Of all the abhorrence legends we were asked about in 1997, this was far and abroad the best common one to appearance up in the snopes.com e-mailbox. Unlike aloof about every added “classic” abhorrence fable (e.g. The Hook and The Boyfriend’s Death), this one is alike now actuality both told and believed on academy campuses.
Examples: [Collected on the Internet, 1997]
Supposedly, at addition academy in the state, a babe was belief backward and went aback to her abode allowance to get some books or notes. So she wouldn’t afflict her roommate, she didn’t about-face on the lights aback she got her actuality off of her desk. Later aback she went aback to her room, she begin her acquaintance asleep and a agenda accounting in lipstick on the mirror. It said, “Aren’t you animated you didn’t about-face on the light?”
A adolescent adult is abandoned in her apartment. She goes to bed with her dog on the attic beside her. In the average of the night, she is woken up by a aberrant sound. She is alarmed, but alcove bottomward to the dog, who licks her hand. She is reassured and goes aback to sleep.
In the morning, she finds the dog afraid in the shower. Where the dog slept, she picks up a agenda which reads “Humans can lick too.”
Details alter berserk from adaptation to adaptation — sometimes the survivor comes attractive for a sweater instead of her books, or she’s been at a affair instead of the library, or she stops by briefly to analysis on her ailing acquaintance (leaving anon because she assumes the babe is sleeping). In some versions she allotment home to acquisition the badge in the action of investigating the murder, and sometimes she’s the one who discovers the body, accepting alive the abutting morning to acquisition both the slashed-throat body and the note. Depending on who is cogent the story, either the girlfriend, or the dog, or both the adherent and the dog are begin with their throats cut. (In the “humans can lick too” versions, the dog is generally apparent blind in the bathroom, the claret from its bargain throat decrepit assimilate the tiles, this decrepit complete actuality the odd babble that wakes the babe who lived through the night.)
The “Aren’t you animated . . .” and the “Humans can lick too” versions are so carefully accompanying that it is difficult to anticipate of them as abstracted legends. Already the capacity are above away, the aforementioned basal storyline is appear in both — a adolescent woman is absent to a abominable killing demography abode in advanced of her, and aloof how abutting the alarm was is appear in the air-conditioned animadversion larboard by the murderer. Be it dog or acquaintance which ends up on the slab, the absolute abhorrence of the moment is focused on the babe who survives. (Murder victims are a dime a dozen — what makes the claret run algid is the anticipation of the one who aloof almost got away.)
Proving that alike avant-garde legends can accept abundant earlier roots, the “licked hand” burden shows up in an 11 August 1871 account access bound in England by one Dearman Birchall:
Croquet affair . . . [One of the guests] told of a abbey who was angry in the average of the night by his wife who said ‘John, dear, I am abiding there is a bandit beneath the bed, I apprehend him moving. Do get up and see.’ John replied, ‘Oh its alone the Newfoundland dog. I aloof put my duke out and he baffled it’. Abutting morning all the jewellery and abounding added furnishings had disappeared.”
Though in this 19-century adaptation the abominable annihilation is missing, already afresh the ambuscade corrupt escapes apprehension by assuming to be the dog by beating the apprehensive party’s duke and appropriately accouterment reassurement that all is well.
This fable is a amazing cautionary account about the dangers of active abroad from home, and it plays aloft our fears of the murdering dement axis up in our bedrooms one night. We abhorrence acceptable the victims of accidental violence, and we abhorrence actuality accessible in an alarming world. The added alarming we apperceive the apple about us to be, the added tales like this get told.
Sightings:Look for this account in 1998’s Urban Legend.
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