A few months ago I got my provisional license, and my dad gave me his old 1989 Ford Fairlane.
Everything was fine, and I was enjoying my new-found freedom. I decided to try to spruce the car up a little, so I went to the closest wreckers to try and find some parts for my car.
I wandered around for a little while, trying to find a car with parts that would fit mine. Amongst the rows of cars, I found a Gold coloured '89 Fairlane. It was totally destroyed. The entire drivers side of the car had been pushed in, the boot had been completely torn off its hinges, some of the doors looked like they had been cut open, and to top it off, there were dark smudges all over the interior. I pulled off the parts I needed, and took them to the counter. The guy behind the counter asked which car I'd taken the parts off, and when I told him, he said "You're pretty game, mate". He then explained to me that a few years ago the car had been involved in a fatal accident. He didn't know the details, but said he thought that it had happened in one of the nearby towns. I kind of shrugged it off, paid for my parts and went home.
I put on all my parts, and was pretty proud of my work. Then the weird stuff started happening. Driving home from TAFE one night, the electrical system started playing up. The headlights would flicker for a moment, cut out completely, then come back on on high beam. The interior light would turn itself on and off. The radio would change station or volume or even drop out completely. I'm studying Auto-Electrics, so I thought I'd try and have a crack at fixing it myself. When it kept on happening, I took it to an Auto-Electrician, who tested everything and said there was nothing wrong with the car. I realised that everything that was mucking up had come off the gold wreck, and decided that maybe the bloke from the wreckers had been onto something. Sure enough, after little research I found several news articles, most of them had a graphic photo of the car that had donated it's parts to mine.
The story was that in late 2009 a group of young guys (15-18 Year olds, guys my age) were at a party. At the end of the night a few of them were too drunk to drive their own cars, so the owner of the Fairlane decided to try and do the right thing and ferry some of them home. Here in Queensland we have a law that P-Platers can't carry more than one passenger after 11PM. He had 4 passengers, plus two of his friends who had jumped into the boot of his car, hoping to pull a prank on the driver. Trying to get his friends home before he got pulled over, he decided to take a back road to the house a few of his passengers were staying at. About halfway there he was T-boned by an elderly drunk driver trying to avoid being breathalysed. The car flipped several times, finally coming to rest at the bottom of a gully. Of the 7 people in the car, 5 of them were killed; The two in the boot were killed almost instantly, the rear drivers-side passengers seatbelt was severed in the initial crash and he was thrown from the car. The other two rear passengers were crushed when the roof collapsed, they died a few days later in hospital. Miraculously, both the driver and passenger walked away without a scratch. Several of the pictures showed the blood-soaked interior, and it occurred to me that the dark stains on the upholstery hadn't been oil or grease.
A couple of days later, sick of the electrical gremlins, I finally yelled out "Will you guys just knock it off?" The car suddenly completely died. It refused to start, and despite checking everything, it just would not start. After an hour or so, I noticed that the clock (the one I'd gotten from the Gold Fairlane) had turned on again, but instead of the actual time it read 11:37, the time the crash happened (this took place at about 3 in the afternoon). All the electrical issues stopped, and haven't happened since. But there haven't just been electrical anomalies. One day my Mum borrowed the car while hers was being serviced. When she got home from the shops, she asked if I'd ever seen anything funny in the back of my car. When I replied that some nights I thought I could see shadows on the back seat, she replied "What about an arm?". She then told me that on her way home she was stopped at a red light, and swore she saw an arm poking out of the speaker on the parcel shelf. When I told her one of the boys who was in the boot had got his arm stuck in the hole for the speaker, she just went pale. Other people have seen things in my car as well. I turned up at a party one night. When I walked up to a friend of mine, she asked where all the people in my car had gone. She swore black and blue that when I had driven past her, there had been a car load of people with me.
I'm still a bit uneasy driving at night. There's a definite presence in the car, although I've never found it to be frightening. A bit frustrating, sure. But in the end, as long as they don't mess with my lights, they're cool to ride along.