Twenty Two

A repost. I’m hoping to get into the swing for Ghost Month but that may turn into August.

What is about July 4th that says ‘you should watch the Twilight Zone’? I don’t know but I’m rolling with it.

Whether or not this is an urban legend may depend on how you define that term. I like both as a ghost story and as an urban legend.

The story goes that a woman is in need of rest. In some variations she has a physical illness, in others, she has mental concerns that need to be addressed. In either case, she is told by her physican that she needs to be as quiet as possible for as long as possible.

The woman, through either friends or family, finds a place where she can stay and heal. The place is either a rather old hospital, a private residence or the like, but it always is a fairly large residence. She is given a fairly private room.

The first night she is there, she has a vision in which someone, generally dressed in fairly harsh or stark clothing (like a night nurse or an undertaker) walks past her room intoning, ‘there’s room for one more!’. In some versions she sees this vision at an elevator, or sees the person pushing or driving a cart. If the story is old enough, it’s a horse drawn carriage.

Regardless, the woman is startled but is told that she must have been dreaming. However, the ‘dream’ keeps continuing for several nights. The woman becomes understandably frightened, to the point where she demands to be transferred to another location.

She needs her doctor’s signature to do this, and as she’s leaving the hospital with the signature, someone holds the elevator for her, saying ‘oh, it’s okay, there’s room for one more.’

She almost takes the elevator, and then says ‘actually I would rather take the stairs’, remembering the strange dreams.

The elevator made it down halfway and then malfunctioned. The car fell, and everyone inside was killed.

—-

I first became familiar with this story through an episode of the Twilight Zone, but it’s existed in print since at least 1906. The story was first published under the name The Bus-Conductor. In that story, the main character is male, it’s a hearse he keeps seeing, and he avoids boarding a bus at the right moment to avoid death.

One More

Twenty-Two

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