The Horrors of the Alley
“Do you wanna walk down the spooky alleyway?” My mom chuckled with a daring smile as we just finished watching a movie on the Strand in downtown Galveston. As we turned the corner to feel the thrill of darkness, I started to feel more than the breeze kissing the goosebumps on my skin. I caught myself looking back to see who’s watching me in the shadows, and I was searching for who might be hiding near the fire escape, or the gutters, or just behind the street light staring a hole into the back of my head. Alleyways are a location where my nightmares brainstorm their scariest ideas over dinner together. Alleys scare me because of the crime that occurs in alleyways.
I took a deep breath when we finally got to the end of the alley. I thought of the countless occasions people have been robbed, stabbed, and murdered in alleyways like the one I just walked through. Years later, it would make itself known to me in front of my eyes. In the summer of 2022, a group of people from all over met for a local event called Ghost Tours. It’s an educational event to learn about the history of Galveston, and potential haunting of the island. As this group was walking to several buildings in the downtown area, a man was following the group in his car. When the tour guide went to confront him, the man threatened to shoot him. The group started to get nervous, so the tour guide asked everyone to walk to another location, away from this aggressive man. The tour took a turn in the alley behind a house they were at moments before, and the man was seen outside of his car threatening to shoot everyone who was there. The crowd started running, and within this crowd was my mother and I, running for what felt like our last moments. “I thought I was going to die tonight.” My mom said, recalling the story to my sister. Luckily, this man was arrested as soon as the police arrived. Thankfully, no one was injured.
As much as I said I fear alleys, one did potentially save lives that night. It offered a shortcut to escape this man and his yelling, and for that I am grateful, as I am sure others from that night are too. Alleys scare me because of the potential dangers that could happen, but if it hadn’t been for that alley that night, I would have never witnessed him waving his arm up, like he had a gun in his hand. We wouldn’t have started running.