The Licked Hand

The Licked Hand is an urban legend popular among teenagers. Like all urban legends, The Licked Hand has several versions.

The legend

A young girl is left home alone with only her dog (often a German shepherd or collie) to protect her. When night approaches, she locks all the doors and tries to lock all the windows, but one in the basement won't close.

She decides to leave it open, but locks the basement door and goes to bed. Her dog takes its customary place under her bed.

In the deep of night she awakens to a dripping sound coming from the bathroom. The girl is too scared to go check so she reaches her hand under the bed. She feels a reassuring lick from her dog and falls back to sleep. She reawakens to the dripping sound, reaches her hand down to the dog where she feels the reassuring lick and falls back to sleep. Once more, she awakens to the dripping sound. She reaches her hand down and feels the lick of her dog.

Now curious about the dripping sound, she gets up and slowly walks towards the bathroom, the dripping sound getting louder as she approaches. She reaches the bathroom and turns on the light. She is greeted by a horrific sight; hanging from the shower nozzle is her dog with its throat slit open and its blood dripping into the bathtub.

Something on the bathroom mirror catches her eye; she turns around. Written on the bathroom mirror in her dog's blood are the words "HUMANS CAN LICK TOO".


  • In some versions, the woman is in her 20s while in others she is elderly. The dog is sometimes discovered skinned and in others, beheaded. The location of the dog's body is sometimes in the girl's closet or in the fridge.
  • The dripping sound always awakens the girl. This is always followed by the discovery the next morning that the dripping sound was not a leaky faucet but the dog's dripping blood.
  • In lighter versions, the dog is not killed but locked in the basement. In darker versions, the girl's parents are murdered or the girl herself is killed.
  • In some versions the woman never leaves her room, but instead simply sees the dog sitting in the living room and is left not knowing who is licking her hand.
  • The "human licker" can change too, but it's often a crazy man, a murderer or a spirit.

Popular culture

  • This legend was featured in the film Campfire Tales.
  • SAC Productions filmed the story "The Licked Hand" Featured on YouTube
  • In an episode of Showtime's series The L Word, Alice tells a version of the story with her friends as they sit around a campfire.
  • The episode, Bedsit from A Scare at Bedtime.
  • A variation of the story is featured in the film Urban Legends: Bloody Mary.


Brunvand, Jan Harold. The Choking Doberman. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1984.

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