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Urban Legend The Dead Boyfriend

Updated on March 12, 2012

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?

See results

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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    • snarlmkiv profile image

      snarlmkiv 8 years ago

      really scary stuff. great job... im a fan of urban legends so i love reading this article.\

    • profile image

      anyone 8 years ago

      Moral of the story - don't date?

    • mythbuster profile image

      mythbuster 8 years ago from Utopia, Oz, You Decide

      Yes, I think the moral, anyone, is "do not date"

    • fortunerep profile image

      fortunerep 8 years ago from North Carolina

      I think I have seen a part of this on TV, scary stuff, makes you want to go the motel 6.

    • Dangazzm profile image

      Dangazzm 7 years ago

      Loved it good job

    • mythbuster profile image

      mythbuster 7 years ago from Utopia, Oz, You Decide

      fortunerep, I've seen parts of this urban legend on ghost hunter shows and scary documentaries, too.

      Glad you liked the hub, Dangazzm

    • Disturbia profile image

      Disturbia 7 years ago

      I love urban legends. Cool hub.

    • mythbuster profile image

      mythbuster 7 years ago from Utopia, Oz, You Decide

      I love your choosen nickname, Disturbia!

    • prettydarkhorse profile image

      prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

      lovers death and lovers lane, interesting, might be true isn't it? Thank you, Maita

    • mythbuster profile image

      mythbuster 7 years ago from Utopia, Oz, You Decide

      Hi Maita/prettydarkhorse, thanks for reading. I'm not sure this legend has ever happened in the manner above but there sure are a lot of stories that are similar and that sound like they might be true events. If you find out any that are true, feel free to let me know.

    • devsir profile image

      devsir 7 years ago from Earth

      O My God! How terriific story with love in its core!Excellent.

    • mythbuster profile image

      mythbuster 7 years ago from Utopia, Oz, You Decide

      Hey devsir, glad you liked the story - no doubt you've heard this one before or told it yourself. It's really not mine - it's told all over the place. If you hear other versions, feel free to contact me and I'll add 'em! This is one of my fave urban legends because it's soooooo creepy and stands up well when altered just slightly.

    • YuukiYotobari profile image

      YuukiYotobari 7 years ago from Front Royal, Virginia

      I actually saw this on a few scary tv shows as well.

      This is my all time fav Urban Legend, besides the Hitch Hiker and The Hook one.

      Thank you for sharing this great Urban Legend with us!

    • mythbuster profile image

      mythbuster 7 years ago from Utopia, Oz, You Decide

      Hello YuukiYotobari - I'm glad you're already familiar with this legend 'cos I agree with you and it's one of my fave urban legends, too. It's fun to actually compare versions of this legend, so I'm glad you've done that too - relating it to the legend as you saw it on tv shows and such. I'd love to hear if you've heard a different version, too, sometime.

    • mquee profile image

      mquee 7 years ago from Columbia, SC

      I am surprised that I never heard this one, but it was well told and very interesting. Thanks for sharing.

    • mythbuster profile image

      mythbuster 7 years ago from Utopia, Oz, You Decide

      Wow, mquee, I'm almost always surprised when someone mentions he/she hasn't heard the Dead Boyfriend urban legend.

      And the big question: now that you know about the legend, will this keep you from going on dates to isolated locations during the night-time hours?

      If not, you may be a daring "legend-tripper" or you might just think the story is all bunk lol

      Thx for reading!

    • profile image

      Lucas B 7 years ago

      I heard another version of that story, though the version I heard is usually called, "The Maniac on the Car-Roof". Basically...

      This teenage couple goes out for a date one night, and after a movie, the boy surprises her by driving into the nearby, secluded, currently-shutdown park. Onto the nature trail he goes, driuving her under a big tree to shield them in case any of their friends followed to make fun of them. The boy tries to go FAR, but the girl won't DO it, so the boy simply turns on the radio wondering what to do. A news bulletin about an escaped mental patient comes on, but the boy ignores it. Soon though, the girl asks him to start up the car, but when he tries, it seems the car is stalled. "No problem," he says, "I can just walk down the nature trail and find the mechanic who lives over across the street from the park. It'll only take a second, and I'll leave the keys with you, just so no one can get in." The second the boy mentioned takes hours, and the girl crawls into the backseat onto the floor where she can't be seen. She waits and waits. Soon, she falls asleep. Upon awaking, she sees a police car pulling up, and tries to get out of the car. A thumping on the roof of the car distracts her for a second, ad she forgets she locked the door. All of a sudden the policeman heading over to her PULLS OUT A GUN ON HER. He shoots, and the girl screams...

      Just to see a man in an orange jumpsuit fall off of the car wounded, and her boyfriend's head fall onto the windshield. The Maniac had killed and beheaded her boyfriend and then sat on the roof of the car banging the boy's head inches away from the girl inside the car!

    • profile image

      Lucas B 7 years ago

      P.S. I have a blog on which I talk about two urban legends, if you wanna check em out. (they're some of the first posts I did, so try to go down a long way before you give up searching).

    • mythbuster profile image

      mythbuster 7 years ago from Utopia, Oz, You Decide

      Lucas B - that is a GREAT version of the Dead Boyfriend urban legend! I love it... was almost biting my nails the whole time it took to read the text. I'll head over to your blog and check it out.

      Thanks, Lucas B., for contributing a truly creepy version of The Dead Boyfriend legend to this hub.

    • magnoliazz profile image

      magnoliazz 7 years ago from Wisconsin

      Excellent hub, well written.

      Once darkness falls, everything changes!

      You certainly are a wonderful storyteller!

    • mythbuster profile image

      mythbuster 7 years ago from Utopia, Oz, You Decide

      Thanks for the compliment, magnoliazz...would you do me a favour? Send me some requests on urban legends you'd like to see "told"?

      I hit upon "classics" already and have worked out the top ten and if people don't start requesting, I'm heading into "paranormal territory" to start writing...

    • profile image

      Cybcon 6 years ago

      These urban legends are great I love being scared $hitless at night and makes me run just that little bit faster when I'm jogging at night but my fav one by far is the clown statue

    • mythbuster profile image

      mythbuster 6 years ago from Utopia, Oz, You Decide

      Hey Cybcon, glad you like the urban legends. The clown statue legend freaks me out as well. Say - maybe you should start jogging during the daytime.

    • GmaGoldie profile image

      Kelly Kline Burnett 6 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      Wow - what a writer! And your brand is perfection! Kudos to your pen name, profile and profile photo and great writing skill. You are exceptional!

    • mythbuster profile image

      mythbuster 6 years ago from Utopia, Oz, You Decide

      Hello CmaGoldie, thanks for your nice comments. See how BIG my head is in my profile pic? lol From people like you "liking" my hubs... Pretty soon, only a close up of my eyelashes will be visible on my avatar if my head swells any further haha.

    • prey profile image

      prey 6 years ago from places you should hope we never meet

      OK don't care what you say, I'm off to now watch weekend at bernies so I can stop the mental vision that is no myth to ME


      and I 'm suppose to be scary


      bernies, oh crap dead dude there

      tell me this for sure is a myth? Please?

    • KenWu profile image

      KenWu 6 years ago from Malaysia

      I've heard this story before and based on your writing it was adapted into the place where I'm living here. I really thought that it was real and it happened in Malaysia! Now I know that it is a make up story.

    • mythbuster profile image

      mythbuster 6 years ago from Utopia, Oz, You Decide

      OH wow, KenWu - well it is possible that something similar has happened - I'd love to hear back from you if you can give me a few details on where to search for this "account" or story from any Malaysian sources.

    • KenWu profile image

      KenWu 6 years ago from Malaysia

      I actually read that on the internet but couldn't recall where. There were two versions with slight modifications:

      1 - the officer saw the creature eating her boyfriend on the roof of the car

      2 - the officer saw the body on the roof of the car like you mentioned.

      Both happened in two different spots, one was on the way to Genting and the other one happened in Raub, which coincidental two different places of the same state, Pahang.

    • mythbuster profile image

      mythbuster 6 years ago from Utopia, Oz, You Decide

      Hello KenWU - thanks so much for returning to follow up after I made a request. The points you mention that are modified seem pretty interesting. I wonder if the officer catching a creature still in the act of eating the boyfriend is a morph that shows the culture telling this story is very concerned with the body as a temple. ie: your modifications included, the creature is caught by a trusted authority (officer, protector of the people) while in the act of grossly abusing the boyfriend's body. Total taboo there.

      When I have a bit more time, I will return to this legend and looking around for reasons why this legend gets altered. Very interesting.

      Again, thanks for adding this information!

    • profile image

      LALA 6 years ago

      this really helped me, i am doing a project on urban ledgens for one of my classes, thank you :)

    • mythbuster profile image

      mythbuster 6 years ago from Utopia, Oz, You Decide

      Hi LALA, glad you could find something of use on this hub. Take care!


    • TheMonk profile image

      TheMonk 6 years ago from Brazil

      Love those stories. That´s a classic one! I was always fascinated by scary movies and stories since I was a little. Excellent writing, by the way! Voted up and bookmarked!

    • mythbuster profile image

      mythbuster 6 years ago from Utopia, Oz, You Decide

      Glad you enjoyed this hub, TheMonk! Drop me a note if you hear any different versions of urban legend!

    • profile image

      martellawintek 4 years ago

      hello tom if your still in need of them here is there web address

      and details , they have 20% discount now,just say I told you to ring him

    • profile image

      tanner 11 months ago

      what is the citation of this site?

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