The Man in the House
A simple legend of real world horror.
Like the Dead Body Hotel, I would think this more a category of urban legends unto itself, rather than a single story.
You’re familiar with this scenario: a person is alone in house, when suddenly, A PERSON IS NO LONGER ALONE IN HOUSE.
It is an urban legend told to the point of being overextended in movies like Scream, with their tongue in cheek horror. But while Bloody Mary, Slenderman, and other more preternatural urban legends are creepy, it’s that feeling of not actually being home alone that’s truly unsettling.
With that in mind, let’s look at a couple different pop-culture versions of the Man in the House:
- It’s late. A babysitter has just put the kids to bed and sits down to watch the tele when she gets a call on the phone. A stranger is laughing or breathing heavy on the other end. She hangs up, only for the man to call again several times, now telling her to check on the children upstairs. Eventually, she calls the police, who investigate and tell her that the call is coming from the house’s second phone….the phone upstairs.
- The babysitter is watching the kids one night and after going to bed she watches TV in the living room, growing increasingly uncomfortable at the sight of the clown statue in the corner of the room. The parents call home to check on the kids and the sitter, after which point she tells them how creepy the clown statue is. Panicked, the father insists that she gets the kids out of the house and calls the police—they never had a clown statue.
These stories continue, and variations abound. (Check out the Choking Doberman for another fun one.)
Their mark on our culture is certainly prevalent. Consider popular movies: When a Stranger Calls, Black Christmas, Scream, and Strangers; three of those which have been given remakes and sequels.
Movies and pop-culture aside, there is always the case when there REALLY IS a man in your house. (Go ahead…go check all the rooms. You’re welcome.)
The list goes on…
…and the fear never, really, goes away.
Did we miss one of your favorite urban legends this time around?
Let us know in the comments, or tweet us your favorite scares at @TheMonsterGuys, #100DaysToHalloween.
Happy Halloween 2014!