USA Roadside Urban Legends image

There’s nothing better than a good old spooky story – unless it’s a good old spooky story about cars. The USA is the natural home of automobile urban legends. Maybe it’s the long stretches of lonely highway that are so supernaturally inspiring?

Wherever the stories come from and however true they are, they’re widespread; car insurance companies even talk about ‘phantom vehicles’ when processing claims. In gleeful anticipation of Halloween, here are a few of the best of the many freaky car tales from stateside:

The Hook Hand

This is perhaps the most famous roadside urban legend of them all – and it starts with a teenage couple drive to their local make-out spot for a bit of privacy. The night is dark and gloomy, so they roll up the windows, turn on the radio and cuddle close together.

Suddenly, an urgent alert interrupt the song that’s playing – a madman has escaped from a nearby criminal asylum. The announcer says he’s a dangerous murderer with a distinctive hook hand that he uses to tear at his victims. The girl begins to panic and ask to be taken home, while the boy insists there’s nothing to worry about. She prevails, though, and eventually the boy angrily starts the car and quickly pulls away.

They stop outside the girl’s house and she gets out, turning to say goodnight – but begins to scream and cry. The boy rushes round to her side of the car, noticing a long scratch down its side. A claim for his motor insurance, perhaps, but surely nothing to panic about…then, he sees the bloodied hook hanging from the car’s door handle!

Resurrection Mary

The story goes that the young, beautiful Mary is doomed to wander the roadside where she died for eternity. Drivers have reported seeing a pale blonde teenage girl in a white dress appear from no-where; some say they’ve even picked her up, thinking she was a hitchhiker. According to legend, the girl is quiet, cold and sad, and will ask to be dropped off at the graveyard.

The Headlight Stalker

A woman’s driving home alone from work on a near-empty road when a car goes to overtake her. After pulling out, though, it suddenly brakes and swerves back in behind her, wildly flashing its headlights. The woman is unnerved but decides not to pull over, fearing that the car contains a madman that’s trying to lure her to the side of the road.

The car stays behind her, periodically flashing its lights – the woman is getting more and more unnerved as it follows her through the twisting alleyways that lead to her house. She zooms up outside her home and squeals to a stop, leaving the car running as she leaps out of the driver’s seat and runs to her front door. The man who’s been following behind her also jumps out of his car, screaming ‘Get inside and call 911!’

When the Police arrive, they find two men locked in a struggle. One has a huge butcher’s knife. As the following car had gone to overtake, its driver had seen the shadow of a man in the back seat of the lady’s car wielding the weapon. He had followed her, flashing his lights every time he saw the crouching figure go to cut her throat.