A phantom hitchhiker, a man in a long grey overcoat, appears to be haunting a stretch of the A38 near Taunton in Somerset.
In August 1970 a woman from Taunton encountered the apparition standing in the centre of the road and was forced to veer to avoid him. Stopping to tell him what she thought of his choice of place to stand, she discovered that he had disappeared.
Local newspapers found a number of other people who had encountered the same apparition at the same place, including a motorcyclist who had crashed as a result. These local reports prompted lorry driver Harry Unsworth to tell how he had encountered the man several times in 1958. At the first meeting Unsworth gave the man a lift, having picked him up wet through from the rain at three o'clock in the morning. The man in the grey overcoat spent the journey of some four miles recounting tales of accidents that had occurred during the last few days and was not exactly bright company for the drive. Mr Unsworth picked up the same passenger several times, usually in the pouring rain and wandering along with a torch in his hand.
In November 1958 a more mysterious event occurred. Having picked up the man in the grey overcoat, Mr Unsworth took him where he wanted to go but at his request waited so that the man could collect some luggage and then be driven further along the road. The man did not re-appear and Unsworth, irritated, drove off. Three miles up the road some twenty minutes later he encountered the figure again, though he was sure that no vehicle had come along the road and given him a lift. It was quite an achievement to have travelled so far in so short a time, though presumably not totally impossible. Unsworth tried to avoid the hitchhiker and drive past him, whereupon the man in the overcoat leapt in front of the lorry inviting an almost inevitable accident. Luckily there was no collision, but when Unsworth jumped out of the lorry cab he could see the man in the overcoat gesticulating wildly; he then turned and instantly vanished leaving Mr Unsworth extremely shaken.Bedfordshire | France | Somerset | South Africa |
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