Goss explores the meaning and causes of this phenomenon. In terms of purpose and behavior, the Phantom HitchHiker of urban folklore is a thoroughly conventional ghost: one who matches popular expectations of what a ghost is, what it does, and why. He or she is the spirit of a deceased person, the victim of a tragic accident, which resulted in the premature termination of earthly existence. It would appear that these “ghosts” are motivated by, especially on the anniversaries of their unfortunate accidents, a desire to complete their unfinished homeward journeys. It would also appear that they do not know that they are dead.
This is the most comprehensive study of a peculiar phenomenon that has mystified students of the paranormal for centuries. Goss’ study will entertain and inform anyone who enjoys a good ghost story and anyone who is interested in understanding the mysterious and unexplained.