Bye-Bye Man

Winters are long and cold in the Midwest. The sun goes down early; and, there is not much to do, especially in a small town like Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. In the winter of 1990 three college students from a state university found themselves working there.

Elliott was interested in the paranormal and had just received a Ouija Board, that the previous owners believed was cursed. His friends James and Jennifer were intrigued by its history and agreed to join in trying to make the board talk.

If you are going to try to contact the spirits, you might as well create the proper atmosphere. That night the three of them turned off the lights, lit candles; and, put Mozart's Requiem on the stereo. Nothing happened until they were ready to quit. Jennifer and James got it to move while Elliot copied the results into a notebook.

Over the next few weeks they received many communications from what claimed to be a variety of spirits.

James and Jennifer swore they weren't in control of the Ouija Board, so Elliott blindfolded them and turned the Ouija Board several times but the messages kept coming. Whole notebooks were soon filled with seance-type communications.

Eventually, they noticed a pattern in what the spirits were saying. They often referred to someone they wouldn't name; and, when asked for details seemed to get frightened. When pressed for answers the planchette stopped moving.

Jennifer felt if something was TOO scary for ghosts, she didn't need to know about it! James' curiosity had been piqued and he wanted to continue while Elliott was the tiebreaker. Elliott was more interested than scared. After talking it over for awhile they resolved to try and learn what the board was so reluctant to discuss.

They told the spirits they would cease communications if the information about the unnamed presence was NOT produced. As soon as they announced this the planchette went dead. The only voice left was the one the one that called itself The Spirit of the Board.

It did not want to cooperate. It would only give up bits and pieces of information at a time and frequently begged them to stop. In the end, it told them more than they wanted to know about the Bye-Bye Man.

He was born in Louisiana sometime in the 1930s. He was blind since birth; and, was also an albino with abnormally pale skin and pink eyes. Unable to care for the baby, his parents put him in an orphanage in Algiers (a town south of New Orleans). He grew up in the institution but frequently ran away. With his unusual appearance he was quickly found and returned. When he reached adolescence, a nurse tried to stop him from escaping - her body was discovered ripped open by a pair of scissors. Despite an all-out manhunt, he vanished and nothing more was heard of him.

Eventually rumors began circulating about a blind albino seem riding freights through the South, a figure whose appearance usually coincided with the discovery of a mutilated corpse by the side of the tracks. Time passed and a legend sprang up among people who lived and worked along railways. Late at night, over cups of coffee, they would tell about the ghastly white figure glimpsed outside the light of hobo campfires or spotted through a haze of smoke in a switching yard. In his pale bony hand he carries an overstuffed duffel bag crammed with pieces cut from his victim's bodies.

No one KNOWS how he got this name; but, once they hear it most people can't get it out of their minds because he doesn't kill at random. Victims call to him.

He is drawn to anyone who thinks about him. Thoughts of him act like a psychic beacon that he uses to home in on his victims.

"Where is The Bye-Bye Man now?" asked Elliott.

The planchette spelled out C-H-I-C-A-G-O and added that The Bye-Bye Man was aware of them and moving closer.

That did it for Jennifer. She refused to continue and since they only got results when she took part in the experiment, it was over. The Ouija Board was put away for good and they tried to forget about him.

Time passed and no one was sleeping well. Bad dreams woke them at 3 a.m. (a time associated with death and the paranormal phenomena), but school and daily routines had their effect and the experience began to fade from memory. Elliott and Jennifer were visiting Wassau and James was living in Madison the night they called.

When James asked if Jenn and Elliott had tried visiting him the other night, it turned out they hadn't.

The night before, James was asleep in his apartment when a loud knock got him up. Groggy, James shuffled to the door and was about to open when his eyes feel on the clock. It was 3 a.m.

He stood silently, listening by the door when Jennifer's voice spoke to him from the hall to open the door so they could go out to breakfast. He backed away and lay on the floor. In the crack of light under the door he could see the shadow of feet. As he lay on the floor, the shadow eventually moved away.

"If this is a dream," he told himself, "I'll wake up in bed. If this is really happening, I will wake up on the floor."

Four hours later he woke up feeling very stiff after a night on the cold, hard floor.

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