They Hurt Her (The Death of David Gregory)

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The Death of David Gregory

The Death of David Gregory
Netlore Archive: Chain letter circulating via social media claims 16-year-old David Gregory was found dead in a sewer after reading the message without reposting it. Did Carmen Winstead do it?. Viral text

Description: Chain letter / Ghost story / Internet hoax
Circulating since: 2006
Status: False

Analysis: Not to be confused with the still-living TV journalist of the same name, the David Gregory of Internet fame is a fictional character who allegedly died at the hands of a vengeful ghost named Carmen Winstead.

Winstead herself supposedly died after being pushed down a sewer drain by a gang of bullies from her school and suffering a broken neck. According to an online chain letter circulating since 2006, Winstead returned from the dead to take revenge on her tormentors, killing them one by one before turning her murderous attention to those who failed to share the story of how she died. The hapless David Gregory was one of them.

16-year-old David Gregory read this post and didn't repost it," an addendum to the chain letter claims. "He said good night to his mom and went to sleep, but five hours later, his mom woke up in the middle of the night from a loud noise and David was gone. A few hours later, the police found him in the sewer, with a broken neck and the skin on his face peeled off.

Why, exactly, his skin was peeled off is never explained.

Carmen Winstead is a classic ghost story chain letter (see below for more specimens). It's also an example of creepypasta, an Internet phenomenon consisting of brief horror stories, videos, and creepy images shared online and via social media. Creepypasta is a subcategory of copypasta (as in "copy and paste"). In the case of the David Gregory story, a fragment snipped from a larger text (the Winstead chain letter) has taken on a life of its own thanks to social media.

There is no reason to believe, of course, that the story of Carmen Winstead is true, in whole or in part, nor that a teenager named David Gregory (or any other human being in the real world, for that matter) has had his neck broken and skin peeled off as punishment for failing to repost a chain letter. It's just a ghost story, the only real point of which is to scare you enough to get you to pass it along to someone else.