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"The Hook" is also a nickname for the Islamic preacher Abu Hamza al-Masri.

The Hook is a classic example of an urban legend. The basic premise involves a young couple parked at a dark lovers' lane. The radio plays music as the couple make out. The music is interrupted by an announcer who reports that a serial killer has just escaped an institution which is nearby. The killer has a hook in place of one of his hands. For varying reasons they decide to leave quickly. The legend ends with the discovery of the killers hook attached to the outside handle of one of the doors. Many variations include the sound of scraping on the car door. Some legends have the same beginning, but end up with them seeing him first, warning some others, then having him come to their car. They try to escape, but end up with him holding on to the top of the car. It ends with both dying.

In an alternative version of the story, the couple while driving through an unknown part of the country decide to stop the car in the middle of the woods at night because the man has to relieve himself. While waiting for him to return, the wife/girlfriend turns on the radio and hears about the escaped mental patient. She notices that her husband/boyfriend has not returned yet and is disturbed many times by a loud thumping on the roof of the car. She eventually exits her car and sees the crazy man on the roof of the car holding her husband's decapitated head in his hand and hitting the roof with it. Other variations tell of her seeing her husband/boyfriend's butchered body suspended upside down from a tree above the car with his fingers dangling just above the roof.

References to this legend have been found from at least the 1960s.[1]

References in Popular Culture

  • The basic story (with variations) is the opening segment in the films Campfire Tales (1991) and Campfire Tales (1997).
  • The tale is told in the 1997 slasher film I Know What You Did Last Summer, by the group of teen protagonists. The killer of the film also uses a hook as a weapon.
  • Bill Murray's character tells the story in the 1979 movie Meatballs.
  • Television series Supernatural featured in 2005 on the 7th episode of its 1st season, entitled "Hookman", a plot based on the legend. [2]
  • In the Daria episode "Legends of the Mall" a similar story is told with the psychopath replaced by a disgruntled shop teacher and the hook with a pair of hand-forged steel dentures.
  • In the show Arrested Development, one episode includes a joke where a group of kids are telling a version of this story, when Buster (who had one hand bitten off by an escaped seal, and had the hand replaced with a hook) stumbles out of the brush, his hook-hand glinting in the firelight. Then, after the kids run away in terror, he looks at his hand then looks up to the sky and screams "I'm a monster!!!" (One of the numerous running jokes within the show).
  • In a Far Side comic, an elderly Hookman tells his version of the story, which sees his hook accidentally getting stuck on the car door and the couple laughingly driving away.
  • The 1998 slasher film Urban Legend tells the story of two college sweethearts taking the car into the woods. They start making out to a song on the radio when it is interrupted by a news bulletin of an escaped serial killer on the loose. The male gets out to relieve himself whilst the girlfriend remains in the car. After some time she becomes more worried as her boyfriend does not turn up. There are scratching on the roof of the car. She gets out to find her boyfriend hung from the tree above the car. Little does she know that when she tries to pull the car forwards away from the murder scene she is in fact pulling her boyfriend higher, strangling him, due to the end of the rope hanging him being tied to the bumper of the car. He was alive until she decided to run from the scene

See also


  1. ^ [1]

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