Phantom Hitchhiker
Ghost on the road from “Shutter.”

The phantom hitchhiker is a familiar guest on countless American roads (not even counting the global reports). This is a growing collection of ghostly hitchhikers and the lore surrounding them.

The Phantom Hitchhiker of Gap Creek, Tennessee

The legend of the traveler goes back years ago on that bleak stretch of road. A man was murdered in the curve and every night, around 2 a.m., he jumps on the hood of any passing car in an attempt to flee the scene of his death.

He clings to the hood until he disappears.


The Phantom Hitchhiker of Rotherwood

Legend and lore is rife within the Rotherwood portion of Hawkins County, Tennessee. One legend is Rowena Rotherwood, beautiful daughter of the original Rotherwood plantation house owner, committed suicide after she discovered her betrothed had died. Now her ghost lingers surrounding the massive bridge by the old plantation. Drivers have swerved or even wrecked trying to avoid her spectral presence.


Bringing Mary Home

This old bluegrass song discusses the familiar roadside entity. The song has been recorded by many, including Mac Wiseman and Red Sovine. In the song, the singer picks up a young woman on a cold and rainy night. He agrees to take her home.

She’s pale and silent, but the driver assumes she’s just shaken and scared. He reaches the address she gave him and she’s gone. He goes up to the house to ask. Her mother answers and says ten years earlier, Mary was in a car accident and died. Since that time, she’s been trying to come back home.



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