Urban Legends have been a part of folklore for a long time. All are told by a person who said it happened to a friend of a friend. From the Vanishing Hitchhiker, to Bloody Mary, to Spiders in the Cactus, to the Kidney Heist, to the Kentucky Fried Rat. These stories have become part of our culture. Even though the location of where the story happens (like the urban legends that happen on college campuses) changes, the essence of the story remains the same.
So the next time you have a party or a sleepover, and you want to give people a good scare tell them to go into the bathroom and say Bloody Mary three times in front of the mirror, or after you hear about an escaped convict with a hook for a hand, and you come home from being out with your girlfriend/boyfriend and discover a hook in the side of the car door. If you are at a boarding school or college make sure you turn on the lights if you hear strange sounds coming from your roommates side of the room. Last, but certainly not least, if you are babysitting young children, make sure you check on them, and if the phone rings make sure it's not coming from inside the house.
If you want to read more urban legends you can check out Jan Brunvand's other books, and I also recommend the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark series.