My nineteen-year-old granddaughter had never heard this urban legend. She said it gave her chills.
Because Zombieland Rule #10 is an excellent idea for Generation Zs (1995–2009) and Generation Alphas (2010–2025) to follow, and because they may have never heard of the High Beam Killer, I thought it time to revisit this urban legend.
High Beam Urban Legend
Between her home and that next town, a pickup truck merges onto the highway from a rural dirt road. The driver keeps his distance for ten miles. Once far from towns or farms, he pulls up very close and begins flicking his high beams repeatedly.
Lucy speeds up. The truck speeds up. She slows down. He slows down. He bumps her car with his several times. She speeds up. But he’s still right on her tail. High beams continue to flick on and off.
Shaking. Terrified. Lucy doesn’t know what to do. If she sped up even more, she’d be way over the speed limit. But maybe a police officer would stop her and she could explain to him what was happening. It was 1964. Before cell phones or any other types of emergency devices.
Lucy had also heard of predators who impersonated police officers. She decides to maintain a safe speed until the next town. There she’d try to find a gas station. With lots of lights.
The Next Town
She pulls into a well-lite gas station in a town not even on her map. A town forgotten by progress. She parks near the entrance, jumps out of her car, and runs to the door only to find it locked with a sign in bold red letters that reads: CLOSED.
She releases a tiny scream. The truck door opens. A man steps out. “Miss. Miss. Please—” he yells. But now, there’s a crazed lady on the passenger side of her car, banging on the backdoor with her fists and sputtering nonsense. Mary leaps in her car, locks her door, and burns rubber to get away. Someplace safe she must find. She takes off. The trucker is tailgating her again. High beams going at her insanely.
At a stoplight, the crazed lady appears from nowhere and starts banging on the back door again. Trucker is out of his car yelling at her and walking toward her. Though the light is still red, Mary barrels through it. “I’ll show you, you son-of-a-bitch,” she murmurs.
She makes a dash for the door. The truck pulls up beside her. Door opens. Trucker runs for her. Confident she can find help here, she pushes her way to the front of the other customers. “Help me. Please help me. Call the police. This man is trying to kill me,” Mary screams at the cashier.
The cashier reaches for the phone.
“Kill you,” the trucker shrieks. “I’m trying to save you. There’s someone in your backseat. Every time I high beamed was to keep the person from stabbing you. They have a knife. Yes, do call the police. Now. Hurry. Before he gets away.”
Mary shivered and shank to her knees.
The trucker keeps his hand on the door. “Throw me your keys,” he says to the cashier. He locks the door, goes to Mary, and helps her to her feet. “Deep breaths, Miss. Please. Deep Breaths. You can trust me. I’m retired military. What’s your name?”
Mary manages a couple of deep breaths. “Mary,” she whispered.
“Good. Good, Mary. You are going to be okay.”
The police arrive and apprehend the backseat culprit—a serial killer suspected of killing at least ten young women traveling alone late at night.
Before Mary left her hometown, she’d stopped at a gas station to fill-up. When she went inside to buy a package of Juicy Fruit, the killer snug into her backseat.
Who was the crazed lady?
Turns out the trucker had lost his granddaughter to the serial killer two years prior. Her ghost was trying to warn Mary that the killer was in her backseat.
Zombieland Rule #10
Always check your backseat.
So grandparents, this might be one Urban Legend you want to share with your grandchildren.
I have chills. How about you?
(Story has been fictionalized, but an Urban Legend nonetheless.)