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posticon ghost hitchikers


For some unknown reason, the vanishing hitchhiker phenomenon took on a decidedly divinatory cast during the 1970s and early 1980s.

1975 saw a rash of reports of a prophetic nun vanishing from cars after hitching lifts near the Austrian-German border. On 13 April that year, after a 43-year-old businessman drove his car off the road in fright at the disappearance of his passenger, Austrian police threatened a fine equivalent to £200 (1975 value) to anyone reporting similar stories.
In early 1977, nearly a dozen motorists in and around Milan reported giving lifts to another vanishing nun, who (prior to her unexpected disappearance) forewarned her benefactors of the impending destruction of Milan by earthquake on 27 February (this disaster did not happen) (La Stampa, 25 and 26 February, 1 March 1977; Dallas Morning News 25 February 1977).
In 1979, near Little Rock, Arkansas, a 'well-dressed and presentable young man' was hitching lifts despite laws against such activity. When safely aboard, he would confide details of the forthcoming Second Coming of Christ to his startled host(s), although he is also reported to have commented on more topical items such as the taking of hostages at the American Embassy in Iran. After revealing his insights, he would vanish from the moving car. The 'presentable young man' continued his excursions for over a year. The last sighting took place on 6 July 1980, when the vanishing hitchhiker's prophecy was apparently a bungled kind of meteorology. He assured his worried driver (and passengers, thus making this a multiple sighting) that it would 'never rain again' - before vanishing from the speeding car a moment or two later. A named Arkansas State Trooper - Robert Rotten - later confirmed to the press (Indiana Star, 26 July 1980) that they had logged two reports of this character's behaviour, but were unofficially aware of many more.
At around the same time as the above prophetic hitchhiker, a second itinerant soothsayer was vanishing from cars around Interstate 5, between Tacoma, Washington, and Eugene, Oregon. Described as a 50-60 year old woman, sometimes in a nun's habit, the hitchhiker would discourse on God and Salvation before vanishing from the car's cabin. Another witness had been warned to repent his (unspecified) sins, or die in a road accident. As 1980 progressed, this vanishing hitchhiker began to display a worrying interest in Mount St. Helens. She took to warning motorists that the eruption of that volcano in May 1980 signified God's warning to the North-West and that those who did not return to the fold could expect to perish volcanically in the very near future (18 May, to be precise). Tacoma police logged twenty calls from motorists who had met this sinister individual. Latterly, the woman took on a new guise (or perhaps a new vanishing hitchhiker with similar preoccupations assumed her duties) and the roads were again busy with whispered intimations of pending disaster (this time, set for 12 October). The Midnight Globe (5 August 1980) quotes two police officers who had dealt with shocked motorists and one motorist who claimed to have met the vanishing woman or women.
Later in 1979, a hitchhiker began "violently bleeding a orangish goo" from his ears as his driver's car turned around a tight pass in Western Nebraska. As the driver screamed, the man suddenly disappeared, but left behind odd colored stains on the seat of the driver's car. The actual seats are on display in the Western Nebraska History Museum, and the composition of the "goo" has never been determined.


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Jun/11/2008, 12:23 pm Link to this post Send Email to MaTTsWoRld   Send PM to MaTTsWoRld Blog
 
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Re: ghost hitchikers


There is an old road that runs along a small creek outside of Tompkinsville that has long been called the Meshack Road. The small town of Tompkinsville itself is located in the south central part of Kentucky, just a few miles north of the Tennessee border. It is an old and remote area and stories of ghost and "haints" are common.

For many years, people have been reporting variations of the "Vanishing Hitchhiker" story associated with this road. The story goes that two young men were on their way to a local dance one evening when they picked up and attractive young woman along the Meshack Road. She was wearing a formal dress and they invited her along to the dance with them. She accepted and danced with both of them that evening.

She agreed to let the boys drive her home, but only if she could be let out at a certain spot. It was raining when they left the dance and one of the boys offered her his coat. He told her that he would pick it up later.

They dropped the girl off at a small house along Meshack Road and a few days later, the boy went back to pick up his coat. He asked for the girl and the woman of the house told him that she had once had a daughter but that she had died in an accident on the road. She told the boy where she was buried and he went to the churchyard to find his coat beside the grave.

There is another phantom also connected to this road and it too is along the lines of a mysterious hitchhiker. It seems that for many years, travelers along this road have reported that an invisible presence often can be felt clinging tightly to the waist of a horse or motorcycle rider. This specter holds onto the rider's waist for about a mile before it disappears. No one has ever been able to suggest as explanation for this phenomena.

Tompkinsville is located in the south central part of Kentucky, about twenty miles southeast of Glasgow. Meshack Road runs alongside of a small creek on the outskirts of town.



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Jun/11/2008, 12:25 pm Link to this post Send Email to MaTTsWoRld   Send PM to MaTTsWoRld Blog
 
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Re: ghost hitchikers


Stories of phantom hitchhikers have been a part of ghostlore since ghost stories began to be told. In the old days, before automobiles, people told of picking up passengers in carriages and buggies, only to have them vanish before reaching their destination. Many of these stories exist as nothing more than urban legends that have been handed down from one generation to the next, but there are others that appear to be disconcertingly real... stories with reliable witnesses and strange facts which cannot be disputed.
Could this tale be one of them?
There has said to have been the ghost of a beautiful young girl who has been appearing near Greensboro since 1923. She stands next to the US Highway 70 Underpass in a white evening gown and waves frantically for someone to stop and pick her up.
Those hapless travelers who do are introduced to a young woman who says her name is Lydia and she always ask them to please take her to an address in High Point. She always tells them that she has spent the evening at a dance in Raleigh and is anxious to get home, having run into car trouble on the way.
Just as the drivers approach the house, the girl always vanishes from their car, never opening the door and getting out.... just simply there one minute and gone the next!
Those drivers who go on to inquire at the house are always told the same thing... that Lydia died in a car wreck many years ago, coming home from a dance in Raleigh and perishing at the US Highway 70 underpass.
Greensboro is located in the north central part of North Carolina and the infamous underpass can be found on Highway 70, between Greensboro and High Point.





The Basketball Player

It's a winter evening in Oklahoma in 1965. Mae Doria, driving to her sister's house from Tulsa to Pryor, sees a boy of about 11 or 12 hitchhiking on the side of the road. She stops for him, he gets into the front seat along side of her, and they make idle chatter as they make their way down Highway 20. In their conversation, the boy says that he’s a basketball player for a local school, and Mae reckons that indeed he has the height and build of an athlete. She also notices that he is not wearing a jacket of any kind, despite the fact that it's winter. And the boy seemed to have no particular destination in mind. He points to a culvert on the side of the road and asks to be let out there. Mae is puzzled because there are no houses or lights anywhere in sight. Before she can even pull over, however, the youth simply vanishes from the car. Mae immediately stops the car, gets out, and looks around, but there is no sign of the boy. Mae later learns in a chance conversation with a utility worker that the same phantom hitchhiker was first picked up at the same spot in 1936 – 29 years earlier!



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Jun/11/2008, 12:28 pm Link to this post Send Email to MaTTsWoRld   Send PM to MaTTsWoRld Blog
 
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Re: ghost hitchikers


Without a doubt, the most famous ghostly hitchhiker in the Chicago area is the young girl who has been connected to Resurrection Cemetery for a number of decades. She is chronicled in another portion of the website, having been dubbed Resurrection Mary over the years. There are other roaming spirits and restless ghosts in Chicagoland though.

One such spirit, a sort of “sister ghost” to Resurrection Mary, haunts the vicinity of Jewish Waldheim Cemetery, located at 1800 South Harlem Avenue in Chicago. This is perhaps one of the more peaceful and attractive of the city's downtown graveyards and is easily recognizable from the columns that are mounted at the front gates. They were once part of the old Cook County Building, which was demolished in 1908. This cemetery would most likely go quietly on through its existence if not for the tales of the "Flapper Ghost". While little background can be discovered about this spirit, it remains a fascinating story.

The story of the ghost states that she was a young Jewish girl who attended dances at the Melody Mill Ballroom, formerly on Des Plaines Avenue. She was said to be a very attractive brunette with bobbed hair and a dress right out of the Roaring 20's, hence the spirit's nickname of the “Flapper Ghost”. This fetching phantom has been known to hitch rides on Des Plaines Avenue and most often has been seen near the cemetery gates. Some travelers passing the cemetery even claimed to see her entering a mausoleum that is located off Harlem Avenue.

Although recent sightings have been few, the ghost was most active in 1933, during the Century of Progress Exhibition, and again in 1973. In the years before World War II, she was often reported at the Melody Mill Ballroom, where she would dance with young men and often ask for a ride home. After they drove her to the cemetery, the girl would explain that she lived in the caretaker’s house (since demolished) and then get out of the car. Often with her admirers in pursuit, she would then run out into the cemetery and vanish among the tombstones.

More sightings took place in 1973 and one report even occurred during the daylight hours. A family was visiting the cemetery one day and was startled to see a young woman dressed like a “flapper” walking toward a crypt, where she suddenly disappeared. The family hurried over to the spot, only to find no girl and nowhere to which she could have vanished so quickly.

Another strange sighting took place in 1979 when a police officer saw a beautiful girl walking near the ballroom on a rainy night. He asked her where she was going and she replied “home”. He offered her a ride and she directed him to an apartment building near the cemetery entrance. After the girl got out of the car, she vanished near a covered doorway and the policeman, shocked, got out and went after her. He was sure that she could not have gotten into the building so quickly and was even more surprised to see no wet footprints on the dry sidewalk below the building’s awning.

Since that time, sightings of the “Flapper” have been few, but we should take into account that she appeared often back in the 1930’s and then didn’t show up again with any frequency until the 1970’s. Perhaps she is just waiting round and will soon come back for a return engagement!


Another phantom hitcher haunts the roadways near the Evergreen Cemetery in Evergreen Park, a Chicagoland community. For more than two decades, an attractive teenager has been roaming out beyond the confines of the cemetery in search of a ride. A number of drivers claim to have spotted her and in the 1980’s a flurry of encounters occurred when motorists in the south and western suburbs reported picking up this young girl. She always asked them for a ride to a location in Evergreen Park and then mysteriously vanished from the vehicle at the cemetery.

According to the legends, she is the spirit of a child buried within the cemetery, but there is no real folklore to explain why she leaves her grave in search of travelers, nor what brings her to the suburbs and so far from home. She is what some would call the typical “vanishing hitchhiker” but there is one aspect to this ghost that sets her apart from the others. In addition to seeking rides in cars, she is resourceful enough to find other transportation when it suits her.

In recent years, encounters with this phantom have also taken place at a bus stop that is located directly across the street from the cemetery. Many have claimed to see a dark-haired young girl here who mysteriously vanishes. On occasion, she has also climbed aboard a few Chicago Transit Authority buses as well.

One evening, a young girl climbed aboard a bus and breezed right past the driver without paying the fare. She walked to the back portion of the vehicle and sat down, seemingly without a care in the world. Irritated the driver called out to her, but she didn’t answer. Finally, he stood up and walked back toward where she was seating. She would either pay, he thought, or have to get off the bus! Not surprisingly though, before he could reach her, she vanished before his eyes!

According to reports, other shaken drivers have had the same eerie experience at this bus stop. He has spoken with others who have also seen this young girl and every single one of them have seen her disappear as if she had never been there in the first place!




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Jun/11/2008, 12:29 pm Link to this post Send Email to MaTTsWoRld   Send PM to MaTTsWoRld Blog
 
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Re: ghost hitchikers


Located on the other side of the roadway from Bellefontaine is Calvary Cemetery, another beautiful example of the classic Garden burial ground. Calvary was started in 1857 and also came about because of the epidemic of 1849. After the death of so many St. Louis citizens from cholera, most of the city’s cemeteries, including all of the Catholic cemeteries were filled. In addition, many of these burial grounds stood in the way of new development. There was no question that St. Louis Catholics were in need of a larger burial ground, and thanks to the new law, one located outside of the city limits.

In 1853, Archbishop Peter Richard Kenrick purchased a 323-acre piece of land called “Old Orchard Farm” on the northwest side of the city. Kenrick established his own farm on half of the property and gave the other half for use as a cemetery. The ground had already been used for burials in the past, as a portion of the land had once been an ancient Indian burial site. In addition, Native Americans and soldiers from nearby Fort Bellefontaine had also buried the dead here. After Kenrick purchased the ground, all of these remains were exhumed and moved to a mass grave. A large crucifix was placed on top of the site and it is located at one of the highest points in the cemetery today.

Kenrick lived in a mansion on the western edge of the grounds for many years, even after the Calvary Cemetery Association was incorporated in 1867. Archbishop Kenrick became its first president. Around this same time, many of the smaller Catholic cemeteries in the area were moved to Calvary, which now contains over 315,000 graves on 477 acres of ground.

Like Bellefontaine Cemetery, Calvary also takes advantage of the natural wooded setting and rolling hills. It also features amazing displays of cemetery artwork and the final resting places of many notable people like Dred Scott, William Tecumseh Sherman, Dr. Thomas A. Dooley, Tennessee Williams, Kate Chopin, and many others.

Strangely, while neither of these cemeteries boasts a single ghost story, there is a spirited tale connected to Calvary Drive, the road that runs between the two burial grounds, connecting Broadway and West Florissant Road.


There are actually three different versions of the story, but each concerns a phantom that appears along this gloomy stretch of road. The first is a classic "Vanishing Hitchhiker" story about a girl who is sometimes picked up along the road but who then vanishes from the car. It started back in the 1940’s when she was referred to as "Hitchhike Annie" and she limits her appearances to the time of day when the sun is setting and that she also sometimes appears on different roads in the same general vicinity.


According to the accounts, motorists who passed along Calvary Drive (and sometimes other streets in the area) would be flagged down by a young girl in a white dress. She was usually described as being quite attractive with long brown hair and pale skin. After climbing into the car, she would sometimes claim that she had been stranded or that her car had broken down. Either way, she would ask for a ride and direct the driver to take her down the street. In every case though, just as the automobile would near the entrance to Bellefontaine Cemetery, the girl would mysteriously vanish from the vehicle! The door would never open and no warning would come to say that she was getting out. Annie would simply be gone. The story of Annie persisted for many years, but by the early 1980’s seemed to die out.


In another version of the story, the phantom is a boy who is dressed in old-fashioned clothing from the late 1800’s. He is said to appear in the middle of Calvary Drive when there are cars coming, causing the vehicles to swerve and slam on their brakes to avoid hitting what they think is a flesh and blood child. When the drivers try to look for him, they always discover that he has simply vanished.


And that’s not the only ghost who allegedly haunts this stretch of roadway either. Stories were also told for many years of a woman in a black mourning dress who would also cross this roadway. According to the man who passed the story on to me, who remembered it being a current tale when he was a child about two decades ago, the woman would suddenly appear in the street, much like the little boy. She looked like a real person, clad in a long, rather old-fashioned dress and wearing a hat and a veil over her face. From the description, she was apparently an almost stereotypical mourner from the Victorian era. The woman walked out into the street, or appeared suddenly in the middle of the roadway, and drivers were forced to come to sudden stops so that they wouldn’t strike her. Each time though, she would vanish before their eyes.


Once again, this story made the rounds for a number of years and then seemed to fade away. What was it that made this stretch of road one of the most haunted highways in St. Louis, at least for a time? Could it have been the close proximity of the city’s two most hallowed burial grounds, or something else? And what caused the stories to stop being told? Could the haunting here have ended... or could it be waiting to simply start back up again someday?



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Jun/11/2008, 12:31 pm Link to this post Send Email to MaTTsWoRld   Send PM to MaTTsWoRld Blog
 
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Re: ghost hitchikers


The Grandmother

C.B. Colby tells the the story of the "Hitchhiker to Montgomery" in which two businessmen on their way to Montgomery, Alabama, stop for a little old lady in a lavender dress walking on the side of the road in the middle of the night. She tells them she is going to see her daughter and granddaughter, and they offer to drive her to the next town. On the way, she proudly tells them all about her children and grandchildren, their names, where they live, and so on. After a while, the men become engrossed in their own business conversation, and when they reach their destination, the old woman has vanished from the back seat. Fearing the worst, the men retrace their route, but do not find the woman anywhere. Finally, recalling the daughter's name, they go to her house in Montgomery to report what might have been a horrible accident. The men identify her from photos in the woman's house. But as it happens, the old woman was buried just three years ago that day.

The Ghost of Highway 36

Sometimes, it seems, these phantom hitchhikers don't always ask for rides - they just take them. In the mid-1980s, a woman named Roxie was driving along Highway 36 near Edmonton, Alberta when she was astonished to see a spirit suddenly sitting in the passenger seat next to her. "I realized he wasn't flesh and blood, but, needless to say, I was scared. He appeared in shades of black, gray and white, as if a black and white movie was being projected into my car." His attire, she said, from from the previous decade and she was able to describe him clearly: black turtleneck, black pants, leather boots, blond chin-length hair. He turned, smiled at her with a small wave of his hand... and disappeared.



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Jun/11/2008, 12:33 pm Link to this post Send Email to MaTTsWoRld   Send PM to MaTTsWoRld Blog
 


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