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Highway Trouble!


Wanted to get this story in here the very next day it happened, but I had taken a good 20 odd days to analyze the mysterious appearance and disappearance of a man, that in all means I believe, is a ghost.

After visiting my cousin in Raleigh, North Carolina, I decided to go on a road trip via the Smokey mountains and to Atlantic city with my family. My wife and kids packed the stuff in our car the previous night and we all set forth the trip at 5 in the morning. A beautiful sunny morning, a road trip, was extremely happy with the planning and we were cruising ahead in my 3 year old Ford Focus.

Driving on the highway in USA is a dream for everyone - The process is simple - Accelerate to 70 Mph, set on cruise mode, just glide along the highway. Around 1 pm, after our lunch, my wife requested that we take a break after our visit to the Smoky mountains was done, so I pulled over and stopped the car when an trooper came by. Police told me that we are not supposed to park the car on the highway unless it is an emergency and I had to keep going. I saw a board saying that there is a rest area 5 miles ahead. So I thought I will pull over in the rest area and we take a quick nap in our car and get going.

On our way to the rest area, I saw a man on the road. In his early 60s may be, he was pale and unusually thin. He was standing next to his car and asking for a ride. I did not want to stop my car there, but my wife, a light hearted person, made me stop and talk to the guy. I rolled down the windows, and had a bad stench of smell from the location.

Transcript of the conversation with the man below

Me: What happened sir? Can I assist you?

Him: Yes.

Me: Ok. How can I assist.?

Him: I don't know.

Me: What happened to you car?

Him: Don't know.

Me: Do you want me to call road side assistance or police for you? You seem lost.

Him: No.

I was getting annoyed at the man's response, but did not show it out. I told him I will leave. And he raised his voice and yelled. 'NO. You can't leave'. I lost it here. I yelled back and left. I was shouting at my wife too for making me stop and waste my time. I was looking at the mirror of my car. All I could still see is his face. I was surprised. How is this man's face not fading away as I am driving now. Shocked and confused I pulled over again and checked the mirror. His face was still there but he was no where to be seen close by. I started to panic, but did not want to scare my wife and kids. Felt a gush of wind go past me and the mirror did not have his face anymore.

Though I was troubled by this incident, I just carried on. Drank some water and started to drive towards the rest area. Stopped the car in the rest area and my wife took the kids along with her to the restroom. I was alone in the car, locked the car from inside, turned the air conditioner on and relaxed on my seat. I kept thinking about what happened, but could not find a possible answer. After 15 minutes, my wife came running to the car. She was breathless. I opened the car and asked her if she was ok. She said she saw the same old man here, next to the restroom asking her if she can help him.

I calmed her down and kids, made them sit in the car and walked towards the restroom to see him. Suddenly felt cold and then, a gush of air through me. Knew that I would have missed him, but nevertheless, searched the place and did not find him. Now, went to car and told my wife that its nothing to worry and we can leave.

We drove on for the next 5 hours without a halt and stopped for dinner. I still had a good 4 hour drive to reach Atlantic city and the time was around 7 pm already. After a 45 minute dinner break, we left and stopped at a gas station to fuel up. The moment I got down of the car, I smelled the same stench smell. Immediately turned back to check if the old man was there, to my surprise, he was just there. My eyes were glued to him and I kept staring at him like an owl. I paid for the fuel and kept continuing to drive, thinking who this guy is. The kids and wife were sleeping, so did not want to create a scene.

I was constantly checking the mirror and no one was behind. Now with less than an hour to reach Atlantic city, I saw someone waving their hand at my car. I did not want to slow down, but my inner self felt, it was the same man. And to my luck, it was the same old man with the same creepy look. This time he was so confident in looking into my eyes and staring. I lost it again. I pulled over and got out of my car and walked towards his car. The car was very old with spider webs and all the tyres were flat. The man was missing but the stench smell was still strong. I knew what was coming next - A gush of cold air. I walked backwards to my car and just got in and checked on my wife and kids. All were safe.

I left and finally we reached Atlantic City. I did not see this man again nor were there any strange incidents after we reached home.

My Questions:

What possible explanation can I get for this sighting. Why did he keep following me and how?

Who is this man? Has anyone else on this site experienced something similar?

Was he trying to off road me somehow by playing with my mind?

I am trying to get some answers by recollecting everything that happened. Any help would be appreciated.

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Comments about this paranormal experience

The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, nalchen, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

Jubeele (26 stories) (898 posts)
7 years ago (2017-10-06)
Curious about the water theme. Isn't there some folklore about certain entities not being able to cross running water?

I had another thought about the old man: maybe he was a 'lonely' spirit who followed you for a while because you were the only ones who stopped to talk to him. He said you could help him, except he didn't know how.

About the stench smell being strong at his car - wonder if there was anything inside it? Could it hold the remains of the man and he needed to be 'found', be reunited with his folks or given a burial so his spirit could finally move on?

Oooh, I'm getting goosebumps...! I'm going to be so paranoid the next time we go on a road trip (I refuse to watch shows like "Wolf Creek"). Glad you and your family are none the worse for wear despite your experience.
nalchen (9 stories) (58 posts)
7 years ago (2017-10-06)
[at] Jubeele,
Through different practicies, we just try to ward off the evil, if any, that is following us. My mum sprayed water on us when we leave the apartment saying that that will not allow the spirits to get near us.

[at] Radish,

Interesting insight. Maybe the case. Given how dense the are is around Smokey Mountains, the possiblity of such an event is high. But nevertheless, not sure if me telling the spirit to crossover
Would have made much difference.

radish54 (1 stories) (51 posts)
7 years ago (2017-10-06)
The thing that comes to mind after reading the whole story through is, what if this is a spirit of someone who has perished in his car and has not been found. Perhaps the car careened off the road into dense brush or standing water.
Perhaps you could just mentally direct some energy into telling the man that he has permission to cross over.
Jubeele (26 stories) (898 posts)
7 years ago (2017-10-04)
The song "Copperhead Road" by Steve Earle popped into my mind when AugustaM talked about running moonshine through the hills. That man sounded so creepy weird. Maybe you should've asked why he wanted you to stay - eh, then again, maybe not.

My parents always insisted that we remove our shoes at the doorway when we came home and wash our feet. This is confuse the trail for any spirits who might be following us. Just in case...

A frightening story - thanks for sharing it.
nalchen (9 stories) (58 posts)
7 years ago (2017-10-04)

I can understand your confusion and the reasons behind it. Nevertheless, I myself have more questions than answers. Given the fact, my wife was terrified, I could say that it was definitely not my mind that is playing the tricks.

Smokey Mountains - The place has quite a history. Have been reading a lot about it ever since this happened to me. But none like the one I experienced.

[at] GayatriShiva,

I am assuming so as well. Maybe a lost spirit trying to find a solution to crossover. But nevertheless, to have experienced it four times in the same day, I was shivering with fear. Maybe I was showing fear outside and I became an easy target because of that.
nalchen (9 stories) (58 posts)
7 years ago (2017-10-04)
[at] L_Melb,
No no! A definite no... More questions than answers. Mystery unsolved.! So... Cant be Twilight Zone:P:D
Gayatrishiva (3 stories) (121 posts)
7 years ago (2017-10-03)
This one is spooky and I think the guy was stuck there and since you guys noticed him he followed you all to some extent... I guess that's a pity soul whose stuck out there... Sometimes we can simply tell them to see the light and could tell may you follow the light of God... But with me centre spirit taking God's name could become deadly experience for us too... But most of the stuck spirit like these might be asking or might have asked you to cross over...that's why it asked for help but when you asked about helping with vehicle etc it said no... As spirt might be aware that it's stuck for long time's just my 2 cents to the story... I hope I haven't offended anyone
AugustaM (7 stories) (996 posts)
7 years ago (2017-10-02)
Granted, the Smokey Mountains are a spooky place and they have earned that reputation. My grandparents grew up in the region and they would testify to that were they still around to do so. My grandfather grew up running whiskey in a Model A Ford through those hills and passes in the pitch black of the night with no headlights on - came near enough to becoming one of the ghosties himself!

That said, I am a bit on the fence about this account primarily because of the persistence of the thing. I could have swallowed the first encounter readily enough and possibly even the second but it continued... I don't know, it just seems too involved to be likely. But, it may not be fair to write off a paranormal encounter simply because it seems unlikely...aren't all paranormal events just that in their own way?

I don't know - either way, it certainly was a richly entertaining story and I'll stick with a firm 'I don't know' on its veracity.
L_Melb (220 posts)
7 years ago (2017-10-01)
You haven't recently been watching old Twilight Zone episodes by any chance? 😕

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