Skinned Tom is a scary urban legend from Tennessee about a young man named Tom who came to a grisly end. His ghost is said to haunt lovers’ lanes throughout the Southern United States.
“Have you seen the ghost of Skinned Tom?
Bloody red bones with the skin all gone.
Ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh.
Wouldn’t it be chilly with no skin on.”
In rural Tennessee, there lived a young man named Tom. He was handsome, witty, charming and athletic. What’s more, Tom had an eye for the ladies and few could resist his charms. Every girl in town eventually fell for Tom’s good looks, but he was never satisfied. As soon as he had romanced one girl, he would break up with her and move on to the next. Before long, Tom had dated almost every single girl in the area.
In search of more romance, Tom moved on to new pastures and began driving to the next town over, hoping to meet more girls. Soon, he came across a beautiful young lady named Eleanor. She had long blond hair, bright blue eyes and a curvaceous figure. Tom was smitten with Eleanor and they began dating. There was just one problem. Eleanor was already married.
But Tom didn’t let that deter him. In fact, he enjoyed the excitement of sneaking around and having an affair with a married woman. The pair would often meet, late at night, in the local Lover’s Lane and make out in Tom’s car. Tom and Eleanor made little effort to keep their fling a secret and before too long, the folks in town began to gossip. Eventually, her husband got wind of what was going on and was driven insane with jealousy. He vowed to get revenge on the two of them.
He told his wife he was going out of town for the weekend, then hid in the woods behind their house. As he’d guessed, that evening Tom showed up to take the lady out. The husband followed them to the nearby Lovers’ Lane.
Tom and Eleanor were locked in a passionate embrace when, all of a sudden, they heard the car door open. Standing there was Eleanor’s husband. His face was twisted in an evil grin and his hand was clutching a hunting knife.
Tom was scared out of his wits and began begging for his life. He swore up and down that he didn’t know Eleanor was married, but the husband didn’t believe him.
The wronged husband grabbed Tom by the ankles and dragged him out of the car, still bearing a sadistic grin upon his angry face.
“Please don’t kill me”, begged Tom.
“Oh no”, said the husband. “I’m not going to kill you. I have something far worse in mind.”
With that, the husband dragged Tom off into the darkness.
Cowering in the car, Eleanor couldn’t see what was happening, but she was forced to listen to Tom’s blood-curdling screams as they pierced the dark Tennessee night.
Finally, her husband emerged from the darkness, his clothes covered in blood. Without a word, he climbed into the car and drove to the local police station where he turned himself in.
The next morning, the police drove up to the crime scene and made a horrifying discovery. Hanging from the branches of a tree was a pile of human skin. They realized that the husband hadn’t killed Tom, he had skinned him. In fact, the jealous man had skinned Tom so deftly and carefully that Tom was still alive at the end of the ordeal. The husband had then draped Tom’s hide over a branch and left him for dead.
The police searched the area but Tom was nowhere to be seen and they could find no trace of the hunting knife either.
They say that Tom still lurks around the Lover’s Lane, waiting to catch a cheating couple and teach them the same lesson he learned that fateful night. Once a handsome young man, he is now just a bloody skeleton, stalking the little alleys and laneways with a big hunting knife clutched in his bony fingers. All of the teenagers in Tennessee are warned by their parents: “Don’t go to the Lover’s Lane if you don’t want to be Skinned Tom’s next victim!”