EXCL Teaser: “KILLER LEGENDS” Explores the Truth Behind Scary Stories


In 2009, the documentary CROPSEY aimed to help us understand the nature of urban legend by singling out a Northeastern horror story and tracing its association with a very disturbing true crime out of Staten Island, NY. In its exploration of everything from satanic panic to the closed Willowbrook State School, co-director Joshua Zeman introduced the idea of “Legend Tripping”: seeking out and engaging your own local scary story. Now Zeman and filmmaker Rachel Mills are doing just that, as a new doc finds the pair traversing the U.S. in search of any dark reality behind what we tell each other in the dark. In anticipation of its Chiller TV debut this March, FANGORIA has your first look at KILLER LEGENDS.

Premiering Sunday, March 16 at 8 p.m. on Chiller, KILLER LEGENDS “focuses on four timeless urban legends that continue to haunt the psyche of the American public. This horror documentary follows filmmakers Joshua Zeman and Rachel Mills as they investigate the true crimes that may have spawned these urban legends, while exploring how these myths evolved and why we continue to believe.”

The documentary probes the following legends:

The Candyman: The film travels viewers to Houston, Texas, to explore the legend of tainted candy that strikes fear in parents every Halloween. Though the legend is prolific, in actuality there is only one documented case of a child dying from tailnted candy: 8-year-old Timothy O’Bryan. Timothy was poisoned on Halloween by a real life monster who used the legend to hide his crime, earning him the nickname, The Candyman.

The Baby-Sitter and the Man Upstairs: As the legend goes, a babysitter tormented by a twisted caller, learns that the sadistic calls are coming from inside the house. While the babysitter has become the go-to victim in so many of our horror films, does the same hold true in real life? Tragically, the answer is yes – as our filmmakers discover in the unsolved murder of Janett Christman – a babysitter who was slain in Columbia, MO, in 1950.

The Hookman: The filmmakers investigate the “Moonlight Murders” of Texarkana that some believe sparked “The Hook” urban legend of the 50s & 60s. Based upon the legend of two teens lovers terrorized by a madman with a hook for a hand, Killer Legends will investigate this real life case of a killer known as The Phantom, who in 1946 attacked five couples parked on lovers’ lanes. This unsolved crime that has created its own unique urban legend in Texarkana, perpetuated by a town that refuses to forget.

The Killer Clown: In Chicago, the filmmakers investigate the “phantom clown” scares that have been spontaneously occurring since the 1980s. In cities across the globe, clowns have been spotted in vans trying to snatch children. Is this just a case of hysteria, manifested by fears of coulrophobia (the fear of clowns), or is there something much more serious at work? Chicago’s creepy clown past, from John Wayne Gacy to Bozo, is explored in an attempt to answer the question of how clowns became so evil, and why they continue to haunt our nightmares.

Below, find an exclusive first look from “The Candyman” segment of KILLER LEGENDS, and keep an eye on Fango for much more on the film as its television premiere approaches. Keep up with the KILLER LEGENDS team on Twitter (@JoshZeman, @MillsRachel, @CropseyLegend) and Facebook.

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Samuel Zimmerman
Fangoria.com Managing Editor Samuel Zimmerman has been at FANGORIA since 2009, where fresh out of the Purchase College Cinema Studies program, he began as an editorial assistant. Since, he’s honed both his writing and karaoke skills and been trusted with the responsibility of jury duty at Austin’s incredible Fantastic Fest. Zimmerman lives in and hails from The Bronx, New York where his pants are too tight and he’ll watch anything with witches.
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