Vanishing Hitch Hiker tales are many and diverse, and these tales have existed for a long, long time. One may assume that the legends of Vanishing Hitch Hikers have only been around for as long as automobiles have been around - in order that someone has a vehicle with which to offer the (vanishing) hitch hiker a ride...
Not true... there are 'walking traveller' stories involving disappearing people or entities, too - where no vehicle at all is present in the story.
In present day, the item of a vehicle has actually been inserted into much, much older tales about the unexplained, whereby people vanish without apparent reason.
Many old tales are excellent ghost tales, as are the newer versions which now include automobiles.
Wagons and carts on land - and many canoes, rafts, and boats of various kinds by sea have been incorporated into ghost stories and stories about the unexplained, so these hitch hikers or passengers who hitch a ride have been hitching for hundreds of years already.
You can read more about Vanishing Hitch Hikers at the hub I created for the Hubpages Hub Challenge:
Vanishing Hitch Hikers
Don't worry if the hub is a little short at the moment...there are so many versions or vanishing passengers (even on trains!) that this hub will be updated many times. If you know of any vanishing hitch hiker stories, contact me through hubpages or through this blog.
Information that will be updated on the hub will include details about frightening versus helpful vanishing hitch hikers, as both 'good' and 'bad' hitch hikers figure in a number of vanishing passenger myths, legends and tales.
Sometimes the stranger/passenger arrives as a sort of beneficial steward of warning to the driver in a vanishing hitch hiker tale.
Most often, these tales are quite scary, if not unnerving, however, I have been surprised by the number of vanishing passenger tales whereby the unexplained disappearing person brings timely information to aid the driver in some problematic concern in his or her life.
Enjoy the information - and check for updates soon.