17 More Gripping True Tales Of Sheer Terror From America’s Darkest Highways


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via Flickr - Dee Ashley

1. A Full Face Print

My aunts and I were on a road trip to visit my grandparents. We were driving almost 3000 miles to The NW territories Canada from Portland Oregon.

Most of the drive is long lonely highways. I decided it would be a good idea to bring along an Unsolved Mysteries book to pass the time. Because reading about murder is always good road trip fun.

We stop at a camp ground and just sleep in the van. I was sleeping in the front passenger seat. I thought I heard footsteps close to the van but didn’t see anything. When I woke up the next morning I glanced out the window and there was a full face print on the window. Like someone had been watching us during the night. Needless to say I didn’t sleep for the rest of the drive.

2. “He’s Getting Closer”

When I was younger, each summer and almost every New Year my family would pack the car and go on a road trip to visit family in Mexico. We never had any problems until one particular trip when I was 8.

Like every road trip before, we left our home in North Texas around 6 PM in order to reach our destination the next morning, so around 2 AM, we crossed into Mexico — and that’s when things got weird.

When you’re on the only stretch of freeway in the middle of the desert, you don’t tend to freak out about having the same car behind you for miles. It was practically pitch black outside our car windows — the only visible shapes being the dotted stars and the eerie silhouettes of the cacti. We’d been in Mexico for about an hour and still had few more to drive, and I remember sleeping but still being semi-conscious of what was around me because I didn’t have the skill to really fall asleep in a car. So when my mother suddenly spoke my dad’s name, I heard her.

“Miguel. That car behind us. It’s been behind us since we left Laredo.”

My dad peeked at the car shrugged off my mother’s tension.

“A lot of cars use this road. He’s probably going to Reynosa or another city.”

And he left it at that.

Despite his sureness, my mom kept a wary eye on the car behind us. By this time, my siblings and I were hyper aware of the car and entertained ourselves with watching the car through the gaps in the luggage that blocked the rear window. We got tired pretty quick.

“He’s getting closer.” My mother noted, and we turned to watch as the car inched closer and closer to ours. “He’s too close, Miguel.”

And she was right. By this time, the car was practically pressed against the rear of our car — and on a lonely stretch of highway in the middle of nowhere with another few hours until daylight, it was downright scary. We couldn’t do much. My dad didn’t slow down, didn’t stop, and he didn’t speed away either — he just drove. And the car followed.

The next thirty minutes were the most tense we had ever experienced. The Car would ease off sometimes only to press its blinding headlights against our rear once more — like he knew he was freaking us out and enjoying it. It was during one of the periods that The Car had pulled away that my mom spotted a police car up ahead parked on the side of the road and she didn’t miss a beat.

“Pull over! Right in front of the police. Pull over right now, Miguel!” And he did. And The Car kept driving. I wonder how confused the policeman must’ve been as he watched my dad park our car right in front of him. The policeman came over and asked what was wrong and my mother urgently told him everything. The Car, the way it followed us and taunted us.

The policeman took her claims seriously and told us of how people were victimized and had their cars stolen on these empty highways by thugs and criminals. And then he offered to drive behind us for a while to make us feel safe.

We drove off with the police cruiser behind us — relieved. Until about 10 minutes later when we saw something that confirmed the policeman’s words and my mother’s worst fears.

Ten minutes later, we saw The Car pulled over on the side of the road — waiting.

3. Springing The Trap

I was on a road trip with another girl and it was about 10 o’clock when we realized we needed to stop for gas and start looking for a place to stay the night. I’m careful and look for a nice safe place for gas. Finally I found what looked like a good place. It was a brightly lit gas station, clean, and looked pretty busy with a bunch of cars and just one open pump in the middle. I get out of my car to fill the tank. As I’m unscrewing the gas cap, I hear a shout.

There’s a guy with a gun and a group of people. Looking around I realize that the other cars are all empty. This was a trap set for whoever pulled into the center pump. He yells for me to get on the ground and for my friend to get out of the car. He continues shouting about how they’re going to shoot us or fuck us until we can’t walk and other threats if we don’t get on the ground now.

My friend is frozen in panic inside the car. I stick the gas cap in my pocket and tell the guy with the gun to let me talk to her. He lets me get in the car to talk her into getting out. Instead I start the car, throw it into reverse and nearly run over one of his accomplices leaving the station.

The look on his face as we sped out of there was priceless. He looked so shocked and so dumb. We finally got gas about 30 miles down the road when we were running on fumes, but decided not to stop again until we reached our destination.

4. Creeped Out At Wolf Creek

I was on a road trip across Australia. We were heading from Brisbane (east coast) to Broome (west coast). We had 72 hours to get there.

Before I had moved to Australia I made the unfortunate mistake of watching “Wolf Creek” which is a horror about a psycho out in the outback murdering tourists, loosely based on true events. My friends always teased me saying shit like “oh he’ll get ya”, knowing it freaked me out. I always said “I’ll never go anywhere close to Wolf Creek”.

So we’re into the second day of our trip across, we had 2 cars worth of people, I think 11 in total. All Europeans. We hadn’t slept because it was just too uncomfortable. That night we ran out of gas, guess where? Yup, 15 miles from Wolf Creek, I shit you not.

Before this the cars had gotten separated so there was about 4-5 of us on our own. We had pulled up to this gas station to wait until morning when it opened so we could fill up and be on our way.

So it’s getting late now but it’s the outback so it’s still a good 30 degrees (Celcius) at night. I was sitting in the back of the car in the middle seat with people on either side, no air con. I started to have a panic attack due to the heat and the claustrophobia of being in a car so I just decided to get out of the car and get some air. I went to sleep on a bench with outside the gas station and after about a half an hour this pick up truck pulls up beside me and turns the lights off, no one ever got out of the car and you couldn’t see inside the cab. It was one of the creepiest experiences of my life considering where I was at the time and also the fact that the dude in the film drove an almost identical pick up truck.

I decided that the car was my safest option that night.

5. The Man On The Walkie Talkie

I lived in New Mexico for several years before moving to the Midwest. My friend, Amy, and I (both females) would spend many days exploring the remote corners of New Mexico, discovering abandoned ghost towns and enjoying the quiet, desolate beauty of the desert.

One afternoon in March 2010, we were traveling from Ruidoso to Albuquerque. Always up for exploring, we took a back road rather than traveling the more direct highway.

One leg of our journey had us on NM55. It’s a remote, teeny, tiny two lane highway. We loved those types of roads- up until that day.

This part of New Mexico is flat and desolate desert. You can see for miles. And there is virtually nothing except dirt and rock between towns- and towns can be miles apart.

So we were on NM55 going north. After a few minutes, we saw a white pickup truck up ahead of us going the same direction. Suddenly, he stopped his truck sideways in the middle of the highway- blocking both lanes. We were about a mile away from him and as we got closer, we began to get uneasy. We could see no reason for him to do this. We were the only other vehicle out there and we began wondering if we should turn around rather than come up to him and have to stop.

We were about a half a mile away from him, when he pulled over to the opposite side of the highway- but his truck was still pointed the direction we were going. We tried to relax a little. Surely, this guy was a rancher or something. Maybe he was checking something on his land.

As we passed him, we noticed a few things: 1) There was only one person in the truck- a middle aged guy who never took his eyes off us and 2) He was talking into a walkie-talkie.

A few seconds after we passed him, he pulled back onto the highway and started following us. But, he never got too close. He would get to within a few car lengths and then drop back a little and then speed back up again to within a few car lengths. We were getting nervous. We realized how alone we really were. We had seen no other traffic on that road and we hadn’t told anyone about our ‘great idea’ to take this detour. We checked our cell phones and neither one had signal- typical for remote New Mexico, but scary given our present situation.

Amy was driving, and speeding up, while I frantically checked the map, hoping to find a road that would have more traffic. There was no other road. We had to travel this one to get to the next town (Mountainair). Turning around to go back the other way didn’t seem like a good option.

After a few minutes, we saw another pickup truck coming towards us. He was going very, very slowly- maybe 20 MPH- if that. This pickup was old and beat-up whereas the one behind us was newer.

Amy had us up to 75mph (which wasn’t typical for us on these 55mph highways) and we blew by the old pick-up. As we passed it, we saw that it was another middle aged guy- and he was talking into a walkie-talkie.

After the white pick-up passed him, he pulled a U-turn and pulled in behind it.

As we watched all this, we could see the white pick-up truck guy talking into his walkie-talkie.

No doubt these two knew each other. We were being deliberately followed. And for the first- and only time- in my life, I felt hunted.

They stayed right behind us. We watched for obstacles in the road. We truly thought ‘old, beat-up pickup guy’ had set up a trap in the road and our vehicle would be disabled somehow. We talked about driving into the fields (we were in an SUV). But this was obviously ‘their territory’ and we were afraid of what would happen if we went off road and got cornered. So, we stayed on the highway.

By now white pick-up truck guy was right on top of us. We could see him talking into the walkie-talkie and he stayed right on our bumper. And old, beat-up pick-up truck guy was right on top of him. The three of us sped down the highway.

The white pick-up inched closer. His maneuvering and edging closer made it apparent that he was trying to bump us. I watched helplessly as he got to within inches of our back bumper. Amy floored it. We were passing 80mph and edging up to 90mph. The road was flat and deserted, but any little thing going wrong would have been catastrophic. We absolutely were not going to slow down or stop if we could help it.

The white pick-up pulled into the opposite lane and started to gain speed. The only thing we could think of was that he wanted to pass us and get in front of us. If he got in front of us and his buddy was behind us, then we’d be boxed in and trapped.

We looked frantically at the rocky desert on both sides of us. Our only option was to off-road it. Should we risk it? Could we speed through the desert and make it to safety in one piece?

As we topped a small incline, we saw a sign that said ‘Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument’ and it pointed towards a road on the left. And right at that moment, a blue pick-up truck pulled out of that road and onto the highway in front of us. As we came up on the blue pick-up, we saw the plates said ‘US Park Service’. We looked at each other and then looked behind us- both pickup trucks did U-turns and went the other way. We followed the blue pick-up to Mountainair and then made our way to Albuquerque.

I don’t know exactly what those guys’ intentions were, but they weren’t good. There is something seriously wrong out there. I notified the State police and they said they would keep an eye on things.

This area is very near Belen, NM which is where Tara Calico was abducted. It’s also about 100 miles from Elephant Butte, NM which is where David Parker Ray had his little secret torture laboratory. We didn’t put all that together until later. Even though David Parker Ray had died by the time this happened to us, we do believe that there are others out there like him.

And whoever abducted Tara has never been caught.

Or maybe we came into meth lab territory. But since this happened on an actual highway- rather than a back country road- I tend to discount the meth lab theory. Whatever is going on out there, it’s not good.

6. He Just Walked into The high grass

Three friends and I ( 3 girls and 1 guy) were on our way back to Sydney, driving from Melbourne and we stopped at some random rest stop along the way so us girls could use the toilet.

We get out and use the toilet, fix ourselves in the mirror and while my friends were still talking and fixing their make up I went outside and had a smoke with my guy friend ( I am standing in front of the car and facing the women’s toilet).

The girls walk out from the toilet and sit on a picnic table and wait for me to finish my cigarette. After about 2 minutes I see a very creepy man that looked to be in his 50’s, thick grey beard and dirty clothes, walking out from the women’s toilets. The same toilets my friends and I had just used and never noticed we had unwanted company.

We got in the car very quick and as my friend is speeding off I swear I saw this man walking into the dark woods with grass as tall as he was. That was very strange.

7. Just Trying To Get Some Sleep On The Road

When I was younger, me and my family went on a road trip to Wyoming to see Yellowstone National Park. it’s a beautiful place, and if you haven’t seen it yet, I’d recommend it. Anyways, so from our home in California, it was about a 17 hour drive in our Yukon XL (the largest, most comfortable road trip SUV you can imagine). It took us several days worth of on and off driving to get there, and during the nights we would try to find a little motel to rest at. One of the nights, due to us being behind schedule, my dad attempted to drive through the night to get us there sooner. He made it probably into the wee hours of the night before he deemed it unsafe and parked us in this little unlit rest stop in the middle of the woods in some fly-over state.

Me and my brothers had fallen asleep in the car several hours before he’d stopped, so for at least a couple hours we were all sleeping in the car in this dark little parking lot surrounded by forest. Having got a couple hours of sleep and being in a pretty uncomfortable position, I woke up in the middle of the night, pretty disoriented but not really scared. I looked around and see everyone fast asleep in this pitch black car and naturally I feel pretty alone. I try to fall back asleep, but it’s just not working out and so I just sit there for a while, boredom setting in.

Looking out the window to see where we are, it’s pitch black so I couldn’t see jack shit. Luckily, I wasn’t the type to pack light and had brought a couple flashlights in my bag. Being careful not to disturb my sleeping family, I reached into the backseat, unzipped my bag, and pulled out a little plastic yellow flashlight. It wasn’t the brightest but it was enough to see the foreground of the general surroundings. I put it up to the glass, making sure not to make any noise, and pushed the little switch into the on position. I pressed my face against the glass and looked out.

At first it looked like a normal tree line with some bushes, trees, whatever.. but as I scanned the darkness, looking for animals, buildings, etc., I noticed this dark shape standing between these two trees in the distance. It looked like the shape of a man, but it wasn’t moving. Just sitting there. After watching it for a good while and seeing no real signs of movement, I just assumed it was a bush or some kind of natural occurrence. Just as I was about to turn the light off and reattempt sleep, I saw this shadow shape turn 90 degrees and move behind a tree, disappearing from sight. This scared the shit out of me, and I immediately turned off the flashlight and threw my sweater-turned-blanket over my head, shutting my eyes tightly and covering my ears. I was paralyzed with fear and, too full of adrenaline to get any sleep, sat in this semi-fetal position, clutching my flashlight, for the rest of the night.

I waited until the sun came up and we were back on the road before I got any sleep. I didn’t tell anybody about the man I saw in the woods.

8. Don’t Sleep By The Side Of The Road

About two years ago, I was driving home from a family reunion pretty late at night, and the drive was about two hours. I didn’t stay the night because I had to be back for work the following day. Most of the drive was on roads with dense bushes and trees on either side – the real creepy ones you see a lot in movies. Anyway, I had been driving about 45 minutes, and I was starting to get really tired. You know how sometimes you just suddenly become really tired, out of nowhere? Well yeah, that happened to me. I knew I wasn’t going to last, but I didn’t come across any place that I felt I could park and safely sleep.

Anyway, after it became clear to me that I wasn’t going to find a place to pull up, and my tiredness wasn’t going away, I did something very questionable. I pulled over to the side of the road onto the grass, behind some bushes, to try and hide my car from anybody else who was going to come past (the roads weren’t empty, I came across another car every few minutes or so). I made a mental note that the time was 11:22, and then fell asleep.

Some time later I was awoken by a scratching sound. I looked at the clock – 11:50. The sound stopped after a few seconds, and because I was still extremely tired, I didn’t bother looking around and simply went back to sleep. I was later awoken by the same sound, and it was now 12:40. This time it really freaked me out because the sound didn’t stop. The thought ran across my mind that it was just an animal inspecting the car, but why would it return almost an hour after it had left the previous time? I looked in my rear view mirror and just managed to catch a glimpse of something running away into the forest. Now, at the time, I thought it was the damn hook killer, you know the one that scratched that couple’s car and then slaughtered the guy when he got out to investigate? Fuck that, I thought to myself, so I got the hell out of there. There was a bend no more than a hundred yards up the road, and as I came around it, there was a fucking car, parked off to the side of the road with the driver side door opened. I slowed down just to look to see if anyone was in there (there wasn’t). Then I looked in my rear view mirror. I didn’t see anything, and all of a sudden, this guy comes sprinting around the corner. He starts screaming at me, shouting stuff like “Hey! Hey you! Get the fuck out of your car! Now!” I noped the fuck out of there and sped off. I never saw the guy again. Moral of the story? Don’t fucking sleep on the side of a deserted road.

9. She Was Staring And Smiling

My husband and I were driving on the highway late at night on our way home from a trip to Utopia. There weren’t many cars, but there was an old lady in an old Cadillac and she kept racing up to stay beside us in the next lane, then all of a sudden she starts merging into our lane and starts ramming us off the road. It wasn’t even like she couldn’t see our car, she was staring right at us and smiling. Luckily the next exit was our exit so we were able to make it, just. Called the cops but don’t think they ever found her.

10. Real Life Can Be Scarier Than Any Movie

I was driving a shortcut from Twentynine Palms, CA to Albuquerque, NM. Twentynine Palms is located in the desolate high desert east of LA. The shortcut was all two lane road through total nothingness, except for passing through Amboy, CA. Amboy is a nearly abandoned town nearly as far below sea level as Death Valley, with a dormant volcano and lava field on one side and a salt flat on the other. It was also, at the time, a hotspot for satanic group activity.

So I was driving by myself in the afternoon. I stopped in Amboy and snapped a picture of the city sign, just to prove I was there to friends who dared me to take that route to I-40. I got back in my car and proceeded to drive up into the mountain range between Amboy and I-40.

Once I reach the top I am driving north through a canyon with high grass on both sides of the road. Up ahead I see some stuff in the middle of the road. As I approach I slow down to see a red Pontiac Fiero stopped sideways across both lanes, a suitcase open with clothes scattered everywhere and two bodies laying face down in the road, a man and a woman.

I stop a hundred feet or so away and the hair on the back of my neck is standing up. Being a Marine, I reach under the seat and pull out a 9mm pistol and chamber a round. Something seemed very wrong, it looked too perfect as if it were staged. An ambush? Was I being paranoid? Something was just wrong. Getting out of the car seemed unthinkable, it was the horror movie move.

As I scanned the road I saw a line I could drive. Pass the guy in the road on his left, swerve to the right side of the woman, behind the Fiero and I’d be on the other side. I dropped it into first gear, punched it and drove the line I planned.

I passed the back of the Fierro without hitting it or either of the bodies in the road. I continued forward a couple hundred feet and slowed down so I could breathe and let my heart slow down. As I looked up into the rearview mirror I saw that the two bodies had gotten up to their knees and twenty or so people emerged from the tall grass on either side of the road by the car and bodies.

At that moment my right foot smashed the gas pedal to the floor and did not let up until I had to slowdown for the I-40 east onramp.

I will never know what would have happened to me had I gotten out of the car to check on the bodies or stopped my car closer to them. Somehow I do not think it would have been good. Sometimes real life can be scarier than a movie.

11. Night Driving In New Mexico

Driving on a super isolated road late at night in bumblefuck New Mexico (285 north, for those who know. For those who don’t, it’s a skinny little two-lane road for the most part which goes right through the middle of a lot of nothing with roughly 100 miles of fuckall on either side of it) and got followed for a long ways by a huge black pickup truck. One of those giant dodge king ranch things, all black, cow catcher on the front, limo black on all the windows, everything. It tailgated me at 85mph for about 75 miles, and when I stopped at a truck stop to pee it pulled off too, but nobody got out. It just idled away in the parking lot until I got back in and got on the highway again. Fucker followed me all the way to Carlsbad before peeling off and heading back south. I’ve never seen it again, but I refuse to make that drive by myself anymore.

NEXT UP: A Guardian Angel In The Dead Of Night (Click Here To Go To Next Page)

via Flickr – Dee Ashley

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