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Mostly True Stories: Urban Legends Revealed
Genre Docudrama
Created by Valerie W. Chow
Mike Levine
Written by Thomas Quinn
Directed by Joe Dea
Valerie W. Chow
Mike Levine
Thomas Quinn
Starring Natasha Henstridge
Peter Lownds
Kristin Quin
Jennifer Ingrum
Jeff Hatch
Phillip Hersh
Kevin J. Goff
Bob Harris
Composer(s) Jesse Rhodes
Craig Dobbin
Brian Mann
Country of origin  United States
Language(s) English
No. of seasons 4
No. of episodes 29
Executive producer(s) Valerie W. Chow
Producer(s) Thomas Quinn
Sean P. O'Malley
Suzanne Ali
Michael Brockhoff
Running time 22 minutes approx.
Original channel The Learning Channel
The Discovery Channel
First shown in 2002 - 2004
Original run March 19, 2002 – 2008

Mostly True Stories: Urban Legends Revealed is a docudrama about urban legends and re-enacting them and researching their credibility. It aired on The Learning Channel from 2002 until 2004. It ran for four seasons. Early episodes were hosted by Natasha Henstridge. Unscheduled edited versions of the show, with new narration and without Henstridge as a hostess, were aired on The Learning Channel until 2008. The Discovery Channel had been airing regular re-runs, but now only does so on rare occasions. In the UK it is shown on Men & Motors and Zone Reality (including sister channel Zone Reality Extra).


Show structure

An episode will begin with an introduction by Henstridge whilst a short montage of scenes from re-enactments to be featured in the program is shown. An opening sequence follows with more such clips, accompanied by theme music.

In a dark, desolate cemetery or junkyard, the hostess introduces the first legend, and the scene changes to a re-enactment. The narrator introduces the legend, its setting, and tells it as it is shown, so most of the characters' dialogue is drowned out by his voice.

After the re-enactment, the narrator questions if the legend is true or false. The legend is then tested by folklorist expertise, historical and logical evidence, people who work in a field the legend is based around, and, occasionally, by the show's reality checker, Bob Harris. When the legend's credibility is determined, the narrator gives us a glimpse at the next legend and we are given a hint as to what it could be about (In this legend ... , but in our next legend, ...).

Before the commercial break, a true or false question is given to the viewers, such as "In his youth, did George Washington cut down a cherry tree and then confess to it?" and "Can the Great Wall of China be seen from space?" amongst other such rumors. The answer is given "when we continue."

After the commercial break, the cycle continues for four more legends. Then Henstridge gives her closing monologue and the credits role to the program's theme music.


The show was created by Valerie W. Chow and Mike Levine, who are also responsible for several other documentaries on The Learning Channel, Discovery Health Channel, and The Travel Channel. Another documentarian, Thomas Quinn, helped direct, produce, and write episodes. Quinn's name appeared on the show in a segment about the blue book scam (The name on the blue book was "Quinn"). Joe Dea was a director and producer for the show, too. Peter Lownds was the show's narrator. Though Natasha Henstridge has hosted the majority of the show's episodes, the first episode was hosted by Michael Shermer. The show is produced by Burrud Productions.

Relatively unknown actors were hired to play the characters in the legends. Some cast members play several different characters. For example, Kristin Quinn, a possible relative of Thomas Quinn, has played multiple female characters, including a bride's sister and a rape victim. Jennifer Ingrum appeared as a bridesmaid and a roommate. Brian Harp was a ghost on an airplane, only to assume the more down-to-earth role of a guest at a party. Jeff Hatch has been a husband to a young woman and a son to older parents. The moderately known actor, Philip Hersh, was a hotel clerk and a poisoning victim. Kevin J. Goff was a jealous husband and an elementary school maintenance man. The actors' playing of various characters is subtle. Few viewers pick it up, as was the intention.

Blackbeard error

The show once made an error concerning a legend's credibility (Blackbeard). On the episode that originally aired on March 13, 2003, there was a true or false question before a commercial break that gave an incorrect answer when the program resumed. The question was "Was the nursery rhyme 'Sing a Song of Sixpence' used as a code to recruit pirates?" The answer was given as "TRUE: The notorious pirate, Blackbeard used this code to recruit hands, whom he paid sixpence a day." This is untrue. Snopes found it rather humorous that the show could fall for such a silly story, and created a page on the website about it (See External Links). Subsequent airings fixed the mistake ("FALSE: Though attributed to the notorious Blackbeard, the rhyme was not used by pirates"). The show was not the first medium to make this mistake, as an urban myth boardgame also gave the question's answer as true.


The show's rated TV-14 in the U.S. due to the sometimes-gruesome and/or horrific dramatizations as well as for occasional drug references, suggestive themes, or violent content.


Like in many docu-dramas, the show's more gruesome and/or shocking scenes are labelled as "dramatizations" (relabelled "re-enactments" in the recent airings) to assure audiences that the scene is a recreation of something grisly and that what is shown did not actually happen. The label appears at the top right-hand corner of the screen when such scenes take place. Commonly, it appears when dead bodies or blood and/or gore is shown.

See also


External links



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