There can be no doubt that few places are as isolating, lonely, and remote as a road penetrating out through the middle of nowhere. No one else knows just quite how strange the meandering roads of the night are than long-haul truckers, who spend the majority of their days off on these avenues of the often frightening and strange. If anyone knows the roads, it’s truckers, and they have had some very weird, frequently surreal, and often downright bizarre encounters, indeed.
A very unsettling experience was posted on ThoughtCo, involving a witness called Mike L., a long-haul trucker who operates all over the lower 48 states. On this particular evening in June of 2011, he was making his way down a dark road near Palestine, Arkansas, on his way from Detroit, Michigan to Houston, Texas, and made a stop at a small truck stop that came up out of the night in front of him just off of the I-40 interstate. It was a remote place squatting out in seemingly the middle of nowhere, almost anomalous in its presence there amongst the parched landscape, with an unkempt demeanor and quite filthy looking for the most part, but he was tired from hours out on the lonely road and he decided to take a long break for the night. Mike purchased some food and sat back in his truck to have a bite to eat and listen to the radio, after which he lay down to take a rest. His peace would not last long.
He was jolted awake by the rocking of his truck, as if there was an earthquake happening, and this was so intense that it actually knocked a bottle of water off the dashboard, as well as his ashtray. After he regained his composure he decided that it had to be the wind, and almost as a response to this mental query there was another powerful shock to the truck. Wondering what in the world was going on, Mike got out of the truck to look around and found that the night was still, with no wind that could have caused the disturbance. He explains what happened next thus:
Curiously and cautiously, I walked around the front of my truck to the passenger side and looked down the length of my trailer. I noticed movement. Low to the ground, about four feet. Not fast. I used my keys to unlock the passenger-side door, jumped up and grabbed my large flashlight from an overhead storage compartment. I climbed back down and closed and locked the door.
I clicked on the light and shined it down the side of my trailer. There was a young girl standing off into the field about ten feet behind my truck, but when I looked harder, she wasn’t there. Well, like I said earlier, truck drivers see something new every day. This was certainly new. I began to walk toward the rear of my truck, scanning the field with my flashlight for any trace of the girl I had just seen. When I reached the back, there was no trace. It must have been a trick of the eyes. Heck, I haven’t even fully awakened yet. I glanced over my shoulder. There were no cars at the pumps and the clerk definitely hadn’t noticed me.
After peering out into the dark for a few moments trying to see if he could locate the girl, Mike headed back to his truck, and as he got in he claims to have heard the jolting, distinct sound of a girl’s giggle from behind him. Startled, he got back down onto the pavement and shone his flashlight around but could see nothing. He claims that he said aloud, “This is getting kind of creepy,” which got a reply in a girl’s voice, “He heard me.” Mike says that this time the voice actually came from inside the truck, although he was sure that no one could have gotten past him into the vehicle without him seeing. He leaned his head into the truck and heard a distinct voice from within say “Goodnight.” A panicked Mike then frantically searched the entire interior of the truck and found that no one was there. He says of what transpired next:
I turned around and shuffled into the cab to close the door when I saw the young girl standing outside my truck on the pavement, looking up at me with lifeless eyes. Those eyes, you see, weren’t meant for a person. They were designed for a predator, and all of a sudden I felt like prey.
I reached forward and slammed the door shut and flicked the lock. I quickly decided that I was not staying here for the rest of the night. I turned the key and heard my truck’s motor rumble to life, along with the familiar, annoying buzzing that was my air-pressure gauge telling me that I didn’t have enough air to release the brakes. I took a furtive glance out the window, and there she stood – still as a tree, looking up at me and smiling. I didn’t want to get any closer to the window until I was ready to get my truck moving. This was wrong, and I didn’t want any part of this.
That “girl” wasn’t human, at least not anymore she wasn’t. It was almost as if she was something so inhuman that it would take the form of a human. It’s hard for me to explain and I feel sick just thinking about it. I heard the siren shut off and hit the valves to supply air to my brake system. As the system began to air up, the siren came on again.
Mike says he wasted no time in putting the truck into gear and tearing out of the truck stop as fast as he could. As he looked back, he says he could see the eerie form of the girl standing there bathed in the red of his running lights, grinning and waving after him. He drove on for around 45 minutes, trying to wrap his head around what he had just seen and pulling himself together, before pulling into a larger, more well-lit truck stop. That was when he noticed something disturbing, of which he would say:
At the store (at the previous truck stop), I had bought a souvenir. Nothing fancy, just a postcard with a picture of Arkansas on it. I also had bought a new knife. I had never even taken the knife out of the box and remembered putting the postcard into a drawer for safekeeping. The point of the blade had been driven directly into the spot on I-40 where I had originally stopped for the night! The blade had been driven in deep, pegging the postcard to my nightstand!
It took me several minutes just to work the knife loose enough to withdraw it from the nightstand. Thankfully, when I turned the postcard over, no message had been left for me. I threw that postcard away and tossed the knife into a dumpster. To this day I do not know what I saw.
It is difficult to classify quite what this could have been, be that a ghost or something else altogether, but there have certainly been other creepy possibly supernatural apparitions seen along desolate darkened roads, and which are equally as hard to identify. One report from a comment on a Reddit forum for truckers concerns a witness who was out on a trucking mission called a “meet and turn,” wherein they haul their cargo halfway to the destination and then another trucker takes over. On this particular run, the witness allegedly arrived at the designated meeting point an hour early, and had to wait there in what was basically a dark, empty lot at 3 in the morning, with not a single other soul in sight. Since he had some time to kill, he decided to have a short nap, but this would be rudely interrupted by a series of bizarre events he describes thus:
About 10 minutes into my nap, I was awakened by a barking dog. I tried to ignore it but the bark carried on for several of minutes and it grew louder and closer. At this point, it became clear that he’s either trying to alert me of something or he’s just being a pain in the butt. So I sat up and looked out my window, and what I saw left me motionless. Standing there, inches on the other side of the glass, was a man around 35 years of age, he was a large fellow and he was barking at me, his eyes were crazy and he was even frothing a little from his mouth.
The sheer creepiness struck me and gently without making any sudden movements I reached down and started my truck and slowly started pulling away. As I was doing so, he was chasing after me, much like you would expect an angry dog and still barking as I kept pulling away. Needless to say, I don’t take naps on the job anymore.
A similarly weird figure was encountered by an anonymous witness who says he was on his way from Albuquerque, New Mexico, to Socorro, when he noticed a very tall figure lurking by the side of the road. At first the driver took it to be just a guy walking along, but as he approached he realized that “nothing about the guy seemed natural.” The figure moved in an odd manner, and was lanky and wearing what was described as a grey suit. The witness would say:
His face had a mask on or something. For half a second, I closed my eyes and he noticed he was looking at me.The headlight of the truck was blinding him and he still was looking at me, not the truck. It really was creepy. Thankfully, he was just standing there he did not make something out of the ordinary. It is definitely one of my spookiest road stories to tell.
It’s hard to really say with these particular accounts whether we are supposed to be dealing with a ghost or not, but other reports seem to definitely involved spooks and spirits of some sort. Take a report from a forum on the Trucker’s Report, in which the witness says he came across some sort of cloaked phantom atop a spectral steed. He would say:
I was driving to work around 3:30 in the morning on a back road in Mississippi near the Louisiana line. I was probably going about 35 or so, as it was raining and the road is a winding with no lines or anything. It’s dangerous enough in daylight under normal conditions. Anyway, I’m driving along and suddenly this jet black horse just flies out of the woods on a side trail. There was a rider decked out in a black cloak with a hood and everything. The horse must have been blasting at full speed, and the rider’s cloak was just whipping in the wind. They must’ve ran for 1/4 mile or so and then darted off down another side trail and disappeared into the darkness. A buddy was riding with me and I looked over at him, and he looked over at me, and we both said something along the lines of ‘Did you fucking see that?!’
Another account on the same Trucker’s Report forum is every bit as mysterious and unsettling. The witness in this case says he was west-bound on Jensen Road in Fresno, CA, when an unusually tall figure bloomed out of the night, which seemed to be shambling down the pitch-black road. The witness describes the report thus:
I had slowed to about 40 mph when out of nowhere appeared this freakishly tall figure of a man in a black, buttoned up trench coat and a round, black sombrero standing on the white line of the two lane road. He must have been at least 6’7″ or 7’0 tall. My partner and I watched and he didn’t even flinch as the rig passed by. I swear, the side mirrors must have missed his head by only a couple of inches. My partner and I looked at each other with our eyes wide open and screamed ‘Did you see that?! What the fuck was that?’. I swear our skin crawled and we were both in a kind of shock. I couldn’t stop thinking about it for a couple days.
What was going on here? In another case that appeared on the site The Ghost Diaries, an anonymous truck driver related a frightening experience he had while headed back home to see his family after 2 grueling weeks on the open road. On the way he took a shortcut through a remote area that he was not very familiar with. This is where he would have an experience that can only be described as supernatural in nature. The witness says:
It was about 3:40am or so in the morning and I had been on that particular road for about an hour already and nothing out of the ordinary had happened. Suddenly, I get to an area packed with old creepy trees on the side and tons of shrubbery. As usual, my radio was on and out of nowhere this horrible static starts to crackle thru the speakers. I started to feel chilly and uncomfortable when wouldn’t you know it, I saw a man hanging from a tree on the side of the road.
There he was, his body was even swinging from side to side, I stepped on the break as fast and carefully as I could but I kept looking through the rearview mirror and he was still there. I grabbed my coat, my gun, and my flashlight and I had my phone in my pocket and I started to dial 911, but there was no signal. I made my way through the shrubs and when I reached the tree, he was gone. I moved the flashlight around, thinking maybe he got free. I went back to my truck looked back and there he was again, hanging like I had seen him before. After this, let’s just say I didn’t like taking shortcuts anymore.
A fairly disturbing account comes from a trucker who was out driving with a buddy between San Francisco, California, and Cheyenne, Wyoming, when the truck began to make an anomalous and rather alarming grinding noise, as if they had run over something that had gotten lodged up into the undercarriage. They decided to pull over at a rest stop and figure out what was going on, and as they sat there talking it over there was the sound of a child crying that began to emanate from somewhere out in the night. No one else was there, and thinking it was a child in trouble they grabbed some flashlights and went to investigate. The sound of the crying seemed to be coming from a row of bathrooms, and they soon pinpointed the noise as coming from one of the women’s stalls. Since no one else was there they ducked in and fully expected to find a child there in possibly mortal peril, but there was nothing there, even as that increasingly desperate crying and wailing echoed out around them. The witness would say:
We walked in expecting to see someone brutally beaten or worse and we see nothing but only hear the sound, it is still there but there’s no one there, it’s completely empty. We turn the lights on and still nothing. We checked each stall just to make sure and nothing. We even looked exactly where the noise was coming from and again nothing. Is it a hidden camera? A speaker? What the f*ck?
My buddy sees a small window and opens it up and the noise deceased, we stood there for a few seconds and the window slams shut on its own and the crying begins again, we were out of that bathroom in seconds as we ran towards the truck and you could still hear the crying. Of course, the grinding noise is still there so, this time, I pull up to another rest stop some miles away where we checked underneath and we saw some sort of red and silver metal stuck right in there and we couldn’t take it out. A week later, I had my mechanic take it out when he was doing a service – it was part of a kid’s tricycle, the red area where somebody can stand. That was one of those moments for me. Totally fucked up and crazy.
In other cases truckers have apparently come across phantom vehicles of some sort. On the site True Ghost Tales there is the account from 2000 of a trucker who had been out doing a run between Gallipolis, Ohio, to Evansville, Indiana through Cincinnati, Ohio and Indianapolis, Indiana. A few miles outside of Sardenia, Ohio, the witness says that from behind him came a pair of flashing lights that looked like those of a police cruiser, which as they drew closer seemed to be of the old fashioned kind that revolved. The driver began to slow down, thinking that perhaps something was going on, and the lights pulled up directly behind him, prompting him to come to a full stop. He would say of what happened next:
I set my brakes, turned on the dome, released my seat belt and picked up my light. I looked into my mirrors, I did not see anyone get out of the car. I opened my door and stepped out of my truck. I started back towards the car and just abreast of my drive axle I froze. I bent over looking in under the trailer and then threw my very bright mag. Light all around. Guess what, there was nothing back there and thinking may be he had went off the road behind me out in the grass I looked there. There was nothing. The weird part is, I ran this road all the time and I knew it well. There was no place he could have turned around or turned off. Needless to say, I headed for the cab of my truck on the run. I jumped in my rig and took off and getting on the radio, I tried to call the flat bed I had passed and see if he saw this cop car or what ever but he didn’t answer.
There are countless other stories such as these from the men and women who spend their lives out along the lonely, often sinister roads that intersect through the United States, traversing long stretches of remote and desolate highways with only the radio and the night to keep them company, and here I have presented merely a few of the stranger I have found. What did these people experience out there? What were these things that popped up out of the dark and strange realm of the road to startle and scare these brave truckers who have mostly seen it all? Wherever the answers lie, these roads go off over the horizon, through forests, deserts, and various badlands, stretching off into the night and holding with them mysteries that dot the landscape blurring by, and they are definately a spooky place to be.