Sunday, February 24, 2013

"Thank you for not opening the lights."



It is normal for college students to live in a boarding house alone or with their friends or with a stranger for the sake of studying. Others live alone for work. Filipinos aren't used to live away from their parents and/or family, thus living without them is usually a sacrifice. So for foreign people, it is not normal because some of them are not family-oriented.

Anyway, another urban legend copied-and-pasted from abroad circulated in the Philippines. It was actually titled, Aren't you glad you didn't turn on the lights?



The Story



[Taken from Internet:[1]]

They were roommates. The other one was getting ready for a party while the other was getting ready to sleep. So the former closed the lights as he went out of the room. When he reached the parking area, he realized that he forgot his keys so he went back to get it. He didn't bother to open the lights anymore since he knows where it is and he does not want to disturb his sleeping roommate. After the party, while he was driving back to his dorm, he noticed that there was an ambulance following him and some police cars too. As soon as he entered the grounds of Ateneo, the ambulance was still tailing him. When he reached his dorm, there was a crowd surrounding his room. His roommate was murdered, his body dismembered and on the mirror was a note in blood "Thank you for not opening the lights".




About


According to the story, it happened in Ateneo. However, the story has a similar one in USA, and it was documented by Jan Harold Brunvand on his book The Vanishing Hitchhiker. He also gave it a title, The Roommate's Death. The legend actually dated 40 years ago (or probably more). Brunvand said in his book:
.... One consistent theme in these teenage horrors is that as the adolescent moves out from home into the larger world, the world's dangers may close in on him or her. Therefore, although the immediate purpose of these legends is to produce a good scare, they also serve to deliver a warning: Watch out! This could happen to you!



Versions


All versions have similar story line:
... someone is killed right under the nose of an unsuspecting female protagonist, but because the lights are out, or the crime takes place in another room, the victim's body isn't discovered until later, usually the next morning. As the story is sometimes told, the protagonist hears suspicious noises but is afraid to investigate because she thinks it could be an intruder coming after her.[2]


And here is one example of it:
As told by Jon Little:

I heard about a girl who went back to her dorm room late one night to get her books before heading to her boyfriend's room for the night. She entered but did not turn on the light, knowing that her roommate was sleeping. She stumbled around the room in the dark for several minutes, gathering books, clothes, toothbrush, etc. before finally leaving.

The next day, she came back to her room to find it surrounded by police. They asked if she lived there and she said yes. They took her into her room, and there, written in blood on the wall, were the words, "Aren't you glad you didn't turn on the light?" Her roommate was being murdered while she was getting her things.

(I've heard this several different times. Each time it was at a different university.)

 

[Brunvand, 1965:[3]]

These two girls in Corbin had stayed late over Christmas vacation. One of them had to wait for a later train, and the other wanted to go to a fraternity party given that night of vacation. The dorm assistant was in her room—sacked out. They waited and waited for the intercom, and then they heard this knocking and knocking outside in front of the dorm. So the girl thought it was her date and she went down. But she didn’t come back and she didn’t come back. So real late that night this other girl heard a scratching and gasping down the hall. She couldn’t lock the door, so she locked herself in the closet. In the morning she let herself out and her roommate had had her throat cut and if the other girl had opened the door earlier, she [the dead roommate] would have been saved.

Obviously, the story happened in Ateneo is a fake. Perhaps, the person who started to spread it just want something interesting that (s)he can share to his/her friends.

Have you watched the 1998 movie entitled Urban Legend. Watching it is much more illustrative than just reading it actually.

Last Updated: November 27, 2013

Sources:
[1]http://spoonlagoon.blogspot.com/2008/09/pinoy-urban-legends-10.html
[2]http://urbanlegends.about.com/od/horrors/a/turn_on_light.htm
[3]http://www.snopes.com/horrors/madmen/roommate.asp

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