Port Wakefield’s Haunted Road
Driving into Port Wakefield from Adelaide, the gateway to the Yorke Peninsula, can be a rather mundane experience. One follows the long stretch of road along Highway A1, a vast landscape of farmland, scrub and endless horizons make for a scenic but banal drive. Sure, the handmade sculptures lining the road near Dublin, protesting the rubbish tip, offer up a fleeting moment of interest. Otherwise, the road is seemingly normal, but for some who have had strange experiences on the road, it is much more than normal, it is paranormal.
Since the 1940s, many to drive this stretch of road have reported to sight, pick up or interact with a ghostly hitchhiker. Despite the popularity of ghostly hitchhiker stories from all around the world, the story here in South Australia seems to have some historical backing and a number of witnesses to support the phenomena.
Sightings of the Ghost Hitchhiker
One of the most prevalent stories about this hitchhiker took place on a dark and stormy night. A young couple drove out of Port Wakefield towards Adelaide. They spotted a man, appearing to be dressed in some kind of airforce uniform, attempting to hitch a ride along the side of the road. They picked up this man who asked for a ride to a particular address in Adelaide. The couple drove him to the house he had asked to be taken to, but upon arrival, the man had vanished. A little concerned about his, the couple knocked on the front door to let those inside know about what had just happened. An older woman answered and after hearing the couple relay their hitchhiker story, she relayed that this was likely her son. She explained that he had died near Mallala during airforce training during WWII.
This couple are not the only ones to have sighted this ghostly hitchhiker. A local businessman claimed to have entered the public toilets at the Shell gas station behind this man, again dressed in his airforce uniform, only to see him dissolve in front of his eyes. Another man claimed to have sighted him one night after departing Port Wakefield, hitching a ride along the road. He pulled over, yet the man had already disappeared. Another story tells of a woman sighting the man in the middle of the road, breaking so as not to hit him, yet once again, he disappeared.
History to Support the Ghost Story
Whether the many eyewitness accounts of this ghost can be believed or not, there is some history to back up this story. Newspaper articles published back in September of 1942, tell of a young man, named Patrick John Brady, who sadly died in a plane crash near Mallala. He was conducting some night flying exercises as part of his training for the Royal Australian Air Force when something went terribly wrong. It remains to be told whether this could be the same man attempting to hitch rides along the highway during his afterlife.
Visiting Port Wakefield
Port Wakefield is a pleasant little town, with an amazing bakery! I have driven through this town many times on my way to various locations down the Yorke Peninsula, yet never encountered a ghost hitchhiking. Hopefully, one day I capture sight of him, or he finds his way back home.
If you enjoyed this article you might also like to learn of another haunted road in South Australia.
Thanks for reading!