Urban Legend: "I Am Teddy" Chain Letter

Scared man looking at computer

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There are many different kinds of chain letters, but all of them have the same basic purpose, namely to persuade readers to copy and share them with as many other people as possible. Some promise good luck, blessings, riches, or long life for passing them along. Others threaten misfortune, curses, poverty, or even death for not. In this case, the threat is murder at the hands of the eyeless, bloody ​ghost of a 7-year-old child. Judging by how frequently this chain letter has been copied and shared, the ploy is extraordinarily effective.​

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As posted on Facebook, Jan. 9, 2013:

Hi, I am Teddy. Once you read this you cannot get out. Finish reading this until it is done!

As I said, I am Teddy. I am 7 years old. I have no eyes and blood all over my face. I am dead. If you don't send this to at least 12 people I will come to your house at midnight and I'll hide under your bed. When you're asleep, I'll kill you.

Don't believe me?

Case 1: Patty Buckles Got this e-mail. She doesn't believe in chain letters. Well, Foolish Patty. She was sleeping when her TV started flickering on and off. Now she's not with us anymore. Ha ha patty, Ha ha! You don't want to be like Patty, do you?

Case 2: George M. Simon Hates chain mail, but he didn't want to die that night. He sent it to 4 people. Not good enough George. Now, George is in a coma, we don't know if he'll ever wake up. Ha ha George, Ha ha! Now, do you want to be like George?

Case 3: Valarie Tyler She got this letter. Another chain letter she thought. Only had 7 people to send to. Well, That night when she was having a shower she saw bloody Mary in the mirror. It was the BIGGEST fright of her life. Valarie is scarred for life.

Case 4: Derek Minse This is the final case I'll tell you about. Well, Derek was a smart person. He sent it to 12 people. Later that day, he found a $100.00 bill on the ground. He was premoted to head officer at his job and his girlfriend said yes to his purposal. Now, Katie and him are living happily ever after. The have 2 beautiful children.

Send this to at least 12 people or you'll face the consequences.

0 people- You will die tonight
1-6 people- you will be injured
7-11 people- you will get the biggest fright of your life
12 and over- you are safe and will have good fortune!

Do What Teddy Says!!!! Hurry, you must send to 12 people before midnight

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Analysis

Typically, there's some attempt made at a narrative, but not here. Teddy's self-description implies he met a violent, unpleasant death and intends to make others suffer as he did if he doesn't get his way. I think we can safely say this is a chain letter written by and for adolescents. To everyone else, it's purely a nuisance.