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The Licked Hand, known sometimes as The Doggy Lick,[1] is an urban legend popular among teenagers. Like all urban legends, The Licked Hand has several versions including a story told in Indiana.[2]

Contents

Plot

A young girl is left home alone with only her dog to protect her. On the news that night, they announced there was a serial killer on the loose in the local area. Before she goes to bed, she locks all the doors and tries to lock all the windows, but the one in the basement won't close. She decides to leave it open, but locks the basement door and goes to bed. Her dog takes its customary place under her bed.

In the deep of night she awakens to a dripping sound coming from the bathroom. The girl is too scared to go check so she reaches her hand under the bed. She feels a reassuring lick from her dog and falls back to sleep. She reawakens to the dripping sound, reaches her hand down to the dog where she feels the reassuring lick and falls back to sleep. Once more, she awakens to the dripping sound. She reaches her hand down and feels the lick of her dog.

Now curious about the dripping sound, she gets up and slowly walks towards the bathroom, the dripping sound getting louder as she approaches. She reaches the bathroom and turns on the light. She is greeted by a horrific sight; hanging from the shower nozzle is her dog with its throat slit open and its blood dripping into the bathtub.

Something on the bathroom mirror catches her eye; she turns around. Written on the wall in her dog's blood are the words "HUMANS CAN LICK TOO".

Alterations

  • In some versions, the woman is in her 20s while in others she is elderly. The dog is sometimes discovered skinned and in others, beheaded. The location of the dog's body is sometimes in the girl's closet, fridge, or behind her couch or even above the kitchen door.
  • The dripping sound always awakens the girl. This is always followed by the discovery the next morning that the dripping sound was not a leaky faucet but the dog's dripping blood.
  • In lighter versions, the dog is not killed but locked in the basement. In darker versions, the girl's parents are murdered or the girl herself is killed.
  • In other versions, the message in the mirror reads, 'NOT ONLY DOGS LICK HANDS.'
  • In other versions the girl has a roommate who is killed instead, and the dog is later found by the police hiding under the couch in the downstairs living room, dorm, or hallway.
  • Some variations of this tale involve the Jersey Devil, who also personalizes the phrase in blood on the mirror: "The Jersey Devil can lick hands too."
  • Other versions of the story include her going downstairs to call the police, and when they arrive she finds the dog dead, and the officer states the "Humans can lick too" phrase.
  • Yet another version omits the message on the mirror altogether.
  • Another version has the girl as a young child who often has nightmares. The girl's mother gets the dog for her and he licks her hand every night which stops the nightmare. One night she is woken by a nightmare but feels the lick and goes back to sleep only to wake up the next morning to find her mother and the dog dead with the message daubed on the wall.
  • Some versions of the story end with the girl looking out the window and seeing the murderer (who has quite a frightening face) who then yells "HUMANS CAN LICK TOO!" sometimes waving his fist, also in those versions some don't say whether the dog is killed or not.
  • In some versions of the story, the message reads "HUMANS CAN LICK TOO, MY DEAR" making the killer seem even more creepy.

Popular culture

  • This legend was featured in the film Campfire Tales.
  • In an episode of Showtime's series The L Word, Alice tells a version of the story with her friends as they sit around a campfire.
  • The episode, Bedsit from A Scare at Bedtime.
  • A variation of the story is featured in the film Urban Legends: Final Cut.
  • A version of the story is featured in Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.
  • The episode "Family Remains" of Supernatural features an alteration on this story in which a feral child licks the hand of a teenage girl who panics when she realizes that her dog is in the hallway. In this version she sees the dog alive and realizes it's not the pet licking her, although the dog is mutilated when the show's heroes attempt to help the family escape.
  • The legend is also used by Bloody Mary in the follow up to Urban Legends Final Cut, entitled Urban Legends: Bloody Mary, as a way to murder one of the high school boys that she sees as guilty for her death.

References

  1. ^ Brunvand, Jan Harold (2001). Encyclopedia of urban legends. ABC-CLIO. p. 240. ISBN 157607076X. http://books.google.com/books?id=H8Kk7bS66jMC&pg=PA6&dq=%22the+licked+hand%22#v=onepage&q=%22the%20licked%20hand%22&f=false.  
  2. ^ Ronald L. Baker (1982), Hoosier folk legends‎, p. 209  

Brunvand, Jan Harold. The Choking Doberman. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1984.








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