Ghost riding

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Ghost riding, frequently used in the context of "ghost riding the whip" (a "whip" being a vehicle) or simply ghostin', is when a person exits their moving vehicle, and dances beside and around it. Ghost riding is also another term used for car surfing, and the term is also occasionally used to describe a moving vehicle with no occupant, such as when a car without the hand brake applied starts to roll down an incline.[1] Ghostin' originated in Northern California, specifically the Bay Area. It gets its name from the fact that while the driver is dancing beside the moving vehicle, it appears that the vehicle is being driven by an invisible driver.

Elsewhere the phrase "ghost ride" can have a totally different meaning. In Toronto a "ghost ride" is a procession of bicycle riders organized to commemorate the death of a bicyclist killed by a powered vehicle.[2]


Ghost riding is an activity that has been practiced in Oakland, CA for years during what are called sideshows.[citation needed] The popularization of ghost riding is a byproduct of popular Bay Area music, and the hyphy subculture in general.[citation needed]

Ghost riding is performed by exiting an automobile while it is left in gear. The automobile's engine runs at idle speed, slowly propelling the car forward.


As with car surfing, ghost riding can be dangerous and has resulted in between two and eight deaths in North America. Ghost riding is often featured in similarly risky urban sideshows, which also originated in Oakland, California.[3]


  1. ^ Flambosting the hyphy nation. Steve Jones, April 13, 2006. Last accessed January 6, 2007.
  2. ^ "'A Wild West scenario': Cyclists hold ghost ride amid spate of deaths on Toronto's roadways". CBC News. June 16, 2018.
  3. ^ Farhi, Paul. "Ghost-Riding: Brake-Dancing With Zip Under the Hood", The Washington Post, December 27, 2006, p. C01. Accessed October 18, 2007.