It’s one thing to be afraid of ghosts and quite another to fear someone among the living. I was never one to balk at spooky stories, until I encountered the Man who lived down the lane.
By the time I was thirteen, I had heard many rumors about how crazy he was and to stay away from him.
My Uncle loved to tell the tales about how the man used to be a butcher and how he went insane.
Every Full Moon he would stand in his back yard and yell in a strange, crazed voice – waving his knives ferociously.
I was unlucky to walk past him one day when we were shopping. Just the sight of him made you shiver in terror.
I remember his large bulk looming over me as he walked by. His frightening, empty eyes bore through my soul.
He grunted and sniffed the air above my head as my mother pulled me over to the other side of her.
When I pressed my Uncle for further information, he told me that some people believed him to be a cannibal!
Imagine my terror when I cut through the lane one day to get to a friend’s place – only to come face to face with him.
In that instant – as he rounded the corner and nearly bowled me over – I truly believed that my life was over!
More disturbing than most spooky stories:
He stopped me with one of his huge hands and started speaking loud gibberish – eyes wild and mouth drooling.
At first – I screamed – but fell silent when he slowly brought one of his dirty fingers to his mouth to “Shush” me.
My flesh slowly crept over my body as he began to stroke my hair – smiling maniacally and panting like a dog.
I began to cry and begged him to let me go – even though he wasn’t stopping me – I felt rooted to the spot.
I was surprised when he pulled out a crusty roll of candy – waving it in my face and laughing – showing yellow teeth.
For some reason I decided to turn back and run up the lane, but he was close behind.
Being smaller and faster, I was able to get home and slammed the door behind me – frantically looking to see if he was there.
Luckily - he was nowhere to be seen, but I strangely decided not to tell my family about it.
That night, I had a horrible nightmare about him trapping me in his house while he sharpened his knives!
The nightmares continued, until:
One day – around six months after my frightening encounter with him – I heard strange news.
A neighbor told my parents about how the man down the lane had finally been put in a State hospital.
The police had found remnants of dead animals buried in his yard – but no human bodies.
He was finally committed due to his erratic behavior and failure to obey local laws about noise pollution.
It turns out that he had been killing – and eating – any poor animal that dared to wander onto his property.
I can still see his vacant face, especially when I’m dreaming.
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