The Hand Towel is a scary story about an old woman who has a filthy old rag she uses to clean her house.
There was an old woman who ran a boarding house. She made a living by renting out the rooms to men who worked at a nearby chemical factory. Her house was run-down and dilapidated and the old woman was not very clean.
She kept a hand towel in the kitchen to mop up spills. She also used it to clean the house. The hand towel was covered in dirt, grease and grime. It was more like an old rag and it smelled disgusting.
One day, while she was dusting one of the rooms, the old lady accidentally dropped the filthy old hand towel. It fell down behind a radiator and got stuck. When she couldn’t reach it, the old lady simply left it there and forgot about it.
The man who rented the room was a lonely and cantankerous old fellow who had no family. The old house was cold and damp, so the man turned the radiator on full blast to keep warm.
One morning, the old man didn’t come down to breakfast. The old woman knocked on his door, but there was no answer. She used her keys to open the door, turned the knob and went in. What she discovered horrified her.
The old man was lying dead in his bed. His skin was cold and his face was blue. It looked like he had been smothered in his sleep. The police came, took a look at the dead body, asked a few questions and left. The corpse was taken down to the morgue.
The old man was a nobody, so no one cared that much whether he lived or died. The police decided that he had probably smothered accidentally in the blankets. They never even noticed the trail of slime that led across the pillow and onto his face.
A few days later, the old woman put a notice in the newspaper advertising a room for rent. Not long after that, she had a new tenant. He was a young man who was very nervous and smoked cigarettes constantly.
On the first night he spent in the room, the young man was laying in bed, smoking a cigarette. He thought he heard something shuffling about in the darkness, but he paid no attention it. Things were always making noises in old houses.
He reached over to stub his cigarette out in the ashtray, but his hand touched something damp and slimy. It felt like a wet cloth. Suddenly, the thing curled around his wrist. The young man gasped and pulled his
hand back, dropping his cigarette.
The thing around his wrist burst into flames. Before he could so much as scream, the thing flew off his hand and landed on his face, covering his nose and mouth.
The old woman was awakened by the sound of sirens outside. There were fire engines pulling up outside her house and she could smell smoke. When the fire was put out, most of the old house had been gutted. The young man’s charred corpse was found still lying in his bed. The fire department decided that the blaze was caused by the young man’s stupid and dangerous habit of smoking in bed.
The old woman had insurance, so she collected a large sum of money and bought a new house. She never wondered what happened to the filthy old hand towel she dropped down the back of the radiator.