Since the advent of the motorcar that most enduring of modern myths the phantom hitch-hiker, has been reported all over the world. A typical scenario has the driver of a vehicle stop by the road-side to pick up what appears to be at first a flesh and blood human being, only to have them vanish into thin air before journeys end. Later investigations reveal that a person answering the description given by the driver was killed in an accident on the same stretch of road years earlier. To my knowledge there are two examples of phantom hitch-hikers in the county. One occurred as recently as 2001, when a taxi driver reported picking up a fair in a lay by near Keadby Bridge Scunthorpe. His passenger, a young girl asked to be dropped off near the football ground but when he reached their destination the girl had vanished.
Above: Keadby Bridge Scunthorpe
Here, a young woman dressed in the war time uniform of a WAAF (Woman`s Auxiliary Air Force) has been known to flag down unwitting motorists at around 9.30 in the evening on the public road now running through the old base. Witness say a strong smell of lavender fills the air as the woman tells the driver that her fiancee has been injured in a motorcycle accident further up the road and could they possibly help? At this point the horrified onlooker notices the woman’s eyes start to fade away as if receding into their sockets and the smell of lavender is replaced by the stench of decay as the apparition vanishes.
The ghost is said to be that of a young woman tragically killed in an accident whilst riding pillion on her fiance's motorbike sometime during World War Two. It seems the trauma of the accident is so great that the unfortunate woman is unable to accept her death and is still concerned about her fiancee lying hurt in the road.
An urban myth perhaps?...Possibly. Or maybe you yourself will one day need to drive past the old air force base near Metheringham and perhaps you will experience something to prove the contrary.
Above: Haunt of the phantom hitch-hiker. The run way at RAF Metheringham now used as a minor access road across the fens.