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Phantom Hitchhiker

Columbia, South Carolina

On US 76, it is said that an old, ghostly hitchhiker appears at the entrance of the bridge-usually on rainy or foggy nights. The lady, who appears to be in distress, is usually offered help by most. The apparition, who is said to be extremely lifelike, gets into the back seat and tells the driver she is en route to Columbia to visit her mother. Giving them an address on Pickens Street, she continues to converse with the driver before becoming silent. By that time, the car is across the river, the woman has disappeared. It is said that in the 1940s, a woman was killed in the spot that is now the beginning of the bridge, while trying to get to Columbia to see her mother.

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69 Comments

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Dan says:

October 21, 2005, 9:17 pm

I’ve actually seen this once. and i looked through another cars window and saw it disapear o_O

Ann says:

October 26, 2005, 12:56 pm

This is another one of those things that I have heard about almost every major city in every major state. At this rate almost everyone should have picked up a phantom hitchhiker at least once in their life. You may as well say that she also had a hook for an arm.

mon says:

November 9, 2005, 7:19 pm

I just saw this story commented on TV These apparitions have beeen investigated and have been caught on film.

Andy says:

December 8, 2005, 6:38 pm

My mom had this ghost thing happen to her friend. (Friend of a friend story, how convenient). But yeah, it’s happened in almost any major city in the country. I agree: everyone should get a chance to give a ride to a ghost hitch hiker. Of course, one would think there would be a public transit story about ghosts….

Shannon says:

January 11, 2006, 1:50 am

There is a public transport story… waiting at a bus stop, opposite a cemetary, a young woman boards a bus and, unsurprisingly, does not pay the fare. the bus driver approaches the stragely dressed girl for the money, only to see her disappear before his eyes!

…spooky…

Joseph says:

January 20, 2006, 10:37 pm

Well, I cross this road on a daily bases. The first time, I heard this story was on the local news about a year ago. I’ve seen many people walk that road during the summer moths, but there was this one time; when there was a lady walking down the road I felt compiled to stop but she was headed the wrong way BECAUSE I was coming from 5pts.

Rick says:

April 29, 2006, 9:30 pm

I have crossed this bridge many times and I have not seen any woman walking this bridge.. This story is fake.. As a matter of a fact they have the same story in North Carolina, and many other states or one very similar.. Don’t believe this one..

candee says:

June 3, 2006, 9:55 pm

This is a true story. She was on her way home from a dance that she had been to. The car she was in wrecked and she died. The boyfriend lived. This has been documented several times and also on unsolved mysteries. She also gets out at the cementary instead of home. She can be seen and you may give her a ride but it has to be a foggy rainy night. Just like the night she was killed.

Lexi says:

June 26, 2006, 12:57 pm

My grandmother once picked up a lady and I was beside her in the back seat sh was lie like and when she dissipeard i was so scared.

kody green says:

July 18, 2006, 12:13 pm

holy **** this aint real it’s an old ghost story my great great great granpa told me

Susi Ghoul says:

September 28, 2006, 9:56 am

i ain’t ‘fraid of no ghost!!

Shebah says:

October 7, 2006, 1:34 am

Every bridge has a story of a women getting killed and needs a ride to the same place she was going every time it rains or the moon is full.

Amanda says:

October 13, 2006, 1:53 pm

There is a similar story that comes from Crawfordville,Ga. about a woman that waits at an intersection where she was hit by a car many years ago. She will ask you for a ride, and a few miles down the road she will disapear. I’m not sure if it is true or not,but the first time I heard the whole story it was really creepy.

carly beth says:

October 14, 2006, 8:02 pm

Okay, this is a really “used” ghost story… i mean
lyke everyone has heard something lyke this before.
I personally have had scarier things happen too me
in my life. Lyke once, i was in this place in Paris
Kentucky called the T.b hospital,,, it is reallyyyyyy
freekkkyyyy!!!!!!!!!! And i was there w/ muh uncle
and he let me in b/c i hit a softball in there from
a previous game! yea me! lol but i went in alone unfortunayely and i was on the 3rd floor…. and
i was walking out and i saw a little girl hiding under the set of stairs!!! i wasssss flippin out!
she was starin at me and i didnt know wat too think.
i just ran and never came back…. my father also
seen later a man lurking around the top floor and staring at him an my mom. it was even freekier!
soooo everytime i drive close too it i jus always try
not to go to close! beware!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is a true story. by, me! an i dont even wanna hear any 1
say no different b/c no 1 no’s wat the heck they talking bout. thanx.

d block says:

October 16, 2006, 5:25 pm

Which bridge is this? There are three bridges, Garvis Street, Blossom Street, and Hwy 12? Can someone please let me know before the 31st.

d block says:

October 16, 2006, 5:30 pm

Never mind, i used mappoint.com. There is no one walking on that brige anytime because it’s I-126. The way people drive around here, if anyone does walk the interstate they will be a ghost. Oh, I’ve never seen any ghost just broken down cars.

mark says:

October 20, 2006, 4:20 pm

JAJAJA UR RIGHT “RICK”

I WENT OVER TO NORTH CAROLINA AND READ IT TO

ITS CALLED “JAMESTOWN BIRDGE”

ITS THE SAME

PPL GO READ IT

copdoc says:

October 25, 2006, 10:31 am

Many studies have supported the benefits of healthful exercise…let them walk

hunter mims says:

November 9, 2006, 7:37 pm

that is my grandmothers first cousin she really died on that bridge going to get married.

JAMES says:

November 11, 2006, 2:39 pm

THIS BRIDGE IS THE ONE ON SUMTER HIGHWAY GOING ACROSS THE WATEREE RIVER.I WAS COMING TO COLUMBIA FROM GEORGETOWN AND SAW THIS WHITE GIRL THAT LOOKED SILVERY/GRAY ON THE SUMTER SIDE OF BRIDGE. I DIDN`T SEE HER IN TIME TO STOP. WHEN I CROSSED THE BRIDGE I TURNED AROUND AND WENT BACK BUT DID NOT SEE ANYONE.I HAVE HEARD DIFFERENT SIDES TO THIS FROM DIFFERENT PEOPLE.MAYBE A GROUP OF PEOPLE SHOULD HANG OUT AT THIS BRIDGE AND WAIT.EVEN IN BAD WEATHER.IF YOU HAVE A VIDEO CAMERA TAKE IT WITH PLENTY OF GOOD BATTERIERS AND TAPE OR DISCS. I`M GAME TO WAIT WITH YOU. CALL ME (803)7995732, JAMES

JAMES says:

November 11, 2006, 2:51 pm

THIS BRIDGE CROSSES THE WATEREE RIVER AT THE RICHLAND AND SUMTER COUNTY LINE.SUMTER HIGHWAY.I WAS COMING FORM GEORGETOWN TO COLUMBIA AND SAW THIS SILVERY/GRAY LOOKING WOMEN/GIRL. I DID NOT SEE HER IN TIME TO STOP. WHEN I GOT TO OTHER SIDE I TURNED AROUND. SHE HAD GONE BEFORE I GOT BACK.WE SHOULD GET TOGETHER AND WAIT FOR HER IN GOOD WEATHER AND IN BAD.IF YOU HAVE A GOOD VIDEO CAMERA WITH PLEANTY OF GOOD BATTERIES AND DISCS OR TAPE PLEASE CALL ME AT (803)7995732, JAMES

Rajeh says:

January 30, 2007, 4:14 pm

I watched this movie and it was called the Hitchhiker. In this movie, the girl needed a ride and said “I need a ride because I need to go visit my grandpa”. She was talking about how she was trustworthy or something like that. I believe that was based on on the story of the Ghostly Hitchiker. Plus, before the movie started it said that it was based on a true story, but I don’t know if that person is still around. Bye Bye.

Patricia Duvall says:

February 23, 2007, 6:49 pm

I think this story is true. My uncle knows a Truck Driver who had this happen to him. My uncle told me about this story years ago. I believe this story and I think it is scary, although I would like to go to the place and see if it happens to me.

James says:

February 26, 2007, 8:41 pm

PATRICIA,

Call me and we can go together. It`s best to have a witness to something like this. Do you have a camera, still or movie?(803)7995732

James

lb says:

March 6, 2007, 6:34 pm

This is a popular urban legend that has its origins in Chicago. There, the young woman is known as “Resurrection Mary.” Unsolved Mysteries did a story on it years ago, likely before most of you kids were born. Try some searches for it online. The original story is interesting, and of substance. Other versions were adapted to practically every other city in the country with a bridge and cemetery, and have absolutely no basis.

Sunny says:

March 26, 2007, 12:22 pm

This is ****. I live in south Carolina and pass this road on a daily basis,fog,rain,anything and everything and I have seen nothing and have heard nothing of the sort. I mean I think I would have heard of it by now but nope. oh! I did see Graphite one time…

teresa says:

July 15, 2007, 2:31 pm

Hey that is really cool. well i got a really sad story for you and here it is.

There was a girl named Jenny. She was new in town. She just wanted to be a regular girl. When she finally got some friends..she started dating a boy that was on the football team. He was the quarter-back. One night Jenny and her boyfiend got invited to a party one fall. She lied and told her parents that she was going to a friends house that night. But she went up to meet her boyfriend. They went to the party that was in a cemetary. Her boyfriend and her went to the moonlight ride like everyone else. Her boyfriend started to drink.And he had got drunk. Her parents just thought of something. That the girl that Jenny said she was going to stay with had went out of town. So they went looking for Jenny. Jenny got scared because her boyfriend couldn’t drive because he was drunk. So she said “I want to go home.” He got mad at her and took off driving really fast. When they got half way down the rode the ran stright into a car. Her boyfriend and the other people were killed right then and there. Jenny was knocked out cold. They rushed all of them to the hospital. When Jenny woke up she found out that her boyfriend and the other people were dead. And she said ” tell the family of the other people that were killed that I am sorry.” Then she leaned over and died. And the man that had found them said ” why didn’t you tell her that was her parents that had got killed?”

Wasn’t that a really said story? I think it is. It makes me want to cry!!!!!!!!!!

pw says:

September 19, 2007, 10:24 am

Sounds to me like jenny shouln’t have lied to her parents. This just shows what happens when you lie, people die.

Heidi says:

October 17, 2007, 7:09 pm

Ok to add to this freaky story if anyone happens to go to Pelion or has heard this story. I was driving home one night from work and I swear I thought I had almost hit someone riding a bike at the corner of 302 and Old Charleston Hwy. I had never told anyone about this until a couple of years ago when I was talking to some friends and they had told me they heard about it before. There is some man that was killed on his bike years ago that rides his bike up and down that road. I remember when I looked back, there was no one there. Not the first time I had seen a ghost, wont be the last.

Mike says:

November 10, 2007, 4:55 am

I know that the phantom hitchhiker is a common type of ghost story, but strange as it may seem, I believe from my own experience that some of these stories are true. That’s because I saw the Wateree Swamp apparition myself on a rainy, foggy night in the early 1980s, when I was returning to Columbia from Sumter. She looked like a living person, but there was a strange glow around her that looked unworldly, and she didn’t have a flashlight. I thought immediately that she was the ghost and I’m ashamed to say I was so convinced she was that I didn’t stop for her. I simply didn’t think I could stand the shock of her disappearing. I swear that I was sober and clearheaded that night. I remember clearly what she was wearing, and what her face looked like, and would appreciate it if anyone else who has seen her would describe her appearance, so that we could compare notes, so to speak. I also would be interested in hearing from anyone who knows the identity of the accident victim who may have become the ghost. I’ve become fascinated with the story because of my experience, which convinced me that this apparition really occurs at or near the U.S. 76-378 bridge.

Phillip says:

December 28, 2007, 8:48 pm

Man I am only an hour from Columbia and have never seen it. Been up and down that road at all hours. May have to take another trip one day.

Chris says:

January 10, 2008, 11:59 am

HOLY **** I WENT THERE AND MY FRIEND DIED!! NOOOOOOOO!

amber says:

January 11, 2008, 7:00 pm

I believe and that good for the reader to believe its true. I think you could write more great horror stories if you put your mind to it.You may possibly write a book one day. GOOD LUCK!

Amber

amber says:

January 11, 2008, 7:08 pm

I think its true and its great for the reader to think its true too. If you keep writing like this you may be able to write a book one day. GOOD LUCK!

Amber

Thanatos says:

January 13, 2008, 1:04 am

There’s versions of this legend that are older than the invention of the automobile, and as far away as London or other European cities.

Also, if you type like “u no ur lyke wat i meen lololz” or other such gibberish, do the world a favor and kill yourself. Thanks.

crystal says:

January 22, 2008, 8:46 pm

Hey I have heard many stories that envolves a bridge and some kind of car accident. there really is a similar story in just about every town you go to. But some have actually been proven to be true. anyways i came on this website because im looking for some REAL haunted places that i could actually go and investigate. but its really hard to find legitimate places or get an address to them. Im trying to start my own paranormal group for south carolina but its hard to do that when you have nothing to go and incestigate. so if anyone knows of some places that are legitimate please let me know.

crystal says:

January 22, 2008, 8:47 pm

Hey I have heard many stories that envolves a bridge and some kind of car accident. there really is a similar story in just about every town you go to. But some have actually been proven to be true. anyways i came on this website because im looking for some REAL haunted places that i could actually go and investigate. but its really hard to find legitimate places or get an address to them. Im trying to start my own paranormal group for south carolina but its hard to do that when you have nothing to go and incestigate. so if anyone knows of some places that are legitimate please let me know.

My e-mail is : crystalwsc@yahoo.com

SMM says:

April 8, 2008, 4:12 pm

i sort of believe this story because anything is possible but than again.. there are TOO MANY stories that are similar to this one
but i will say again… Anything is possible
~Imperfect Angel~

sharron says:

June 27, 2008, 4:49 am

My uncle once saw a ghost..at this island..you people dont know it was a small island called Micronesia..Federated states of Micronesia..he was scared to death..he was cutting grass at his place..when suddenly he felt this negetive energy..coming right behind him..he said that the man was his cousin…his cousin died long time ago..he was running away from him..and then suddenly an old man grabed him..he said that the old man saved him…he was from the light side..we all didnt know what was the light side mean…and the ghost still follows..now my uncle is at Wisconsin…he said that he still sees him..and he said that the man whos always hunting him..says…I WILL NEVER STOP UNTIL I GET WHAT I WANT.

Tishon says:

October 7, 2008, 4:48 pm

man that’s why i have been haering stories about graves and stuff thats under the brige going to COLUMBIA.

Sinister Minister says:

July 19, 2009, 12:33 am

I have read numerous versions of this same ghost story. Sounds Urban Legend.

nancy says:

September 19, 2009, 8:50 pm

i remember my mother pickig up this ghost when i was a real young child.and i know as i told the story several times growing up that people did not believe me or my mother.but if they could have seen moma that night after the ghost vanished in the back set of the car…well she looked like she seen a ghost.

sane man says:

October 8, 2009, 3:03 pm

hahahahahahahaha lol hunter no thats my sisters cousins aunts uncle brother in laws sister and yea she realy died she was on her way to play hop scotch on a train track with a blind fold and ear plugs in then she wuz gna go in a cave and play with stix of dinomite and a lighter but a transfer truck ran her over on the way sad story brings tears to me eyes every time!! haha ne one who believes this shat is a fn retard

bob says:

October 16, 2009, 2:45 pm

sooooooooooooooooooooooooo lame

Dennis Horne says:

October 25, 2009, 7:28 pm

Ummm which bridge? There are numerous bridges on Hwy 76 between Marion, SC and Columbia, SC? That’s about 120 miles of highway.

Kay says:

November 19, 2009, 11:41 am

Some of you people need to see a ghost…

Mike says:

February 10, 2010, 3:17 am

I want to stress that the message I left on this site in 2007 was sincere — I really did see this ghost, and I firmly belive that she does exist, whatever she is. There have been mutiple sightings at this bridge, usually nights that are rainy and foggy, as was the case when I saw her. I read one article that says the Wateree Swamp ghost is one of the best-documented apparitions in the U.S. Believe it or not, but I know what I saw.

Amy says:

April 28, 2010, 11:48 am

I wonder what the address is on Pickens. I used to live on Pickens when I was USC. My husband’s office was on Pickens for about ten years.

John says:

May 11, 2010, 5:13 pm

Man, I go thru that bridge every night from Monday to Friday on a foggy and rainny day and I still haven’t seen a ghost!!!!

John says:

May 11, 2010, 5:14 pm

I go thru that bridge every night from Monday to Friday on a foggy and rainny day and I still haven’t seen a ghost!!!!

Savannah says:

June 26, 2010, 5:55 pm

This is something related to me.

LP says:

August 16, 2010, 4:02 pm

It doesn’t matter if it’s real or not. It’s part of local lore. It’s fun to tell the stories. Granted, I’ve never seen anyone and I wouldn’t pick up a hitch-hiker to begin with but for people that get creaped out, just remember that the ghost is a person, just without a body. They had lives just like we do now. Think of it as history “living on.” There may be something to be learned from them.

James Weathersby says:

August 16, 2010, 5:05 pm

Hi, If anyone is game to look for parnormal activity in S.C. please let me know. My number is (803)237-6279.We could look for this girl or others.Thanks,James.

James Weathersby says:

August 16, 2010, 5:10 pm

Hi, For people that dont know where this brdge is , its the one crossing the Wateree River between Sumter and Columbia at the Richland County and Sumter County line.

TJ says:

November 23, 2010, 4:13 pm

This girl is on the bridge on Highway 378 heading towards Columbia as you are crossing over the river. I have seen her on 2 different occasions.

Jane Johnson says:

December 1, 2010, 6:31 pm

this story is soooo true my mom pick up this womana and she was just sitting in the back seat then when my mom turned to ask her if she needed to stop and use the restroom she wasn’t there!! we were soooooooooo freaked out!!!!

leigh says:

March 17, 2011, 9:55 pm

I have heard this story all my life-and have heard it actually has happen to several people. There are several stories out there–but I truely believe in this one.

A R says:

August 7, 2011, 12:13 am

From a personal experience…. this is true, but the lady is not old. Me and my father actually experienced this one. The lady was really odd, and I was very young, but all I know is that she disappeared before we ever dropped her off at her home.

opal says:

September 29, 2011, 5:30 pm

jst bc sum of u haven’t had the experience doesn’t mean it’s not true. u know ghosts do not appear 2 everyone. they only appear when they want to b seen.

love says:

October 3, 2011, 1:58 pm

this is cool i want to do that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hearse_Boy_86 says:

October 16, 2011, 11:18 pm

Not trying to be funny, but I wonder what would happen if she was givin a ride in a hearse. Being from the Columbia area, I would love to find out what that Pickens street address is so I could investigate this further

Graceland says:

March 2, 2014, 12:54 pm

That’s a smart answer to a tricky quiotesn

BETH COKER says:

April 9, 2014, 9:31 pm

THIS IS NOT HOW LOTTIE DIED ARE HAUNTS THAT BRIDGE ! SHE WAS A NURSE AND ON HER WAY HOME AND HER CAR BROKE DOWN A CAR HIT HER AND KILLED HER SHE IS NOT HITCHING A RIDE !!! SHE IS SIMPLY ON HER WAY HOME ! HER GRAVE IS IN TURBYVILLE LAST NAME MORRIS !

BETH COKER says:

April 9, 2014, 9:40 pm

AND FOR THOSE WHO DONT BELIEVE THIS, MY GREAT AUNT IS IN OUR FAMILY CEMETERY !BUT YES SHE IS STILL THERE WHEN THE WEATHER IS AS IT WAS THAT WINTER NIGHT!

Russ says:

March 11, 2015, 11:31 pm

Live 15 minutes from Wateree Bridges. Had a girlfriend that has me stop so she could pee at the median between the east and west 378/76. You mighta seen her squating! That was a good night. She didnt take her socks off, though! gotta get the socks off! I put my boat in at 76 bridge. Never known anyone that saw any ghost, just deer, a bear (lately) and a dark cougar with long tail. These do exist!

Bobby Boogey says:

March 11, 2015, 11:42 pm

Never saw the ghost, but my Daddy picked up The Goat Man in late 60’s near the river! Goat Man smelled horrible and sat next to me in Daddy’s 66 Ford f-100, I think it was a 100 or maybe the 150 had come out in 66′. Anyway, Goatman was 100% real man, and I smelled and saw him and his cart, goats, and pots n pans. It was cool! It was the only time I saw him, but he made it all over South in 50’s and into 60’s. I may be off by a couple of years, but there was no forgetting the yellowish white beard, railroad looking cap, and damn smell of goat piss. I owned a big billy goat that pissed on his beard and would butt the horses on our farm. We moved him to a pen at our ” stable hands” house, He got BBQ on July 4th when his family came from Philly for watermelon and goat meat!! Damn they couldnt have chewed that meat with pliers!

Nelson Murray says:

October 22, 2016, 7:13 pm

I heard this story in the 60’s growing up in Sumter many times as a friend of a friend and one friend(don’t remember who or details this was around 50 years ago) who claimed it had happened to him and a parent.

Graham says:

May 30, 2017, 4:22 am

The phantom hitchhiker is one of the most prevalent ghost stories out there. I live in the UK and there’s a VERY famous one just a few miles from me. Google ‘phantom hitchhiker of Bluebell Hill’ – you’ll get loads of hits. The legend in this case has been tied down to a fatal car accident involving a group of bridesmaids about fifty years ago. I’ve driven along Bluebell Hill many times in all sorts of weather but sadly I’ve never seen her.

Graham says:

October 10, 2017, 11:39 pm

Planning on popping down to Bluebell Hill again this Halloween with my son. Will OF COURSE post if we see her… :)

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