The Uniondale Ghost

  • Wednesday, 23 January 2019
  • Linda Chivell

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The urban legend about the "vanishing hitchhiker"

In stormy weather on Easter weekend of 1968, a young engaged couple had a car accident on the Baramdas-Willowmore road around 20 kilometres from the town. Marie Charlotte Roux was sleeping in the back seat of their Volkswagen Beetle when her fiancé lost control of the car. The car overturned and she was killed.

On Easter weekend in 1976 the ghost bride was first sighted and since then many other sightings have been reported. All involve a female hitchhiker who is given a lift, then disappears a few kilometres down the road, and some have reported car doors opening and closing, laughter and a chill in the air.

Uniondale ghost collage

In 1980 the Daily Breeze newspaper in Torrance, California. Published this article :

 The motorcycle ghost of the Karoo Desert has struck again. The ghost said to be a woman who died in a motorcycle accident more than 10 years ago near Uniondale, badly frightened Andre Coetzee, 20, who was breezing along the highway on Good Friday.

“I was riding near the Baramdas turnoff (the site of the fatal accident a decade ago) when I felt my hair stand on end inside my crash helmet and someone or something put its arms around my waist from behind. There was something sitting on my bike,” the shaken Coetzee said.

The frightened motorcyclist said he accelerated to 80 mph to get away, but the ghost hit him three times in the helmet to get him to slow down. 'The blows were vicious,' he said. When he reached 100 mph, Coetzee said, 'the apparition disappeared.'

Coetzee drove to a local cafe for help.

He could hardly speak when we asked him what had happened. But gradually it dawned on us that the woman ghost had appeared once more,” said Jeanetta Meyer, the cafe owner.

Over the years several stories have been told and retold of motorcyclists picking up a blonde woman hitchhiker near Uniondale only to find that she had vanished from the back seat after a few miles.

Uniondale’s most famous inhabitant has become a South African legend.



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