Courses for Kids
Free study material
Offline Centres
Store Icon

High Beams Story: A Short Story for Kids

share icon
share icon

A Brief Overview of High Beams Story

High Beams is a horror story from the collection “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.” It is based on the "Killer in the backseat" urban legend, a well-known car-crime urban legend that is most popular in the United States and the United Kingdom.

The story describes a woman driving while being followed by a car or truck. The unknown pursuer follows her, shines his high beams at her, and occasionally even hits her car. So, let us read the story and find out what happened.

Versions of the High Beams Story

There are a lot of versions that are published based on the High Beams Story. Other than the main story, that is, a woman being chased by a truck that kept on flashing its high beams at the woman’s car, there are some minor changes in the other versions.

In some instances, the woman pulls over for gas, and the gas station attendant invites her inside to resolve a credit card issue. He queries her about the presence of a male in her back seat within the station.

In a different version of the High Beams Story, a madman appears out of nowhere, yells nonsense, and slams their hands on the vehicle as soon as the woman gets into her car. The woman manages to flee from them in a hurry. Still, no matter how far she travels or in which direction she turns, every time she rests, the same insane person attacks the automobile.

The woman then makes her way to a police station. She is calmed down and offered a ride home by the cops. However, as they take her back to the car to get her belongings, they discover the murderer lying behind the driver's seat. It turned out that the madman chasing the woman was actually the spirit of one of the killer's victims, who were either trying to warn the woman or attack the killer.

A Woman Screaming at a Car Reflecting the High Beam

A Woman Screaming at a Car Reflecting the High Beam

The High Beams Story

Betty was a high school senior student. One evening, when she was returning home, a red pickup truck followed her out of the parking lot as she backed away from the school.

She noticed the truck was still in her rearview mirror a while later. In her mirror, she started observing the truck. The truck driver adjusted his speed in response to her change in speed. He followed her when she passed an automobile. Then he activated his high beams, throwing them at her car. They were on for nearly a minute. After some time, she started to feel nervous. She typically took the side route home. But the truck followed her onto that road as well.

She figured, "I need to get away from him," and sped up her car. He then reactivated his high beams. He disconnected them after a short while. He then turned them back on and off. The truck driver followed closely behind her as she went even faster. He then reactivated his high beams. Her automobile was ablaze with light once more. "What's he up to? "she questioned. The man then turned off his high beams. But a minute later, he got them on again and left them on.

Finally, Betty entered her driveway, and the truck arrived immediately behind her. From the automobile, she leaped home. "Make a police call!" she yelled at her dad. Out in the driveway, she noticed the truck's driver. He was holding a gun. He indicated to the girl’s car as the cops attempted to apprehend him when they arrived. He pointed to the backseat of the car.

A Woman Driving a Car While a Killer is in the Backseat with a Weapon

A Woman Driving a Car While a Killer is in the Backseat with a Weapon

When the cops looked into the backseat of the car, they noticed that behind the driver's seat was a man holding a knife. According to the truck driver, the killer entered Betty’s car sometime before she left the school. Although the driver could see everything happening, he did not have enough time to stop the killer. Thoughts of calling the police also came to his mind, but he feared the killer might kill Betty by that time. So he drove after her car.

The truck's driver turned on his high beams as a symbol to warn Betty. And each time the man in the back seat tried to raise his knife to kill her, and he sank out of fear that someone might see him because of the strong lights.

Moral of the Story

There are actually two morals for the story.

Always be aware of your surroundings. As seen in the story, Betty should have checked her car before entering.

Help can come from unknown people. Thanks to the truck driver Betty was saved from the ruthless killer who hid in her backseat. Had the driver not noticed the killer getting into the car, it would have been a very brutal death for Betty.


The High Beams story is a folk horror story from the late 1960s in England and the UK.  The story describes a crazy incident of a woman’s car being followed by another vehicle. The car behind kept using a high beam symbol to keep the woman from getting attacked by a deadly killer who was hiding in the backseat of the woman’s car. Through this article, we gained some sense about how to be careful. This article explains a horror story in a simpler way with a life lesson accompanying it.

Want to read offline? download full PDF here
Download full PDF
Is this page helpful?
Courses for kids
English Superstar
Grade LKG - 2
Maths Classes
Grade 1 - 2
Spoken English
Grade 3 - 5

FAQs on High Beams Story: A Short Story for Kids

1. What is the other name for the story High Beam?

High Beams is a horror story from the collection “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.” The other name for the story ‘High Beam’ is “Killer in the Backseat”. 

2. What do you understand by the term ‘high beaming’ in the context of a story?

The term ‘High Beaming’ states when an automobile headlight beam provides bright, long-range illumination of a darkened road and is chiefly to be used in driving in nonurban areas.

3. Why is the story ‘High Beam’ considered an urban legend?

An urban legend is a type of folklore that consists of untrue stories or claims that are widely believed to be true, especially when they are related to a friend or a close relative. They frequently contain terrifying, hilarious, or warning themes. ‘High Beams’ was written based in late 1960s England where the crime rate was very high. So, it might be possible that someone has faced an incident similar to the crime depicted in the story.