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Phantom Hitchhikers & Road Ghosts



Quite a few years ago i was watching tv and a short 10 min film came on covering for something cancelled or something.
It started with a young woman driving a car on a dark stormy night.After a while she passes an old woman huddled up alone in a bus shelter.Feeling guilty the lady stops the car reverses back and calls the old woman into the car and out of the storm.
she chats to the woman but gets no response,and begins to feel a little uncomfortable .Then slowly the old woman begins to turn her head around towards the driver and starts staring intensly at the woman -without uttering a word.
The lady by now is terrified-she slams the brakes on and pleads with the old woman the to get out of the car and check the rear wheels of the car as she pretends to have a punture.Reluctently the hag turns her head back and gets out of the car.At this the lady hits the gas and does one.
A few miles down the road she pulls over to pull herself together and realises that the woman has left her creepy looking shopping bag.She openes it up and is horrified to find that its only contents is a meat cleaver.
she pelts it to the police station and they phone her husband to pick her up-as she is now a jibbering wreck .
The next scene is the husbands car waiting at the traffic lights -they turn to green but the car stays still -then after a while the passenger door slowly opens and you can guess who steps out holding another bag in her hand .She then walks off into the night.
Has anyone seen this shorty -the scariest thing i've ever seen on tv.I don't know anyone who has seen it and i would love any info on it or feedback :confused:
The scriptwriter of this one was simply giving a standard
urban myth. The phantom hitch-hiker is sometimes an old
hag but can also be an unshaven man or hippy type. Endless versions.

Mind you, just because it's a myth doesn't mean it couldn't have
happened. :eek:
i saw the one your on about and i know exactly what you mean the first time i saw it was late night itv just before highlander and the second time i saw it was sky one just before highlander (spooky eh?) but that was about 2yrs ago since i last saw it and its still as vivid and it stops me picking up hitch-hickers
...Wow !

I am absolutely amazed - this clip you talk of must be a real oldie, I remember it from the early eighties, when I was first allowed to stay up late to watch the telly..... and it scared the pants off me (especially as I was alone waiting for my Mum to drive home from a late shift at work along a desolate country road !)

It made such an impression on me that 17 or 18 years later I still remember every detail, like the head scarf the 'old hag' was wearing, that fact it was a rainy night, and the dodgy brown 'old people's' looking holdall bag she had with her ! I can even picture the car ....

I'm so amazed that anyone else remembers it though...

...talking of things like this I remember some fortean kiddies books from school about a boy who finds a key and/or a coin and suddenly can see all these invisable supernatural charaters etc.. I'll put a separate posting up about this, but just in case anyone remembers, please let me know !!
I remember Strange But True on ITV with Michael Aspel. That once showed a story about an old hag on the A15 in Lincolnshire, just over the water from Hull. It detailed the hag, and said that she simply stepped out into the road and "played chicken" with cars and trucks. Numerous accidents have been attributed to her goulishly juvenile behaviour...
road wraiths

Anyone ever heard of road wraiths? I heard of them from a colleague from Ulster who told me of her brother's experience with one.
Apparently they appear as half of a human body. The split can be in any plane, so you can just imagine the horror! He ran one over as it popped up in front of him, and of course when he got out of the car :eek!!!!: it was gone.
PS also interested in any other road ghosts people may have heard of, especially in Ireland.
Road Wraiths

Road Wraiths, Road Ghosts, Phantom Road Accident cases, Phantom hitch-hikers - call them what you will: yes, a 'real' phenomenon, in at least real witnesses report such events, the 'reality' and vividness of which are frequently attested to by police investigators who have had to deal with shocked or apalled motorists who have encountered them. A common theme is the figure stepping out or throwing itself under the wheels of an oncoming vehicle, allowing the driver no time to take evasive action. Such encounters (like the related hitch-hiking habit) are found in folk accounts, right through to the present day, where they break through to meet a modern, unsuspecting and sceptical public. The wonder for me is that they have not been generally recognised as the discrete 'ghostly' sub-group that they are - a largely overlooked phenomenon that encompasses and relates parapsychological phenomena (ghosts, etc) to the denizens of our seemingly more outlandish and nonsensical creatures of folklore, to which these ghostly characters bear uncanny resemblance.
This fascinating subject, with all its hidden depths, is a subject I have studied for many years, and published occasionally on. My own dedicated website to it can be found at http://www.roadghosts.com

By all means, visit, and if you have any new encounters of this kind to report, or simply wish to comment, please visit the site guestbook before you leave.
Hags in the night

I don't know the title of this film either, but I've contacted a friend who I'm confident would know, so I'll post again in due course.
In the meantime, for anyone interested in true-life 'hag' encounters, you can read about a strong and fascinating case - that of Blue Bell Hill, near Chatham, Kent - that includes witness accounts scarier than the Blair Witch.

Read about on my website http://www.roadghosts.com
Doc gets a fright, 3/9/1998.

"Hospital doctor Guy Routh got the fright of his life when he stopped to help a beautiful woman on a deserted Cotswold road – he’s convinced the apparition was a ghost.
The Cheltenham General Hospital anaesthetist was driving home from a meeting with a colleague in Banbury at 10pm on August 26 when he saw the woman standing by the verge on a desolate stretch of the B4068 two miles west of Naunton..."

Ho ho ho...Blue Bell Hill...

Blue Bell Hill is a nasty thing...the whole hand on your shoulder/someone in the back seat/give the girl a lift on the motorbike back to her parent's house in the next town over, get to the door and she's sat on the pinion seat...you knock on the door...the mom comes to the door...and says "shes been dead three years!" and you turn back and shes...gone!

More of an urban legend I think that one...
Not a huge ghost believer, but I can't quite dismiss my local road ghost legend in Stocksbridge (which is literally about 1 mile away from where I live).

For those who don't know, it involves a ghostly monk, which has often been reported as appearing in the passenger seats of car, and then vanishing later (presumably when it reaches its destination). The apparition appeared to two local policeman in a nearby quarry, and the case was features on Michael Aspel's Strange But True? TV series. Dancing ghost children were also seen under a pylon. (there's some stuff on Hermes' site about all this).

Not heard of any recent sightings... though I'm thinking of putting out a few feelers and finding out if anything's happening monkwards recently.

One (playful) theory I've got about road ghosts is why should ghosts bother trudging around the countryside any more? Apporting into cars and hitching a lift they can save a lot of psychic energy. Surely it's a bit like a paranormal version of those pigeons in London that hitch rides on the Underground.
Well at least they are sharing cars and saving fossil fuels.

But where are they commuting to? Ghost Factories?

Taken over by bloody aliens, making UFOs for export?

Or maybe they just feel they should get out more, now they are dead.

A road ghost

A few miles from my home is Northwich, a spooky li'l town. I used to work there and collected many ghost stories.

One was about a local stately home, currently a posh hotel. I spent a happy afternoon being well spooked by first-hand accounts of ghostly goings-on which were firmly supressed, under threat of the sack, by the management.

Next morning in the doctor's waiting room I picked up a glossy mag, Cheshire Life possibly, with a long, beautifully illustrated article about said pile!
Minus any mention of ghosts, naturally.

The local road ghost appeared to couple of sensible young men of my acquaintance. Just outside Northwich, they suddenly noticed, too late to swerve, an old chap with a little dog on a lead, and to their horror the car ran them both over.

Of course they stopped, jumped out and searched the road for half an hour or more - nothing to be seen. Considerably shaken, they continued on their way. On the way back, at the same spot, exactly the same thing happened!

This time the driver revved up and left at speed, not daring to stop.
Re: Ho ho ho...Blue Bell Hill...

-Oracle- said:
Blue Bell Hill is a nasty thing...the whole hand on your shoulder/someone in the back seat/give the girl a lift on the motorbike back to her parent's house in the next town over, get to the door and she's sat on the pinion seat...you knock on the door...the mom comes to the door...and says "shes been dead three years!" and you turn back and shes...gone!

More of an urban legend I think that one...

What you've described is correctly the stuff of Urban Legends, some of which does occur as a thread or two in the fabric of legend at BBH. But to dismiss the whole case as an Urban Legend shows you haven't read my work or visited my Road Ghosts website. A little more going on there than you might think...
Soz Hermes...didn't mean to offend by way of harmless comment!
No offence taken. Everyone's entitled to their opinion. And I certainly don't believe any position can be so well defended it is immune from criticism. I was definitely sceptical about the Phantom Hitch-Hiker before I began my research. Still am, in fact. But what I began to see was a different, 'though closely related phenomenon that followed the principles of the PHH theme, and which could be consistently found in often obscure strands of myth, legend and foklore, and in modern witness cases - which often involved investigation by police - all suggesting (to me at any rate) that there really was something going on with these cases that does not find such easy explanation.

Incidently, there are a few very good actual PHH encounters on record, involving named witnesses - which is an aspect I almost reluctantly had to deal with, but which have to be examined with a truly open mind if there is any real determination to get to the bottom of this particuarly ghost category.

A book I'd recommend is Michael Goss' The Evidence for Phantom Hitch-Hikers (Aquarian Press, 1984) - still the best work on the subject, but now sadly out of print. The good news, though, is you can still get it at the ASSAP website, for, I think, around £6 a copy.

Can people on bicycles see phantom hitchhikers or road ghost

I know of a case of a gentleman seeing a road ghost whilst pushing his bike up a hill one stormy night. The woman emerged from the hedgerow, walked towards him then veered to the left before vanishing. There is also a hitchhiker case where a chap picked up a girl in a sidecar and a famous Australian case of a phantom motorcycle passenger. Maybe though, in the case of the bicycle incident, the phantom was triggered but could only be perceived as walking instead of going under the vehicle (which wouldn't have made sense, certainly to the witness). Do the witnesses perceive road ghosts in their own way, i.e. faces at car windows, spirits giving a warning, phantoms going under or over the bonnet, ghosts running out into the road and vanishing and those that disappear whilst in the back seat ?
Re: Can people on bicycles see phantom hitchhikers or road g

Andre Coetzee's experience with the Uniondale (South Africa) phantom suggests that cyclists/motorcyclists encounter road ghosts in virtually the same manner as drivers of four-wheeled vehicles. In Coetzee's well-known case, the woman he picked up assumed the pillion seat (equating with the rear-seat-of-car convention of the Phantom Hitch-Hiker legend) of his bike on the N2 highway in 1980 - before vanishing, in so doing re-clipping the helmet he had loaned her back on the rear of his bike and fusing the earphone jack. In the same case, the 'ghost' - said to be the spirit of a young woman killed on the highway on Good Friday, 1968, obeys certain other conventions of folklore attached to (often lone) travellers - namely hopping on or appearing on the vehicle (in the past, it would have been horses and wagons)without invitation (and accosting the motorcylist (with raps on his helmet), or vacating a vehicle with banshee-like screams that curdle the blood).
In the case to which Neil alludes - that of Blue Bell Hill in Kent (UK) - motorcycles feature in the anecdotal history, and in a case I have on record (from personal interview) that involved a gentleman who encountered a woman standing in the way of his motorcycle (in the middle of the road - another feature common in witness reports worldwide) late one night in 1934. As is the convention, this female figure led this gentleman out of his way (his journey home), to be given a lift to a nearby village (which has been linked with the legend, and where the victim of an obscure murder case on the Hill dating from 1916 was finally buried - in the churchyard adjoining the narrow road where the girl asked to be dropped off and subsequently vanished in 1934).
The only feature of encounters that can be related to the Phantom Hitch-hiker legend that does not appear to be reflected in two-wheeled vehicle incidents is that of being struck and run over by the vehicle. For that, I now await with patience and interest.
I remember a story from a schools's TV program in the 80's, can't remember if its true, but I think it was.

Went something along the lines of Wirral man stops on motorbike to give girl a lift home from Liverpool to the Wirral. Guess what, she disappears whilst in the Mersey Tunnel. He goes to house to explain she must have fell off but couldn't find her, gets told she died in a motorbike accident.

It's possibly even easier for people on push bikes to 'see' things especially if they put their head down like I used too. ( When I got off the bike I needed about 10 minutes to recover on a good trip home from work. )
If your pushing that hard your brain sometimes gets less oxygen and your not as focussed on the periphery as usual. You wouldn't believe the number of times I've read 'shoplifters' on the side of shopfitters vans.
Imagine what would happen if you were driving along a lonely road one night and saw a woman by the side of the road (who without you knowing was a phantom hitchhiker) and before reaching her you run out of petrol!!!
A23 road ghosts. Has anyone heard of any stories?

A friend of mine recently told me about a ghost she saw on the A23, coming north from Brighton and close to the turning for Slaugham, just as the road zigzags up the hill towards Handcross. It was Christmas Eve and she reported seeing a dark figure walk out into the road. It was so close that she cried out to her boyfriend to slam the brakes. At the same moment, the figure disappeared.

I have found reported sightings of a ghostly girl who wears a light raincoat, but these do not fit the description of my friend's sighting. Has anyone seen this or a similar ghost in this area?
I travel that road a lot but I've never seen anything.

You might want to checkout the last issue of FT though. It was mentioned there.
Emmachan, I've PM'd you with a reply to your query.

Now, for one of my own, fielded to anyone who can help:

Following is the text from a recent Leicester Mercury piece. I've had no reply to inquiries made to the paper to identify the road/spot of this road ghost encounter. Can anyone decipher where they think this might be?

Thanks in advance for any new info.


nightmare: The man in grey literally came from nowhere
Leicester Mercury 03/01/2002


spooky: day 200-year-old ghost turned driver's journey into a nightmare

Man on a road to nowhere

He wears a long grey coat and walks slowly and purposefully across the road, for all the world as though traffic had never been invented. Which is reasonable enough for, when the man in grey was a boy, a good horse was a man's best friend.

Today, however, things have changed, and the road that runs along the spine of northern England hums with traffic day and night.

This apparently doesn't worry the man in grey ... who happens to be a 200-year-old ghost!

That's the popular theory, substantiated by dozens of alleged sightings in recent years. Only a few years ago, the apparition was alleged to have been seen three times in one month.

Janet Richards, driving north with three friends on a summer's night in 1974, knew nothing about such stories. They had travelled up from Bedfordshire earlier in the day and now, after a break for a meal, were completing the last stage of their journey.

It was around 9pm when they reached the lonely stretch of road. Dusk was falling and, although the car had its sidelights on, visibility was still good.

The road was narrow but straight and they hadn't seen a car for miles. Recalling the incident, Janet, a deputy headmistress in London, said: "We were travelling fairly slowly, around 40 I would think, and there was the usual chat going on. The road was clear and empty and, all of a sudden, this man appeared.

"He literally came from nowhere != straight out at us, walking very slowly and not looking to the left or right. I braked and swerved and blew the horn, but he just kept coming. It was like a nightmare.

"The other people in the car saw it too, and one of the girls screamed.

"My fiancshift right, Roger, who was sitting in the front with me, shouted: 'My God, we've hit him,' and there was a blur as the grey coat the man was wearing flashed into the windscreen.

"I stopped the car and sat there for a moment, white and shaking. Roger had already opened the door and jumped out and I forced myself to get out too, dreading what I would find.


"I turned and couldn't believe my eyes. The road was completely empty."

They stood there in bewilderment. Where had the man gone? They walked back and found the skidmarks made by the emergency stop, but there was no sign of the man.

Janet said: "The man couldn't have got off the road because it was bordered by a 10ft-high thorn hedge on one side, and on the other side was a steep bank topped by a stone wall.

"There was dew on the road and on the grass verge and we expected to see footmarks or at least some evidence of the man, but there was nothing."

Could it have been an optical illusion of some sort, caused by the heat of the day?

"No," said Janet. They had all seen the figure at the same time and, afterwards, all the occupants of the car described his clothes in minute detail.

What were they to do? Janet said: "At first, we hesitated whether to report it, thinking people would think us nuts or drunk. We were all sane, and none of us had had any alcohol."

They went back to the car and continued on their way in a shaken and subdued mood. After travelling about four miles, they came to a small town and, needing something to bolster their spirits, went into the local pub.

Janet said: "Suddenly, I felt the urge to tell someone about what had happened. There was an elderly man sitting with his wife at a table and I began to tell him what we had seen.

"I said we were certain we had run down a man who had walked into the path of our car, but that he had disappeared seconds later, leaving no trace.

"To my surprise and relief, my story wasn't treated with the contempt I was convinced it deserved. After I had finished, the man turned to his wife and said: 'It sounds as though they saw the gamekeeper.' He spoke as though it was a perfectly normal happening and I later found the apparition was claimed to be seen quite frequently and had come to be regarded as nothing out of the ordinary!"

What they had seen was supposed to be the ghost of a local gamekeeper who, while walking along that road one night around 1840, was knocked down and fatally injured by a carriage which didn't stop.

Ever since, his ghost is claimed to have been seen from time to time in the exact spot where his body was found.

"The fact that this story was accepted so calmly was almost as chilling as the actual incident," said Janet. "I might tell you that on the return journey, we took care to give that road a very wide berth indeed..."

I live at the top of Handcross Hill and use the A23 daily. I have not seen anything myself but you have reminded me of an incident when i was at school. A girl there with some friends were driving back to Crawley from Brighton when someone crossed the road, but only she saw it, the rest of the passengers were oblivious to the incident but she was almost hysterical.

It was many years ago I heard the story and cant remember wether it was one person or several together but the car hit them,...or drove through them.....
God, a colleague of mine just told me that the A23 is supposedly the most haunted road in the UK, where ghostly figures include a small girl with no hands or feet, a figure in a white trench coat and a figure in cricketer's clothing! Apparently various paranormal sightings have been reported along the whole length of the A23/M23, from London to Brighton.

I drive up that section of road, back and forth, every day/night but have never seen anything untoward. Admittedly, the section of road going towards Handcross is quite spooky, especially the up hill section through the woods.

It's quite dangerous as well - you have to pick up quite a bit of speed on the downhill to thrust the car up the gradient, whilst manoeuvring around a tight S-bend. I can imagine that there have been a number of accidents on this section of the road.

In fact, a few months ago my girlfriend narrowly missed a stray horse whilst on one of these bends. Apparently there was an accident at the top of the hill involving a truck carrying two horses. One of the horses was killed, whilst the other had escaped, injured and panicking, down the road!!!

Incidentally, after the horse incident mentioned above, my girlfriend decided to avoid the A23 in favour of a longer but more sedate back-road along the B2028 to East Grinstead (She frequently goes this way to visit her parents).

One night she was driving along this route, on a section of road between Gravetye Manor and Saint Hill (Close to the Scientology headquarters), when she came across an unusual hunched old lady walking and zigzagging in and out of the road, it seemed, purposely blocking her way. She was wearing a long old-fashioned dress with what appeared to be a black stubby-pointy brimmed bonnet.

She made various attempts to drive round the old lady before the hag stopped to let her pass. Apparently a beady eyed, wizened face with a creepy smile looked back at her as she passed by!!!

Now to set the scene, it was quite late at night, dark, on a remote road on the outskirts of Ashdown Forrest. The road has always been a bit spooky, so much so that when she's on this bit of road, she usually phones me on her mobile for self-assurance, however on this occasion she didn't.

My girlfriend is extremely level headed and tends not to believe in anything paranormal, but on this occasion she was scared shitless. Anyway, she now thinks that there is a plausible explanation to what she saw and attributes it a Quaker type cult member (of which there are a few in the area) taking an evening stroll.

However, I'm not so sure? Could she have seen a Road Hag or the Cailleach?

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