The scenario...an unknown hitchhiker flags down a car and gets into the backseat. As they drive away and travel a short distance, the stranger may say a few words...after which, the phantom suddenly disappears. It's the one encounter that really sends a chill down my spine. I have listed a few 'vanishing prophet' tales followed by disappearing hitchhiker accounts that are published in the media:
A lady was driving and saw a young man walking beside the road. Never before had she picked up a stranger, but she felt that she was to pick up this man so she did. He had a hood over his face and she was not able to see his face at all. She began driving and said to him "Son, where are you going?" He said to her "My lips are near the trumpet." She turned to look at him but he was gone! Startled, she pulled over to the side of the road. As she sat there, a police officer stopped to see why she was parked by the side of the road, telling her that it was too dangerous for her to be there. "I'm so shook up I can't drive" she told him. "Why, what"s wrong?" he asked. She said "If I told you, you wouldn't believe me!" He asked again what had happened and she told him. The officer said to her "You are the fifth person that has told me this!"
A man driving along a busy motorway sees a hitchhiker and stops. The hitchhiker gets in and straightaway announces the 'End of the World.' The way he speaks makes a deep impression, but when he says he is an angel, the driver looks round at him incredulously, and at that very moment there is no one there; he has dissolved into thin air. The driver's surprise is immense. He stops the car, looks around him, and sees a police car approach. "You are by no means the first to tell me this story," says the officer when the driver tells him his tale.
During the latter part of WWII came a pipe-dream rumor which was undoubtedly the most popular of all:
The weird tale of the man who picked up a strange woman in his car. Arriving at her destination, his passenger allegedly offered to pay the man for the gas he had used. But the man refused to accept the money, so the woman offered to tell his fortune. And, as the rumor went, mysteriously she told him, "There will be a dead body in your car before you get home, and Hitler will be dead in six months." Supposedly, then, on the way home the man had seen a serious automobile wreck and had taken one of the victims into his car to rush him to the hospital. But the injured person died en route, which left the hopeful implication that Hitler would therefore be dead within the following six months.
There are many more listed throughout the internet...the 'vanishing prophet' tales
In 1973 I met two very tall persons, about 8 to 12 feet tall; a man and woman on the side of Mt St Helens. I went there as a prep trip to go canoeing on the, not there now, Spirit Lake. Since it was March, I found the lake under snow drifts so I went up to the top of the mountain to climb it.
As I got out of my VW Super Beetle I was overcome with fear. Terror gripped me.
Try as I might I could not force myself to cross the parking lot to the beginning of the trail where a family were beginning their ascent. I could not move because the fear within me petrified my body.
I then saw in my mind's eye, through my third eye, the mountain blowing up right underneath me. I saw the mountain and the rocks and the trees below me and all around me being superheated and exploding into shreds.
I shouted to the family to get out of there because the mountain was about to blow. They looked at me like I was some nut probably on drugs. I did have long hair in those days.
The day was a beautiful, clear day, and I quickly realized that the sensation I was receiving was only a premonition of an event to come. I fell back into my car and got outta there.
On the way down I stopped at the Lodge where I bought some beer from the owner, Harry Truman, who made a snide comment to me when I stopped to debate getting a bag of chips after buying some beer. I almost, with knowing, said to him that someday he would die up there with his mountain; I didn't, and I left.
Farther down the mountain top as I turned a sharp corner I passed by two persons who were dressed in white robes. At first glance I thought that they were Hari Krishna's out for a hike, and being twenty miles from Toledo, WA I pulled over and got out to offer them a ride to town.
Immediately, two things happened.
First, as I walked up to them I realized that I had to look up at them like I was looking at the top of a basketball net. That realization freaked me out, but I love an adventure. As I walked up to them, I offered to give them a lift to town.
The woman then turned to the man and said quietly, "I thought we were supposed to meet someone here." The man who also had long hair only slightly raised his right hand in my direction to indicate that I was the contactee they were waiting for.
This point was not lost on me.
Next, a car pulled up and asked me if I was alright. Again my senses told me all was not normal...at all. I "knew" the man and car load of four persons, perhaps a man and his wife in the front seat with his daughter and son in the back seat could not see the tall persons towering over me.
I said that I was simply overtaken by the beauty of the scenery and just had to get out and look at it. Slowly, very slowly, they drove away. I had covered for what to then seemed like me talking to imaginary persons.
But they were real, very real.
The woman again turned to the man and said, "He can see us," to which he replied, "He's in an altered state of consciousness."
Then the man turned to me and said, "You deceived them?"
Thinking that I had done them a favor by covering for them, I did not have a ready reply. I then asked them if they wanted a ride to town. I was torn at this point between what I know about my reality on this dimension and what really knew I knew who were standing before me were beings who were not from this dimension.Yet, I could not wholly accept that fact.
The man turned to the woman and said with a sweeping gesture toward the car "Shall we?"
So they walked to the car. I wanted to tell them about what had just happened on top of Mt. St. Helen. As they approached my Super Beetle I knew that they were very very tall; not normally tall but way tall and would not fit in my car.
I said, "Maybe it's not such a good idea," to which the man replied, "We'll fit fine."
Before my eyes those two beings began to shrink. The man got into the back seat along with the lady, which in our culture the man would usually get into the front, right?
After they got in the man turned to the woman and said, "Are you okay?" she said, "I'm fine."
I needed a beer. I opened a Bud (this was rural backwoods Washington State and 1973) and offered them a beer too. I took in my now normal sized guest in the backseat of my souped up Super Beetle.
Their robes were somewhat soiled, and had dirt marks and signs of wear like they had been hiking through the woods. I did not expect this from what I had come to accept as aliens or some kind of angels.
They really looked real. The guy had very long fingers and that's when I saw that, to my surprise, that he had six fingers on his hands!
Since I was driving at the time the man said in a polite but commanding voice, "Turn around and watch the road," to which I replied as any young twenty year old who had already totaled three cars doing stunts...
"I'm good man. I can drive and talk at the same time."
"What are you drinking?" He said,
"It's a Bud," I said.
"What is that," he said.
"Beer, you know, alcohol."
That's when he said, "Alcohol? That's poison."
My guest hesitated for a few seconds before he spoke again,
"Alcohol is going to cause you a lot of problems in your lifetime." He was right about that.
I turned around again to scope out these two hitchhikers. The young woman smiled. They both looked to be in their early thirties. She had long brown hair. His hair was as long as hers which was at least shoulder length
I said, "Toledo's twenty miles away. That would have been a long walk," I said.
"What were you doing on the mountain?" he asked.
My mind was fighting with the thought now of that I just may have two aliens who just shape shifted in size in the back of my car, and who just chewed me out for drinking. I was beginning to question my rationality, and what if they wanted to eat me or something?
I told them all about my experience on the mountain and the feeling and the vision I had just had. That's when he began to give me specific details about the date, the time eruption of Mount St Helen. He even told me how many people were going to die up there.
"About 60 to 70 people will die on that mountain when it erupts," he said.
Sixty eight died on it that May 18th in 1980.
Seven years later I would find myself working for Lewis County as a transporter for Senior Services. I had something to do with the red zone being established, but that's another story. I had told so many predictions about the mountain that came true before the eruption that one grandma, just after it erupted, said "You did it! You made that mountain blow up!"
The alien, or whatever, said something that triggered a repressed memory I had. He said it would happen because of the flood that we had prevented that year.
Then I began to feel real strange about this encounter. I was sure that he could not have known about the topographical map I had drawn in my cabin last year, and how I had highlighted in blue everything in the state of Washington under 3,000 feet and wrote a short story about me and my family living on Mt St Helen Island after the flood, or could he?
"Who are you," I asked.
The woman leaned over to him and quietly with her easy smile asked him, "Should we tell him who we are?"
"No," he said.
Then he said to me, "We're Watchers," he said.
Right about then I knew I had stepped into a forest I did not know the way through.
"I mean what's your names?"
He said his name was, "My name is Geruisyumain."
I said I would not be able to remember his name, and I didn't for thirty three years. Then in a dream I heard his name as he had spoken it.
"And my name is Isyu. It's real easy to remember. Just think about it this way. Say "Is you," and you will remember it."
I did remember it. Also I read something unique about the name IS You and a significance about that name...but again, I can't place what that importance is.. you guys know?
Of all the wonderful questions I could have asked them I failed to do so. I still beat myself up for letting a great opportunity slip through my fingers out of primal fear of the unknown.
We were about ten miles out of Toledo, Washington by then and Gerisyumain said "Pull over, here and when we get out don't look back."
So I pulled over, and let them out. And of course as I pulled away I looked back to see them grow back to their ten-ish or so feet height and then vanish.
Later, the next year in a total accident, I was pinned inside my Super Beetle on a bridge over a river. With no way out and not knowing how to swim, I was lifted out of the window and flown out over the river. I was set down in front of a car and the driver took me to the hospital.
"Who are you?" she asked.
I'm just a man," I replied. It's all that any of us can be.
NOTE: yeah, it's sound a bit fabricated...but who knows. Lon
Spectral Lady Hitches Ride...Then Vanishes
It happened like this: Shortly after midnight on July 11, a police officer in Mechanic Falls, Maine stopped to check on a teenage driver who was frantically flashing his headlights. When the cop approached the car, he found a 16-year-old named David who was badly shaken. The kid was in tears and babbling about something that happened moments ago in Poland.
The story David told was a crazy one but not unique. For generations, travelers through this dark place have told tales of a young lady dressed in white hitchhiking along Route 26. Sometimes she's dressed in a prom dress and sits quietly in the passenger seat. Other times, she is a bride dressed in white or a morose young woman with a cautionary message to deliver.
But our friend David had never heard those stories. He sat in his car stammering and trying to explain to the frowning policeman what had happened.
Just before 2 a.m., David was driving on Route 26 bound for Oxford. In the midst of all the darkness that collects in the middle of the night in Poland, suddenly there was a gleam of light at the roadside.
"She was standing on the side of the road, near the frozen custard place. At first, it was just a white glow," David said. "I drove up closer and saw that it was a woman. She looked to be between 20 and 24. I pulled over and she said, 'Can you bring me to the church on Route 11?'"
You or I might have left 100 yards of peeling rubber on the road as we beat a hasty retreat to a safer and more illuminated patch of the world. Because we have heard the legends before and brother, the Samaritan within us all tends to wither before the mighty force of self-preservation.
But David did the respectable thing and stopped to help the stranger. The woman in white climbed into the car, tucking her gown in around her. Past the middle and high schools they drove. The woman in white asked David if he went to school there. They made small talk but she appeared agitated.
"She asked me if I could start driving faster, because she was late for her wedding," David said.
Those of us who have been around a while know that when a woman found wandering the back roads starts babbling about going to meet her beloved, what you have on your hands is a ghost. We will take appropriate action, which may include flinging ourselves out the window.
But David steeled up and drove on with the curious woman in the wedding gown. He turned onto Route 11, where even greater darkness gathers, and within a quarter of a mile, he found what appeared to be a church. He stopped between two posts out front and asked his eager rider if this was the right place.
"She looked back at me and she looked like a regular person," David said. "She said, 'There is a cop coming.'"
Startled by the comment, David turned to look out the window. Sure enough, the lights of an approaching car appeared and as it passed, he saw that it was a police cruiser. As he continued to watch the police car shrink into the distance, he heard one final word from his passenger.
"She said 'goodbye,'" David said. "When I turned to look at her, she was gone."
I'll give you a moment to rub the chill from your skin.
David is absolutely sure the passenger door of his Camaro was never opened. When he peered out into the night around him, he saw no sign of the woman in white. No brightly glowing gown in all of the blackness along Route 11.
"I was so freaked out," David said. "I didn't stop crying until the next afternoon."
How rattled does a 16-year-old boy in a Camaro have to be to speed off into the night to chase down a police officer? You and I, when we were 16, avoided cops at all costs in the wee hours.
When he found the officer in Mechanic Falls, David begged him for insight. Did you see anyone in my car, officer? Did you see a woman in white climbing out of the passenger side? The officer had seen none of that — only a kid alone in a car sitting at the roadside.
The ghost hitchhiker of Route 26 comes with a variety of stories. In the most common, the woman wandering the dark roads is the murdered bride of George Knight, slashed to death in 1856 in her farmhouse on Route 11. The woman will deliver a warning, or perhaps a prediction, to the person who picks her up. Then she vanishes.
In another version, the roaming woman is the ghost of a young girl killed on her way to the prom. She is said to wander near the Poland Spring Inn, waiting for a ride in her eternal quest to make it to the dance. Like the slain Mrs. Knight, the ghost of the prom girl is said to vanish before the ride is over.
"I don't think it was either of them," David says of his spectral passenger. His research — there is plenty to be found on the Web regarding the ghost of Route 26 — has led him to believe that the lady who sat in his Camaro was a bride struck and killed by a car on the way to her wedding in the 1930s; a woman forever trying to reach the site of that long-ago blessed event and disappearing once she arrives.
David was also told that the man who was to marry the young lady is still alive, an elderly man who lives in Oxford.
The terrain of local legend is a labyrinth of falsehoods, misinformation and tiny kernels of truth that get built upon and built upon like papier-mache over decades of retelling. David relates his tale with excitement but without the kind of rhetorical battering you find in those who are trying to convince you of a lie.
I sought him out for this story; he didn't come to me. He spoke to me only hesitantly once I explained what I was after.
And at last, there is a police report on the matter. The prettily dressed lady may not have identified her killer, or made her way to the altar or the prom. But at the very least, she climbed her way up out of local lore and into the public record.
It took a brave kid in a Camaro to get her there. - SunJournal
A Tombstone Every Mile
"It's a stretch of road, up north in Maine that's never ever, ever seen a smile…"
Those words from the song "A Tombstone Every Mile" refers to the isolated highway in Maine that most folks called the Haynesville Woods. Country singer Dick Curless recorded this song in 1965 and it proved to be his biggest hit.
For many years, this section of Route 2 has made its way through some lonely and remote parts of Maine. Truck drivers and motorists alike dreaded traveling through the Haynesville Woods, especially during the cold and snowy New England winters. The place naturally developed a sinister reputation.
A native of Maine, Curless was one of the few country stars to come out of the Northeast. He was also a former truck driver who knew all too well the dangers of traveling through the Haynesville Woods. The song talks about all the truck drivers and others who were killed in accidents along this stretch of road, hence the title "A Tombstone Every Mile."
Any place that could inspire a song like this one must be scary. And it is probably haunted by those who didn't make it out of there alive.
For many years, people living in that section of Maine talked about seeing a woman in white walking along the road at night. She would appear out of nowhere in front of a tractor-trailer and ask the startled truckdriver for a ride. She would tell the driver that she and her husband had just been in a terrible wreck and they needed help. Those drivers who encountered the mysterious woman said later they could feel a weird chill when she got into their trucks. As they exited the dark Haynesville Woods, the woman would then vanish without a trace, according to a Web site.
The story behind the ghostly hitchhiker was that a newly married couple traveled through the Haynesville Woods one dark night. The husband was drunk and driving and the car crashed into a telephone pole. He died instantly. It is believed that his young wife crawled out of the wrecked car and she froze to death in the snow.
Folks living in that part of Maine believe that the young bride still wanders Route 2, desperately looking for someone to help her.
In another version of the legend, the ghost of a little girl wanders the road between Houlton and Haynesville. Like the young bride, she would try to seek help from truckers and other motorists traveling through there. But in some instances, she would suddenly appear in the passenger or back seats of cars and then just as quickly vanish into thin air.
Some people have talked about driving through the Haynesville Woods at night and seeing a red flashing light off in a distance. It would come closer and closer to their vehicles. Then, a white cloud would float over their vehicle and the flashing light would disappear.
Records from the state of Maine show that two girls, both 10 years old, died on Aug. 22, 1967 in the town of Haynesville. One Web site suggests that the ghosts of these girls could be the ones now haunting that lonely stretch of road "that's never ever, ever seen a smile." - Mcdowell News
Phantom Hitchhiker Sighting Causes Traffic Problems In Northern Ireland Town
This time of year is traditionally associated with high spirits as revellers welcome in another year.
However, a spirit of a different kind has been causing a bit of a commotion outside Coalisland in County Tyrone.
An apparent sighting of a ghost has led to crowds of people descending on the Brackaville area over the holidays.
"At one point, there was a line of up to 60 cars on the Mullaghmoyle Road with people trying to spot it," said Sinn Féin Councillor Desmond Donnelly.
"It wasn't just one night, it was going on for a week or so over the holidays. I'm not sure how it all started - I wouldn't be one for ghosts, but you know how this type of thing spreads.
"If you ask me, it's more likely to be a reflection of the moon on the river that flows through the area. Although the talk is that what was seen was in the shape of a person."
Pat Hughes, speaking at the Central Bar in Coalisland, said the sighting had certainly got people in the town talking.
"Everybody's been talking about it in the bar and it has also caught the imagination of young people," he said.
"It has got to the stage where it's a bit like a drive-in movie."
As with these sorts of things, rumours about what was or was not seen quickly spread. It was claimed the apparition was a woman who had lived locally.
Warren Coates of the Northern Ireland Paranormal Research Association (NIPRA) said he was aware of "previous paranormal activity" in the area.
"It related to a phantom female hitchhiker, but if anybody down there would like us to investigate this latest sighting, we'd only be too happy to help," he said. - BBC
Phantom Hitchhikers and Other Urban Legends: The Strange Stories Behind Tall Tales
The Vanishing Hitchhiker: American Urban Legends and Their Meanings
Haunted Highways: Spooky Stories, Strange Happenings, and Supernatural Sightings