There have been countless reports of these preternatural creatures throughout the centuries. Phantom travelers are supposedly the spirits of humans and/or animals that haunt certain locations like roads or well traveled areas. They’re thought to originate from the catastrophic events that happened at these locations, therefore intensifying tenacious emotional attachments that heighten the supernatural energy of these places. Such horrific events include car crashes, train wrecks and motorcycle accidents just to name a few that have proven fatal.
These spirits appear as if they are among the living, like you and me. They seem tangible without any transparency at all. Yet, they are not to be confused with doppelgangers for they are not harbingers of doom. The opaque apparitions seem deeply saddened, traumatized and severely lonely.
They are commonly seen alongside roads, railroad tracks and even cemeteries. Often, a passerby traveling will see these life-like phantoms as they suddenly appear in the car’s headlights. Looking as if they are distressed, the driver will ask the ghost if they are in need of any help or possibly wanting a ride somewhere. Several reports claim that when the living person’s kind offer was accepted, there was little interaction with their ghostly passenger. And once destination was reached, the phantom traveler exited the vehicle only to vanish into thin air, leaving the driver completely terrified and confused.
When I was growing up, an urban legend floated around town that mystified all those who listened. The details, for me, were never clear, but I somehow remember the tale of a headless woman that haunted a small bridge on a county road. It was said that anyone stopping on this old bridge around the hour of midnight, turning off their car and then repeatedly flashing the headlights, would see the vision of the headless woman carrying her head in front of the vehicle. Did I ever try this alleged paranormal experiment? Of course I did with many of my friends, but was unable to witness anything conclusive.
Perhaps the ghostly hitchhikers aren’t aware of their passing or are simply too distraught to move on, causing them to be trapped in our physical realm. Who knows….
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~ Sheila Renee Parker on Twitter @sheilarparker.