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The Man at the Crosswalk

Anonymous, CA, USA
April 2011

I’m going to warn the readers in advance that there is a large amount of tedious detail in this especially for such a brief encounter as it was. But it is just so fresh in my memory and I truly want to recount the terror I felt.

I live in a very quiet, peaceful suburb about 10 miles away from the city. It almost feels almost like a sleepy town nestled somewhere in Arkansas rather than an unincorporated community in a metro area of 3,000,000+, just miles from beaches and a bustling city. After 10PM there isn’t a noise or person to be found outside aside from the occasional teenager speeding down the streets followed by the shrill squeals of their brakes when they come across an unexpected stop sign or stray animal.

I’m a typical young adult in that I go out with friends almost every single weekend. It has become almost a ritual now. Drink, have fun, eat, make sure I am totally sobered up, and usually get on my way home at about 3AM. In the countless weekends of doing this I’ve never seen anything out of the ordinary when navigating my neighborhood so late at night. Well, up until recently.

Last night was the same old routine. I was approaching the final traffic light on my way home. It is a three-way stop and I turn right. But standing in the crosswalk on the other side of the street was a man. He was a few feet away from the curb. Just standing there partially in the street, staring straight ahead. I saw him from a distance and as I got closer to the intersection I kept expecting him to walk or move but he was still. He had no hair and was wearing dark pants and a black jacket. If I remember correctly his arms were at his sides as well. Not crossed or fiddling with a phone or anything as if he was waiting for something.

There was just something about him. I couldn’t stop looking. Not only was it highly unusual for somebody to be outside in my neighborhood at this hour just standing there but he gave me weird vibes.

I started to make my turn. As soon as I moved the steering wheel ever so slightly his head snapped to the left to look at me. But he wasn’t just looking at my car turning out of curiosity. He was looking at ME.

Not even a vague look at where the driver would be to see if he knew them. It was a direct gaze into my eyes. Every hair on the back of my neck and my arms immediately stood on end. There was something off about him. I couldn’t figure it out right then but soon after I realized that I saw no color or whites to his eyes. Only darkness with nothing behind them. He also had no eyebrows. He had no expression but at the same time looked disgruntled and mischievous. He had deep, exaggerated age lines on his forehead and cheeks that looked menacing, to say the least.

When one makes that turn they suddenly go uphill so it is always a very wide turn in order to stay in the lane. It takes all of four seconds. But it almost seemed as if time had slowed. Like when you brace yourself for an accident or other impending injury and that sudden rush of adrenaline seemingly makes everything go in slow motion. I tried to keep my eyes on the road but every time I did look over his head had turned even more to follow me and maintain his gaze. He was still peering directly into my eyes. As cliche as this sounds it really felt like he was staring into my soul and getting some sinister enjoyment from the uneasiness he was causing me. All I felt was wave after wave of dread and in a way I felt violated. It was overwhelming. It felt like one of those stylish horror movies when people pass demons or other evil spirits in slow motion.

When I had straightened out into the lane and he was behind me I looked up at my rear view mirror and to my surprise he hadn’t vanished. He was still standing there. Luckily he hadn’t turned completely around to continue watching me. He had gone back to staring straight ahead into the darkness of the empty lot in front of him. But my fear was still there. I suddenly felt very cold. I kept getting chills and shivers and every hair on my body was still sticking straight up as if somebody had rubbed a balloon all over me. Out of nowhere a rush of emotion came over me and I started to tear up and my hands started shaking. It was anger, sorrow, horror, helplessness, vulnerability, and empathy, all at once.

I got home without any problem.

Now, I had been drinking earlier in the night and I was admittedly pretty tired by that point. But I know what I saw was not some hallucination or living dream or figment of my imagination. I’ve already been told by a few friends that it was probably just some random dude and I know how it could sound that way. But sometimes you see something that you just know isn’t right or even of this world and I believe in my heart that I saw something paranormal and potentially evil.

On a semi-related note, a few months ago on another late night drive home, I was on the street I turned on when I saw somebody jogging on the side of the road. Normally that wouldn’t be out of the ordinary but at 3:30AM? When I passed him I looked in my rear view mirror and there was nobody in sight, even under the street light. At the time I brushed it off and thought "whatever, I’m tired, maybe he suddenly veered off into a yard or ducked behind a car for some reason" but looking back I realized there would’ve been no time for him to do that since I looked back just as soon as I passed him.

There is probably no connection but I thought it was worth a mention.

Anonymous, CA, USA
00:00 / 01:04
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