Urban Legends

The Bandage Man Urban Legend

Urban Legends engage, entertain, and tell us things about ourselves we might prefer stay hidden. (photo)

Urban Legends possess a wealth of creepy and have intrigued generations of folks. We can find the earliest known examples of scary stories in ancient and classical literature. Like in Gilgamesh, 2100 BCE. Or Sir Thomas Mallory’s, 1469, Le Morte d’Arthur with a werewolf knight.

Furthermore, there is a Babylon clay tablet created 3,500 years ago that shows the first depiction of a ghost, perhaps, says top scholar in Middle Eastern inscriptions, Irving Finkel, and author of The First Ghosts: Most Ancient of Legacies.

Not exactly Urban Legends, but tales told to entertain and scare. Because…

“Life is so much more interesting with monsters in it.” —Mikel J. Koven, a folklorist at the University of Wales. 


My teen years differed from my son’s. In high school, our adolescent minds focused on thoughts about members of the opposite sex. Boy crazy. Girl crazy. These labels appropriately identify the generation of teens who inhabited Cleburne High School during my high school years. However, my son’s generation was more about having friends and doing fun things as a group rather than dating.

Friday nights, after a movie and a chocolate shake, often found teens from my era on a deserted road, in a parked car, with their girlfriend/ boyfriend. Making out, we called it. All teens did it back then.

And Urban Legends ran rampant. Especially the man with a hook who preyed on couples in parked cars on deserted roads. But I’d never heard about the Bandage Man.

The Story

Like the Hook, Bandage Man terrorizes motorists on lonely highways late at night. Especially teens. Unlike the Hook, the Bandage Man legend originated from the coastal town of Cannon Beach in Oregon.

Dirty, bloody, oozing bandages cover the entity, and he stinks of rotting flesh. Those who have encountered him say he walks with a strange gait, as if his arms and legs are not attached. But he is fast and able to jump into the beds of pickup trucks passing by.

Off Highway 101, an old road forms a loop that is the Bandage Man’s haunt. The remoteness of the road draws teens to hang out and/or make out. The first sighting of Bandage Man was over forty years old.

A couple making out in a Chevy truck felt the truck lean to one side. They turned to investigate and came face to face with the smelly creature. Two eyes piercing through dirty, bloody bandages. He beat on the back window and the top of the car, trying to get to the young lovers.

Unlike traditional horror movies, where the kids do something dumb like get out of the car to tell the dude to get lost, the young man started his truck and sped down the highway as fast as he could. When the couple came to a safe road, they turned to look, but Bandage Man had disappeared.


Sometimes Bandage Man leaves behind rotting bits of himself. (photo)

Sometimes the Bandage Man doesn’t make an appearance. Instead, he leaves behind bits of bloody, stinky scraps of bandages containing rotting pieces of himself. The legend claims the creature is a logger maimed in a sawmill accident. Maybe he fell head first (or feet first) into a wood chopper. Or someone threw him into a wood chopper. He is reported to be covered in bandages from head to toe.

A rockslide buried the ambulance carrying the bandaged man to the hospital. The untimely accident killed the driver, but the bandaged man disappeared. Some have reported seeing the creature eat dogs and bats. Perhaps this is how he survived the years after the ambulance accident.

Nevertheless, his body was never laid to rest because no one ever found it. Instead, he continues to haunt this lonely stretch of road, long since neglected, but not forgotten.

Imagining the Creepy

Staring back at you—creepy. (photo)

What creeps me out about Bandage Man is imagining being with that someone special, on a dark abandoned road, hearing something, and turning to see a monster staring back at you.

There are several YouTubes on the Bandage Man. I tried to find the least corny to share and came up with the one below for those readers who like visuals. And the visuals are good in this video, even though the narrators debate for far too long whether or not Bandage Man is a legend, a regional myth, or a serial killer. My vote is the Bandage Man definitely fits the tropes of an Urban Legend.

Clara Bush
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