phantom hitchhiker

  • Danny: You know, it's at times like this, when I'm trapped in a ghostly cage in an island made of traps, and about to die in a different dimension, that I really wish I'd listened to what my mother told me when I was young.
  • Tucker: Why? What did she tell you?
  • Danny: I don't know. I didn't listen.
The Hitchhiker who was the Phantom of a Hitchhiker

Okay so, guess what. There was a guy, right? And he was out driving around in his car. He really liked just driving around. I mean he was young, so it was like “hey, here’s the whole world,” you know?

Also, he had a coat on because of how it was fall. He had a coat on even though he was in his car and it wasn’t even that super cold out. He was still wearing a coat. And driving a car. Oh, and it was night out. Night as hell!  

This guy in this story didn’t have a policy or anything about picking up hitchhikers or not picking up hitchhikers, but I mean honestly, he’d never really seen one until this night, which all this to say the guy saw a hitchhiker. A pretty young girl. So he asked his brain, “If I pick up this hitchhiker, am I obligated to a pick up all future hitchhikers?” His brain shrugged. This guy was like “fine, okay, whatever, brain,” real cutting, and he pulled over.

If you want the truth, he unlocked the door. Then she opened the door and got in the car and that’s about everything there is to that part of the story.

“Where you headed,” the guy asked. “My name’s RJ,” he said in voice that felt like he was pretending to be about three years older than he was.

Rather than answer the guy with words, like you’re supposed to in society, this hitchhiker just pointed. Spooky, right? A little. He was all “okay much?,” And went where she pointed. He didn’t say “okay, much?” He just thought it.  

Oh also? She was shivering too, the hitchhiker. Like a lot.

So this guy in this story, I think his name is RJ, he’s nice. He offers the hitchhiker his coat. Maybe his heater was broken, I don’t know. She took his coat, smiled at him a little - like more than a polite thanks, but less than like “oh my god, you’re my hero about it,” and then continued to guide him down the roads they were driving on out to other roads.

It’s not the way hitchhiking works, I bet. Where the hitchhiker calls all the shots. Usually it’s “where you headed?” and then the hitchhiker says their ideal destination and the driver says “I’ll take you as far as …” wherever he’s going. But this guy was the kind of guy who goes wherever a pretty girl tells him. That’s his deal.

Anyway. They get to a place. A cul de sac or something. She holds up a closed fist like a military guy, as if to say “stop” and he does. He drops her off at the top of a long driveway. It’s a little totally spooky. There’s like mist or something, you know what I’m saying?

Foreshadowing of some sort happens here. You just know the guy’s gonna come back tomorrow to get his coat (that he is forgetting to get back at this point) and he’s gonna find out some crazy business about this hitchhiker who as far as he knows is not a phantom. So she takes off. And he drives away. And on his drive home, he remembers about his coat but decides to get it the next day. It’s late.

So. Next day. Guy finds the place. Thanks to his Garmin, which got him home last night by the quickest route and made it super easy to find the place again. The Garmin is so easy to use – it’s just intuitive. It’s reasonably priced and you’ll never get lost again. Garmin – don’t just get there. Arrive.  

The guy parks at the top of that long driveway from before. You remember. It’s steep and the guy’s car is long in the front. It’d scrape if he drove down the driveway. So he gets out and when he does and looks around, there’s that feeling of foreshadowing again. No mist though. You just feel a little spooked. More you than the guy, even. You’re ahead of him. That’s part of it.

So the guy goes down this steep driveway and rings the bell of the house. There’s only one house down there. Sometimes you get a driveway like that, it splits off. But not this time. He rings the bell and some lady answers. Not the same lady. An older lady. The guy explains his situation. That he dropped off a hitchhiker girl there last night.

The guy gets no response. The guy describes the girl a little and still. Nothing. Cold fish. It’s like – “what?” But then what he does is he goes into even more detail and the lady freaks out a little.

She lays this on him “it sounds like you’re describing my daughter. But it can’t be her,” and it’s like instead of the lady freaking out, the guy starts to.  He goes “why not?”

Are you ready for this? The guy isn’t. This woman says, about her daughter, who they were talking about, “She died ten years ago last night. In a terrible hitchhiking accident on Foxhound Road,” which is actually the name of the actual road where the guy picked her last night up, by the way.

“Holy cow,” the guy says, only he doesn’t say cow so much as what comes out of a cow, and I don’t mean milk. “That means that the hitchhiker I picked up was her ghost. Or phantom.”

“Obviously,” says the mom. “That is the most logical conclusion you could draw.”

So the guy leaves, because what else could he do? He leaves all like "whoa.”

The mom watched him go, the guy. When the guy was good and gone, she closed the door and she and her daughter who was totally alive giggled and high fived. They put that guy’s coat on the pile with the others. Five years later, they would open a used coat store. And they would get rich off it. Just absolutely butt-ass rich.

Vanishing/Phantom Hitchhiker

Usually these spirits are of people who have died in some kind of accident on their way to somewhere emotionally important to them. There have been dozens of versions of the phantom hitchhiker story but it usually starts with someone picking up a hitchhiker to suddenly find that they have disappeared at some point during their journey.

Some known phantom hitchhiker locations include:

Annie’s Road, United States – Haunted by the ghost of a woman who was killed in a car accident.

N9 Road, South  Africa – The Uniondale Phantom Hitchhiker is a ghost of a young woman (usually with green trousers and short hair) called Marie. She was on her way to her parents house with her boyfriend to tell them about their engagement when the car crashed and she was killed. Since then she has been seen hitching a ride of multiple drivers along the road side. In one story a motorcyclist picked her up and after driving for a kilometer or two he glanced back to see that she was no longer there. Worried that she might have fallen off the bike he turned around and searched the desert road, finding nothing but the helmet he had given her to wear.  Motorcyclists have also reported looking down while driving to find a pair of ghostly arms wrapped around their waist.

Jamestown Road, Jamestown, North Carolina – This road is no longer in use and the police of the town will fine anyone caught stopping near it. A young woman in a party dress has been spotted standing at the underpass and trying hitchhike her way back home. It’s said that she was on her way home from a dance when she was murdered.

M1, Belfast, Northern Ireland – Is haunted by a phantom nurse who appears near the bog that runs alongside the motorway. When picked up she talks to the driver of the car, complaining about the amount of accidents on the road, before disappearing.

I could probably write a massive list of these if I did enough research but I think I’ll leave this at four examples.