It’s Women in Horror month. As it’s been said many times, and as I stressed in my blog post yesterday, horror is not some abstract concept in movies and books. Our threats are real, as is our fear, though many tell us it’s imagined. Or in our heads.
(This is an old essay on Tor.com, but I loved it. I still have the hard copy I printed out. https://www.tor.com/2017/04/13/the-peril-of-being-disbelieved-horror-and-the-intuition-of-women/)
In the case of this remembered experience, the fear this individual experienced was real. I have heard this story told and retold for as long as I can remember. And I asked the individual if I could share their experience here. I transcribed it from this individual’s recollection of their memory of the events during a recent phone conversation, typed it up, and am now posting it here, with their permission. Given the content of their remembered experience, I am keeping this source anonymous.
I have transcribed it verbatim from the original telling to the best of my ability (using a pen and paper and then typing it). I recorded this passage using a pen and paper on February 1st. I made a typewritten copy of the passage today, February 2nd. I have not edited, rewritten, or altered the transcript text as pasted below in any way, except for introducing ellipses to represent breaks and/or shifts in thought, and using brackets to enclose information to clarify certain items in the narrative text passage.
“I’m coming out of Publix [a grocery store]…it was summer…I know what dress I had on…I still remember it…sleeveless dress, burlap-type fabric…I had long blond hair and I had it down because I’d just washed it…This guy, getting into his car…a yellow Volkswagen beetle, a Bug, getting to our cars, he said ‘Hi’ I said ‘Hi’ thinking it was probably a theatre person. Get into my car, he gets into his. I got…I turned onto Siesta Drive [in Sarasota, Florida], out of the parking lot I turned east, and he followed me, follows me out onto Siesta Drive, which made me feel uncomfortable. While we were side by side, I looked over, and he was staring at me. Scared me to death, the eyes were just scary, hate…It just unnerved me…strange eyes, really strange eyes. When it [Siesta Drive] narrowed down to one lane and I was going faster than he was, and he fell behind. I was ahead of him. I was so very uncomfortable with the man; at Webber, a very short lefthand turn lane; at the last minute I jumped into the lane and there was no traffic coming so I made my turn. He had traffic behind him and he couldn’t move over and as he passed me; the glare, and the hate in his eyes. When I got home I was nervous cause it was an open carport…I was scared, shaking…I calmed down, not seeing him on the street; he hadn’t followed me.
The next day, he’d gone into the sorority house and killed two women. I still did not connect the dots until he was arrested some time later. I believe they arrested him in Colorado, I think, and brought him back to Sarasota. At the time of the arrest, they took a picture of him and when his picture appeared in the paper, it was like an electroshock…I recognized the eyes–the glare, and the hate–and realized how close I came, I guess. I immediately recognized the eyes, and I knew it was him.”
I transcribed this interview faithfully, as is protocol, and to the best of my ability, and have not deliberately edited, rewritten, or changed the transcript of this remembered experience in any way.
This individual and I haven’t officially confirmed the actual picture that they saw in the paper, but I provided a couple of links that were close to what this person thinks they remember of the actual picture. I’ve also included a link to the Volkswagen beetle and a link to the Wikipedia article about Ted Bundy. I had actually tried to print it out for myself to read, and, a little spookily, the printer went haywire. I got an alert message I’d never seen before, and I could print everything out except the article on Ted Bundy. I even went on later and discovered one issue that I troubleshot (troubleshooted?) and fixed that, and the article still would not print out. But another document of the same type did without any problems. Creepy, and definitely gave me the chills late last night!