This is a myth about a creature that lurks the streets of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. A thing that can only be met during the dead of the night and at first can be confused for a streetlight or a tree – mostly due to how unusually long its limbs are. This creature is usually known as the Stick man. Don’t be fooled: despite having such a dull and uninspiring name this is unlike other myths or stories on the internet, this one is very much real. I have seen with it my very own eyes five years ago; this was long before anything about the creature had went around the internet.
Back when I was sixteen and was still attending school. I was one of the lucky ones, I was living right beside my best friend at the end of a cul-de-sac. He was so close, that we could communicate through our bedroom windows. Come one fall evening, I was at my desk doing homework when my phone rang. I looked up and could see my best friend, David, staring back at me motioning to pick up the phone.
When I answered the phone, I was immediately caught of guard by David telling me too look out the window into the front yard. In the front yard of our houses we each had two large oak trees. Splitting these large oak trees was the only streetlamp illuminating the cul-de-sac. David continued to yell at me through the phone, “Alex do you see it yet?”
Suddenly an unfamiliar shape caught my eye. Looking out the window every day since we moved in, I knew every inch down below. David and I have played in that stretch of yard our whole life. So, something new would not escape our gaze even with the only lights coming from my desk lamp and the streetlamp outside. David noticed him due to precisely the same reason.
The figure was easy to miss, it’s long limbs and extremely thin stature making him look almost like a pole. I looked at the tree next to it to get the reference. There was no mistake, the mysterious figure was almost 7 feet tall. I tell David that I see the figure, but I think that David is messing with me. Maybe it was one of our other friends, they all live in the same neighborhood.
Then I saw the figure move. David and I both gasp and our breaths are taken away. In my mind, it was most likely some weird installation and my mind was playing tricks on me. Could it be one of the Gettysburg ghosts that attract thousands of people in the summer months. No, my mind was telling me that it was something humanoid.
Despite how far away it was, it instantly became clear that it wasn’t a person. The figures movements were quick and fluent all at the same time. It wasn’t just a step; it was like its limbs simply transitioned from one state to another. Yet even from the distance, I caught on how its long frail legs were bending in too many places. After every movement, the figure froze and blended into a shadow, like a lamp post.
David says to me, “Alex I need to get a better look.” He opens his window and sticks his head out. With his phone in hand, I see him snap a photo on his MyFlip Tracfone. These were the only phones our parents would let us get until we were eighteen. David screams through the phone, “I got it! The kids at school won’t believe this tomorrow.” I stupidly, tell him to send it to me.
As David looks up at me in horror, the creature snaps into action. Its head snapped back to look at where commotion was coming from. Then, it started walking backward, toward my friend, its head turned at a 180-degree angle. The figures body never turned around as it was walking. The creature was getting taller with each step, its legs stretched out, and each step was longer than the last. It was picking up the pace, walking as fast as it was possible without breaking into a run. When it approached the wall, it grabbed it with its two hands and started crawling upwards, like some four-legged spider. It seemed like gravity didn’t bother it in the slightest. I could do nothing but stand there and watch in horror.
I could only see its shadows as it started quickly moving inside his room. I didn’t know what it was doing to him. To this day, nobody does. I only know that by the time it was finished my friend was gone. After witnessing this I ran to my parents’ room and immediately began sobbing. My friend’s body was never found, but I did find out that there were other people like me. I saw on the internet stories of people across the world who had witnessed this creature in: Tokyo, London, Paris, Los Angeles, and Beijing to just name a few. All of these stories seemed to call it by the same name, the Stick Man.
To this day, I mourn my best friend David. He was a great friend who was killed by his curiosity. I avoid walking by trees or lamp posts at night, and I never open my window at night.