Jun 15, 2019 I Brent Swancer

Ghosts in the Machine: Strange Cases of Haunted Cars

The list of places that are supposed to be haunted might be ingrained into your mind. We have abandoned areas, scary old buildings, and any place that holds to it close some memories of a tragic, tumultuous past. Yet, can some things be haunted that we don't traditionally think of being as such? Indeed they can be, and it seems that vehicles are just as prone to hauntings as anywhere else. I have written of cursed and haunted automobiles here at MU before, but this seems to be just the tip of the iceberg, and cars seem to truly have the capacity to harness mysterious forces beyond our ability to understand at this point.

Some supposedly haunted cars seem to have a mysterious ghostly history that has imbued and permeated them for years. From the forum of Unsolved Mysteries comes an account from Halifax, Nova Scotia, where a young man found himself needing a new car right away in order to make his long commute every day after his own broke down. Across the street from the house of a friend of his was a car that was apparently in good working order but had been sitting out on the lawn for years. The witness approached the owners of the house about it, and they were extremely quick to get it off their hands for a very cheap price.

The witness took this as lucky, but it would soon prove to be far from it, as all manner of issues began to surface with the vehicle, such as the electrical system going on the fritz, the radio turning on or off by itself, the speedometer stopping, and other minor technical annoyances. However, when he brought the car to a mechanic there could be found nothing at all wrong with it. The witness just sort of chalked it up to the car’s age and ignored it, but this is about when stranger incidents began to occur, which would graduate into paranormal bizarreness that showed that something was very wrong with this vehicle beyond just mechanical issues. The witness says:

I started ignoring it and one day on the way home from my girlfriend’s house, I heard a weird noise in my back seat. It sounded like paper crumpling up, I looked back and nothing. I also look around at each window and there were none opened (I thought it might of been the wind) I then heard the same noise in between the two front seats. I looked down and nothing, very confused I started trying to figure it out. Now I was just coming to a top of a hill and in my left ear I heard my name whispered to me gently. I immediately froze and popped my car into neutral, so I could coast home (my house was at the bottom of the hill) when I rolled into my drive way, I jumped from the car leaving the keys behind and crawled through a window to get into my house.


Now there were three incidents, that being first. The second incident accrued when I was driving my car to my friends to pick up an instrument. I seen another friend of mine walking along the side of the road, so I pulled over and asked if he needed a ride. They said "yes" jumped in and I continued along the way. I arrived at my friends whom I was getting the instrument from and the friend I picked up said they would wait in the car, as they didn't know my other friend that well. I went in the house and my friend started talking to me. I wasn't in there for more the a couple minutes when I heard the front door bust open and my friend who was waiting in the car, come running in yelling for me. Now, I was quite shocked as they didn't even know my friend and they busted in like they owned the place. They finally found me and I asked "what's wrong" they said they were in my car and they heard the sound of paper being crumpled up and then the same noise in the front and then the seat belt pulled tight and something grabbed their hair. I was absolutely shocked, as I told no one about my incident.


Now this proved there was something going on in that car and the final incident occurred when I arrived home one night. I plopped myself on the coach and turned on the TV. I suddenly felt as if something was watching me. I slowly turned around to see a tall man in a black suit with a large brimmed hat. Their face was smudged out with no facial features, though it felt like his eyes were peering in to my soul. I froze for about thirty seconds, which felt like forever and it slowly disappeared. I rose to my feet and said out loud "I don't want no trouble, i'm just going to bed" I was nearly scared to death. I suddenly seen the apparition appear at the base of my door way. As I froze it disappeared. Now the scary thing about this story is that I realized that there is an intelligence behind these sprits and the are conscious. Oh yah and I sold the car the next day, for a few hundred buck and never seen the spirit again.

Considering these frightening experiences, one wonders if the previous owners knew about the haunting of the car, and if that was why it had been abandoned to that desolate lawn to gather dust. The witness does not mention approaching them to ask about it, so we will probably never know. From the site Quora comes some other spooky accounts of haunted cars, the first being from a Stacey Panter, who says she once owned a car that seemed to be pervaded by a ghostly force. Immediately upon purchasing the vehicle she says she could never relax in it, always feeling as if someone were riding in there with her even when she was alone, and she says she even often caught glimpses of movement in the rear view mirror just out of comprehension, but she mostly thought this was just her addled mind playing tricks on her. However, she would soon realize that this was anything but. She says:

One night a friend of mine needed to go somewhere so I allowed him to take my car. When he returned he was very pale and asked me why I didn't inform him my car was haunted before he left in it. I explained to him what I've just said here. He said that something very bad happened to someone in that car and felt like maybe someone had killed someone and transported them in it. I have no real evidence that anything happened in the car but the fact that I felt that I wasn't alone when so many times I was in it.

Interestingly, the same witness claims that a friend of hers also had a haunted car, which seems to have tethered to it a spirit that could not escape. She says:

My friend owned a jeep Cherokee that's sort of a different story. He allowed me to drive it to visit a friend of mine after he first got it. My friend wasn't home so I was going to write her a note. I had pen and paper and desperately tried to write her a note and couldn't. My hands would violently shake when I'd try to write. I told my friend and when I said I was going to write her a note he interrupted and said, “You couldn't write it could you? You couldn’t do it.” I asked him how he knew and he told me he had the same thing happen to him.


He said he'd been to Walmart the week before in the neighboring town to where I live and a lady approached him and wanted to see his vehicle. He allowed her to check it out and she told him her husband had committed suicide in it. He'd written an extensive note. The jeep seemed to drive itself quite a bit and it's hard to explain. As I said, there's more of an explanation as to why the jeep was haunted than the one I had that time. My friend didn't keep the jeep very long after that though.

Can a ghost be tied to a car just as surely as to a place or building? There is also the case of a witness on the same site who says that shortly after purchasing a relatively new red Toyota Corolla it became obvious that the vehicle was abnormally prone to accidents, and it would also get inexplicable scratches on it for no apparent reason. This would all soon take a turn into the realm of the supernatural when he began to see a ghostly figure lurking about the car and sometimes appearing within it. He explains:

I remember one day my dad, sister, and I were driving to the library. I saw an old man get on the road as we were passing. My eyes widened and my heart came to a halt when I realized my father was not stopping the car. I nearly shouted, fully expecting to hear a THUD at any moment. Nothing happened. I looked back but there was no one on the street. “Didn’t you see that guy?” I asked my father and sister. Neither of them had a clue what I was talking about. Ghost pedestrian? Who the fuck knows.


What really spooks me is what I’ve been seeing IN the car since then. Back in our old house, the kitchen overlooked a living room with large bay windows pointed straight at the driveway. Every now and then, I’d turn around and see someone’s figure in the driver’s seat. I’m not talking about a creepy shadow in the night, either. I mean…I was doing the dishes after making lunch and there’d be a silhouette in there. It didn’t disappear when I blinked. I’d usually get distracted for a moment and look again, only to find the car was empty. This happened ALL the time. At least twice a month. One night, I was driving back home and I looked in the rearview mirror. Y’know in those horror movies when you see a figure in the mirror? Holy shit, it happened. I very VERY clearly saw a man sitting in the back seat. I turned my head but of course there was nothing there.


I recently moved and the car cannot be seen from any of my windows. I see the car when I get out of the bus and when I take out the trash. When I do, often times, I’ll see a figure in there. Heck, just last week I went to the grocery store and, on my way back to the car, I got this weird feeling. I looked up and there was someone in the driver’s seat. It doesn’t matter what angle the car’s in, either. I’ve seen the silhouette straight-on, from the back, and from the side. So what do you think? Can cars become haunted? Is MY car haunted? How the heck does a car even get haunted???

This case is rather interesting in that the car itself had no history of violence or death, no discernible reason for why this paranormal activity should happen, with the witness saying of the car, “This isn’t some used, refurbished car I got off of Craigslist after it killed a bunch of innocent kids in a horrible traffic incident. I mean, it has had a few bumps and bruises along the way, that’s all.” So why should this particular vehicle have this supernatural force attached to it? Who knows? It is an odd case to be sure if it is all true. Some of the entities supposedly haunting cars take on an even more malevolent atmosphere, that almost suggests that these are no the ghosts of the living at all, but rather perhaps something more demonic in nature. A witness from Canberra, Australia told Your Ghost Stories about a Ford Falcon that she had recently purchased used and which was in fairly good condition except for some odd stains on the upholstery, which the dealer wrote off as coffee stains. The strange, rather ominous activity happened almost the first time she drove it. She says:

I went to pick up my friend from his house and we drove into the Canberra City Centre. We were listening to 87.6FM, a techno radio station, pretty loudly. We started talking about the "blood" stains, and very shortly after (while driving) my steering wheel started to shake. I let go of the wheel and me and my friend were watching in "amazement" at the event occurring. After about 10 seconds of that, my "car" decided it would try to ram the car next to me.


At this point I grabbed the wheel to stop the oncoming collision and immediately after the radio cut out, with the sound of when an older TV cannot find a channel, "white noise" I believe it's called. Then after about 3 seconds of white noise, the radio changed to 66.6AM. It may sound coincidental, but in my own opinion of the experience, it was not. Changing to AM radio is not just a simple change of the signal, you actually have to press a button for it.


Me and my mother later found out, when trying to get the car registered in Canberra, that it was involved in a crash and written off. I know God was watching over me at this time, so I changed my bad ways. And/or he was just protecting me from the bad spirit in the car because after this experience, the car did not pass inspection as it was rusted (we checked the car, engine, etc before buying) and there were no signs of rust. It did not pass inspection so we sold it back to the dealers in Sydney, for a loss of $500 dollars.

Ghost, demon, or just a wild imagination? A similar story with demonic undertones on the same site comes from a witness called Melinda A, from Atlanta, Georgia. She claims that she always kept a cross dangling from a leather string on her rear view mirror. Yet although she was the only one who used the vehicle and indeed the only one with keys to it she began to find the cross tossed to the floor when she got in every day, after which things would escalate. She says of the strange sequence of events:

I found it to be really odd because you would need to lift the metal cross and leather string it was hanging from to get it off the mirror. About 6 months later I found the cross wrapped around the mirror as if the car had rolled several times. It isn't possible to have this happen from driving. The cross has weight to it and it would physically have to be lifted to wrap several times around the mirror. This time I started to get concerned about what could make this cross move like this. I moved about a year later and the same thing happened at my new house. I considered putting up a camera to catch it on film but I never got around to it.


A year or so later I was with my twin on vacation and we were in her new Porsche and we stopped for lunch and when we came back out to the car her cross had done the same thing. We were both taken aback but just dismissed it. Its been about 8 months and she just called me to tell me it has happened again when the car was in her garage. At this point I am really wondering what is going on.

In another case we have a report from a Reddit user who, if her account is to believed, seems to have had a car displaying a full on demonic possession. It started when her new car began to brake on its own at the most inopportune of times, while at other times it would accelerate or slow down without warning or reason, sometimes almost causing accidents. She also began to notice unexplained hand prints on the windshield that were made from the inside of the vehicle on the passenger side, even though she was the only one who ever drove in it. She began to hear the strange sound of water dripping or sloshing about in the car, even though there was no apparent origin for the sound, and when she brought the car to a mechanic he was surprised to find water inexplicably pouring down from under the glove compartment. Things got odder still when the car experienced a sudden infestation of ants that seemed to have come from nowhere and for no reason she could figure out. Ants were apparently everywhere no matter what she did to get rid of them and despite the fact that she never ate in the car and kept it very clean, and this caused her to confide in a friend about what was happening. She says of what happened after that:

He thinks my car is haunted. With all the hand prints, the sudden automatic braking system, the water and the insects. He even brought up a dream I told him about a year ago. (which I regret telling him now because he's so sure that a ghost is in my car) The dream is about me and a friend who is a girl, (Who I know now as my new classmate whom I met at January and now I’m giving her a ride home) driving home. I asked my friend who is sitting beside me in my car where we should go next and she told me that we could hang out at her apartment.


A little girl behind us suddenly spoke up and I looked at her. I saw her eyes turn dark as night as she grinned at me. "I wouldn't do that if I were you." She said in a playful voice and I glared at her before snapping. "And why not?" The demon girl just leaned her head on my friend's shoulder and told me. "Because a demon is obsessed with you and if you're not home in a couple of days, he'll be maaaad." That's when I woke up. I only got my car last January as an early gift and I only met my friend last february. The dream happened last year September. I'm just looking for a good explanation for all this because I drive home alone now after my internship ends by 11pm and I seriously don't want to imagine a ghost or whatever invisible it is sitting beside me in the dark.

Could this be demonic forces at work? What is going on here? Although we have looked at nothing but frightening cases so far here, it seems that this is not always the case, and that cars can be haunted by more benevolent forces as well. Take the account of a commenter on Quora who claims to have had a car, which he calls “Bessy,” imbued with a ghostly presence that seemed to want to help. The commenter explains:

When you hopped into this car, you felt at home, happy, at peace. We had Bessy for 12 years and, she was a station wagon who loved to travel. My father said he could feel her take over the steering if there was heavy traffic. She kept us safe, she avoided animals, safely. Bessy was a perfect lady. She never leaked oil or lost her cool. You could push on the accelerator all you wanted. Bessy kept to the speed limit. The day she stopped and wouldn't move, turned out the boat trailer was loose on the back coupling. My father had time to fix the problem and save a highway disaster.

Such cases seem to show that the phenomenon of ghostly hauntings seems to expand beyond just the usual suspects of dilapidated old buildings and locations entwined with a dark past. Such mysterious occurrences seem to be able to pop up in the most unlikely of places, including your own car. What is going on here? Is this ghostly or even demonic forces at work or is it all just misunderstandings and overactive imaginations? The next time you are in your car, be sure to keep an eye on the rear view mirror, and that unoccupied seat behind you. It might not be as unoccupied as you thought.

Brent Swancer

Brent Swancer is an author and crypto expert living in Japan. Biology, nature, and cryptozoology still remain Brent Swancer’s first intellectual loves. He's written articles for MU and Daily Grail and has been a guest on Coast to Coast AM and Binnal of America.

Join MU Plus+ and get exclusive shows and extensions & much more! Subscribe Today!