Urban Legend: The Friendly Stranger

Haunted Places


Today we examine a family of urban legend what's that dates back to the nineteenth century the friendly stranger and variation the Harry armed hitchhiker amp the fear strangers up to eleven offering a story about mistaken identity acting on instinct and the dangers of taking people at their word in the friendly stranger a woman charms her way into your car but as you drive along you realize something is off in the Harry armed hitchhiker variation. She's far hairier than she should be. It's a sign of deception of evil intentions and the vulnerable woman who finds the hitchhiker in her car is right to mistrust and fear them the of a false woman is a common trope in horror stories inspired by the eroneous belief that an evil man needs only to put on a dress and makeup in order to be seen as trustworthy while it has little basis in reality this boogeyman has even found its way into politics with many ascribing militias Tint to transgender women simply because of a trend in fiction but if we examined the deception of the person in the backseat without the specific except gender identity we get a far more nuanced take an examination of the Good Samaritan Pulse in an era where we rarely know our names always let alone the people we run into at the mall at the side of the road or more in our rideshare in its simplest elements the friendly streets sure is a story about a woman struggling to decide how nice a person she can be without risking her own safety does she help someone when they ask for it despite all the potential warning signs and does being a good person matter if you're dead me was convinced that black Friday was one of the circles of hell she hated the nonstop crowds the cross Genre Smith music and the energy that radiated the store as everyone struggled to finish their shopping and find the best possible deals on everything she wasn't even shopping for gifts this was a gift to herself she had waited months for designer chenille sweater to go on sale then she was ready to fight the ninth circle of hell to get it usually a trip like this would take ten minutes instead it had taken several hours to even get to the entrance of the store people hovered around the metal gate to the poor retail workers struggled to open it she could see the fear in their eyes and she for them me tried to hang back but the crowd surged around her when they saw someone who looked like a manager step towards the door it was a false alarm arm but they pushed forward anyway elbows came towards her face she did her best to duck away from them but one swung straight into her eye the person behind her pushed into her other started pushing from the sides the gate hadn't even opened yet as it started to rise people began to duck under the opening the rest of the crowd devolved into chaos mia was shoved from all sides she tried to keep her feet steady but her balanced never been great to begin with she fell into the person in front of her but two of them tumble to the ground MIA felt pressure on her feet then her back then her arms desperate shoppers were stepping right over her she tried to stand but someone's foot pushed down again she covered her head with her hands and prayed for it all to be over more feed pounded across her body she felt the gentle sure of someone trying to step on her head before they changed directions mia curled up into a ball shaking slowly but footsteps began to read indeed there was enough clearance for her stand up dark bruises for blooming hunter arms she was sure there were several matching ones on her legs and torso oh it hurt when she breathed mia staggered into the store like a Zombie praying that our beloved sweater wasn't sold out there was still one left in her size she looked left then right then plucked Iraq and healthy close to chest lost child she headed for the checkout the cashier smiled at her in sympathy they both agreed that the holidays brought out the worst in people mia paid for her sweater and headed out of the store into the chaos of the mall parking lot she stepped onto the sidewalk only to be nearly flattened via White Suv with the Rudolph the red nosed reindeer knows an Antler is affixed to it she threw herself backward nearly slipping on the black ice the parking lot this just was interior day but she had this winter and that's what mattered she took a deep breath and continue forward she wanted to be home with their cheesy made for TV Christmas movies like yesterday she passed several Honda fits she walked the rose but none of them belonged to her finally she spotted the familiar worn out presidential campaign sticker on the back bumper the card was already on me a check your pockets her keys were still there maybe someone else had the same sticker but there was it didn't the back that had come from backing up to close to her mother's planters it was her car head to be she approached I slowly ahead poked up over the rear seats panic started to set in she hadn't taken anyone to the store today way as MIA headed towards her car she got a better look at the person's bad short gray curls me tap on the back seat window in elderly woman stared up at her deep lines carved into her face she didn't look confused instead she looked at ease content happy to be in the back of a stranger's car me did her best to explain I mean why this wasn't where she was supposed to be but the woman who gave her name as Dolores politely refused to go she was just so tired let the car running but maybe she had

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