Over the years and seemingly throughout the world, unsuspecting drivers have often reported unsettling encounters with a staple of paranormal lore: phantom hitchhikers.
YouTube user Dark5 has put together a collection of five incredibly creepy stories that will almost certainly convince you never to pick up a stranger from the side of the road, no matter how innocent they may appear.
One of the more compelling tales included in the video may have been a Mothman-esque harbinger of doom in Washington state during the early months of 1980.
Denizens of the Tacoma area reported a mysterious old woman who, upon being given a ride by generous drivers, would tell them that they needed to repent their sins before it was too late.
While that itself was an unnerving message, her subsequent statements were particularly eyebrow-raising as she began warning people about nearby Mt. Saint Helens.
Her concern seemed rather inexplicable to puzzled drivers until later in the year when a massive eruption of the volcano killed over 50 people in the region.
Although skeptics may dismiss the case as simply an urban legend, police in the area reportedly received nearly two dozen calls about the mystery woman who, of course, was never seen again after the disaster.
Other stories featured in the video include a hitchhiking nun in Germany that vanished from vehicles after drivers had picked her up and legendary entity named Lydia that has allegedly lurked on the roads of North Carolina for decades.
Coast Insiders yearning for more tales of phantom hitchhikers can hear author Ursula Bielski discussing Resurrection Mary, which she called "the most famous vanishing hitchhiker story in the world," on the 6/26/2015 edition of the program.
Members can also check out folklore researcher Neil Arnold's appearance from 4/10/2013, where he details the amazingly prevalent nature of the phantom hitchhiker phenomenon.
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