Picture this: you're alone in your house at night, with only your two cats for company. As you approach your bed, you reach underneath it to look for one of your feline friends, but instead of being met by a soft fur coat, your fingers rub across something much more disturbing - human skin. You might recognize this tale as a popular urban legend, but I assure you: this is no mythical story - it's 100% true and it happened last week.
If you've ever partaken in a late night camp fire horror story session, or found yourself at the mercy of a particularly vindictive elder sibling, you may well have been told the story of 'The Licked Hand' before, also known as 'The Doggy Lick.' But for those who haven't heard this truly traumatizing tale, sit back, dim the lights and indulge me for a brief moment (or if you know it already, skip to the next section)...
The Legend Of The Licked Hand
A young woman is alone in her house, accompanied only by her dog. Voices on the radio talk of a deranged mental patient currently on the loose, before moving on to the topic of tomorrow's weather. Just to be safe, she double locks her front door and makes sure all the windows are sealed.
Her dog follows her to her room, taking up its usual sleeping spot underneath the bed. At 3AM the woman jolts awake, sure that she can hear a faint dripping noise coming from inside the house. Too terrified to get out of bed and check, she dangles her hand off the edge and feels the comforting canine tongue licking her hand. She lies awake for some time listening to the dripping, every now and again putting her hand back down for reassurance that her dog is still there, each time receiving a warming lick in return. Eventually, she drifts back into a deep sleep.
The next morning, the woman goes into the bathroom to find the shower wall covered in blood. A scrawled crimson message reads 'HUMANS CAN LICK TOO,' right next to her skinned dog which hangs limp from the shower head, its insides still dripping into the bathtub.
Pretty horrifying, huh? But it's just an urban legend, right? Wrong.
Stranger Than Fiction
Call me old fashioned, but I'm a big proponent of creepy urban legends that remain just that: a fictional tale designed to frighten the bejeezus out of you, not a bone-chilling true story. But sometimes real life itself can be even stranger than fiction, as this recent CBS News report proves:
A stranger was knocking on residents' doors, drawing the suspicion of a neighbor who phoned the police. The neighbor watched the man walk toward the rear of a residence, according to the report.
Inside that home, a woman was searching for her two cats.
As the woman reached under her bed, she "felt she had touched human skin," an officer wrote in the report. "The suspect was hiding under her bed."
Just imagine that! Reaching for Mr. Whiskers and instead finding a home invader lurking in the shadows - I'm getting shivers just thinking about it...
Brought To Justice
The man under the bed was Christian Vatovec, 25, of Lake Worth. He had stolen a gold ankle bracelet and a digital camera, before being discovered. When caught under the bed, Vatovec sprinted away from the home and hopped the fence, but was apprehended shortly after by Palm Beach police.
Vatovec faces burglary, grand theft and resisting arrest charges, currently awaiting trial at Palm Beach County Jail, where he's being kept in lieu of a $53,000 bail.
Fortunately, the woman who discovered him was unharmed (apart from receiving the shock of her life), though no word is out on the status of her cats.
So, next time you hear a super creepy urban legend, don't just dismiss it as pure fantasy - it could very well happen to you! Oh, and be sure to check under your bed tonight...