If you’ve ever scanned the sub-Reddit “Lets Not Meet,” then you’re aware of the many close encounters people have had with danger and death. The stories are presented as real, but some are so terrifying and intense you would hope that they were made up. In one particular story, a woman comes face to face with a man who turns out to be a notorious South Korean serial killer.
That story, The Man in the Yellow Raincoat, is about a woman living in an apartment building in Seoul, Korea. One morning after returning from a day of errands with her daughter, she gets onto the apartment elevator. Unfortunately, she and her daughter aren’t alone, and standing beside them is a mysterious man wearing a yellow raincoat.
Decked out in a yellow cap and coat, the man was holding something wrapped in newspaper at his side. He kept his head down low, so the woman couldn’t get a good look at him. When she pressed the button to her floor she realized something—the man didn’t press anything. He remained silent, leaning against the wall.
The woman immediately felt uneasy. Fearing that the man may try to do something to her, the woman pretended to call her husband—who wasn’t actually home at the time. She told him she was on her way, and asked if he would open the door for her.
When the door to the elevator opened on her floor, the woman rushed off with her daughter. The man in the yellow raincoat followed her. The woman pretended her husband was home and shouted to him when she reached the door. The man in the yellow raincoat noticed, so he turned back around toward the elevator.
The woman thought she was safe—but she wasn’t. She had to enter a passcode to get into her apartment, and the keys made audible noises when you entered the numbers. The man in the yellow raincoat heard this, and realized no one was actually letting the woman into her apartment.
He started charging down the hall toward them.
Frantically, the woman opened her door and threw her daughter inside. She managed to get inside herself, just as the man in the yellow raincoat made it inches from her apartment. She slammed the door in his face and peered at him through her peephole. He was walking away.
A few months later the woman was watching the news and saw a familiar face. The coverage was about a man who had killed multiple people in the Seoul area. It was the man in the yellow raincoat.
The man in the yellow raincoat was Yoo Young-chul, a South Korean cannibal and serial killer. From 2003-2004, he murdered 21 people. At first he killed older, wealthy people by breaking into their homes during the day, and beating them to death with a hammer.
Young-chul’s killings progressed when he turned from older individuals to young female escorts. He would have sex with them and kill them immediately after. He often dismembered their bodies and disposed of them in the mountains, and in an area behind a sacred temple. He also claimed to have eaten the liver of some of his victims.
When Young-chul was finally apprehended by police he admitted to having a distain for wealthy people, and insisted the women he killed reminded him of an ex-girlfriend—a prostitute. Apparently, the girlfriend found out about Young-chul’s shady past and dumped him. So, he sought revenge on women who were just like her.
Seoul police chief Huh Joon-young explained that Young-chul became mentally unstable following the disintegration of his marriage while he was in prison in 2002. Before being captured for the murders, Young-chul served time in prison for rape and theft. He was released from jail the year before his murder spree started.
Prior to his eventual capture, Young-chul attempted to end his life by overdosing on sleeping pills. Thankfully, Young-chul would not escape his brutal crimes that easily. He was sentenced to death in 2004; however, executions have not taken place in the country since 1998.
Reddit user whalebaboon expands on their creepy post by offering some insight on why the killer was wearing a yellow raincoat that day. Rumor has it that Young-chul wore the yellow raincoat whenever he set out to kill someone. His weapon of choice was a hammer, and the raincoat prevented the shower of his victim’s blood from drenching his clothing.
While we’ll never know for sure if The Man in the Yellow Raincoat story truly happened, it will definitely change the way you look at someone in a yellow raincoat. And, it will make you want to take the stairs.