A couple years ago, someone reported a particularly freaky encounter on Reddit’s LetsNotMeet board. Since then, similar encounters with “The Smiling Man” have been reported across the country, but we’ll give you the terrifying original.
The story goes that the poster was out late one night on a deserted Seattle street when he encountered a man “dancing” on the sidewalk. Thinking he was drunk, the guy stopped to let him pass, at which point he got a good look at his face.
According to the legend, the “dancing” man wasn’t drunk. Nor was he well. His eyes were wide open, wild, and unfocused, staring at the night sky. His face was split by a wide cartoon grin that looked almost painful. He looked utterly mad.
At this point, the narrator crossed the street, and then things got freaky. The Smiling Man began to watch him, following his movements while still grinning at the sky. When the poster turned his back, the man would vanish, suddenly reappearing on the other side of the street. When the poster watched him he’d just freeze, his insane smile unwavering.
At this point the poster decided not to take his eyes off him. Bad move: The Smiling Man came toward him, taking exaggerated, tiptoe steps, just like a cartoon. A cartoon that can move very, very fast. After a while he began to chase the poster, running after him at frightening speeds, that insane, wild grin still plastered on his empty face.
Eventually, the poster made it to a well-lit street and the story ends. But there is a twist. See, the LetsNotMeet forum isn’t a place for generating urban legends. It’s about telling your real-life encounters with real-life people.