlier scares and panics.Definitely a product of hype, Chinese whispers and creative fabulation.
Through the process of conflation, possibly. The same kind of mechanism that has 'my neighbour had a ghostly monk appear in their house' 'I know someone who had a ghostly monk in theirs!' and, whoops, it becomes the SAME 'ghostly monk' that just gets about a bit.It's a little more than that. It seems the term "spring-heeled jack" was more of a generic term for a type of ghost or apparition, sort of like boggart. It was only toward the latter half of the 20th century that the Fortean publications publicised Spring-Heeled Jack as a single entity, though there may have been earlier scares and panics.
Maybe it's a Wheeler–Feynman ghostly monk, that is, that all ghostly monks are actually manifestations of a single ghostly monk moving backwards and forwards in time...Through the process of conflation, possibly. The same kind of mechanism that has 'my neighbour had a ghostly monk appear in their house' 'I know someone who had a ghostly monk in theirs!' and, whoops, it becomes the SAME 'ghostly monk' that just gets about a bit.