This is a brief yet unsettling encounter that reminded me just how fucked up absolutely anyone out there could be. As a horror aficionado, I’ve become somewhat desensitized to the countless creepypastas or bad social media or deep web experiences, but this is real. It happened to me this morning.
I had recently come into possession of a new writing desk, and was no longer in need of my old one, despite it being in fairly good condition. I live in a small flat, so getting it gone as soon as possible was a priority space-wise. I decided to list it as ‘free’ in a local Facebook buy and sell groups, where I had made and dealt purchases in the past. Over time though, the group had become somewhat of a community notice board and it was not uncommon to encounter memes and people complaining about public transport, among other irrelevant posts and trolls.
Within minutes of uploading a picture I took from the website where I had originally purchased the desk, as my hallway where the desk was awkwardly placed was not ideal for good scale photos, I had received a comment.
“Hey, how much do you want for this?”, asked a user named Rory.
I was a little confused as I had stated in the post that it was free, but wasn’t too alarmed.
“It’s free, just want it gone”, I replied.
“Could you get a real picture? That one looks fake.”
A little annoyed, but understanding of the request, I went into the hallway to take a half-arsed picture of it. My cat had decided to sit on it so she featured in the photo, so I added the witty comment, “cat not included”, in hopes to convince this guy to take away my unwanted furniture.
“Can’t really tell from the pic. What kinda condition is it in?”.
I sighed. I had described the areas of small wear and tear in the original post. Before I could retort with sarcasm, my co-worker jumped in to save me.
“Dude it’s a free desk, take it or leave it lmao”.
Rory went on to accuse me of being rude to him, and wasting his time. What a useless troll, I thought, and ignored his further comments claiming I was harassing him.
I exited from the post with the hope that someone else would take interest in the desk. It had only been up for around ten minutes after all. As I was scrolling through the buy and sell group out of curiosity however, I saw that Rory had commented on another very recent post, where someone was selling a barbecue grill for $40. Despite the seller clearly stating that the gas bottle was not included, Rory commented, “does this come with the gas bottle?”. I watched the comments unfold, and once again Rory began to accuse the seller of being rude and harassing him, despite only giving the information Rory asked from in the first place, again.
I decided to search Rory’s name in the group, as his Facebook profile settings only allowed me to see his picture. To my confusion, I found about ten recent posts where he had commented questions which had already been answered in the OP, and proceeded to rile up the sellers by asking pointless questions and demanding cheaper prices and delivery for the items. He even commented on the post of someone offering an extra seat on a trip halfway down the country “can you pick me up at 3pm? I have an appointment that day”. Either this guy was a dedicated troll, or something was amiss.
I then saw the post made by a seller, let’s call him John, who was offering a free Lazy Boy. Obviously John had caught on to Rory’s tricks, so when Rory made his usual introduction comment, “how much do you want for this?”, John replied, “for you, $35”. I had a little chuckle and continued to read the comment thread.
“Would you drop off?”, asked Rory.
“No, but you can come and get it”.
“Where is pick up?”
“Here”, said John.
“What do you mean?”
“Under the bridge”.
John then posted a cheesy drawing of a troll under the bridge. I gave another internal laugh until I saw Rory had also responded with an image.
A man. Face down in a bathtub. His rib cage torn open and pulled through his back just like the blood eagle scene from Vikings. The thread ended there.
I reverse searched the image and discovered it was one of Jeffrey Dahmer’s infamous Polaroid pictures. I tried to report it and message the group admins, being the morally obligated citizen I am, and reported Rory’s profile. However, the gory image in still there, seven hours later. John had bumped his post a few hours later saying the couch was still going for free, but there has been no further activity on the thread. Rory however, still a member of the group and of Facebook, is continuing to ask unsuspecting sellers seemingly innocent yet infuriating questions on their posts. I am apprehensive that if they too wind Rory up enough, he will have more questionable images to post.
And for anyone curious, yes, someone did come to pick up my desk. I’m just glad it was a young girl around my own age who I ended up giving my address to, rather than Gory Rory.