Title

“Old Dog Blue”

Student Collector

Josephine RiveraFollow

Date Collected

11-16-2018

Place item was collected

Kearns, UT

Informant

Jenny Charlesworth

Point of Discovery/Informant Bio

Jenny Charlesworth is my aunt on my mother’s side. She is my mother’s older sister and has been like a second mother to me over the years. She resides in Kearns, UT with her husband, Randy, and her daughter Camrey. Jenny works as a loan officer and is incredibly busy, but always seems to make time for her family. They all enjoy watching movies together, specifically of the horror genre.

Context

Jenny claims that my grandmother made this story up or it was based on a woman who lived in my grandmother’s neighborhood growing up, but after taking a folklore class and learning that this was a common tale that appears until a variety of titles, the whole claim feels invalid. During cousin sleepovers, our Aunt Jenny would tell us this story before bed after we’d beg her to tell about “Old Dog Blue,” just before we’d fall asleep. Of course, we wouldn’t. The story would change depending on the age of the cousins present, but the premise would stay the same. In this telling, Jenny recites the tale as if only the “older” cousins were present, so she doesn’t skip any graphic detail.

Text

I might forget parts of this because it’s been awhile, but there was this woman about yours and Camrey’s age home alone one rainy night, and while she’s in bed watching the news, she hears about a crazy man who’d escaped from prison. The news anchor tells everyone [voice slows] “He is very dangerous, lock all of your doors and windows and don’t walk outside alone.” So the woman is, of course, scared, but she knows that she locked all of her doors and windows and she’ll be just fine... And she has her dog, who she calls “old dog blue” to keep her safe. Can’t forget that… so she just tries to push the thought of the scary escaped convict from her mind and go to bed. So she goes to sleep… Then, she hears this “drip, drip, drip” noise getting louder and louder. She thinks it’s a leaky faucet, so she goes to sleep but before she does, she puts her hand next to her bed and lets Blue lick her hand to comfort her… A little time passes, and then same thing, the “drip, drip, drip.” The noise won’t stop, and she can’t sleep through the night, so she just lays there awake and lets Blue lick her hand. It’s the only thing that makes her feel safe. Finally it’s morning and she hasn’t slept the whole night. She grabs the remote and turns on the TV and the guy still hasn’t been found… so she gets out of bed to take a shower and what does she see? But Blue’s body is hanging by the shower faucet. The dripping noise was actually Old Dog Blue’s blood dripping on the tub. And do you know why she thought she was next to Old Dog Blue? [Her daughter Camrey and I answer: Because humans can lick too]. BECAUSE HUMANS CAN LICK TOO!!! [immitates a witches cackle].

Texture

Even though I’d heard this story a million times before, I still felt the anxiety that swept over my body when I was just a little girl and Jenny would tell this story in her district, raspy voice late at night. She even did the same, cheesy witches cackle hat she always does at the end of every scary story so it ends with a humorous tone. I could tell that she had told this story frequently because of the lack of pauses in her telling. She didn’t need to recall details because they were in the forefront of her memory. The interview took place in the living room of her home in Kearns where I’d spent so much of my weekends growing up, listening to scary stories and watching horror movies with the Charlesworth family. The interview was completely comfortable and took us back to years before when I’d listen to the story, wide-eyed and terrified with my other cousins just before we were told to go to sleep.

Course

ENGL 2210

Instructor

Lynne McNeill

Semester and year

Fall 2018

Theme

G7: Horror Stories

EAD Number

6.3.4.1

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