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14 Unsettling True Hitchhiking Stories That Will Make You Fear Traveling

Updated April 21, 2020 303.4k views14 items

No one actively thinks that they're going to be killed by a hitchhiker - or by the person who picks them up. Unfortunately for everyone in these hitchhiking stories, they may have survived, but barely. Whether the driver is John Wayne Gacy or a random man wielding an axe, these true stories about hitchhikers might serve as cautionary tales. Here, Redditors share their creepy hitchhiker stories, making you think twice before picking up that stranger at the side of the road - or trying to "thumb it" yourself.

  • He 'Enjoyed' The Drive

    From Redditor /u/Jeola:

    "First of all I want to apologize for any mistakes. English isn't my first language and even though I'll try my best to avoid it I'll probably mess up something.

    The story took place two years ago. I was on my second week backpacking through Austria and I reached a point where I was too exhausted to walk any longer. It was an unusually hot day; I had blisters all over my feet, and I was ready to call it quits.

    I was in the middle of nowhere and decided to thumb a lift to the nearest train station. But I was out of luck. I stood there for what felt like hours and no car would pick me up. (I don't blame them. I spent two weeks sleeping in the woods, my clothes were dirty and I probably looked like a maniac.)

    When finally a truck pulled up I didn't hesitate to hop inside because I was so thankful to be able to sit down and rest my feet for a while. I asked the driver if he could drop me at the nearest station so that I could catch a train to Vienna, but he told me that he was heading back there anyway and that he could take me there as long as I didn't mind him making a stopover to load the truck. I didn't and so we drove along. We made some small-talk and he seemed to be very polite. It was a pretty enjoyable ride until we reached the first stop.

    He loaded his truck while I walked around a bit and bought some water at a gas station nearby. He had offered me drinks a few times along the ride but I always declined because I don't feel comfortable with that. I got back into the truck and we continued the drive to Vienna. Almost immediately after we took off again he told me that it wouldn't be a problem for him if I wanted to take off some clothes since it was such a hot day. I told him that I was fine but he brought it up a couple more times. He also asked me if I wanted to take a nap in the back and that he had several hitchhikers sleeping there in the past. I declined again and started to feel a little uneasy around him and planned to leave the truck at the next gas stop.

    All of the sudden he nearly yelled at me to put my head down and hide because he was driving past his stepfather's car and he didn't want him to see me in the truck. That struck me as odd, but I did anyway because his yelling took me by surprise. That confirmed my resolution to get out of there as soon as possible and I asked him to drop me of at the next stop and made up an excuse that it was my goal to enter Vienna by foot and that I was rested enough to make it, thanks to his lift. He agreed and I got my stuff ready.

    He suddenly turned to me and said that I looked familiar and that he was sure he saw me somewhere before. I shrugged it off but he insisted he remembered my face. He asked me if I ever went to a swingers club, because he was sure he saw me there some time. That caught me off guard and I told him that this was impossible because I'd never been to one. 'Well, do you want to? I'm going to one in Vienna. Let's go there together, I'm sure you'll like it.' At this point I really wanted to get off the truck ASAP, and told him that I had no intention to come with him and asked him to drop me off now. He didn't answer but reached into his pants and started masturbating while he drove along. I froze up, clutching my backpack on my lap and didn't know what to do. I kept thinking that I'd jump off as soon as he stopped somewhere and tried to ignore what he was doing there since he didn't respond to my plea to let me out. A gas station was coming up and he stopped what he was doing and asked if we should take a shower together. I figured that there'd be people around and that it would make it easier to get rid of him, so I told him sure, why not.

    He pulled up and as soon as he stopped I yanked open the door and run across the parking area of the gas station hoping that he wouldn't come after me. He didn't, so I just kept running until the station was out of sight and I reached a busy street. Only after my heart stopped racing and I caught my breath I realized that I left my shoes at the truck. I walked the last few kilometers barefoot and kept a look out for the truck until I reached Vienna."

  • He Got Into The Car With John Wayne Gacy

    From Redditor /u/jasonissohandsome:

    "Not my story, but my history teacher's hitchhiker's story:

    As a teenager, my teacher lived in Cook County, IL, and frequently would walk around town/the city as most people do. One day he was offered a ride by a large-ish man in a car and hitchhiked home. The driver had a clown suit and makeup kit in the back of his car because he said he worked as a clown part time, which should have sent bells ringing but he thought nothing of it. So he got driven to his mom's house and thanked the driver and left. My history teacher said the driver was one of the most polite people he has ever met.

    A few years later my teacher found out that the man he got into a car with was John Wayne Gacy, Jr."

  • Picked Up Undocumented Immigrants

    From Redditor /u/IranRPCV:

    "I stopped around sunset when I saw someone at the side of the interstate on the way to Phoenix from Tucson. As soon as I stopped he and three more people got into the car.

    Before I could say anything, a spotlight hit my mirror, and a state police officer came up, asked me if I was okay, and started questioning my new passengers in Spanish.

    He said to me, 'You know you have a car load of [undocumented immigrants] here, don't you?'

    He then said I could turn them over to him, and he would keep them in jail overnight and turn them in to INS in the morning, take them up to the next exit and drop them off, or take them to where they were originally headed.

    Not quite sure I understood him, I asked him to repeat. He said the same thing again.

    I said that if he didn't mind, I would take them to their destination, which turned out to be an orchard a few miles up the road. He wished me a good evening, and left, while my passengers kept repeating, 'amigo, amigo!'"

  • Cousin Vanished While Hitchhiking

    From Redditor /u/gruselig:

    "My aunt's eldest son hitchhiked a lot through New Brunswick back in the '70s. He vanished one summer, and the best the police could come up with was that he was picked up by someone, murdered, and his body was dumped in the St. John river. They never found his body, and my aunt never got closure. My mother told me that when I was young to discourage me from hitchhiking, and heck, it worked."