I come to you once again for an old novel that I read like 10 years ago.

All I remember is that the story is basically: Some guy is in his car on a foggy road, when he sees a woman (I believe she was dressed in white) on the side of the road. she is hitchhiking. He decides to stop to pick her, but it turns out she isn't real (or some kind of skeleton-vision-looking girl). He then drives away afraid but doesn't see any hitchhiker behind the car.

He stops later at some restaurant or somewhere, and later takes to the road again, and something else happens with that unreal woman, but I can't remember what.

If you got any idea of what this is, I'll be really glad to know. (I want to share it with some youngsters.)

One more thing: A friend told me it was both in French and in English, so I don't know if it was written in French or in English.

  • 2
    Interesting, it seems as if this novel was inspired by a somewhat popular British legend: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Lady_(ghost)
    – A. Darwin
    May 17, 2016 at 14:18
  • Oh right, the stories are indeed really similar! It is probably inspired by the white lady(that died in a car crash), but I can not find the exact novel May 17, 2016 at 14:20
  • You might look at the list at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vanishing_hitchhiker#Cultural_references. My first impulse is the Sparrow Hill Road stories, but those are largely from the perspective of Rose, the hitchhiking ghost.
    – FuzzyBoots
    May 17, 2016 at 14:44
  • @A.Darwin the hill I cycle up and down every day to work has one of these "the bluebell hill ghost" apparently a bride that got killed before her wedding, will get in the back of your car and vanish when you stop. So far she hasnt jumped on the back of my bike May 17, 2016 at 15:27
  • @Cearon O'Flynn that's because you ride a bike and she only gets in the back of people's cars... Anyway, it's interesting to see how a centuries-old legend changes over time, including references to the modern world, although I may have gone a bit off on a tangent.
    – A. Darwin
    May 17, 2016 at 15:36

1 Answer 1


I suspect you're thinking of Sparrow Hill Road, which is a novelization of a series of short stories by Seanan McGuire.

Rose Marshall is the Shadow of Sparrow Hill Road. She's the Lady in Green. She's the Phantom Prom Date.

Ghost Stories is a series of short stories (later collected into a novel) by Seanan McGuire about a ghost named Rose Marshall, who crashed and burned on Sparrow Hill Road in 1945 and has been hitching the ghostroads ever since as an occasional psychopomp, trying to help wayward souls she meets along the way...and to get revenge for her own murder.

The stories are based on the various Urban Legends about Hitchhiking ghosts and on songs about roads, cars, dates, and broken hearts. Rose also has a lot to say about road culture, car culture, date culture and diner culture along the way.

The Goodreads summary goes to more length:

Rose Marshall died in 1952 in Buckley Township, Michigan, run off the road by a man named Bobby Cross—a man who had sold his soul to live forever, and intended to use her death to pay the price of his immortality. Trouble was, he didn’t ask Rose what she thought of the idea.

It’s been more than sixty years since that night, and she’s still sixteen, and she’s still running.

They have names for her all over the country: the Girl in the Diner. The Phantom Prom Date. The Girl in the Green Silk Gown. Mostly she just goes by “Rose,” a hitchhiking ghost girl with her thumb out and her eyes fixed on the horizon, trying to outrace a man who never sleeps, never stops, and never gives up on the idea of claiming what’s his. She’s the angel of the overpass, she’s the darling of the truck stops, and she’s going to figure out a way to win her freedom. After all, it’s not like it can kill her.

You can’t kill what’s already dead.

Part of the basis is the traditional Vanishing Hitchhiker tale, which Rose often plays the role of, but there's also an overarching story of Rose trying to bring souls to rest, and to get revenge. The stories are all titled, and patterned after, classic rock songs.

What does not match is that the stories were first released in 2010, with the novel not released until 2014.

  • 1
    Sparrow Hill Road is an amazing book that everyone should read. That said, it's not the one the OP is looking for. Besides the publication date discrepancy, Sparrow Hill Road does not include any stories where the driver approaches Rose, figures out that she's a ghost, and then leaves her behind. Jan 6, 2018 at 2:51

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