A pale hitchhiker disappears from the car that had picked him up along a desolate, foggy road in England; a young woman materializes seemingly out of nowhere, apparently injured by a passing car, then vanishes without a trace; people are panicked when travelers appear unexpectedly in their cars. These wild and hair-raising incidents are cited in a book by the paranormal researcher Michael Goss, author of The Evidence for Phantom Hitch-Hikers. We will bring here a number of the stranger stories from the book.
In October 1979, Roy Fulton from Liverpool, England was traveling on a deserted stretch of foggy road, “Paradise Lane” near Stanbridge in the area of Bedfordshire, England. He stopped his car to pick up a man with a deathly pale face. ‘Roy asked him where he wanted to go,’ Goss writes, ‘and the traveler did not say a word, just pointed with his hand in the direction of the nearest town.
After a few minutes Roy turned to offer the hitchhiker a cigarette. To his shock he discovered that the passenger’s seat was empty. Roy slammed on the brakes and turned the car around to travel in the other direction, afraid that the man has somehow fallen out and hurt himself. When he found absolutely no trace of the hitchhiker, he contacted the police and reported the incident. The police officers organized a search of the area, but all was for naught. The man had disappeared as if the ground had swallowed him up.
In July 1974, businessman Maurice Goodenough was driving in the area of Blue Bell Hill in Southern England. To his surprise, he saw the shape of a young woman caught in the glare of his headlights straight in the path of his rapidly approaching vehicle. He put on the brakes, but it was too late – his car ran into the girl. “He jumped out of the car and found her injured on the road, her legs damaged and her forehead covered with blood,” writes Goss. “Mommy,” she mumbled once or twice. Goodenough carried her to the side of the road, covered her with a blanket, and then ran towards his car to try to go for help. But when he returned with the police, the young woman had disappeared. Only the blanket remained.
In another incident in England, the residents of the village of Nanny were hysterical when drivers began reporting sightings of ghosts that had begun to take the form of travelers in the backseats of their cars. It seemed that all of the incidents had taken place when people were driving along a narrow road where, in the 16th century, a number of criminals had been executed by hanging.
~A Dead Man Comes to Help Save the Life of a Relative~~
When the famous Kabbalist and holy man, the Baba Sali, died in 1984, a group of Spinka Hasidim were in a terrible traffic accident on their way back from the funeral in Netivot. Four people died in the accident. The one passenger, who survived despite his nearly fatal injuries, was Abish, the eleven year old son of Grand Rabbi Yaakov Yosef of Spinka.
At the time of the accident a taxi cab drove by, stopping to help with the rescue efforts that ultimately saved the boy’s life. In the years that followed, the taxi driver remained in contact with the boy’s family, and always attended their joyous occasions. One day, he mentioned something that had troubled him ever since the accident. “As soon as I started to help with the rescue, there suddenly appeared at my side a man with a face with a special glow, who began to recite psalms. I told him that he could help me if he wanted, but if not, he should stand to the side to pray. During the whole time following the accident, I couldn’t stop thinking about how he had come out of nowhere, and for all these years, I can’t stop wondering who he really was.”
The driver was certain that he remembered the man’s face clearly. One of the family members brought out a photo album with many pictures of people from the family. The driver looked at the pictures without recognizing anyone, yet he insisted that the image of the man was etched in his memory in the clearest way possible. When they were just about ready to stop looking at the photographs and had all but given up, the driver pointed to one of the pictures and said: “That’s the man I saw at the accident. I’m sure of it.”
The family members were shocked. The man to whom the driver had pointed was none other than a family member from the previous generation – the righteous Grand Rabbi of Spinka, author of the book Chakal Yosef, who was murdered by the Germans, on May 29, 1942. This was the man that the driver identified as the person who had come to pray during the efforts to save the young boy’s life.
“He came from heaven to pray that the child would live,” said the excited driver.
Adapted from The Comung Revolution by Rabbi Zamir Cohen