What’s Your Version?
The vanishing hitchhiker, the ghostly hitchhiker, the disappearing hitchhiker, the phantom hitchhiker or simply the hitchhiker are urban legends. We’ve all heard one version or another and they usually have a common theme. Vanishing hitchhikers have been reported for centuries and the endurance of the legend has helped it spread in popular culture. After the 1981 publication of Jan Harold Brunvand’s book, The Vanishing Hitchhiker, popularity of urban legends increased dramatically. Bruvand suggests that the story of a vanishing hitchhiker can be traced back to the 1870’s and that there are similar stories in Russia, Korea and also among Mormons, Ozark mountaineers and Chinese-Americans.
The Stories I Heard Growing Up
- The hitchhiker gives an address and eventually the motorist finds out that he has just given a lift to a ghost.
- A girl is at a dance instead of on walking on a road and leaves either a scarf or a borrowed jacket of the motorist on her grave.
- The hitchhiker is later described as divine in nature.The driver returns an item that has been left in the car and finds out from a relative that the passenger is deceased.
- The hitchhiker is usually female and the driver is male.
From 1979-1980, near Little Rock, Arkansas two confirmed reports were made to Arkansas State Troopers that a very well dress young man was hitchhiking in this areas. Once he was picked up he would grab the attention of the driver with details relating to the Second Coming of Christ. After revealing his insights, he would vanish from the moving car. The police stated that they were unaware of any additional incidents.
About the same time in Tacoma, Washington and Eugene, Oregon, it was reported that a middle aged woman in a nun’s habit was hitchhiking near Interstate 5. She would warn people that they needed to repent and then vanish from the automobile. In some instances she warned people that if they did not repent, they would die in traffic accidents. Additionally, she scared people with warnings about Mount St. Helen erupting. There were a total of twenty documented reports about this female hitchhiker.
The following video describes a slightly different take on the urban legend tales. The incidents continue to take place in a particular intersection in Ohio. So many people claim to have had paranormal experiences here. Something is going on…what exactly no one knows for sure. There have been many strange occurrences at this location over the years. Are you a believer?
Legends in the United States
- Annie’s Road-New Jersey
- Boy Scout Lane-Wisconsin
- Bray Road-Wisconsin (The Bray Road Beast)
- Clinton Road-New Jersey
- Devils Washbowl-Vermont
- Edmonds Road-Connecticut
- Jeremy Swamp Road-Connecticut
- Marginal Road-Connecticut
- Saw Mill Road-Connecticut
- Velvet Street-Connecticut
- Zion Hill Road-Connecticut
- Jamestown Road-North Carolina
- Mount Misery Road-New York
- Sweet Hollow Road-New York
- Shades of Death Road-New Jersey (You can read more here)
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