The white lighter myth has circulated around the internet for years, but most of us still have no idea what it means or why so many people believe it to be true. There are many stories about the origination of where the white lighter legend came from, and no one really knows which theory is correct.
The Myth Of The White Lighter
There are many different myths surrounding the white lighter urban legend. If you’ve heard about this legend before, you should know that there are two sides to every story.
The “white lighter myth” is a term used to describe a common belief that bad things will happen to you if you have a white lighter. One belief is that if you have a white lighter, you might attract spirits and ghosts. The idea is that white signifies purity, so it will draw them in closer.
The truth is, no matter what color your lighter is, it won’t work any better at attracting spirits than any other kind of lighter.
It’s true that some people believe white lighters are more effective than black ones, but there isn’t any real evidence to support this theory. Because of that, it helps to look at the various tales of the white lighter.
The Origin Story Of The White Lighter
The most prominent story of the white lighter originated from when a group of artists called the “27 Club”, all died while all possessing a white lighter. Because of that, white lighters have long been associated with bad luck.
Some of the famous artists included in this group are:
- Jimi Hendrix;
- Janis Joplin;
- and even Jim Morrison.
Some other people believe that later additions to the club also died while possessing a white lighter.
Ever since then, people have started circulating stories of their bad luck with white lighters, and it’s interesting to take a look at some stories of other peoples’ misfortune with the white lighter.
1. The Teenager Approach
Many people have heard the story of a teenager who was getting ready to smoke in their bedroom, and when they reached for their lighter to light it, they found a white lighter instead. They lit their cigarette with the white lighter, and the next day when they woke up, there was a horrible smell coming from under their bed.
The myth is that if you use one of these lighters, something terrible will happen to you or someone you love within 24 hours.
This story has been told for years and has circulated all around school campuses. However, it’s just not true at all! But why does this urban legend persist?
There are some popular theories as to why it continues:
- For starters, many teens do experiment with cigarettes during their teenage years because they’re curious and because many believe that cigarettes make them look older than they really are (spoiler alert: they don’t);
- Also, the thought of something bad happening can be enough to keep teens from doing anything wrong in the first place. Teens also hear this story so often because there is an idea called contagious fear which means that hearing about how scary something is can make you scared yourself.
It’s almost like peer pressure but with fear instead of pressuring someone into doing something they might regret later on. Another reason why this myth persists is that kids tell each other these stories so often that they start believing them.
Kids are much more likely to pass along stories like this to other kids than adults because kids see each other as equals and don’t see themselves as superiors, which makes them more likely to listen to what another kid says.
When parents try to break the cycle by telling kids it’s just a story or it won’t hurt anyone, they don’t always get through; teenagers are well aware of what adults think is just a story. Teens don’t want adults to know what they’re doing, so even though adults tell them it’s just a story, they still smoke cigarettes and light them with white lighters. Sometimes teens may even go out of their way to find the perfect white lighter just because of this myth.
In fact, there are whole companies devoted solely to selling special edition white lighters.
These companies advertise these products as being for collectors and say that using a special edition white lighter doesn’t mean you’re doomed for some kind of curse.
Though statistics show that less than 10% of smokers actually buy white lighters, nearly 60% of those interviewed said they were afraid to use a white lighter anyways due to the white lighter urban legend. Even though only 1/6th of smokers actually buy these lighters, nearly 40% felt as if there were consequences for using one anyways.
2. Frightful Camping Trip
There was another white lighter urban legend about a group of friends who were out on a camping trip when they spotted a white lighter on the ground. They picked it up and one of them put it in his pocket, but after the trip, he started having nightmares about how he had used it to light his friends’ cigarettes and how they were burned alive in an accident.
3. The Car Crash and God (Yes, it Gets THAT Bizarre)
Another white lighter urban story was about a girl who died in a car crash, but was saved by God to say the last good bye. As she was on the brink, she asked for a white lighter to be given to her friend as a parting gift, simply because she wanted to give just something, and the white lighter was all she had in her pockets. She died in a minute, and when her friend looked at the lighter, there were words “God loves you” printed on the label.
The story goes on to say that every time this girl wants to smoke, she lights her cigarette with the white lighter and thinks of her friend who died in the crash.
Barely believable, yet a quite popular story in some areas, especially (of course) among those who can’t legally smoke or buy cigarettes yet.
So Are White Lighters Dangerous?
There is a longstanding urban legend that says if you use a white lighter, your friends and family will die or deal with misfortune.
Another origin of this story stems from the belief that white lighters are manufactured with one of the dangerous chemicals used in insecticides and are not meant to be inhaled. However, most major manufacturers (BIC, Zippo, Cricket, Clipper, and others) have moved away from using these chemicals in their products.
it is PARTIALLY true, though: the chemical ethylbenzene is still used in some brands of lighter fluid, but it has been proven to be safe when inhaling it at low levels over a short period of time.
While all of these stories may seem scary, you can still use white lighters with confidence. In fact, you might want to go out and buy a few in case your friends or family want to use them just to show that it’s nothing more than a myth.