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Where Did He Go?


I do not even know if he was a ghost but, if so, there wasn't any hair sticking up not a change in the temperature or any other indication that this was a paranormal encounter.

It was the summer of 1980 and my parents and I went in a trip to the western state of Michoacan. After few days visiting several picturesque little towns scattered on the mountains of the Sierra Madre Occidental using the available means of public transport our journey came to an end and it was time to go back to Mexico City.

Since we didn't take our own car the plan was to travel during the night riding a bus that would reach its destination in the morning. So we went to the terminal and got ready for the long ride, at least the seats in the bus were comfortable and it wasn't too crowded.

My mother and I sat together on the second or, perhaps, third row of seats on the side of the door. Mom was seated on the side of the aisle and I was by the window; my father was on the row next to ours across the aisle.

Our bus departed at the scheduled time and the driver took the winding highway crossing the mountains covered by a dense forest of pine and oak trees.

After some time, the passengers settled in and the only ones talking in hushed voices were the bus driver and his assistant, I couldn't hear what they were saying neither was able to fall asleep.

The ride promised to be long, boring and uneventful but everything changed after a sharp curve in the middle of nowhere when two things happened simultaneously: the bus began slowing down while a man came running towards the road lifting one hand as if calling for a taxi to stop. I couldn't see much of his features because it was dark but it was obvious that he was wearing warm clothes, a heavy jacket and a red knitted hat with a pom-pom on the crown. The best way I can describe him is like a three dimensional shadow coming out from behind a tree that was, perhaps, ten to fifteen meters away from the edge of the road.

Although not a common practice, in Mexico sometimes bus drivers pick up people from isolated places on the road and away from the main terminal so I assumed a new passenger would be boarding the bus. As it was slowing down, the driver opened the door and the assistant got off the bus, I turned my head around to check how far the man was, expecting to see him still running but he wasn't there.

A very short time passed and the assistant got in the bus and said something to the driver; after that they informed the passengers that the bus had broken down and that we should transfer to the next bus if there're enough seats available.

The passengers began getting off of the bus and, since my family and I were seated so close to the door, we were some of the first ones going outside, there was nothing there, not a little hut for shelter or a bench to seat on while waiting. We had to wait on the side of the road and trying to keep warm under the cover of a starry sky.

I was still expecting to see the man in the red knitted hat among the other passengers but he wasn't there.

Some time later came another bus but there were not enough seats for all the passengers and we were given the options of riding the bus and finish the trip standing up or keep on waiting for another bus for several hours.

Everybody got on the first bus and yes, my family and I had to stand for the rest of the ride.

Later, while talking with my Mom about the events, I mention seeing the man in the hat and assuming that the bus was stopping to pick him up. My Mother said that she had seen him too.

So, that's my experience. To this day I don't know if I saw a ghost that vanished in the night or if the man crossed the road to check if the grass was greener on the other side. I have wondered if he had anything to do with the bus breaking down or if it was a coincidence that it stopped without an apparent reason and without making any funny noises or spiting fire and black smoke from the engine.

Another thing that puzzles me is the way I saw the color of his hat if there was not a source of light around.

For many years I have been trying to find a logical explanation for these events that, though not scary, seem to point to an encounter with a ghostly hitchhiker of some sort.

Thanks for reading.

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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, lady-glow, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

Bee_Beans (6 stories) (41 posts)
4 years ago (2018-01-30)

Thank you for the post.
I just wanted to let you know that I experienced something VERY similar here in South Africa.

Also on a bus (the trip would take about 4 hours). We were on the highway when I saw a person further down the road flag the bus down to a stop. The Driver's Assistant went outside to check on the person and returned alone. I was sitting close to the front of the bus on the side where the person was standing. He/she (couldn't see due to the fading light) never got on the bus and never walked away from the bus. He/she simply vanished! The driver then told us that the bus had broken down and we would have to wait for the next one. We ended up spending the entire night on that bus and were only collected the next day (the trip eventually took about 16 hours instead of the intended 4!)

Very odd!
lady-glow (13 stories) (2912 posts)
5 years ago (2017-11-16)
Hello Tweed, nice to 'see' you again!

I'm glad you enjoyed my experience. After all those years, I'm still trying to find a logical explanation for the way the guy vanished almost before my eyes, and for his hat being the only colour about him. The more I think about it, the more convinced I'm that, at least his nose, should have reflected whatever little light was illuminating his hat.
I guess I'll never know the answer but, I'm glad one day, I'll have a story to tell to my grandchildren.

Notjusme: sorry for answering so late. Yes, I like iced capps, unfortunately I'm too sensitive to caffeine and can't have them as frequently as I'd like.
I guess I missed my chance to ask the driver and co-driver if they saw the man though, if they did, I doubt they would have admitted for that to be the reason to stop the ride.
Tweed (29 stories) (2362 posts)
5 years ago (2017-11-16)
Hi Lady Glow,

Sometimes I think the encounters with the most uncertainty are far better than the ones with a conclusion. Or maybe I just enjoy mysteries.
This also remind me of the account Jubeele referenced. I was about to go looking for that link lol.
As well as that the way you described the colour with the lack of light reminded me of the way the colours looked when I saw the dancer apparition. In a nutshell I saw a woman in leotards laying stretched out on the couch in the middle of the night. Her colours were slightly more pronounced than the rest of the room. It was odd. Well any good skeptic could tell me I was sleepwalking when I saw her. But you and your Mum both saw this guy, so at least you know he was indeed there, whatever he was.

Great read, thanks for sharing! 😊
notjustme (19 stories) (852 posts)
5 years ago (2017-10-28)
Ola Lady and YGS!... Tim Hortons πŸ˜† yes I do believe they carry sour cream. Have you tried our famous iced Capp? Kept me up most my high school days. Worth it. On to the story... And that is when they realized they forked up by stopping and then realizing he was indeed a spirit, then decided nope, not going to carry this guy on board. Let's be safe and get as many as possible onto another bus. I am no expert on Mexican culture, but from some stories I have read on YGS, many locals do believe in the supernatural. Lol so I wouldn't be surprised if the bus was never broken down in the first place. Just my guess.
Aaru275 (4 stories) (55 posts)
5 years ago (2017-10-26)
I think it was the ghost of someone who died there while crossing the road.
lady-glow (13 stories) (2912 posts)
5 years ago (2017-10-21)
Sushantkar: how interesting! Do you know if anyone else in the bus saw the apparition too?

I don't recall the bus driver and his buddy doing anything unusual though, in Mexico, every bus terminal counts with an altar (usually with an image or statue of the Virgin Mary) where most drivers pay their respects before leaving on a trip.

If anything, the passengers were worried because the bus broke down on a very inconvenient spot within a curve with a narrow shoulder. I remember some of the passengers commenting on the possibility of another vehicle coming out of the curve and crashing on the bus. So no, I don't consider the man to have been very helpful that night.

I still wonder if the driver saw the man, unfortunately, I will never know.

Thanks for reading.
sushantkar (16 stories) (529 posts)
5 years ago (2017-10-21)
Hello LG, loved to read your experience. Could you remember that before queting the journey did that bus driver do some prayer or anything like that. I have witnessed something uncommon while I was traveling to a nearby city and in-between our destination there was a place called as Bagha nala where our bus driver claims to see an apparition. He stopped the bus little bit before that place, off boarded the bus, placed some offerings, prayed and then on boarded the bus and we headed towards the destination.
I afterwards queried him about that and he replied that that place had lots of accidents in the past and whenever he sees something like what he did see that night, he offer something to the spirit for harmless journey.
I had seen while my travels to the various part of my country that people have developed/accuaried such prithisions, process and believe to keep themselves focused against things which they think is right to keep themselves safe.
Maybe that day your bus driver took that incedent as a bad omen and decided to webb off in middle of the journey.
Do let us know... And thanks for sharing...

lady-glow (13 stories) (2912 posts)
5 years ago (2017-10-20)
Jubeele: Tweed's comments are always cool and informative, aren't they?

Sheetal: nice to 'see' you again! Thanks for reading my experience.
lady-glow (13 stories) (2912 posts)
5 years ago (2017-10-20)
Whodat: no problem. Given the way newscasters only seem to talk about the negative events happening not only in Mexico but all over the world, it is easy to assume that dangerous situations are not the exception but the normal of daily life. It isn't a surprise if we tend to expect the worse.

As for the man, I will always wonder where he went during the not even two seconds that I took my eyes off of him.
Jubeele (25 stories) (882 posts)
5 years ago (2017-10-19)
Lady-glow, I just remembered where I read about disappearing people travelling on buses. It was a comment from Tweed: "My Mum has a theory that ghosts travel on buses then get out of buses only to disappear behind trees." It was on another account about a disappearing person too: Hmmm... Wonder if yours changed his mind when the bus broke down! 😊
sheetal (6 stories) (771 posts)
5 years ago (2017-10-18)
simply creepy story, and great narration. Enjoyed reading it.
Whodat (42 posts)
5 years ago (2017-10-17)
Lady-glow, I apologize if my comment offended you. I meant nothing bad against Mexico at all. I've never been to MichoacΓ‘n state, but I recently met a lady whose husband is from there and they visit his home frequently with no trouble at all. She told me it is a lovely place. I was just wondering what some guy would be doing out in the middle of nowhere like that running down the road waving instead of just waiting on the shoulder and signaling for the bus to stop. Again I apologize. I meant no disrespect.
lady-glow (13 stories) (2912 posts)
5 years ago (2017-10-14)
Whodat: Have you ever been to Mexico? I'm not going to deny the rampant insecurity and violence prevailing in many places but, your comment could misguide anyone into thinking that gunmen are chasing people all over the place 24/7 and, fortunately, that's not the case.

Thanks for taking the time to read my experience and for your misinformed comment.
Whodat (42 posts)
5 years ago (2017-10-13)
Sad to say, but if this story had taken place recently, I would assume the poor man would be running for his life from the drug cartels. As it were, perhaps he was somehow warning the driver and co-driver of some sort of dangerous situation, whether he was a living person or a spirit of some sort. He may have saved the bus from a crash.
Jubeele (25 stories) (882 posts)
5 years ago (2017-10-13)
I like the Canada idea. It makes sense in a way, the red hat symbolizing the Canadian red maple leaf. Maybe you had a far-seeing and somehow tapped into a "fast-forward" scene from the future.

I enjoyed how you described the scene - made me feel I was there! Thanks again for sharing. 😊
lady-glow (13 stories) (2912 posts)
5 years ago (2017-10-12)
Hi guys, thanks for reading and commenting on my story.

Jubeele: I have considered that same possibility as you suggest but I remember that the only people gathering by the door were the same passengers I saw getting off the bus before me, and nobody else came from any other direction than the bus's door.

I guess I could have asked if anyone else had seen the man, but I didn't think about it at that moment besides, everybody was sleepy and not exactly happy after having to leave the bus.

Manafon: after all these years I still find it fascinating that his hat was the only colored thing about him though, I wonder if I had like to see an injured or deformed face below that hat or, even worse, if it had been a skull!

Roylynx: now that you mention it, perhaps he was a premonition that one day in the future I would immigrate to Canada?

L_Melb: I still scratch my head every time I think about that man... Or ghost? I saw.
L_Melb (220 posts)
5 years ago (2017-10-12)
Hi lady-glow,
What a strange experience and from having read your various comments over time, you don't strike me as someone who jumps to a paranormal explanation for anything you can't explain.
The man having taken off his head gear is a good thought by Jubelee.
I wonder if maybe he might have saved you all from an accident rather than being the cause of the break down.
A very interesting read, thanks 😊
roylynx (guest)
5 years ago (2017-10-12)
Interesting story! I thought Santa lived in Finland, no? So his real place is in Mexico? Just joking LOL

One of my coworker is also very sensitive; I think I have written a story about her seeing his boyfriend with his already gone ex-girlfriend, she said she had seen her just like a real person but had gone when she realizes. Maybe that is how most apparitions are supposed to be? I really have no idea... Not only her; I have heard many other reports saying that when they saw a spirit it was just like a real person.

Also, I know of that some people are "gifted" when they were born because of their family background. For example, like one of my friends, his grandfather was a "gifted person" and had known to be one of the first media whom had worked with a "real" paranormal science team in Soviet (USSR), now he is the one in his family to have the same "gift" or should I say ability like his grandfather.

True or not about the above statement, some people get their ability from their DNA, I believe, so there might be a possibility that you and your mother shared the same "gift".

Oh, yea, before just assuming on that, did any other else saw the same red hat guy?

Manafon1 (5 stories) (696 posts)
5 years ago (2017-10-12)
Fascinating account lady-glow. Your description made it easy to visualize the events. That you noticed that the "man" was wearing a red knit hat without any light source suggests a fantastic example of the telepathic element present in so many paranormal encounters. The color of the hat was considered pertinent information by the mind (living or dead) transmitting the telepathic information and so you saw it. It's one possibility at least!

Thanks for sharing another intriguing account.
Jubeele (25 stories) (882 posts)
5 years ago (2017-10-12)
Lady-glow, this is mysterious indeed. So did the bus driver see him too and slowed down, or did the man in the red hat somehow caused the bus breakdown? Just to give another possibility: did he take his red hat off and blended in with the rest of the passengers? If his face was in shadow, maybe you didn't recognize him without the hat?

Then again, maybe you and your mum weren't supposed to see him in the first place. Perhaps that could be why he 'hid' from you?

This reminds me of another account where someone saw a passenger get off the bus and then disappear among the trees. It was discussed that maybe spirits are wandering among us unnoticed more often than we realize. Small echoes or shadows just replaying actions that they've done many times before their passing. I can't remember the name of the story, but if I find it again, I'll let you know.

Thanks for another interesting read.

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