Bandage Man

A bit of Oregon esoterica for everyone this Friday morning, and it’s a ghost story to boot: The Bandage Man of Cannon Beach.

The Bandage Man is a phantom of a man completely wrapped in bandages that haunts this small community. The bloody figure, who smells of rotting flesh, jumps into vehicles passing on a road outside of town, notably pickup trucks or open-topped cars, but also sedans, station wagons, and even sports cars. Sometimes the mummy breaks windows or leaves behind bits of bloody or foul-smelling bandages. One legend has it that he is the ghost of a dead logger cut to pieces in a sawmill accident.

The Bandage Man is sometimes said to eat dogs and may have murdered several people. He appears on the short approach road connecting US Highway 101 to Cannon Beach, between the town and where Highway 26 intersects with 101. The phantom always vanishes just before reaching town.

I first came across the story of Bandage Man in the book Ghosts, Critters & Sacred Places of Washington and Oregon, and it stood out because it’s not the typical “sounds and thumps in the night” type of ghost story that fills books like these.

Not surprisingly, there’s not much on the web about Bandage Man; digging around only reveals a handful of sites, with pretty much the same one or two paragraph description. However, I did find this post on the MysteryPlanet MSN Group that sheds light on the origin of the legend:

I was googling on the chance that I might find some mention somewhere of the Bandage Man. I have been aware of this story for over forty years. For I was a child in the community where it got it’s start. I knew some of the family of the kid that first encountered the Bandage Man. There is an old road, that for all the years I was growing up was known as “Bandage Man Road”. It was just an old section of Highway 101 that had been bypassed when a new section put in place, but it was still accessible and wasn’t very long-just a short loop off of the highway-the whole thing from end to end could be driven in maybe five minutes or so.

 

This loop of road was a popular place for local kids to go park and makeout.

 

That is where the story started. One night, two of the local kids were up there doing just what teenaged boys and girls do when they are parked on dark lonely roads. The boy had an old chevy pickup and his girl and he were sitting in the cab. All off a sudden they felt the truck sort of lean, like something was moving around in the bed of the truck. They turned to look out the rear window and there looking back was a bandaged face, with only some wierd looking eyes showing through eyeholes in the bandages. The bandaged figure started beating on the glass, and the top of the cab. The kid started his engine, got it gear and tore out of there-his girlfriend screaming in terror as the man in the back continued his pounding. Any of you who’ve been to Bandage Man road, or Cannon Beach, know how curvey the roads are and to drive them at highspeed is dangerous. On they went-after what seemed an eternity they made it to downtown Cannon Beach, where the boy’s family owned a service station that they lived next door to in green house. Once they got there, they looked in the back and the Bandaged figure was no where to be seen.

 

I first heard this story back in 1960-61. And it’s the original version. Some of the family of the kid still lives around here too, I know two of his brothers.

 

I have never heard of a repeat appearance by the Bandage Man.

I guess you’d better watch out if you’re driving around Cannon Beach, if you believe that sort of thing…

Houston’s glass public toilet

Updated, see below.

A while back, Jake posted about a public restroom in Switzerland that was made out of one-way glass. Well, apparently there’s one in Houston now; my friend Kerry sent me the pictures in email this morning.

Here’s what it looks like from the outside:

Exterior of Houston's glass public toilet

And, here’s the view from the inside:

Interior of Houston's glass public toilet

Man, that’s just wrong. I just couldn’t use it, no way.

Update: These are the photos from the original Switzerland toilet; looks like they’re being recycled again. So, take this all with a grain of salt. What’s funny is that I first heard of this (and then got the email) from people at work, and it’s making the rounds on other sites as well (a quick search on Google pulls them up), so there may be an actual Houston toilet; who knows.

New Urban Legend

We got an email this evening from a friend, one of those types of emails that has been forwarded something like 5 times or more, warning of a serial killer that lures women out of their houses by playing a recording of a crying baby. Something about the way it was written made me think “urban legend,” so I dug around a little bit on the Web.

It is an urban legend; the Snopes page debunking it is here. I think it’s the first time I’ve seen an urban legend so new that it’s practically gestating; interestingly, the text of the email we received has some slight variations on the one posted by Snopes. Urban legend evolution?

Here’s the full text of the one we were emailed, the only thing I edited out was the annoying >’s from all the forwarding:

***VERY IMPORTANT*PLEASE READ***

This is scary!

Someone just told me that her friend heard a crying baby on
her porch the night before last, and she called the police because it was late and she thought it was weird.

The police told her, “Whatever you do, DO NOT open the door.” The lady then said that it sounded like the baby had crawled near a window, and she was worried that it would crawl to the street and get run over.

The policeman said, “We already have a unit on the way,
whatever you do, DO NOT open the door.” He told her that they think a serial killer has a baby’s cry recorded and is using it to coax women out of their homes thinking that someone dropped off a baby.

He said they have not verified it, but! t have had several calls by women saying that they hear baby’s cries outside their doors when they’re home alone at night.

Please pass this on and DO NOT open the door for a crying
baby. This email should probably be taken seriously because the Crying Baby theory was mentioned on America’s Most Wanted this past Saturday when they profiled the serial killer in Louisiana.

PLEASE send this to friends and family.

Note the variations from the Snopes version; the most interesting addition to the one we received was the bit about America’s Most Wanted. Designed to give a bit more authenticity, perhaps?