The wet pavement was black as ink on highway 365 when Josh caught sight of a figure standing on the side of the road ahead. The young woman was soaked to the skin, and shyly grateful for the ride. She gave him an address in Redfield, and Josh made small talk about the recent high school football game as they drove, but his passenger remained quiet. When they arrived at the address, she seemed to be asleep, and there were no lights on at the house, so he decided to knock on the door first, to make sure it was the right place.
A woman came to the door, and turned on the porch light as he smiled and spoke up, “Good evening ma’am – I believe I have your daughter. I picked her up a few miles down the highway and she seems a little out of sorts. I wonder if you wouldn’t mind helping me get her into the house?”
The woman stepped back from the doorway with a fearful look and Josh felt a sudden sense of dread. “That is not my daughter.” she told him, “My daughter died in an accident four years ago tonight.”
Josh ran back to his car through the muddy yard and yanked open his passenger door, and rain pitter-patted on the empty seat.
There are several versions of this story of a lone woman on the side of Hwy 365 near Woodson, Arkansas. Each one involves picking up a hitchhiker who then disappears when the driver delivers her to the address she offers, always on the anniversary of her death.
Some stories say the person at the house is a man, others say a woman. In some retellings, the young woman asks the driver to go to the door, others say she disappears before they arrive. Even more elaborate is a story of the driver tracking down the girls’ grave and finding the coat she was wearing when he picked her up hanging on her headstone.
It’s a lovely tale of a “residual” haunting – a haunting that continues to occur over and over without any change in the story, as if it is looped on a recording. It’s almost as though the grief and sadness of the woman’s loss is so strong that it burned itself into the ribbon of time itself.