"So my mom and a friend of hers were traveling around Europe in the '70s, they were in their early 20s at the time.
They get picked up by two French men who agree to take them where they want to go. They both spoke English well and during general chitchat asked my mum and her friend if they spoke French. For some reason, they both said no, when in fact my mom's friend was pretty much fluent and my mom could construct relatively complex conversations in French.
So during the drive, the two guys began talking in French, of course assuming my mom and her friend couldn't understand them. They were planning on driving to a remote area and violating them. Of course, the girls couldn't outright demand to get out, the guys would know what was up. They claim they need to toilet and eventually persuade them to stop at a service station. At this point, it's about 10 pm.
They both get out and go to a cafe next to the service station and asked the owner who was just closing up for help. He gives them the key to the cafe and lets them sleep there for the night. The two creeps pissed off without any trouble. My mom and her friend were incredibly lucky. I often find myself thinking if I'd even be here if things had gone badly. The change in her life would be massive."
"A bit terrifying, but my heart went out to this guy I picked up. He was sitting on a suitcase looking pretty lost. I was 21 years old at the time and he turned out to be a couple years younger. I saw cops rounding the corner to pick him up and it looked obvious that he was down on his luck. I pulled up and yelled a guy's name followed by, 'Sorry I'm late, I got caught up at work!' He looked at me funny then saw the cops. I think we were equally scared of the other. I am a petite frame and knew if I had to put up a fight, chances were I was not going to win. So as he was getting in I told him a had a knife under my seat and to not make me use it. I realize now, it may not have been the best opener.
Anyhow, he was a nice kid that moved away from home. He worked out some agreement on Craigslist for living arrangements and the guy never showed. I took him to a sandwich shop, fed him and dropped him in an area with accommodations and lots of employment. I gave him $300 bucks and my email saying I never wanted to be paid back but did want to hear of his success.
A few months later I got an email that he was back on his feet and was thankful for the help. It was nice knowing that small actions on my part motivated him to push forward."
"I had just moved out here (Utah) from California and for some reason, I was mad. It may have been because it was really cold and I just wasn't used to it. Anyway, I was driving around trying to get to know my new town when I see a guy hitchhiking on the on-ramp of a freeway I was about to take. So I ask him where he needs to go and he says about 20 miles, so I figure maybe doing a good deed will lighten my mood and I let him in.
About a minute into the freeway driving and after the friendly introductions, he turns to me and points a handgun at me. This is the part where I should mention that having served in the military, I know what guns look like, and I'm pretty sure he thought I couldn't tell it was an airsoft gun. Still, I didn't really have any physical advantage while driving, so I figured I'd just play along for now. He demanded that I take him to the next town.
A few minutes later, while trying my best to act as if I were a bit nervous, I see a highway patrol car coming up in my side mirror, and I just hit the gas. The puzzled hitchhiker asks me why we're speeding up and I just told him 'why not?' He seemed confused, but okay with it. I kept casually checking my mirrors, to see if the highway patrol car was still behind me, and he was.
After about a minute of going 85-90mph, he finally turned his lights on and did that annoying, but effective honk that cops do. I channeled my best 'disappointed face' and sighed, while my buddy, now having seen that we were getting pulled over, was shuffling around, trying to hide his gun and act normal. We finally stop and the officer comes to my window and takes my information. He then mentions that we were going way above the speed limit and asks me to step out of the car, so I look at him, and while giving him a subtle nod, I say 'just me or both of us?' Luckily, he picked up on it and had us both step out.
To make a long story not as long, a second officer showed up, they searched my car, found his backpack with the airsoft gun (and many illegal substances), had me write a statement, and let me go. Turns out, the guy was someone they'd been looking for for a while."
"My father, a huge man looking like he's been running mob for years did. He picked two 12-year-old girls in his black Volvo. I was their age at the time, and my old man started sweating at a thought that I could be as stupid as them. Turns out they were late for their bus to school and decided to hitchhike. He turned to them with a huge grin and asked: 'But you know what happens to little girls in older men's cars?' And locked the doors. They started screaming, but he explained that it was an act and dropped them off at school, making sure that they would never do such thing again. I think he gave them also some money for lunch, apologizing that he scared them so much."
"Not quite a hitchhiker, but I used to give people rides via Craigslist Rideshare when my girlfriend and I were separated by fours hours due to our work. Usually, it was just college kids or people who are traveling on the cheap. I'd charge $10 to go from Seattle to Portland and I'd drive on to my destination. A bunch of stories, but oh man does one guy stand out.
He oddly needed to go to the same town of about 500 people where I was headed, so that he could stay at a UFO Spirituality Ranch. The entire ride down, he told me feverishly about the number of UFOs he seen (three for sure and two that were questionable), how his girlfriend beat him a few days ago due to the way he left the toothpaste cap, and how he was learning to photosynthesize sunlight so that he would no longer have to eat or drink again (this last part he told me while eating). His theory was that by photosynthesizing, he would become superhuman with amazing strength and open up new paths to enlightenment (or maybe starvation).
I dropped him off at the UFO ranch and told him I'd pick him up in two days. When I found him again, he was quite pleased with his weekend retreat and had a few new sightings to report. We drove the four hours home, while he enlightened me about vampires living among us, having to stay underground.
I dropped him off at the place where he was crashing and he comes over to my side of the car and asks, 'Hey, since I'm on this spiritual journey I'm asking everyone I meet to make an entry in my journal so I can remember them, would you do that for me?'
He reached into his bag, presumably to get a notebook or a camera, but instead pulled out a velvet bag from which he retrieved two crystals. He put them into my hands and told me, 'I need you to hold these and concentrate so that while I'm away from you, I can think back and feel your energy.' So I clasped them for a few seconds with my eyes shut tight so as not to burst out laughing, and handed them back to this ecstatic little man.
We parted ways, never to meet again."
"I was driving on my college campus and hitchhikers were a common occurrence. I felt compassionate so I picked up some hippie chick. We were driving and she busted out some mary jane so we lit it up and started talking. She's going pretty far but I figure why not, got nothing better to do.
So eventually she starts flirting with me and touching my leg and then, out of nowhere, starts giving me pleasure. I get to the location and she kept going. I finish, we finish the partying, and she leaves. Never saw her again."
"I was actually the hitchhiker, but it was pretty crazy. I was hitchhiking at 3 a.m. in Roubaix, France. There was nobody in the streets except for a black Volkswagen Polo that drifted to a stop in front of me. I hopped in. The inside of the car was a mess and the dude looked suspicious but I tried to be a pleasant hitchhiker and asked for his name.
After a short hesitation, he answered, 'Medhi.' The silence was heavy so he decided to put on some music. It was weird, my new friend didn't seem to know what cd's he owned, the music didn't suit him well (not the 'Bernard Lavillier' kind of guy), and he looked really nervous now, driving really fast on the empty freeway, looking over his shoulder, etc.
That's when I realized that the car didn't have the keys in the ignition! This man was giving me a ride in a stolen car! Happy ending: he dropped me off near where I was going safe and sound, we bumped fists and he left never to be seen again."
"My dad got stabbed in the neck from a hitchhiker. When he picked the guy up, he tried to rob him. So my dad being the cocky 20 something year old he was he tried to fight him off while driving, didn't end well. The guy stabbed him and jumped out of the car. This was before they had cell phones so he drove in a Taco Bell drive-thru and they all started freaking out. I always asked my dad how the heck did you even make it to Taco Bell and he says he doesn't even know. He ended up being like .5cm away from hitting a huge artery, but he got a sweet scar and an interesting story out of it."
"My boyfriend and I hitchhiked once.
We were at a bar and he lost his wallet while we were there. We were in Minneapolis and decided to just bite the bullet and walk home (about an hour). After a while, a car passes us and I hold my thumb out.
It's a Subaru, and the guy asks if I need a ride.
Me: 'Are you gonna murder us?'
Me: 'But that's what a murderer would say.'
Guy: (laughs) 'But really I won't.'
Boyfriend: 'He's driving a Subaru, he's probably fine.
Me: 'If you kill us, I'm gonna be really mad.'
Boyfriend: 'She's feisty, watch out.'
Guy: 'Okay, get in.'
Guy gives us a ride and explains that he has mild insomnia and just drives without purpose on nights he can't sleep. He's actually very nice. But it gets weird when we ask if there's anything we can do as payment.'
Me: 'I have a flask, want some?'
Guy: 'Naw, I'm fine.'
Boyfriend: 'I have a few dollars in my pocket, take it for gas!'
Guy: 'Naw, it's fine.'
Boyfriend: 'Well is there anything we can do as a thank you?'
Guy: 'There's one thing...'
Me: 'Um... Yeah?'
Guy: 'You can listen to some of my poetry.'
Me: 'Oh. OKAY.'
Funny thing, it was actually not that bad. He had a very moving poem about a girl hula-hooping at a concert."
"When I was 15 years old, my dad brought a hitchhiker home.
To preface; my parents were divorced and I was living with my dad, who had a drinking problem and was a small time dealer. I love my dad, he never hurt anyone except out of neglect, we've all gotten therapy and are fine now, so no judging.
Anyway, he showed up with this addict that he picked up hitching from the bar he was at. We'll call her Kris. She tried to please my dad on the way home and he turned her down. So we make Kris a huge dinner at midnight, and my dad sets her up in his bed and crashes on the couch. She slept for nearly two days straight. When she comes to she wants her substances, which my dad had specially procured for her. Kris asked him if he'd be her 'man.' My gallant, plastered father turns her down again. He trades her hits in exchange for things like eating a meal, brushing her teeth, basically teaching her to take care of herself again.
She stayed with us for a few months until my dad got her into a halfway house with treatment available. He also got her enrolled in nursing school and helped pay for her first year. Kris is now completely sober, married to a great guy, and has her nursing degree, and my dad never slept with her once."
"My in-laws have a cabin on the great lakes near the Canadian border on a little island with very limited access by ferry. There are no other cabins within a few miles but there is a beach down the road a bit people like to visit and launch boats from. One Sunday afternoon, I saw a guy walking down the road past us which is unusual because we are so far from anything but not unheard of as some people just like talking a really long, pretty walk.
An hour and a half later we had my little car packed to the brim to leave the island and make the last ferry for the day (6 pm). About three miles down we passed that same guy again with his thumb up and I realized he didn't look familiar (islanders know everyone) and he seemed sunburnt and just looked ragged. I convinced my husband to turn around and at least check to see if he was ok.
Turns out that he'd taken his uncle's boat out for a quick spin in the morning but the boat motor and died and he was left to drift in the strong current for several hours until he was able to steer enough to get to land. He was totally unprepared, no phone, water or food. He had no idea where he was and was worried he'd ended up in Canada. He also didn't know he was on an island - an island that in 15 minutes he'd be stranded on overnight (still gets pretty cold up there in late May/early June). He was hungry and exhausted so we gave him some water and a granola bar I always keep in my purse. We moved stuff around, strapped a bag to the roof with some rope (yay messy car!), I ended up sitting on my 12-year-old's lap to fit everyone, and we took him to the ferry.
We found another guy on the ferry who could drive this guy the rest of the way so we weren't cramming six people and their luggage into a tiny car. It all worked out good in the end and I'm so glad I stopped or he would have been stuck in the middle of nowhere with nothing to eat or drink or any shelter for 13 more hours."
"Where I'm from, picking up hitchhikers is pretty common. I had one scary/interesting encounter about a year ago: I left my mom's house head back to college around 10 pm, about an hour's drive through mostly nothingness. Leaving town, I picked up a man, and as he got in the truck I introduce myself and asked his name, like always. I started the small talk with a general 'What're you doing hitchin' this late?' He responded, 'I just cut up my girlfriend and her friend so I'm getting the heck outta here.'
Now, so far I was on this guy's good side for picking him up and didn't wanna, you know, get cut up. I was terrified but didn't wanna tell him I didn't want him in my car for fear of retaliation. I always keep a hunting knife close at hand, especially when picking up hikers, so I gently slipped that out without alerting him and kept it close. We talked the whole drive, mostly about what happened, and about five minutes later he decided to reassure me that he hadn't actually killed anyone and he was just blowing smoke. I didn't believe a word of it but kept the conversation going.
Once we got to his destination, I pulled into a lit parking lot, where he got out, and I got out too. I went around the truck, where he asked what I was doing. I told him that I wasn't comfortable letting him walk away after telling me what happened and that I was contacting the cops to come speak with him, to which he pulled a knife and swung at me. I pulled mine, brought him to the ground, and told him that if he was really innocent, he wouldn't have to be concerned about talking to an officer and I wouldn't spill about him swinging at me. He calmed down, agreed to sit up against my tire while I called 911, and we waited.
After the cops came and talked with him and verified his girlfriend was alright, he was allowed to leave. I got a call about a month ago from him. He had ended up going home, feeling remorseful about the situation, and committed himself to counseling and is now working on becoming a relationship counselor himself, and thanked me for turning his life around."
"It was cold and raining, and I was driving home from the bar at like 2 a.m. I see this guy on the shoulder walking and putting his hand up as cars go past. I drive a pretty nice car so I'm usually more cautious but I carry a knife with me and the guy was clearly homeless so I did a u-turn and came back for him.
He asked if I could take him to the gas station that was down the road. I said sure, and he got in.
He started rambling about being from Minnesota and how he was meeting his relative soon and going to head back and all this nonsense. Just all out rambling about his life and why he's walking around with all his stuff.
At first, I thought it was just an old guy with a past, but he started to get weird. I don't remember word for word but his story stopped making sense and I don't even think he knew what year it is.
I palmed my knife at this point because he was freaking me out. I arrived at the gas station and as he got out of the car, he asked me if I could buy him a candy bar. I bought the candy bar and then drove away.
He actually started walking back in the direction I picked him up from, which was weird. But the only thing I could figure is he was trying to get to the highway which was slightly behind the gas station.
Never saw him again."
"Picked up a guy. He had jumper cables in his hand. Asked him why he had them if he didn't have a car- guy shrugged and said that he once hitchhiked with a guy whose car broke down. He didn't have any cables of his own, so the guy was stranded for two hours. I didn't believe him, but I took him to his house anyways, where I proceeded to watch the guy beat his kid with said jumper cables."
"My sister picked up a guy on the side of the road who said he was heading to the airport. I don't know what was said but when he left the car he left with her Bible in his hand. When she got home and cleaned the car she found that he'd left behind an ax, a switchblade, and a hunting knife. She said, and I quote, 'I didn't know he had any of that.'
I love her so much, but if she gets murdered someday I will not be even slightly surprised. I mean good on her for spreading the gospel but jeez."
"A few years ago I picked up two young ladies who were hitchhiking to Yosemite. I was heading about 20 miles from the next town over back to my house, but the main highway to Yosemite went right through our town and I figured they'd have plenty of opportunities to get rides. They asked me to drop them off at a shopping center a couple of blocks from my house.
I left them there around 11 am but the weather was ominous. I asked them what they were doing for shelter and they said they'd be fine camping. I gave them my address and told them they'd have a room for the night if they wanted. They showed up around 5 pm, totally soaked, and my wife mothered them into the guest bedroom and gave them dry clothes for the night.
They had apparently gone 'dumpster diving' and had gotten a ton of good-yet-couldn't-be-sold produce from the supermarket so I made us all roasted eggplant for dinner. They went to bed, we had pancakes in the morning, and then they headed out to be on their way."
"He was a very large man with boils and scabs on his face (and probably other places). I drove him a short distance, maybe 10 miles, leaning as far away from him as possible."
"I was driving the hour or so drive north to my parents' house in Texas when I was 25 years old, and I saw these two maybe 18 to 20-year-old punk kids hitchhiking at a bus stop asking to go 'north.'
Out of the blue, I asked them if they wanted a ride for an hour or so. They were a little apprehensive at first but opened up to talk after a couple minutes going down the road. They were some of the nicest people I've ever met. They told me a couple stories about where they've had to sleep during their cross-country journey over the last four months (a lot of squats and punk houses), which city was the nicest (Portland), and which city was the meanest (Las Vegas).
I dropped them off and gave them $20 and wished them luck. They were just two guys traveling the country together and enjoying every minute of it. The one downside was that they smelled like two months of B.O."