Picking up hitchhikers is risky business. For one, you’d be breaking the law as California Vehicle Code 21957 prevents people from soliciting a ride on a roadway. But there’s more at stake than just $200 for a ticket. There’s a good chance that this may be your last time behind the wheel.
Especially if you pick a hitchhiking ghost who seeks vengeance from the living. And who knows how many there are across a supernatural hotbed such as California?
If you’re behind the wheel and traveling down one of these 10 roads, don’t stop for anyone let alone pick them up.
Beware the Hitchhiking Ghosts on These 10 California Roads
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10) Browning Road - Delano
Browning Road has gained a bad reputation in Delano, especially since most fatal accidents happen there. Off the record, one of the causes of these accidents is a ghostly hitchhiker. Killed while crossing the road, she’s a vicious entity who’s been known to lash out on drivers. An elderly couple who barely managed to escape her described her as a young, blonde woman with dirty clothes.
According to the wife, her husband stopped for the woman despite her pleas not to. She was standing a little bit off the road, down a path where there were some trees. The couple had pulled over to rest for a few moments. She quietly slipped into the backseat. But as the road came to an end, she screamed and lunged at the man, choking him. The accident left both unconscious until another vehicle found them. The Delano local told the couple that they were lucky as the ghost hardly left anyone alive to tell her tale.
9) Hicks Road - San Jose
Hicks Road runs alongside Almaden Quicksilver County Park, and this stretch is legendary for all the wrong reasons. But none are as creepy as the two ghostly children signaling those traveling on it. The story of one of this entity’s victims appeared in the local newspaper back in 1998. A woman committed suicide after complaining for a whole week about hearing baby cries even when there weren’t any around.
Her roommate told the reporter that she seemed terrified when she returned at 5 am. While traveling alone on this road, she heard baby cries. Suddenly, a young boy holding a baby appeared and signaled for a ride. She didn’t stop. But when she looked through the rear mirror, and saw the boy glare in her direction.
Just as she felt at ease, Anne heard a voice say, “That wasn’t very nice of you.” The boy was in her back seat with the baby crying loudly in his lap. Since that night, she complained about cries until she snapped and took her own life.
8) San Diego Freeway - Near El Cajon
This is probably the most dangerous road on this list. Haunting it is the ghost of the bloodthirsty killer Carl Alfred Eder. Back in 1958, 16-year-old Eder hitched a ride with Thomas Prendergast. The man sympathized with the homeless teen and took him home. But when he returned from work on December 12, he discovered the bodies of his wife and children.
Eder spent two years in prison before escaping. While he was never found, several claimed seeing a teen matching his description on the freeway. But those who picked him up have horrifying tales to tell.
In 2003, an El Cajon resident picked a teenager with sunken eyes, hollow cheekbones, and several moles. The boy told her to drop him just a few blocks away from her place. The next morning, she discovered her cat stabbed and slashed in the kitchen next to the words, “I’m done for now.”
7) Proctor Valley Road - Chula Vista
Proctor Valley Road is another dangerous road in California. And not only because it’s home to the Proctor Valley Monster and a demon car. Its resident White Dress Hitchhiker won’t let you drive by that easily. According to several trusted mediums, the entity was raped and murdered on her way to prom. That’s why she won’t let any man drive on this road safely.
A couple of college students who ventured on this road on a dare disappeared for four days without a trace. Their friends searched for them during day, but didn’t even find their car. On the fifth day, one of the car’s passengers appeared on the side of the road. The woman who found him told the police that he was in a daze and constantly murmuring, “It wasn’t me who did it.” Till this day, the other boy hasn’t been found.
6) Channel Road - Sanger
Commonly known as Snake Road, Channel Road is famous for being ominous. Travelers are accustomed to sights such as slaughtered animals hanging on nearby fences.
But one sight you should pray to never see is that of this road’s hitchhiking ghost. A beautiful woman in her 20s is said to stop vehicles to ask about her two daughters. But be careful while responding.
A woman claims the hitchhiker climbed in her car before she could answer. When she told her to get out, she suddenly felt her nostrils and throat fill with water. When she came to, the only thing proving that she had a paranormal experience was a large wet stain on the passenger’s seat.
5) Hicks Road - Los Gatos
By day, Hicks Road is a scenic motorway. But come night, the forest on both sides makes a terrifying sight. Adding to drivers’ fears is the local legend of the native American hitchhiker. It takes a very terrifying road to have two separate stretches of it each make this list for different reasons.
According to a story dating four years ago, a man was on this road around midnight. Suddenly, someone signaled him to stop. A woman wearing native American clothing and strings of beads around her neck climbed in his car. She kept twirling a necklace which seemed made of teeth.
The driver tried asking her where he should drop her, but she only extended her arm as if to say “ahead”. Feeling cold sweat and a menacing aura, he asked her to get out. At first, she didn’t. But then he opened the door and furiously told her to leave his car. Hitting the gas, the man escaped. But looking back, he saw many native American men surround the woman. Suddenly, they all disappeared.
The next day, however, he discovered one of the woman’s bead necklaces and the severed head of a crow. No one knows what happened to him, but his blog hasn’t been updated since.
4) California Route 99 - Fresno
Route 99 is a lonely and scary road, especially if you’re traveling on your own. Further adding to its eeriness is the wild hitchhiking ghost haunting it.
While driving between Chico and Fresno for work, a middle-aged trucker saw a young woman in jeans and a bright red shirt. She tried hitching a ride with him, but he wouldn’t stop. Around half a mile later, he saw the same woman extending her thumb. But he continued driving.
One more time further down the road, he saw her one more time, but this time she flashed directly in front of his windshield, then disappeared. He says he'll never forget the screaming sound she made, even thought it somehow sounded both silent and like the loudest sound he had ever heart.
He got out of his truck to look around, worried he had hit somebody, but there was nothing there.
The ‘woman’ appeared one more time just before he neared his destination. But this time he slowed down to make sure it was the same hitchhiker. His ears suddenly rang as she screamed loudly. Blood spattered on the windshield and he felt something choke him. Had another truck not pass by, the trucker believes he wouldn’t be alive.
3) Zzyzx Road - Baker
Despite its silly name, Zzyzx Road is very unsafe, even during day. Lurking on the roadside is the malicious ghost of a teenage girl. A high school basketball coach and two of his students were heading back to Los Angeles when she waved them down. She looked terrified. Her clothes were torn and she was barefoot. She rode in the car and asked to be dropped in LA.
After driving for a few miles, the girl suddenly started laughing. She grabbed the boy next to her and leaned to kiss him. When he pushed her away, she began screaming loudly and suddenly disappeared. The boys felt terrified while their coach tried calming them down.
Suddenly, the windshield became foggy. The words “I won’t let you leave” began appearing on it. The car suddenly began shaking and overturned. One of the boys saw the girl laughing manically as he dragged others out of the car.
2) Highway 101 - Prunedale
Highway 101 has been a hotspot for accidents for several years now. While some attribute these to reckless drivers, several claim a black man caused them to lose control of their vehicles.
In 2009, a woman ignored a black man trying to hitch a ride. One mile down Highway 101, however, she stopped. Dangling from a nearby tree was the body of a large man. The minute she stepped outside her car, the rope snapped and the body fell to the floor.
Rushing to where it fell, the woman was surprised to find no body. Behind her, she suddenly heard, “Miss, I need a ride.” Standing was the same black man, with red eyes shining bright and a wicked smile on his mouth.
1) Old Stage Road - Salinas
If you’re from Salinas or reside there, you’ve probably heard several spooky stories about Old Stage Road. But none are as frightening as the ghostly hitchhiker that follows those who pick him up. A woman stopped for a middle-aged man smoking on the side of the road. Thanking her for the ride, he told her no one would pick him up before. The driver’s youngest child started crying suddenly and the rest of the kids complained about the cigarette smoke.
The woman tried telling him to stop smoking, but he wouldn’t listen. She eventually stopped before exiting Old Stage Road and told him to get out. That night, she woke up to the sound of their fire alarm. But she was too late. Only her youngest and she managed to survive the fire.
Upon investigating the cause of the fire, the woman was shown a cigarette stub. With no smokers in their household, only one possible culprit came to mind.
If you absolutely must drive on these ten roads, make sure not to pick up any one on the way. You may not be half as lucky as some of the people who survived these encounters and lived to tell their tale.