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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Dead Giveaways

Fear not the stars on moonless nights, for they are at their brightest. While demons sleep without the light, the wakeful dream of guidance.  Beware the glowing autumn moon as you would tend your seeds, and heed the piercing call of loons; crouching in the reeds. 

They walk among us. And sometimes, they hitchhike.     
It could just be a starless night without a glowing moon when one might encounter on a lonely desert backroad in the deepest hour of the night, a restless spirit seeking transport; not to, but away from a dimension from which it can’t escape.

As advised by any native elder, most folks would keep on driving.  

For every crisscrossed backroad or unmapped battered byway, folklores hang as faded signs of tortured spirit pathways. And still, sometimes we stop. 

Frequently told is the tale of a young maiden who canters in festive attire; her blue-black hair dancing in the midnight wind that swirls her ankle-length skirt. Her lively steps belie the futility in a random direction on an unchartered course of a life unknown and forever unlived. 

Ever smiling, a young boy stands at a barely discernable fork in the road; the left side long since traversed. In summer shorts and bloodied tee, he waves a rusted bicycle horn.  While he always declines a ride, he will give his name as that of someone you know.

Antiquated neon signs line a darkened stretch of highway where a scraggly long-haired dog darts in front of passing cars that hit the guardrails in sudden panic.  Then, when drivers dive off the nearest ramp to calm their wobbling knees, the silhouette of a Calvary man on horseback watches from the mountain pass at Picacho Peak above.

Resplendent in a flowing Holy robe, the Lost Father, patiently waits for a ride to take him four miles southeast, where he then hails a ride back to where he was first picked up. It is said that should a roadrunner cross your path, the Father will have found his bones.

I suppose that with stories like these floating around my gullible youth, I needn’t have wondered about the meaning of hitchhikers in the night being “Dead giveaways.”  

Though helping a stranded motorist in daylight used to be acceptable and relatively safe, it would seem that few movies depict the activity as advisable these days. Does anyone remember “Scarecrow” with Al Pacino, or “Honeysuckle Rose” with Willie Nelson? Remember the hitchhiker the girls in  “Thelma and Louise” picked up?


  1. Hi, dear Diedre!

    These apparitions of native legend and lore put F-E-A-R inside me and that's a good thing because I enjoy scary stories.

    When I was young it was common to see hitchhikers along roads and highways. Motorists who stopped and offered rides were demonstrating good citizenship. That mentality had totally changed by the time i was in my twenties. Yessum, I remember Thelma and Louise picking up hitchhiker Brat Pitt. :)

    Thank you very much for the entertaining tales, dear friend Diedre, and enjoy your Wednesday!

  2. Thank you fellow early-bird! I'm glad you came by to see the latest odd topic occupying a strange mind - ha!
    The new age of carjacking makes me almost wish for the days of mostly harmless hitchhiking.
    It's hard to imagine a world without spooky legends and lore and I hope we never have to live in one so evil as to extinguish all creativity.
    It's a perfectly soggy day here and I'm actually jazzed about it! Critters are amazingly active this time of year :-)
    May your day and remainder of your week be all you could wish for!

  3. "starless night without a glowing moon" reminded me of Moonless by Crystal Collier...if you haven't read it I highly recommend it. :)

    I'm so glad that I don't drive so I won't ever risk being on a lonely back road during a starless, moonless night.

    This would make a great, spooky story! ;)

    1. 'Moonless' does look intriguing, thanks for the tip!
      I didn't drive till I was nearly twenty five, but lived quite a distance from town. I'm fairly certain it was stories like these that kept me from standing by the road long enough to encounter one of these spooky spectrals! :-)

  4. Did you know there's a real life ghost hitchhiker story in Chicago? Her name is Resurrection Mary and she stands at the side of the road, then disappears once she's in the car.

    1. "disappears once she's in the car." just made my little neck hairs stand right up - ha! Around here, if you decline to stop they reportedly are gone when you look back. If one disappeared in the car I'd probably drive into a ditch! :-)

  5. Yeah, I'd never pick up a hitchhiker. I read that post on Stephanie's blog about Resurrection Mary. Creepy!

    1. Regrettably, I missed Stephanie's blog about Resurrection Mary, but that sure is one for the scary stories list!
      I've never picked one up either, though I do admit to being tempted - in daylight;-)

  6. Goodness! You talk about some spooky stuff. I am totally going to check out Stephanie's link to the ghost hitchiker (even though it scares the you know what out of me to read it!). I don't know what I'd do if someone got into my car and then disappeared. I'd probably have a heart attack while driving and then crash (knock on wood). But whether or not they're an actual person or a ghost, I don't think I'd ever give somebody a ride--especially not with my wild imagination. No way!

    1. Haha! To tell you the truth, when I first began the Arizona ghost and legend theme I had no idea it was this extensive! Goes to show what I don't know - ha!
      I'm with you on exercising caution; bad folks and disappearing ghosts just isn't worth the risk! :-)
      The best thing about a wild imagination is that you're always on your toes - unless it's me; I'll be hiding under the bed...


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