By Brian Bertoldo | November 1, 1999

Supposedly an urban legend, the “stalker guilt syndrome” occurs when two complete strangers end up walking in the same direction. The one following begins to like they are actual following or stalking the person ahead of them, feeling uncomfortable and guilty about doing so, when in reality they’re merely going towards the same place.
Set in New York City, a man ends up walking behind a woman after getting off at the same train stop. As he walks behind her, block after block, he has a whole inner dialogue going on about how he is heading towards the same place but fells strange about following this woman. At first he tries to cross the street, then stops to tie his shoe, but each time he ends up right behind her once more. He decides to tell her he’s just walking towards the same place but as he speeds up, she panics. What follows is a hilarious sequence of events where the man desperate to prove his innocence, actually takes on the appearance of being a stalker to the woman. Each time he tries to prove himself innocent it backfires, making him look progressively creepier and dangerous to the woman.
Each one of us at one time or another has fallen victim to this syndrome. It’s a fact of life, especially in urban areas. What this guy decides to do takes things to a whole new and neurotic level.

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