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Britain's haunted roads provide plenty of motoring mysteries but phantom cars are a real menace: demon drivers, haunted hitch-hikers and phantom pedestrians who go bump in the night, all lie in wait for unsuspecting motorists.
The headless highwayman has given way to the horseless carriage when it comes to putting the frighteners on the twilight zone travellers of the 21st century.
Research by mycarcheck.com, the UK's fastest growing vehicle data check company, into the UK’s most haunted highways and byways has uncovered a ghoulish list of almost 200 motoring mysteries which drivers of a nervous disposition would do well to heed.
Grinning skulls, bleeding wreckage, wailing women and glowing lorries are just some of the ghastly goings on reported which cannot readily be explained - from the remote Western Isles to the busy congested streets of London. Among the ghostly examples:
- Drivers who reported running over a phantom beauty, thought to be the ghost of a tragic bridesmaid killed in a 1960s car crash on Blue Bell Hill, Aylesford in Kent.
- Motorists who heard the powerful engine of a 1920s Brough Superior motorcycle speeding around the country lanes of Clouds Hill near Wareham in Dorset followed by a screech of tyres and an eerie silence. Nobody has seen the rider, said to be World War One hero Lawrence of Arabia, killed in a motorbike accident near the spot.
- An old Austin 1100, without a driver, seen speeding along a bleak cliff-top road at dawn on the Hebridean island of Benbecula which simply vanishes whenever any attempt is made to follow it.
- At least three people have died and many more injured by ‘The Phantom Lorry of Cheshire’ which stalks the Hyde to Mottram Road. As far back as February 1930 the shadowy truck has been blamed for causing drivers to crash by suddenly emerging out of a non-existent opening by the side of the road.
- Between Blandford and Salisbury in Wiltshire, mystified motorists claim to have seen phantom wreckage by the side of the road and heard the screams and groans of crash victims. Others have reported the ghostly face of a man and felt an icy cold touch before looking down to see a severed bloody hand on the ground.
- On foggy nights between the village of Aberhowy and Cardigan Bay, the ghost of a cyclist guides people along the dangerous road. The spectre is said to be a local man who lost his son in a car accident on a misty night and now tries to prevent a similar tragedy.
While it may be impossible to verify the authenticity of such sightings, mycarcheck.com has warned that there are plenty of vehicles on the roads which don’t officially exist.
"There’s lots of stories around about drivers who have seen ghosts but while tales of the supernatural may be entertaining, motorists would do well to remember that not everything is as it seems," said Roger Powell, General Manager of mycarcheck.com.
"I don’t know if ghosts are real but cars with phantom identities certainly are, and that’s what should really scare people. Thousands of vehicles a year, many of them in dangerous condition, are cloned by crooks and put back on the roads."
Cloning is where criminals copy the identity of one car and put it on a stolen or damaged one so it can be sold to some unsuspecting buyer.
It is estimated that up to one in seven cars on Britain's roads have something to hide.
"A quick call to mycarcheck.com can help unmask the phantoms and put minds at rest. The kind of 'ghost' cars we deal with may not be supernatural but they do exist," said Mr Powell.