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The Anthem Hitchhiker

Driving down sections of highway through Arizona can sometimes be a lonely and desolate experience, surrounded by nothing but empty, uninhabited desert and the wide-open sky as far as the eye can see. It's possible to drive for hours without glimpsing another living soul, and as the sun begins to sink below the mountains on the horizon, darkness descends like a shroud across the land. Of course, seeing the occasional hitchhiker is not unheard of, even in the most isolated stretches of road.

But in Anthem, just north of Phoenix, there is one hitcher in particular that is anything but the usual.

They call him the Anthem Hitchhiker and he differs from your normal hitcher in one very serious way––this shadowy figure, seen holding out a lantern, waiting for a ride, is said to have been dead for many, many years.

They say this unfortunate soul was struck and run over by a car on the highway as he tried to hitchhike his way to Phoenix. The legend claims that at certain times of the year he can be seen––a dim, mournful silhouette standing alongside the highway, his lantern held aloft, eternally waiting for the ride that will never come. Some may try to pull over and offer a lift to this “hitcher,” only to witness him vanish. Others have said that the sight of him chilled them so completely that they feared to stop, only daring a look in the rear-view mirror as they passed him by––again, to see that he has faded away into the night.

So, if you are ever out on Interstate 17 as twilight settles over the desert, keep an eye out for the murky figure with his lantern glowing in the gloom... you just may spot the Anthem Hitchhiker.  –Heather Shade

Weird Arizona


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