Discussion in 'Urban Legends & Folklore' started by uair01, Jun 30, 2012.
We've had posts about that here. Can't find them just now.
In ancient Rome, slave children would be purchased to be used as beggars, and children who were in some way maimed or disfigured made more effective beggars, because they were more heart-rending. Perhaps slave children with physical infirmities ended up as beggars because they were "good for nothing else", and perhaps sometimes perfectly healthy children would be deliberately mutilated, to make them more tragic. In either case, the fate of such children when they became too old to be child beggars was probably the obvious one.
Here's one of a lynching in China:
A mob of parents have killed a book salesman and badly injured four of his colleagues after rumours spread that the men were a human smuggling ring.
China's official Xinhua news agency said the attack, at a primary school, occurred while the group handed out leaflets about a lecture.
Getting a little off-topic but I enjoyed this VICE documentary. I'm still not clear if the power of scopolamine is a UL or a real thing.
This thread contains some of the posts we've been talking about
So where were the US gypsies transported to? Did they put them in camps?
I took it to mean that they were being escorted out of the city, rather than being transported somewhere. I suspect that for whatever reason, they probably ended up settling somewhere, or maybe just disappearing into the great outdoors (easier to do in the US, I imagine).
Perhaps, but are they really the types to be living off the land?
you're quite wrong to say there are no such things as gypsies in America, nowadays. or that no one speaks of them.
Their classic move is to gain entry to a home, distract the residents, while one of them tosses another room, grabbing jewelry, cash, small valuables. The owner never realizes he's been robbed, until they are gone. Police regularly warn residents to never let anyone in claiming to be from utilities, asking for water for their pregnant daughter seems to be a popular scam. They usually hit poorer neighborhoods, because those people keep cash, and are more likely to help them, and not immediately call the police. Police call them Gypsies. but they just don't mean vagrant thieves, they mean gypsies.
my experiences- i walked a park road everyday, with my son in a stroller, and dog by our side. one particular summer, a large group of teens and preteens, boys and girls, were in a park shelter almost every day. These kids had dark skin, but weren't african american or Indian. I couldn't place their ethnicity. The boys wore clothes a little formal for american kids their age and for the weather...long sleeve shirts and long dark trousers, the girls wore full skirts, horizontally striped with bright colors. They were an odd bunch, but seemed bemused by ME as i walked by, as if I was the oddity. One afternoon, we returned home. Our house was at the end of a little used cul de sac. I was sitting on the porch, which was covered by an awning and shaded by large yew shrubs. the dog was on a long lead, and was resting in the shade of the porch. Sitting quietly, I could not be seen from the street by a casual passerby , but i could see the street perfectly well. My little son was ambling about on the little bit of yard in the front of the house. A car with 4 of these teenagers pulled slowly down our street, turned in the turn around, came back down, and stopped in front of our house. They were eyeing my son! i could see them thru the shrubs. I jumped up and ran out onto the lawn, grabbing my son. That got a big laugh from all in the car, and they sped away. Later I spoke to the police, and they said, gypsies. They had gotten a lot of complaints, things missing, cars gone into, these kids found where they shouldn't have been, that sort of thing. My mother's instinct told me my son was in danger, and I believe he was about to get snatched.
A year or so later, small groups of gypsies invaded the local mall from time to time, doing distract, grab and runs. The police were looking for a large late model cadillac (the big barge type) with stolen Texas plates. Police said gypsies, local news had to more politically correct, and they called them a gang of migrant thieves.
In a neighboring local town, a rash of thefts. Police said small windows were smashed out behind the shops,and children were lowered into the windows, and they then opened the doors for their adult handlers. Once again police said gypsies.
So while it may be considered passe or even racist to say the the G word. They still exist. And some perhaps are up to no good.
why would you assume the story she related was "fokelore"? thats pretty presumptuous. does it make you uncomfortable to think that children are stolen?
Although I have never met the family myself, friends of my wife's friend had their four-year-old daughter kidnapped in China while on holiday with her grandmother. If that sounds like a tenuous link, I can assure you this is not an urban myth. She was taken when the grandmother went to the lavatory and police believe they were probably being followed for some time. I do have a few more details (not many), but I won't be posting them.
This occurred last year and despite consulate assistance and a police investigation no lead or information has ever arisen and the family assume she is dead. I didn't say as much, but perhaps this is a coping strategy as it may be better than some of the alternatives. Kidnapping statistics in China look high because the huge population means that even infrequent phenomena are multiplied up, but the abduction of children is still a major issue in China: the figures I've read suggest anywhere between 20,000 and 200,000 are taken annually (no figure is reliable). The popular narrative is that regular Chinese people have learnt over the last century or so that it never pays to put your head over the parapet and will turn away and ignore even blatantly suspicious or criminal behaviour in public rather that risk getting involved. I don't have enough experience of China to confirm or deny this thesis, although it does remind me of the cases where drivers who have knocked down cyclists or pedestrians then try to kill their victims as the law requires the guilty party to pay potentially-lifelong medical expenses to his victim (I hope I'm getting that right): great pressures on malleable materials bring about grotesque forms.
Edit: just had a Google. The kidnapping hasn't been reported in any English-language media.
Edit2: wife has just corrected me, she was six, not four.
I've heard this a few times too.
An old child-snatching UL: the purple baths of Louis XV
What about authorities?
Indian police have arrested 16 people after two men became the latest victims of hysteria over WhatsApp rumours of child kidnappers.
The men had stopped to ask directions in north-eastern Assam state when they were beaten to death by a large mob.
Rumours of child kidnappings are spreading across India over WhatsApp, and have already led to the deaths of six other people in the past month.
Police say it is proving hard to debunk the messages on social media.
Deaths linked to WhatsApp rumours
April: A man in the southern state of Tamil Nadu is beaten to death by a mob after he is seen aimlessly wandering the streets
A 55-year old woman in Tamil Nadu is lynched for giving sweets to children; police arrest 30 people
A man in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh is lynched for speaking Hindi and not the local language, Telugu
A man in neighbouring Telengana is killed by a mob while entering a mango orchard at night
Another man in Telengana is lynched when visiting a village to see his relatives
A man in the southern city of Bangalore is tied up with rope and beaten to death with cricket bats, allegedly for distributing chocolates to children
June: Two men are lynched in north-eastern Assam after stopping their car to ask for directions
Five more lynched.
Rumour of child snatchers spread via WhatsApp has taken another life in Bidar district of Karnataka. A 32-year-old Google software engineer was beaten to death and three others, including a Qatari national, critically injured by a mob which suspected they were a group of “child lifters”.
WhatsApp rumours warning villagers of child lifters has taken more than a dozen lives across India since May. The Bidar incident is latest in the series of killings.
Mohammed Azam Ahmed of Malakpet in Hyderabad, who works with Google as a software engineer, died on the spot, while a Qatari national, Salham Eidal Kubaisi (38), and Noor Mohammed and Mohammed Salman from Barkas in Hyderabad suffered critical injuries and were admitted to the Bidar Government hospital initially before being shifted to Hyderabad.
An official from the Aurad Police Station, in whose area the lynching took place, told the Indian Express that three WhatsApp administrators who circulated the photos and messages that the four men were child kidnappers have been arrested. “We have also arrested 30 people who were part of the mob,’’ the official said.
Kubaisi’s wife Zaibunnisa told the Indian Express that the four had set off from Hyderabad Friday morning to meet a relative at Bidar and attend a social function. After the function, they were en route to see a piece of land which they were interested in purchasing.
“When they stopped for tea near a school at Murki village in Aurad taluka at about 4.30 pm, they saw school children heading home. Salham started handing out foreign chocolates, which he was carrying, to students. However, someone raised an alarm that strangers were luring kids with chocolates and people started gathering immediately,” she said.
The current reports are appalling - but it's interesting to see how modern technology becomes part of the same hysteria.
(I found the following in newspapers from August 1893:
An old superstition has been revivied in Bosnia. The people have believed at all times that a bridge could not be firm and lasting unless a human being was walled up in it. There is a legend connected with the Roman bridge at Mostar to the effect that the fine arch across the Narenta could not be finished until the architect walled up in it a bridal pair. Now that a solid bridge is being built across the Save at Braxcka, this superstition is revived. It is rumoured everywhere that gypsies are stealing children to sell them to the contractors, who wall up one in each pillar. A few days ago there was a regular pursuit of some gypsies.Yeah don't blame the bridge builders even though they're subcontracting to the gypsies!)
I remember as a kid in England in the 70's a 'pat a cake' rhyme that started with:
My Mother says
I never should
Play with the gypsies in the wood ..
My Grandma knew the rhyme as well. Does anyone here remember the rest of it ? .. I think it involved gypsies abducting children.
My Mother Said I Never Should
My Mother said, I never should
Play with the gypsies in the wood.
If I did, she would say;
'Naughty girl to disobey!
Your hair shan't curl and your shoes shan't shine,
You gypsy girl, you shan't be mine!
And my father said that if I did,
He'd rap my head with the teapot lid.
My mother said that I never should
Play with the gypsies in the wood.
The wood was dark, the grass was green;
By came Sally with a tambourine.
I went to sea - no ship to get across;
I paid ten shillings for a blind white horse.
I upped on his back and was off in a crack,
Sally tell my mother I shall never come back.
Thanks Max, I've been wondering about it for years
WhatsApp is taking some limited action, may not be enough. The least it could do is permanently ban the groups and individuals who have forwarded these false claims.
WhatsApp has said it will limit how many times messages can be forwarded in India, to curb the spread of false information on its platform.
The announcement comes after a spate of mob lynchings were linked to messages that circulated on WhatsApp groups.
The government on Thursday reissued a warning to the company that it could face legal consequences if it remained a "mute spectator".
With more than 200 million users, India is WhatsApp's biggest market.
WhatsApp said its users in India "forward more messages, photos, and videos, than any other country in the world".
Groups on WhatsApp can have a maximum of 256 people. Many of the messages that are believed to have triggered violence were forwarded to multiple groups which had more than 100 members each.
In a blog published on its website, the company announced that it was "launching a test to limit forwarding that will apply to everyone using WhatsApp".
For Indian users, however, the forwarding option will be limited even further. A WhatsApp spokesperson for India told the BBC that this means a single person would be able to forward one message only five times.
However, this does not stop other members from a group from forwarding the message to a further five chats of their own.
Separate names with a comma.