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Strange Man Kept Finding Me


It was mid-May of 1981. My father had died suddenly of a heart attack about two weeks prior. He died on the same day escrow closed on the first condo my husband and I had bought.

I was in a store in Mountain View on my lunch break, buying a few things for our new home, after recently returning to Northern California after staying with my mom in Pasadena for a couple of weeks after my dad's death. I remember I was walking down the aisle of the store with a plastic blue wastebasket in my hand, and feeling very sad and disoriented. I noticed a man walking towards me, tall, slender, possibly in his late 30s or early 40s, and he was smiling at me.

As I walked past him, he said, 'Excuse me. May I say that you are very beautiful?' I was flattered, of course, because I didn't look beautiful at all, just haggard and exhausted. I replied, 'Thank you. You made my day.' He said, 'Thank *you.*' And then he just kept walking. I didn't give it much more thought after that. Then a week or two later, I was on the other side of town, again on a lunch break. I was putting gas in my car. The gas station wasn't at street level, but further back with an incline leading up to it. I glanced down at the busy street, and noticed a car pull out of traffic rather quickly and park. A few moments later I heard, 'Excuse me.' And it was the same man. He added, 'May I say that you are beautiful?' I remember being tempted to say, 'You already hit me up with that one,' feeling irritated. But I just wearily said, 'Thank you.' And again he said, 'Thank *you.*' Then he walked back down the little hill, and got into the car I'd seen pull up down below, and pulled back into traffic. I never saw him again.

My initial irritation turned to complete puzzlement. There was no way he could have recognized me from behind at a gas pump, while he was in busy traffic. And even if he had, who or what was he? If he didn't recognize me, and was just a weirdo who randomly gave women compliments, how on earth did this coincidence happen? Mountain View, while not huge, is a good-sized city, and I was nowhere near the store where I had first seen him. And he was driving on a busy street this second time, and I wasn't at his eye level at all. Yet he methodically pulled over and walked purposefully up to me. And then returned to his car. It makes no sense to me. My sister told me years later, when I recounted this to her, that she thinks he had something to do with our Dad. Something like an angel, for want of a better word, sent to cheer me up in the moment. I just don't know. I will never know. But 36 years later, it still haunts me.

Thanks for reading this. If anyone has had a similar experience or any insights, I would really appreciate it.

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The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by yourghoststories.com. Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, VeronicaMarie, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will participate in the discussion and I need help with what I have experienced.

Melda (9 stories) (1137 posts)
2 years ago (2017-08-12)
VeronicaMarie - You might never know who this man was but I'll tell you something, a human stalker would scare me a whole lot more than a ghost one. The latter is easier to rid yourself of than a truly obsessed human 😨

Regards, Melda
VeronicaMarie (2 stories) (14 posts)
2 years ago (2017-08-12)
Radish54, thank you. I'm not sure why it still nags at me so many years later. I guess partly because I couldn't put him into any specific category, like an apparition (though that would have been even more disturbing!) or a stalker, and 'coincidence' just doesn't quite fit either. Hindsight being what it is, I wish now I would have asked him who he was.
radish54 (1 stories) (51 posts)
2 years ago (2017-08-10)
I tend to agree with your assessment that the second encounter has just a few too many impediments for it to be simple coincidence.
I also find it much more charming to assume there is a tie-in with some agency wishing to bolster you through your grieving. Odd but uplifting.
What a great story. Thank you for sharing it with us.
shelbyloree (5 stories) (285 posts)
2 years ago (2017-08-06)
I've had run ins with the same people in random places too, just running similar ways basically. On the same 'schedule' as it were.

This guy just sounds like he's a really bad pickup guy, not necessary harmful, just a one line nerd. Your annoyance with him was probably from hearing the same...exact...thing from him. AGAIN. 'Hi' would be enough, but maybe he just got twitter-pated or all a'fluster when he saw you. Your pheromones just confused him, lol! Hence the 'far away, dreamy' look.

I wouldn't worry about it, unless you're finding him in different towns clearly stalking you, like the previous poster's experience. Yikes!
VeronicaMarie (2 stories) (14 posts)
2 years ago (2017-08-06)
AugustaM, that is really odd. Much stranger than my experience, actually. If it weren't for the fact that your creeper was crass, I really would wonder if there was something paranormal about it. But still, what are the odds of him finding you a month later, several hundred miles away? This one gives me the chills!

Argette, thank you. I don't really know anything about men in black, but this guy just looked ordinary. Except for the faraway look in his eyes that seemed unusually serene.
AugustaM (5 stories) (891 posts)
2 years ago (2017-08-04)
I have had a few mild stalking experiences and... I have to say... This does not sound completely dissimilar to at least one of them. I was going through a rather rough time in my life and needed to get away for a bit. So I spent St. Patrick's weekend in Boston with a girlfriend from college. While we were watching the big parade, this creepy fellow started attempting to engage us in conversation... His topic selection always insidiously crass. Finally, a large redhead and his brother on our other side noticed our unease and brought us into their own jolly conversation for which I was very grateful. We all talked for an hour or so - during which times we all introduced ourselves and where we were from and I mentioned working at Colonial Williamsburg. All the while, Mr. Creep is still on our other side, he hasn't gone away. Suddenly, the big redhead reaches over my head, grabs Mr. Creep by his lapels and hurls him out into the street. Evidently, he had been taking pictures of my friend and me while we had been talking and the final straw was when Big Red saw him attempt to take a shot up my skirt. Mr. Creep scurried after that. Fast forward a month, I am back at work in costume at CW returning to site after my lunch break... When just as I am crossing the middle of the street, I hear my name called. I turn round to see Mr. Creep in the same hat, glasses and jacket he was wearing before. I got back on site and called security.

I didn't have much more of an interaction with Mr. Creep than you did with your much sweeter fellow but he still managed to find me in Virginia... After our initial encounter many hundred miles away in Boston. The paranormal option here is the much nicer one and I really really hope that's what it was and maybe my experiences have made me cynical- but I do think it is at least possible that this was a very mortal creeper.
Argette (guest)
2 years ago (2017-08-03)
VeronicaMarie, thank you for that uplifting account. I don't know much about the Man in Black, but as Limey suggests, It sounds plausible.

Welcome to YGS!
VeronicaMarie (2 stories) (14 posts)
2 years ago (2017-08-01)
Thank you, Limey and Anno_Domini...

Limey, he was dressed appropriately for the time, casually in jeans I think, but I can't remember if his clothing was exactly the same. He did say exactly the same words both times, and same intonation. And while he was completely flesh and blood, no blurriness or anything, there was a sort of 'other-worldly' look to his eyes. Not alien or anything like that; it's hard to describe. Almost 'knowing,' if that makes sense? And very serene.

Anno_Domini, I would have thought the same thing as you said, if it weren't for the second time (and if the second time I'd been in the same store as when I first saw him, which would have made me think he just hung out at the store randomly complimenting women).

It was just the weirdness of the second time that stuck with me, and the seeming impossibility of it being coincidence, because I basically couldn't have been in his sight when he purposefully pulled out of traffic. I also got some intuitive sense the second time that he realized it irritated me. Looking back, it seems weird to me that irritation was my first reaction and that the puzzlement came a few minutes later.
Limey (22 posts)
2 years ago (2017-08-01)
Hello Veronica Marie; An interesting story, and you have presented a very clear picture of the events.
A couple of questions; was the man dressed in the same way on each occasion, and was he dressed appropriately for the weather and as other men were dressed at the time? Did he use exactly the same words on each occasion, or almost exactly (as you state in your story)?
My feeling when I read your story and your own questions about the encounter that this was a classic Man-in-Black experience. I don't sense from the things that you say that there is a connection to the loss of your father. There may be, but it doesn't seem that way to me.
Anno_Domini (3 stories) (155 posts)
2 years ago (2017-08-01)
Hi VeronicaMarie if I understand correctly the 2nd time around he complimented you you were irritated, so perhaps it was not who you think it was. In all likelihood, he was a regular human that just appreciated the way you looked!

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