Backseat Horror Story

“A guy is driving on the road at night, and someone behind him keeps honking and flashing his brights. So the guy keeps turning around like what the fuck? So eventually he pulls over and the car pulls over and they get out and the guy’s like, ‘What the fuck?’ And the other guy’s like, ‘Dude, there was a guy standing in your backseat with a knife but every time I honked or flashed my brights he ducked down and you just never saw him.’ So they checked the backseat and there was a bloodstain on the ground and the guy was gone.”

The informant learned this legend from friends at camp when he was much younger. The informant was convinced that he didn’t know any folklore, so I asked him if he knew any classic scary stories, and this is what he told me. He kept trying to tell me personal anecdotes which, as I had to explain to him, were not actually folklore. He told this scary story very quickly and without much detail, because I think he found it boring and over-told. He was surprised that I had never heard the tale before. It is very similar to many of the scary stories I’ve heard, with a serial killer and an unwitting victim. The informant used to tell this story along side those similar stories at sleepovers and around the campfire. He hasn’t told it in a long time.

I have never been a big fan of scary stories; I used to plug my ears when my friends told them. Thus, I don’t know very many. However, I did not find this one very scary, probably because the informant told it in a hurried way and didn’t build any suspense. Most scary stories have an element of suspense, drawing out the story and keeping the reader from knowing what will happen, that keep listeners at the edge of their seats. This story is relatively recent, because it takes place on a road with cars that have high and low beams. It could even take place yesterday. I’m a little confused by the ending. It doesn’t make sense that the  guy waited so long in the backseat with a knife only to flee last minute. Also, I don’t know why there would be a bloodstain on the floor if he hadn’t killed anyone. I think the ending is an attempt to quickly wrap up the story and make it scary. It’s almost scarier knowing that there was someone behind you with a knife, even though he’s now gone, rather than the guy actually killing the man. The former gives me goosebumps, the latter is more shocking.