Legend: Gnome captured by drug-tripping teens and stashed in their closet overnight is discovered in the morning to be a lost child.
Collected via e-mail, 2006]
A couple of guys are out one night in Indiana on a drinking/drugging binge. They’re driving their car on a deserted country road in the middle of the night, when something runs in front of their path and onto the
[Collected via e-mail, 2005]
I met this girl last night, and she told one of the best urban legends one I’ve heard in a long time.
Anyway, she said some guys one of her friends knows went to Amsterdam and they were all tripping acid, and while they were walking around tripping, they found this gnome. They thought that gnome was the funniest thing in the world, and after taking some pictures with it, decided to steal it. They took it back to their hotel room and put it in the closet.
The next morning, they were going back over the previous night’s events, and when someone went to the closet to get the gnome, there wasn’t a gnome in there, but an extremely frightened
Origins: In 2004,
we encountered this story about a lost child happened upon by drugged-out teenagers, mistaken for a living fantasy creature (dwarf, hobgoblin, gnome) or statue version thereof, brought to the teens’ home, and stashed in a wardrobe overnight. It has subsequently come to us a number of times, its details slightly changed from telling to telling. While little boys can be featured in this tale, usually the tot is said to be a girl of 5, 6, or
The story generally concludes with the youngster’s being recognized by her captors for what she is only after having passed a night in their closet, while they slept off the effects of the drugs that had befuddled them. Her sobs get them to investigate the contents of their closet, where they discover their previous night’s trophy is in fact a terrified
Most often, the story ends there, with no additional details given about what might have happened next. However, two versions we encountered described opposite finales: in one, the teens were said to be going to jail (presumably for holding the child captive overnight); in the other, they were hailed as heroes and given a cash reward (for finding and rescuing a lost child).
The tale has much in common with a far older urban legend about a stoned babysitter whose drug-addled state prompts her to cook the infant in her care because she thinks it a pot roast or turkey. In both stories, small children are misperceived as something else by drugged-out teens whose chemical pursuits have rendered them incapable of making sense of reality. These legends are cautionary tales meant to impart strong “Don’t do this to yourself!” warnings about the powerful effects illegal drugs can have on the human brain.
The yarn is even more closely related to another legend in which a mentally less-abled adult mistakes a midget who comes to his door (salesperson, delivery person, Jehovah’s Witness) for a troll, overpowers him, and holds him captive.
Barbara “finders creepers” Mikkelson
Last updated: 28 February 2010
A Word to Our Loyal Readers
Support Snopes and make a difference for readers everywhere.
- David Mikkelson
- Doreen Marchionni
- David Emery
- Bond Huberman
- Jordan Liles
- Alex Kasprak
- Dan Evon
- Dan MacGuill
- Bethania Palma
- Liz Donaldson
- Vinny Green
- Ryan Miller
- Chris Reilly
- Chad Ort
- Elyssa Young
Most Snopes assignments begin when readers ask us, “Is this true?” Those tips launch our fact-checkers on sprints across a vast range of political, scientific, legal, historical, and visual information. We investigate as thoroughly and quickly as possible and relay what we learn. Then another question arrives, and the race starts again.
We do this work every day at no cost to you, but it is far from free to produce, and we cannot afford to slow down. To ensure Snopes endures — and grows to serve more readers — we need a different kind of tip: We need your financial support.
Support Snopes so we continue to pursue the facts — for you and anyone searching for answers.