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Hairy-Armed Woman

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The Hairy-Armed Woman, sometimes known as the "Hairy-Armed Hitchhiker", is the subject of a popular urban legend. In the legend, a woman returns to her car in the parking lot of a large shopping mall, only to be approached by an elderly woman carrying a shopping bag. The older lady says that she has gotten lost, and asks if the other woman would mind giving her a lift to her car.

The woman agrees, but as the old lady puts her bag in the car, the shopper sees that the woman's arms are large and hairy. Suspicious, the shopper makes up some excuse to leave the car and head back to the mall. After she fetches a security guard and they return to the car, the older woman is gone, but her shopping bag is still there. Inside is some rope and a large knife or hatchet. The elderly lady had been a male killer in disguise.

In some variations of the story, the victim does not see the killer's arms, but only has a sense that something is wrong, saving her life. In other versions, the disguised man is replaced with an unassuming young gentleman carrying a briefcase. In still others, instead of asking for a ride, the killer offers to help change a flat tire on the victim's car, often replacing damage that he caused.

This myth even has variations dating back to before the Civil War, recording coach drivers who notice that an "old woman" concealing loaded pistols in her handbag is sporting beard stubble.

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