Phantom vehicle

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This article is about haunted vehicles. For a vehicle which causes a traffic accident without physical contact, see Phantom vehicle (insurance).
"Ghost car" redirects here. For usage referring to an unmarked police car, see Police car § Functional types. For custom car usage for a hypothetical model, see Custom car § Language. For navigation guide, see Automotive head-up display.

A phantom vehicle is a supposed ghostly or haunted vehicle, common in urban legends and entertainment. No such phenomena have been scientifically verified and no research on this topic appears in the peer-reviewed scientific literature.

Types of phantom vehicles[edit]

Cars and trucks[edit]

  • In 1982, two people in Lanikai, Hawaii reported seeing a mysterious black car which disappeared and reappeared again a second later.[1]
  • In 1995, an eyewitness saw a brown 1960s car that had bumper stickers; the witness passed the car but it mysteriously reappeared ahead of the witness's car at several stoplights. Also the witness noticed that the driver was a man in his teens and that he never turned his head and he never moved the steering wheel when the man drove around the "dead man's curve" the witness said.[2]
  • 2004, In Cape Town, South Africa, a Renault Mégane[3] sedan mysteriously rolled up an embankment and hit a fence, despite the fact that the handbrake was engaged and the engine was off. Some say the car was "jumping".[4]
  • In the mid-1980s, three people in a sedan reported seeing a gray van heading straight towards them. Then suddenly the van vanished.[5]
  • The Curse of "Little Bastard": the 1955 Porsche 550 Spyder in which James Dean died is said to be cursed after the accidents in which it has been later involved.[6]
  • In Australia, there is a story of the ghost truck of Kaniva where a driver was 'driven through' by a mysterious, 1940s' style big rig truck painted green.
  • In Germany, a car mysteriously started up by itself and rammed a wall.[7]
  • In 2000, an eyewitness claimed that an old truck started up by itself and blinked at him as he walked past an old house.[8]
  • Early 1980s - a British motorist crashed his car in order to avoid a truck that suddenly appeared coming straight towards him and then vanished.[9]
  • The curved road at the junction of St. Marks Road and Cambridge Gardens in Ladbroke Grove was reported to be haunted by a phantom bus with a route marker "7" which caused numerous accidents, one of which was fatal. The reports subsided when the area of road was straightened.[10]
  • In July of 2009 in Nichols, South Carolina between 8 and 930 pm a white phantom SUV with what looked like a circle or wreath sticker on the gas door.was seen multiple times by a male driver and female passenger. Originally the SUV was directly ahead of the couple as they drove down an unlit road. As they came to a dip in the road, the car was no longer visible anywhere. A few moments later, headlights appeared far in the rearview. The vehicle approached rapidly and at a fork in the road, with great luck, the couple was able to turn 90 degrees into a small dirt connector road between the split roads. The SUV continued straight. The couple turned back the opposite direction and headed back to a country store they had passed nor long before. As the couple drove back, headlights appeared far off down a side road. As they passed the road, the white SUV pulled out behind them. They got to the country store and parked. They saw the white SUV drive by three more times, back and forth.
  • In December of 2016 Emmanuel Mendes died mysteriously in a crash after report strange paranormal activity from his car, the engine was cool, and turned off when the accident was discovered, only moments after it occurred.



  • Spirits of passengers and crew have allegedly been seen on planes containing parts from Eastern Air Lines Flight 401 which crashed in Florida in 1972.
  • In 1997, eyewitnesses from the eastern USA claimed they saw a single-engine plane crash. But when the coast guard searched the waters off Connecticut, they could not find any wreckage or bodies. Also none of the airports reported any planes missing.[14]

Boats and ships[edit]

Main article: List of ghost ships
  • The Flying Dutchman, a ship manned by a captain condemned to eternally sail the seas, has long been the main legend of ghost ships.
  • The Mary Celeste is perhaps the most historically famous derelict.

Popular culture[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Ghost Car In Lanikai". Castle of Spirits. Retrieved 14 November 2010. 
  2. ^ "Ghost Car in Broad Daylight Afternoon". Castle of Retrieved 14 November 2010. 
  3. ^ 'Ghost car' mystery revealed
  4. ^ Carin Smith (2004-11-21). "'Haunted' car goes haywire". News24. Somerset West. Archived from the original on Dec 8, 2004. Retrieved 14 November 2010. 
  5. ^ "The Ghost Car". Your True Tales. October 2003. p. 22. 
  6. ^ Curse of James Dean
  7. ^ "Wreck ignition for 'ghost car' that started on its own". Cape Times. Kempten, Germany. November 7, 2005. Archived from the original on Apr 27, 2006. Retrieved 14 November 2010. 
  8. ^ The Old Rusty Ghost truck
  9. ^ "Coventry and Warwickshire - Places - Spooky tales to chill your spine". BBC Online. 2003-09-10. Retrieved 14 November 2010. 
  10. ^ Jeffrey, Martin. "The Ghost Bus of Ladbroke Grove". Haunted Britain. Mystery magazine. Archived from the original on 3 March 2009. Retrieved 14 November 2010. 
  11. ^ af Klintberg, Bengt, Råttan i pizzan. Stockholm: Norstedts Förlag, 1992. ISBN 91-1-893831-0
  12. ^ Yanko, Dave. "Mystery Solved?". Virtual Saskatchewan. Retrieved 21 November 2010. 
  13. ^ "Abe Lincoln's Ghost Train". HallowFreaks. Archived from the original on Oct 5, 2006. Retrieved 14 November 2010. 
  14. ^ Phantom Plane Crashes
  15. ^ Blades at the Internet Movie Database