How long has a corpse been staring out at passengers on the tube? Was London Bridge really shipped abroad by an American thinking he'd bought Tower Bridge? Did the Queen really mix with the crowds as a princess on VE Day? And did Hitler actually want to live in Balham? Where are there razor blades hidden and where did all these parakeets come from? Did they really belong to Jimi Hendrix?
Urban legends are the funny, frightening and fierce folklore people share. Just like the early folk tales that came before them, which were attempts to explain the spiritual world, these tales are formed from reactions to spectacular events in the modern world, and reflect our current values. From royal rumours to subterranean legends, Scott Wood has researched and written about them with a sense of wonder, humour and a keen eye. He finds the truth, the myth and the lies amongst these tales.
Scott Wood has run the South East London Folklore Society for eight years, which has included organising and speaking at the London folklore conference, London Lore, in April 2009. He founded the London Fortean Society and gives regular guided walks on the themes of ghosts, folklore and London's forgotten history. Scott writes an occasional column for the website Londonist on "Fortean London.," and wrote the afterword on contemporary folklore for Antony Clayton's book The Folklore of London. He also writes about urban legends on his own blog. He lives in London.