written by reddit user sweetmercy
A week or so before my 10th birthday, I walked to the corner store
with a $5 bill and picked up a jar of Ragu for my mom. On my way home, a
man I’d never seen before fell in step with me and began talking.
“Hi!” he said, cheerfully. “My name is Dr. Ramsey. I’m a pediatrician. Do you know what a pediatrician is?”
I walked along silently, not replying and fervently hoping he would
take that as a sign he should leave me alone. Subtleties were not his
strong suit, though, because he kept right on chattering.
“Are your parents looking for a pediatrician for you? Of course,
you’re almost a big girl now, you’ll be needing another kind of doctor
soon, won’t you? That’s okay though. They can still bring you to me
until then. What’s your name? You have beautiful hair. I was just on my
way to get some suckers for the candy jar in my office. Do you like
Thankfully, we were nearing my house, so I ran forward, up the back
steps and into through the kitchen door. I didn’t know it then, but that
was the beginning of a very long, very scary ordeal. It didn’t take
long after that for “Dr. Ramsey” to begin showing up. At first, it
seemed benign enough…at least to a kid. He would drive by nearly every
day, smiling and waving. I told my mom, who said maybe it was on his way
home from work. But then, the phone calls began.
My dad called me into the living room, and sat me down. He asked
about the day Dr. Ramsey followed me home, and if I talked to him. He
said I wasn’t in trouble, but that I needed to tell him the truth. I
told him no, and he asked if I was sure…could I be forgetting
something? I told him no again, and he frowned, then asked “Then how
does he know your name?” I didn’t know.
It turns out, that was not all he knew. He knew my sister’s name as
well. Pretty soon, neither my sister or I were allowed to answer the
phone. He called several times a day; at first, neither of us knew what
he was saying. Then, one night, one of my brothers told us that he was
telling my parents that he was going to hurt me (and later, my sister).
Things got complicated after that. My dad had called the police, but
as this was before there were any stalking laws, there was not a lot
they could do. They told my parents to call back if he “tried anything”.
My dad then called a friend of his from back in the day, who happened
to be a cop. For the next month, my dad’s friend escorted me to and from
school. Suddenly, life as I knew it came screeching to a halt. I
couldn’t walk to school alone, I couldn’t play outside, I couldn’t walk
to SuperAmerica (sort of like a 7-11 for those who don’t know).
When access to me was completely denied, things escalated. It was
around this time he began threatening my sister as well. Then one
afternoon my sister, two of my brothers, my mom and I were in the
kitchen. One of my brothers saw a glimpse of someone in the garage;
they’d seen him too. Dr. Ramsey came bolting out of the garage, my
brothers chasing after him. They ran all the way to Cherokee Park, where
he lost them in the trees. My parents called the police again, but
nothing came of it. The only information they had was a description and a
name that was almost certainly fake.
A couple weeks later, we woke to find our dog hanging from the side
porch. She was a gorgeous saddle-back German shepherd, born the same day
I was. We were all devastated. The cops said there was no evidence it
was him, and ruled it accidental, but none of us believed that.
His phone calls became more informative in the meantime. He would
talk about who was home, and who wasn’t. If my brother would say my dad
was home, he would tell him who was really in the house. He also would
talk about the house itself…about the window in the kitchen he could
easily open with a knife from the outside even when it was locked, and
about the french doors that connected the living room to the side porch
and how the lock could be finagled from the outside if you jiggled it
just right. That night, my dad put in some carpenter nails at the bottom
of the french doors until he could get a new lock ordered.
My parents had to go to a company event for my dad’s work. My older
brothers were at Saints West roller skating rink. My sister was on the
phone with her best friend. My little brother was on the floor asleep. I
was watching Devo on the Midnight Special with Wolfman Jack. It was
late. Suddenly, the top of the french doors swung inward, and in the few
miliseconds before the nails in the bottom caused them to snap back, I
could see his silhouette. My sister whipped the phone at the television,
and we ran up the stairs. About halfway up, we realized our little
brother was still asleep on the living room floor. As quietly as we
could, we slipped back down the stairs to get him. We all went into our
bedroom and didn’t turn on the light; this way we could see outside. We
watched out the window for a while, and when we didn’t find him, we
crept down the hall to our brothers’ room to look. We looked down and
could see someone standing at the backdoor. He knocked, loudly.
“What do you want?” my sister asked out the window. He stepped back
and said “Is this the Mercy residence? I have a pizza for delivery. Can
you come to the door?” She scoffed at him, declaring she was not stupid,
she could see he didn’t have a pizza, and she was calling the cops. He
A short while later, my brothers returned home. We told them what
happened and they walked around the yard, watching for him. They came
back in, and things settled down. By now we’d pretty much given up
calling the cops because it never helped, so we just went back in, each
of us (except my youngest brother, still asleep) carrying a knife from
the kitchen “just in case”. Eventually, one of my brothers went into the
kitchen to get a bowl of cereal as a snack.
You know that sensation you get when you can just feel someone
watching you? Yeah, he had that in spades. He kept looking around the
kitchen, through the doorway into the dining room, at the windows. He
didn’t see anything, but he could still feel eyes on him, so he went
closer to the door to try to see better. The kitchen lights were
reflecting on the windows of the door (it had 3 rows of 3 windows), so
he still couldn’t see. He stepped closer, then closer again, until he
was right up to the door, then cupped his hands on either side of his
head so he could see. There on the other side of the window pane was Dr.
Ramsey, smiling back at him. He turned to yell for my older brothers,
and when he looked back again, he was gone. They went out again to look
for him, but didn’t see him.
The next night we were at the table playing crazy 8’s, and my brother
was restless. My sister asked him what’s wrong, and he said he always
felt like any minute now there would be a ‘boom boom boom!’ on a door or
window. Almost immediately after he finished his sentence, “BOOM BOOM
BOOM!” on the window right behind him. In the chaos, the two eldest ran
out, but he was already gone.
A couple of weeks later, I was at school and we were outside on the
playground during recess. I was swinging upside down when I saw that
now-familiar blue Ford Galaxy cruising by, moving slowly. There he was,
smiling and waving. He called my name, and I ran to the teacher and told
her. The school had been told all about him, and she took me inside
right away and called my mom. That same day my mom had gotten a call
from the school office asking her to verify that my dad was picking me
up, as he’d called to say he was on his way. He wasn’t.
Not long after that, I woke up one night, thirsty. I went down to the
kitchen for a drink and there, sitting alone in the dark, was my dad.
On the table, a gun. He was tired of the the police waiting until Dr.
Ramsey “tried something”, he was tired of his children being terrorized,
he was tired of being afraid every time he left for work that something
would happen to us while he was gone. I sat with him for a time,
watching, before he sent me back to bed.
These events, and many more, took place over a period of around 18
months. Then, as suddenly as it began, it was over. He had vanished from
our lives; the phone calls, the drive-by with the creepy waves,
everything. For a long time, during and after the Dr. Ramsey days, I
would have a recurring nightmare in which I would wake up to find him
standing over me as I slept. It took a long time before I felt like a
I found out years later that when he was calling, Dr. Ramsey would
tell my parents that he was going to rape and kill me, and later my
sister…and that there was nothing they could do about it. I don’t know
what happened to him when he disappeared. I don’t know if he was in a
car wreck, locked in prison, in a coma…but sometimes I wonder if the
wait ended for my dad when he was sitting in the darkened kitchen one
night. I don’t know, and I’m not sure I want to.