It's the movies that can plant an idea or an image in your head that you can't get rid of. Often times they'll create a legend right along with the image. Movies like Nightmare on Elm Street, Pumpkinhead, Nosferatu, Metropolis, Candyman, the Blair Witch Project, these have all created accompanying legends that scare you by daring yourself yourself to test the legend long after you've seen the films. Great Horror really, IMHO, has been absent from film for a while now in favor of gorrer or stupid teen movies. There hasn't been a movie that makes me afraid to go to sleep, or look into a mirror.
There's this true story, a genuinely true story, about the Goodbye Man. In the 1950s he was an orphan living in a halfway home. He had no family, and no prospects of adoption because of a condition known as albinism. He grew up angry and disenfranchised with people as a whole species, as you could expect from a poor orphaned albino child. One day in his early teens he set his own room on fire trying to fake his own death, and then he hopped a railroad car out of town. He was caught, and brought back to the halfway home, where he escaped again just days later. This time, he got away for a very long time indeed. Growing older and wiser while riding the rails, he worked as a traveling laborer, and became well known on the work circuit because of his skin color. But he also picked up an unusually astute interest in the occult and dark magic. He stopped in the libraries of the towns he worked in and borrowed many books on the subject, but he was never known for stealing a book. In fact, despite the rough up-bringing, he was known as a very decent fellow.
In the late 1960s when he was only in his 20's he abducted and ritualistically killed a boy. He saved the boy's organs, and dumped his body in a rail yard where he knew it would be found. To him, it was wrong to hide the body, because he didn't want the boy's parents to spend their lives worrying about where he was. If you ask me, it would have been better to never know. The Goodbye Man (so named because Goodbye cars were his favorite-sounding cars to ride) used the boy's dried and preserved organs to make a doll, a doll that he claimed allowed him to communicate with the spirit world. With his psychic link to the spirit world secure, he began to speak to devils. He did not regard these devils as actually evil, only as indifferent creatures who had wisdom he needed. Finally having a source for the knowledge he wanted, wisdom that simple library books could not provide, he sought to apply it.
He killed more children. He enlarged his doll with their organs. He was not afraid to tell other traveling laborers about his doll, or it's purpose, and that marked him as a freak among the rambling workers. Yet nobody knew what the doll was actually made of until after just before his death. Many people to this very day claim to have seen the dry-fruity looking doll themselves. But the police never found it.
Nobody knows exactly how many people the Goodbye Man killed. What we do know is that he killed at least four children, and two rail-hoping hobos before he was killed himself. There came a night when he asked the Old Timer (permanent resident of a Jungle) if he could sit at the Jungle Fire. The Old Timer was rightly afraid of the Goodbye Man, and this VooDoo doll that he spoke to when he was alone, so he said yes. There were two other Migrants boiling eggs over the fire, and they were not afraid of the spooky albino. They began to taunt the Goodbye Man. And I say that they began to taunt him because as soon as they had uttered a few insults, the Goodbye Man pulled out a knife and stabbed them both until they were dead. He stabbed them repeatedly and ruthlessly. The Old Timer witnessed the murders, but was too paralyzed with fear to intervene. His own declaration to the police was thought to be worthless, such was the amount of fear he felt. But that was later, and the murders are first.
After killing the two migrants by the Jungle Fire, the Goodbye Man performed a cutting ritual on their corpses. When he had finished he spoke some words over their corpses and turned to the Old Timer. The Goodbye Man spoke with him calmly and told him that he had to go to the police, to tell them what happened. He confessed to killing four children to satisfy Demons and to finish his doll, and he confessed to killing the two Migrants not because of their insults, but for his final ritual. He then asked for the Old Timer's diary book, and upon having it delivered he threw into the fire. As it burned, he told the Old Timer a very weird thing. He said "don't ever think about what happened tonight, and don't ever think about me, or I'll come and find you. My spell is complete and I don't have to hurt anyone again, I can just get on a Goodbye Car and ride the tracks forever. That's what I want. But if someone keeps thinking on me and what I've done then my soul will be bound to come and find them, at least, so long as my doll remains behind. Don't hold on to any thoughts of this anymore. Thoughts of me are the things that may bind me to you."
At this, he shoved off the Old Timer, who ran and ran until he reached the police station. What had happened would make no sense to a veteran police officer, and the story coming from a mad-with-fear Hobo only served to make the story less believable. The Old Timer rambled about a shape-shifting albino Demon in his Jungle! As a simple caution a junior police officer went with him to his Jungle. That's where they found the mutilated and unrecognizable drifters, but they didn't find the Goodbye Man.
They caught up with him in the night at another railroad stop in a simple sweep. He attempted to flee and was shot trying to swim across a river by some police on a railway bridge. His body was fished off of a rock the next morning, but his doll was never found. The Old Timer himself was considered mad with hysteria by the police, so his testimony wasn't used. He was set free and was found dead a few weeks later, tied to the top of a Goodbye rail car. The skin on his back had been flayed off, and his feet were terribly burned. The terrible story he told before he died stayed with the junior police officer however, and that is the version of the story that I tell you.