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Urban Legend The Dead Boyfriend

Updated on July 9, 2022

Not for young or sensitive readers

Though this story has been widely circulated already, it may offend or disturb young or sensitive readers.

More Frightening Urban Legends

The General Details Of The Tale

During the late evening hours, a young couple parks at an out-of-town or otherwise very secluded lovers' lane, to do what teen couples like to do in private. A location in a wooded area is selected so that the trees can afford the best assurance of privacy. They manage to park near a nice, big tree with grand leaves branching out overhead, making their park location seem all the more secluded and cozy.

After making out for a time, the couple realize that it is time to head home but the car won't start. The boy checks the gas gauge and notes that the indicator needle is quite decidedly toward the low end of the scale, so he determines that he will have to go for a walk and get some gas. Since his girlfriend is either too feminine and frail or too scared to accompany him, she is told to stay in the locked car until he returns with fuel.

The girlfriend waits quite some time, all the while, calculating how long it should take for her boyfriend to retrieve some gasoline at a nearby gas station they passed on their way to their make-out spot. At around the time she begins to worry, thinking that too much time has passed and that her boyfriend surely shouldn't be taking so long to return, she hears a light but strange tap-scratch-tapping sound on the roof of the car. She peers out the windows but still doesn't see her boyfriend returning, and assumes that the annoying tapping sound must be some tree branches blown to tap and scrape against the roof of the car. A lot of time has passed since her boyfriend departed and she's starting to get quite frightened that something bad has happened to him.

As her worry heightens, she spends a very fretful, fitful time in the locked car, wondering what troubles her boyfriend might have encountered to keep him from returning with gasoline within an hour or two. Finally, her exhausted nerves wear her down, along with the annoying noise of the branches playing across the rooftop, and she falls asleep for a little while. As daybreak is dawning, she starts awake, hearing footsteps approach the car, and expects it is her boyfriend, finally back with the gas! She looks up, shocked to see the local sheriff, instead. He is walking toward the car, is motioning for her to step out of the car.

He also warns, very distinctly,

"Get out, come with me and do not look back at the car - I repeat - do not look back at the car."

She opens the car door and allows the sheriff to lead her away from the car and toward his own, however, once she is seated in the sheriff's car, she immediately turns her head to look back...

and sees

...her boyfriend, dead, hanging upside down directly over the roof of the car, suspended from the branch of a tree. His throat is slit, blood dripping, and his fingertips just barely touch the roof of the car.

Have You Heard This One?

Are You Familiar With The "Dead Boyfriend" Urban Legend?

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Another Cautionary Tale

Busted: Not a 'true story.'

"The Boyfriend's Death" or "The Dead Boyfriend" urban legend had not been proven to be a 'story' based on true events. It is true that some 'Lovers Lane' murders have occurred in various North American, British and other locations, but it is commonly accepted that this urban legend was in full circulation aside from or independent of any "lovers lane" murders that have occurred in North America or Britain.

In short, this tale would likely exist regardless of coincidental real-life lover's lane happenings because the tale is 'cautionary' in nature.

It is a by-product of parental concerns about their sons and daughers growing up, having sex, gaining independence, fending (or not fending) for themselves in the world.

Although it also cannot be proven that absolutely no aspects of the tale derived from any real-life points at all, those who would proclaim that the story is based in 'truth' of a real-life boyfriend murder are likely just good tale-tellers, and no particular, sizeable incident that I've ever been able to find is linked as the basis for this story.

There are many similarities between this tale and other 'cautionary tales' such as "The Hook," and "The Hitcher/Hitch-hiker," so that it is much more likely that this story is a 'creation,' rather than a warning story based from real facts.

The funny thing with this story and many other cautionary tales is that, in the 'telling of the tale,' the effect of the story can be heightened considerably by saying that this is a story derived from real events. Saying so, whether this is the truth or not, actually makes this story all the more enthralling, nail-biting, gripping, and intense.

The tale uses a compilation of 'common' ideas that nearly everyone is familiar with, and these combine to make listeners second-guess about whether or not this tale has bearing in reality or not!

In turn, even if listeners realize that this tale is 'myth' or urban legend, the common elements presented and the 'possibility' of events still makes this tale chilling, and not many people are immune to the creepiness of this tale, even if they have heard it several times or have heard several versions.

Easy to believe elements:

  • * teens DO LIKE TO find secluded areas so they can 'make out.' This hasn't changed throughout the ages.
  • * since the time of the first automobiles, cars run out of gas!
  • * people often assume that they already know what 'common' sounds are, and NOT INVESTIGATING certain noises has happened to us all.
  • * night-time is a time when human ability to understand the landscape and scenario is severely limited.
  • * the darkness is always pressing upon the nerves, no matter how brave we think we are.
  • * darkness inhibits most of the human faculties that we have available to use during the daytime, such as sight, energy, confidence, etc.

This story even frightens many people during the daylight hours, just because the common knowledge of how powerful darkness is and how frail our 'daylight' senses are is known to all and is inescapable.


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