Three things that are true about almost all truck drivers?
1. They see some crazy stuff out on the road.
2. They like to tell stories.
3. Sometimes those stories become larger than life.
Some of the stories that get told in diners, in truck stops, and at fuel islands just never seem to go away. Here are some of the most pervasive, creepy, and unbelievable trucker urban legends out there.
1. The Black Dog. This pervasive urban trucking legend was popularized by the Patrick Swayze movie of the same name. Almost everyone in trucking has heard about the black dog that appears when a trucker starts to fall asleep. The black dog is supposed to be an omen that means a fatal crash is coming. Some see the black dog as a warning to get off the road, but others say it means you’re at the end of the line.
2. The Crushed Beetle. This particularly nasty urban legend involves one 18-wheeler rear-ending another at high speeds, basically fusing the trucks together. Days later at the junk yard, people start to notice a foul smell. When they pry the trucks apart, they find a crushed Volkswagon Beetle with its occupants still inside. While this legend hasn’t been confirmed, similar accidents do happen.
3. High Beams. In this urban legend, a female driver is followed late at night by a trucker who keeps following her while flashing his high beams. The woman becomes more and more frightened as the trucker follows her through every stop light, through every turn. Terrified, the woman pulls into a gas station and runs inside. The trucker follows her in, explaining that there was a knife-wielding murderer in her backseat. Every time the psycho lifted his knife to stab the woman, the trucker flashed his brights and he crouched back down in the back seat.
4. Secret Underground Tunnel Cities. This urban legend suggests that there are truck drivers who roll hundreds of miles through highway-tunnels to provide supplies. Everyone from the Illuminati to aliens are rumored to occupy these strange underground cities, according to urban myth.
5. Vanishing Hitchhiker. The vanishing hitchhiker is one of the oldest trucking urban legends — this one simply won’t go away. The story goes that a figure on the side of the road thumbs a ride from a truck driver. The hitchhiker rides, often in complete silence, for a period of time and then totally vanishes from the moving truck.
6. Highway 666. Originally the 6th branch of U.S. Route 66, this road has since been renamed U.S. Route 491 because of a combination of public outcry over the Satanic connotation and the fact that highway signs kept getting stolen. There have been reports of demon dogs, flaming phantom trucks, and a ghostly girl on what many truckers call “The Devil’s Highway”
7. The Mystery Convoy. Stories of strange convoys are a staple in trucking urban legends. The video below captures a 124 truck convoy on I-64 that was so strange that the motorists filming ask if they are in the Twilight Zone. (Not to spoil the spooky mood, but the truth about this one is that it was part of a Special Olympics fundraiser).