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The Tall Skinny Man


Before I begin I would like to exclaim just how addicting this can become, darn it. The more I think about it the more confused I get about it. I've tried FOR YEARS analyzing it, deconstructing it, putting it back together what I saw but I never seem to get any where. So I guess I'll write it down and leave it to you. Help a brother out.

This happened in my Grandmother's, now my Mother's, backyard. I was about 7 close to it. Mid 80's, and there I go aging myself. It was during the day and I was quite alone. My Grandmother, Mom, and brother had gone to GEMCO, now you really know this WAS a long time ago. The GEMCO, now it's a Target by the way, was LITERALLY at the end of the block. So me being left alone, especially at that time wasn't a big deal. So, I was by myself in the backyard. Now I was, maybe even still, an odd kid. I actually liked gardening, amongst other things that I'm sure confused and concerned my family, ha-ha. I was in the backyard watering our grapefruit tree seriously the best grapefruit. I was standing under it holding the water-hose and just watching the little depression around the trunk slowly fill up with water. I actually remember watching the black ants that had a trail up the tree trunk panic. It must have been like Noah's flood to them. Just as I'm seeing all this Dino, our Chow-Chow who was a great dog who I miss, started going ballistic barking, going crazy. He was to my left slightly behind me. I turned to look at him and I remember being confused because at first he seemed to be barking at me, which was odd because Dino and I were best buds. But then I noticed he was actually barking at something BEHIND me. I turn around water-hose still in hand and this is what I see.

Well first let me explain one important part of the story. Right under the grapefruit tree against the right rear part of the property was what we called the tool shed. It's still there actually. It was one of those little aluminum things, about 10 feet long by 8 feet wide about 5 feet tall at the ends sloping up to 6 feet tall at the center. You know the type. You use them for the lawn mower, Christmas and Halloween decorations and such. Now I'm taller than the ends of the tool shed but at that time I was not. Ok sorry back to the story.

I turned around facing the tool shed wall which was about a foot and a half away from me. Still confused as to what the hell he was barking at I remember turning back around to Dino and noticed that he was barking beyond and up from me. So I turned around, with the water-hose in still in my hand and looked up at the roof of the tool shed. There was this man, I remember he seemed so tall and really skinny standing at the end of the shed just staring at me, actually the best impression I could use would be glowering at me. Trust me it didn't emanate a good vibe. He stood really rigidly, tense. He had on all black clothes, form fitting. I remember being terrified and frozen. I just didn't know what to do. I remember so vividly thinking "Ok maybe if I look down nothing will happen and this will all go away." So I looked down, meanwhile the dog was going crazy through all this, and I just couldn't take the fear anymore. I dropped the water-hose and ran like crazy through the kitchen backdoor. I remember as I was running halfway through the backyard Dino stopped barking. I bolted through the kitchen backdoor slammed the door shut and cautiously looked through the kitchen door window curtains. There was nothing and nobody there just Dino still looking up by the grapefruit tree.

Now this is what makes it really strange. I will try to explain the best way I can. I know for a fact that you could not stand on that tool shed, especially a big tall man without caving it in. Since my Mom from time to time had us remove the accumulated leaves on the roof with little ladders I KNOW FOR A FACT that not only could it not support any major weight but anything be it a bird, or a branch, let alone a person would make a hell of a lot of racket on it as it was aluminum. It was just a cheap little tool shed.

So unless this man weighed less than a sparrow, it just wasn't possible. Even if he was there the whole time I was in the backyard, after I saw him (including Dino) he would have had to run down to the other end and jump the fence which would have if not caved in the whole thing make a whole lot of noise. All of which I did not hear. He just came and vanished out of thin air. All I did was sit in the living room and wait for my family to come; luckily it wasn't a long wait. I told my Mom about it, I just remember she seemed really alarmed and afterwards was really praising Dino.

Fast forward some years and I'm 19. I hadn't thought about that incident in a long time. I was with friends, we had gone out dancing and after the club we used to like to go over to the IHOP before going home. We had just left the IHOP and I was chatting it up with my friends as I took out my keys to get ready to get in my car. I was talking to my friends across the car roof, since we hadn't opened the doors. I remember glancing just beyond them and I saw him. He was across the small parking lot and a small street. This was what was strange. He was standing in the bushes. What I mean was he was IN the bush. Like if the bush wasn't there. I don't know how to explain. For instance, if you stand in a bush besides getting scratched up and poked you are going to break a lot of branches not to mention bend them all out of place. It was like he just came up straight out of it. Like the bush didn't matter. He had the same look, I recognized him instantly. Same stance, same clothes, same look. It was funny because I had the same reaction as I did the years before. I looked down, pretended I saw nothing, opened and unlocked all the car doors to let my friends in. All this was seen and done in seconds. Just as I was about to get in I glanced up and he was gone. I didn't say anything to anyone. Actually this is the first time I've talked about this EVER.

I've just always wondered who, what, and why. I haven't seen him since. I'm already 30. Is my tall skinny mean looking dark man due for a show? I certainly hope not!

I'm sorry if this ended up being a long read.

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The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, Erte4879, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

firebat96 (1 posts)
6 years ago (2015-04-03)
Hey, I have some inquiries about this tall man, I may be having a same problem with one of these spirits but It may be a bit more complicated than just me.

Firebat96 [at]
kathyxav (1 posts)
8 years ago (2014-03-05)
hey, Erte4879. So I just read your story and all the comments and i'm really curious to hear if you've had any encounters with the tall man since this post in 2009. It's 2014 so if he really was making a visit to you every 12 years he would've by now, so i'm just wondering!
Erte4879 (3 stories) (18 posts)
12 years ago (2009-12-09)
THANK YOU Oscars_girl! He's right, not to mention all Mexican grandmother's LOVE scaring the hell out of their grandkids with ghost stories for some reason. LOL. No doubt he probably knew some good stories. 😁
Oscars_girl (2 posts)
12 years ago (2009-12-08)
When you said that Mexico is probably crawling with spirits, that reminded me of something my ex-boyfriend once said to me. He was born and raised in Acapulco and he said that every house in Mexico is haunted. In fact he said that the house he lives in now (here in Minnesota) is haunted and it doesn't phase him one bit!

But back to the original story, I agree with EyesWideOpen. He probably isn't happy.
I also agree that he may not be human. He seems like an evil spirit. I'm sure it caused you some uneasiness to see him both times. And about my theory of him possibly being a slave, I figured it was kind of far fetched but it doesn't hurt to throw it out there. You never know! Unfortunately I've never had a paranormal experience so I don't have any stories of my own but I enjoy reading yours. 😁
Erte4879 (3 stories) (18 posts)
12 years ago (2009-12-07)
Thank you very much EyesWideOpen. I get from you very clearly that you read the story, thought about it and GENUINELY want to help me figure this out. Thank you, thank you thank you! I agree with you wholeheartedly on the importance of a persons spiritual state. I can tell you personally I'm happy with my relationship with the Universe. 😁 Faith and believing (and knowing deep down) in a world beyond this mortal one is very important to me, and I can tell to you too. We might diverge a little belief-wise but fundamentally we are all the same. God's creatures. Powerful stuff! Again THANK YOU for your comments. I'll keep one eye open ok. God bless. 😁
EyesWideOpen (63 posts)
12 years ago (2009-12-07)
I appreciate your attention to details that make it apparent that this "person" is obviously appearing in places where ordinary people can't appear without somehow affecting the space they occupy. I believe you are right about the tool shed. It should have collapsed. And the bush he appeared in should have been bowed out or bent under his weight.

Anyway, I've read about other people's accounts of their encounters with the "tall thin man." I get the impression that he is not human. Apparently he has been around for a very, very long time.

If he isn't smiling, he's probably not happy. If he isn't talking, he's probably not friendly. I'd say that taking into consideration his general countenance that he isn't serving God. If his presence evokes a sense of fear in you, then you should seriously consider the state of your spiritual life.

If you don't know how, or you are not confident about being able to rebuke him, then you should discuss this matter with a priest or minister. Spirit to spirit you need to be able to prevent yourself from becoming a victim.

I think that there are several accounts in the New Testament about Jesus dealing with unclean spirits. I recall one account about a priest and seven brothers who tried to exorcise a demon, using Jesus' name (not having their faith in Him) and they were severely beaten (physically) and sent running out of the house naked and bleeding.

As Christians we can place our faith in His authority, and saying "The Lord Jesus Christ rebuke you." This is just a simple example. Some spirits are stronger than others. Some will resist. Even Jesus made the observation that dealing with some spirits/demons will require some preparation on your part..., "fasting and prayer."

I believe the Holy Spirit is always at our side, but even God has some expectations from us..., He isn't going to do it all for us. He wants us to "grow up" in the spirit.

Jesus, and the apostle Paul were well known by name and reputation, and feared by these unclean spirits. How do they know who we are? That is simple. They are living here among us. Don't panic..., pray. Remember, place your faith in the authority of Jesus Christ. In the end, it is Jesus who will place us in positions of authority. Don't be a slacker. ❤
Erte4879 (3 stories) (18 posts)
12 years ago (2009-12-07)
Thanks Hobbyholly! 😁
Yeah, I'm not sure where THAT post was going. I'm not sure the poster knows where she was going too. Silly right! Last I heard this site was about GHOST STORIES not who someone sleeps with. It's all good. 😉
hobbyholly (11 stories) (572 posts)
12 years ago (2009-12-07)
Regardless of the OP's sexual orientation (I really find it ridiculous that was even brought up in a previous post) interesting story. Also I appreciate the details you are able to recall.
Emma2008 (4 stories) (110 posts)
12 years ago (2009-12-07)
I do appreciate you elaborating on the details of his clothes. I won't even comment on your interesting gift of fashion. You did say you were straight, right? I'm sure you did, anyway, hmmm... Now you have me thinking a little more now that I have your answers. I'm still thinking it could have something to do with your past life or future since you first saw him when you were an innocent little guy watering your grapefruit tree. Someone mentioned New Orleans, is that another story you posted? I'll have to look. Anyway, I'm not done thinking about this, so I'll write more later.
Erte4879 (3 stories) (18 posts)
12 years ago (2009-12-07)
Should I be graced by his presence again (I really hope not!) I'll try a different approach. Good advice.
Whoa! Never thought of that! A slave?! I have to be honest, that's hightly unlikely. However, an interesting theory! Taking into account that my family has only been in the good ole USA since 1922 AND the specific part of Mexico my family is from (and their presence in that area being documented since 1785) it's pretty much not a possibily (but who knows!). If anything us coming from that part of Mexico would incur with us a HELL of a lot of angry native Mesoamericas! The history of central Mexico and some personal family lore is pretty brutal and sad. The colonials were NOT good to the first people. But this country shares that trait too, unfortunately. I know a relative of ours in the 70's published a geneology book for the family, he interviewed the elders then, before they passed on. Some of them could recall stories THEIR elders told them when they were young of native americans being used like oxen. Pulling carts like draft animals under the whip. Sad, sad stuff.:0/
My specific experiences are not shared with anyone else in my family, that I know of. However that being said, they certainly have had their own paranormal experiences. Some in our home here, the majority in our home in Mexico. Now THAT'S a haunted house. Some part's of that house being very very old. But why stop at our house? When a country's history, like Mexico's, is dripping with blood, really, what do you expect. That land has got to be CRAWLING with spirits. I'll share some family stories soon. This is kind of fun. Thanks for the comments, I appreciate them. 😁 😕 😕
Oscars_girl (2 posts)
12 years ago (2009-12-06)
Did your ancestors ever own slaves? You say he's really skinny and really dark. The first thing that came to my mind is that he may be an angry slave that was owned by your family. Just a thought. Maybe he isn't attached to the house, since the house isn't old. Maybe he's attached to your family. Maybe you should ask other family members if they've seen him. You never know, they might also be afraid to tell anyone.
Cindy17 (guest)
12 years ago (2009-12-05)
This had got to be quite a frighting experience. From what I can possibly tell you is that is definitely trying to send you a message. He appeared to you when you younger and once again years later, this person is somewhat attached to you... Trying to send you a message of some sort. Though it is frighting and ones first instinct would be to make it go away, or surely to run away the best thing you can possibly do is try to approach him. Overcome your fear and try to get to the bottom things. You never know.

Good luck bud.
Erte4879 (3 stories) (18 posts)
12 years ago (2009-12-05)
I never thought of that actually. I didn't think there was a connection but that's really interesting! He was/is (or whatever) Black. Definitely on the darker end of the spectrum. Very dark. The first time when I was 7 he was pretty close to me, so I can tell you this with complete confidence. His face is freakin' burned into my memory. Man, posting this story ended up being a good idea. Has me wondering. Fascinating. Thanks! 😁
mrdeagle (6 stories) (69 posts)
12 years ago (2009-12-05)
Whoah you are dating yourself? Did you pay for dinner or did you stiff yourself with the bill? KIDDING. 😆
Scary story man. I have a question, when you say African descent do you mean black? Or light brown? Sorry I am always trying to work out the details. Sounds like a scary experience. I would have to say if the dude has only appeared to you and never tried to scare you in any other way I think you can rule out hostility. The angry look may be the emotions he carried from his previous life. If he died feeling this way it could be what keeps him around, visible to you. He might just be mad all the time now, not specifically directed at you. There is a part of me that wonders, however, if your experience in New Orleans is related to this unknown man. He might be there more than you think.
Do you have a tripod? A basic video camera? You might consider setting a camera up next to your bed and leaving the tape running while you sleep. You might be shocked in the morning. If you don't capture anything you could also try filming your mom's backyard or even trying to capture an EVP there. Maybe you will find out a little more about the reason he's following you.
Good luck.
Erte4879 (3 stories) (18 posts)
12 years ago (2009-12-05)
Ha! Well this guy has been evidently rocking that look since 1986 because that's when I first saw him! 😆 And there I go dating myself AGAIN! 😕
zzsgranny (18 stories) (3326 posts) mod
12 years ago (2009-12-04)
Sounds like "Gothic-skater-dude" clothes...No, really!...I've seen people dressed like that...So, in the future, if you meet or see or cross paths with anyone who looks in any way, shape or form closely resembling him, either be very respectful, or run for your life! 😆...
Erte4879 (3 stories) (18 posts)
12 years ago (2009-12-04)
Hey, Emma2008. I'll do my best. 😊 What I can for sure recall is that they were very form fitting, which is why I was able to note just how skinny and tall he was. He had on black pants, I want to say slacks, not jeans and a black shirt, more t-shirt style no buttons. But that's about it. They didn't hark back to any specific time or era though. If they did I'd be pretty good at figuring it out, since I'm a huge garment history buff. I can tell you the difference between early 1830's mens and women's dress and late 1830's mens and womens dress and am quite proud of it! Haha. 😁 I can do that with pretty much any historical era. He was just dressed pretty basic I'd say. No time hints.

Now as to his look, this is where it gets interesting. I have to admit, since it really freaked me out something inside of me (I guess I still think that if I don't look at it, talk about it, think about it IT NEVER HAPPENED) still makes me reluctant to go into too much detail. But I will, it's probably a good thing afterall. He is difinitely of African descent which pretty much rules him out being a relative (but hey you never know!) since me and my people are pretty much fair skinned green/hazel/light-browned/grey-blue eyed people from central Mexico (but you never know!). His hair is short. But long enough that you don't see his scalp. As to how he was looking at me this I remember well, unfortunately. It was just mean, mean mean MEAN. His brow was deeply furrowed. I remember that very distinctly. He also had a blatant scowl across his lower face. It wasn't anything pleasant. His eyes were intense, it almost felt like he was judging me or something, I can't quite explain it, just overall with cruelty. Also the way he stood was frightening, it was rigid, like someone who is just about to do something. God, you have me really thinking now. I'm not religious at all my view pretty much is that the universe recycles us (reincarnation) and now you have me thinking I've wronged this guy sometime in the past. I hope I haven't. Scary stuff! Interesting though. Beyond fascinating actually. Thanks for the interest in my story. You really have me thinking!

Hope I convered your questions, I tried to be as detailed as possible, forgive me if I wasn't. This was a long time ago.
Emma2008 (4 stories) (110 posts)
12 years ago (2009-12-04)
Can you elaborate on the clothes he was wearing? Were they old fashioned or modern? I was thinking more about your story (I had previously posted) and I thought that perhaps since you felt he was "glowering" at you that must mean that you upset/hurt him in some way at some point, in a past life or perhaps the future? Maybe I watch too many movies (ha ha ha) but keep an open mind. Perhaps these were premonitions and perhaps you'll run into him soon (at the 12 year mark) and perhaps he'll be real then. I still say you should look him in the eyes next time!
Erte4879 (3 stories) (18 posts)
12 years ago (2009-12-04)
Well let's see I saw him when I was around 7 and then at 19. So that's a space of 12 years. I'm 30, soon to be 31 in April. So he is due soon. I'll keep my eyes peeled but to tell the truth I'd rather not see him again, he was scary. Thanks everyone for the thoughts and advice! This is awesome. 😁
DARKNESS (3 stories) (2022 posts)
12 years ago (2009-12-04)
Hi Erte4879 thanks for sharing your story, I have to agree with what Emma2008 has mentioned that it is appearing to you for some reason, having appeared to you in a place other then your grandmas house basically would rule out that the man is connected to the land or the house. Has your mom or any other family members experienced anything like this before?

Thank you

Emma2008 (4 stories) (110 posts)
12 years ago (2009-12-04)
This story, although very strange, seems very sincere. This apparition is appearing to you for a reason. It is not tied to your grandmother's house, it is tied to you. I can't put my finger on it, but the skinny man is trying to send you some message by the way he is appearing to you, on the roof of the shed and in the middle of the bush. Both ways, very impossible for a normal person to accomplish. My advice to you is to keep your eyes peeled for him next time he appears. Obviously he won't hurt you, so try talking to him, see what he wants. Who knows if he's from the future, an alien, a dead relative.
Erte4879 (3 stories) (18 posts)
12 years ago (2009-12-03)
haha those were some gooood grapefruits! Hmm, I know the house is a typical southern california suburban home. I think it only goes back to 1956 or so. Before that I know that city was just orange orchards. Who knows, but yeah I don't need to see that guy again. I'm good with 2 visits. 😊
KimCan (1 stories) (19 posts)
12 years ago (2009-12-03)
Very freaky! It seems like, from the places that he chose to stand, he wanted to make it clear that he was supernatural. Probably to get a reaction out of you. That would scare the heck out of me, I'm glad you've only seen him twice and I hope you never have to see him again!
greeneyes02 (3 posts)
12 years ago (2009-12-03)
Perhaps this tall, skinny man does not like grapefruit, just kidding. That is indeed a chilling story and thanks for sharing. I know how easy sharing experiences like this IS NOT. Have you tried researching the property on which your mothers/grandmothers house was built? Its a start anyways. Hope this helps.

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