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Horror/Scary: February 07, 2018 Issue [#8743]


 This week: I'll be watching you...
  Edited by: Arakun the Twisted Raccoon
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Quote for the week:

"Every breath you take
Every move you make
Every bond you break
Every step you take
I'll be watching you

Every single day
Every word you say
Every game you play
Every night you stay
I'll be watching you."

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The word "stalker" originally meant a person who tracked and hunted game animals. In the modern world, the word has also come to mean someone who watches or follows another person, often with malicious intent.

Stalkers are more frightening in many ways than vampires, werewolves, or other fictitious horror monsters because they are real. In some cases, the victim may not know he or she is being watched, while other stalkers are desperate to gain their victim's attention.

Stalkers may fixate on their victims for a variety of reasons. The victim might be someone the stalker knows or might be a complete stranger. The stalker might imagine a romantic relationship with someone they know only slightly, or even someone they have never met. Some stalkers might be angry at the victim for some real or imagined slight and stalk the victim to seek revenge.

Stalkers may stay out of sight, observing from the shadows, or they may make repeated attempts to contact their victims and get a reaction from them. Real life stalkers have sent letters, emails, text messages, phone calls, and have turned up at a victim's home or workplace. Some have gone to great lengths to find out information on their victims' private lives. The crazed fan who stalked and eventually attacked actress Teresa Saldana had hired a private detective to find out where she lived. In some cases, they have contacted the victim's friends and family in attempts to win the victim over through them.

A stalker might become obsessed with a celebrity or other public figure. Real life stalker John Hinckley Jr. became obsessed with actress Jodie Foster. Over a period of several months, he moved to the city where she attended college, wrote poems which he slipped under her door, and called her repeatedly. Eventually, he attempted to assassinate President Ronald Reagan in a final bid to gain her attention.

Even in cases where stalkers claim to love their victims, their instability can cause them to become violent. Actress Rebecca Schaeffer was murdered by an obsessed fan who became enraged when he saw a movie in which she appeared in bed with a male actor.

Cyberstalking is the stalking through computers and the internet. Cyberstalkers use email and social media to stalk and harass their victims. Millions of people use social media and online dating services and don't realize how much information about our lives is available online for anyone to see. When a victim "checks in" on Facebook or other social media sites, the stalker might show up in the same place, either to observe unnoticed or to try and approach the victim. The stalker might create multiple profiles, and may assume the identity of a friend or family member the victim trusts. If a stalker is tech savvy, he or she might be able to hack in to the victim's accounts or computer and view items the victim assumes are private.

Stalkers are dangerous because they often have two sides. They might be friendly and charming when they try to get close to the victim or gain information from family or friends, but turn hostile and violent when they don't get their way. A delusional stalker who believes he is actually in a relationship with the victim will be extremely dangerous if the victim doesn't react in a way he expects.

Something to try: Write a horror story that includes a stalker.

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