The Mysterious Stranger

Picking up the phantom hitchhiker.

[Introduction]

1.
        C
Q. When I was in
  New York recently,
D
Someone mentioned a
  "phantom hitchhiker" who
E
Supposedly haunts the
                 Am
  New York State Thruway.
       F
Sounds weird;
           Em
What's the story?
Dm Bb  G   C
B. A., Des Plaines
2.
           C
A: For the last five years,
    D
The story has
surfaced periodically
     E
Of a young, beared man
        Am
Dressed all in white
    F
Who thumbs rides along
      Em       Dm  Bb  G
  the thruway.

3.
         C
When the fellow is
  given a lift,
          D
the story goes,
     E
He begins talking about
  Am
religion --
F
Then disappears
           Em
  from the car
Dm
During the
        Bb     Bdim
  conversation
4.
   C
Dr Lydia Fish
   D
of Buffalo State College
   E
Is studying stories
       Am
of the phantom.
F
So far
  she has collected
More than
  Em
  sixty reports of
Dm7            G
The Mysterious Stranger

Mindful Webworks | Best of Spirits | The Mysterious Stranger, page 2
[The Mysterious Stranger]

5. [Slow & sultry -- hot]
C
Sunday Chicago --
  D
  out in the street
E
People out walkin'
   Am
  around in the heat
   F
So many you meet
    Em
Who don't give
  Dm         Bb    Bdim
  any of themselves
6. [Driving, rising heat]
C
Summer-bound city --
  D
  out for a drive
    E
The people are dead
          Am
  but the city's alive
    F
The city's a hive.
       Em     
  It's pretty if
  Dm                  Bb  Bdim
  you're just driving by

[Bridge #1]
Cmaj7
Passing the towers
       Dm7
  that crowd by the lake
Ebmaj7
Thinking how much all this
  Dbmaj7     C
  city seems fake.

7.
C
One person hitchhiking
     D
  -- going somewhere
     E
In a dress and old sandals
    Am
  a beard and long hair
F
I stop to help him
     Em
  in spite of my fear
   Dm
He gets in my car but
     Bb          Bdim
  he gets in the rear
8.
C
We don't say much
        D
  after we say hello
E
Wondering why I stopped
     Am
  -- How this will go
F
I'm getting nervous
      Em
  and light up a smoke
        Dm
When my passenger
          Bb     Bdim
  finally spoke (he said:)

Mindful Webworks | Best of Spirits | The Mysterious Stranger, page 3
9.
C
"Sunday Chicago --
       D
  what can a man do?
    E
I'd be glad to help if
    Am
  I just had a clue.
   F
So many of you who
Em         Dm
Don't give any
         Bb     Bdim
  of yourselves.
10.
C
"Bummer-bound city --
     D
  my friend I perceive
E
You are the kind who
        Am
  would like to believe.
   F
If you will receive
       Ebmaj7
  Your God in your heart
Dm7
You can begin
             G
To play your part."

11.
C
Something inside of me
  D
  started to burn
     E
When he asked,
  "Do you believe
  Am
  Christ will return?"
  F
I looked in the mirror
        Em
  -- he wasn't behind!
    Dm
The whole thing
  must have been
     Bb
  produced by my mind.
[Bridge to end]
Cmaj7
Sunday Chicago --
       Dm7
  It's all been reborn
Ebmaj7
Ever since
       Dmaj7    C
  that morning.
As you can tell by the links below, the phantom hitchhiker has been around for a long time, and many other stories in many states can be found searching the web. I swiped the introduction from a Q&A column in a Chicago paper (which one I don't recall).

"The vanishing hitchhiker (or phantom hitchhiker) is a reported phenomenon in which people travelling by vehicle meet with or are accompanied by a hitchhiker who subsequently vanishes without explanation, often from a moving vehicle. Vanishing hitchhikers have been reported for centuries and the story is found across the world, in many variants...."
[*]Vanishing Hitchhiker in Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vanishing_hitchhiker

"...Lydia M. Fish of the State University College of New York at Buffalo discovered in more than sixty texts she and her students collected locally that the current hitchhiker is likely to be "a beautiful young hippie clad in shining white" who engages his host or hosts in a conversation about Jesus and His Second Coming before disappearing. Sometimes he even leaves his seat belt buckled up..."
[*]The Vanishing Hitchhiker by Jan Harold Brunvand, 1981
http://bernd.wechner.info/Hitchhiking/vanish.html

"The core story concerns a traveller who offers a ride to a vulnerable-looking pedestrian, only to find his passenger has disappeared without trace. Later investigations reveal that the passenger was a supernatural entity, not a living human being at all."
[*]The Vanishing Hitchhiker at Fifty-Five by Gillian Bennett
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3732/is_199801/ai_n8801434

Although stories of "vanishing hitchhikers" in Chicago date back to the horse and buggy days, Mary’s tale begins in the 1930’s. It was around this time that drivers along Archer Avenue started reporting strange encounters with a young woman in a white dress.
[*]Resurrection Mary -- Chicago's Most Elusive Ghost by Troy Taylor
http://www.prairieghosts.com/resurcem.html

[*]Chicago's Other Vanishing Hitchhikers! The Flapper Ghost & Others! by Troy Taylor
http://www.prairieghosts.com/flapper.html

[*]Phantom Hitchhiker on Google Image Search
http://images.google.com/images?q=phantom+hitchhiker

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Original

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Additional

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