The Passenger

Hello everybody! Thanks for joining me for this special content–this sort of extra, bonus content for those of you who have read and enjoyed the Rest in Power necromancy series. You may or may not know that that series was inspired by events that took place in my family– stories that were passed down through generations, stories that I heard as a child, assumptions that I made as a child. And that the series was sort of my reconciling the many different things I learned growing up with my beliefs as a grown person. So while nothing in the necromancy series is true, obviously, it’s all kind of based in family stories.

 

My family has always been really big on stories and storytelling, but perhaps no one was as good at telling stories as my grandfather and my uncle. So what I want to do today with y’all is share one of my favorite stories I heard growing up with you guys today. 

 

The story begins in the 80s in a little town outside of Cleveland, Ohio, called Wickliffe. Now, I spent every summer with my grandparents. As some of you know, I’m from Los Angeles, but my grandparents lived in Ohio, and I was very close with them. I loved visiting them. It was the best time of my life. I still have such fond memories of spending time up there with them. One of my favorite things we did every summer was we would have a family cookout and it would last long into the night. And at some point, the parents and the uncles and aunts and stuff would light a bonfire and we would all sit around and tell ghost stories.

 

Most of the stories were silly and fun. Like, my aunt would tell a story about a one-handed man with a hook who would, you know, scare kids making out in cars and things like that. You know, stories that everybody kind of grows up hearing. Urban legends and things like that. But my grandfather had a story that used to chill me to my bones.

 

Now, both my grandfather and my uncle were long-haul truckers, so they had all kinds of stories about being out on the road. But particularly, my grandfather had some very eerie ghost stories. And my favorite one was about the Wee Wee woman.

 

According to my grandfather, the Wee Wee woman haunted a particular stretch of highway somewhere in the midwest. Unfortunately, I don’t know what highway. I don’t remember. I heard these stories as a kid, you’ll recall, so I didn’t pay attention to things like highway numbers back then. But the Wee Wee woman was said to stand alongside the highway, and she demanded respect for the dead. So as you drove the stretch of highway, you were supposed to roll up your windows, remain silent, radio off, and make the drive in silence. Now, if you know anything about long-haul trucking, you know that one of the things truckers do is they like to talk on their CB radios. They share information, but they also kind of talk smack at each other. It’s part of the long-haul culture. But everyone knew that when you were going through this particular swath of country, you went radio silent.

 

Now, my grandfather said that he had never had a visit from the Wee Wee woman himself. He’d never actually seen her. But according to legend, the way she appeared to people varied. In some stories, she would stand on the edge of the road with her long hair in grey knots, her clothes tattered. She would look like an old woman– perhaps a beggar. In other stories, she looked like a beautiful young woman until she turned around and her face was decayed and made of nothing but bone–no skin, no blood, just a skeletal face staring out at you from the darkness.

 

The stories of the Wee Wee women varied from the person who told it to the next person who told it of course. But my grandfather admitted that he’d never actually seen her. But every time he drove that stretch of highway, he got chills that ran up and down his spine. Even though he hadn’t seen her, he could hear her. She whistled a strange sound. And whenever he talked about the Wee Wee woman, he would get very pale. His voice would lower, and when he was done, he was finished telling stories for the night.

 

It obviously affected him and we kids were terrified of the Wee Wee woman. However, my uncle liked to remind all of us it was nothing but an old wives tale. My uncle would laugh and slap his leg and he’d be like, “Look I’ve been driving trucks for longer than y’all have been alive and I’ve never seen anything resembling the Wee Wee woman and I don’t know of anyone who has.” So many uncle made it pretty clear that such a thing just didn’t exist. It was all fake. It was all nonsense.

 

One summer, we were all gathered around the fire just like we always did–roasting marshmallows, the grown-ups are drinking beer, and the kids were eating hot dogs and whatnot. And my grandfather started to tell the story about the Wee Wee woman just like he did every year. But this time, my uncle interrupted him, and the look on his face I’ll never forget. My uncle looked terrified.

 

And he said, “Do you mind if I tell the story this time?”

 

My grandfather looked at him kind confused and he says, “I thought you didn’t believe in the Wee Wee woman.”

 

And my uncle says, “I don’t have to believe in her. I’ve seen her. She hitched a ride with me just last week.”

 

Of course, we kids fell dead silent. We wanted to know what our uncle meant by “she hitched a ride” with him.

 

He said he’s been driving that stretch of highway just like he’d done a thousand times before. One of his favorite songs came on the radio, and it was a beautiful day out, or I guess beautiful evening. And so he had the windows down and he was driving and singing and having the time of his life when all of a sudden…and remember, this is summertime… the temperature in the cabin dropped precipitously. My uncle said that he felt as though someone had just dropped him into a pool of water. He just became instantly cold. Not just cool, but cold.

 

His skin pimpled, and he felt a sick feeling in his stomach. And when he glanced over at the passenger seat, he saw the seat sink slowly down as though someone had just settled into the seat beside him. Except, of course, there was no one there.

My uncle turned his eyes back to the road. He instantly turned off the music, rolled up the windows, and began to pray. Because he knew the stories about the Wee Wee woman. If you disrespected the dead by making noise and carrying on and singing music of course, she would exact her toll by crashing your truck and you would never be seen or heard from again.

 

Now, if there was one thing my family did believe in, it was things like curses. And my uncle believed the Wee Wee woman could drive him right off that highway and it scared him to death. He said he let out a long slow breath trying to steady his nerves. And as he breathed, condensed air came out of his mouth. It was freezing in the cabin. He  glanced over at the empty seat beside him again and saw the same thing–condensed air, like someone beside him was also breathing in the cold.

 

The windows fogged up. He slowed down. Every so often, he would glance over. He could still see the condensed air. Every so often, he could feel the entity beside him shifting in the seat. My uncle said he’s never been so scared in his life. He never saw anything. He never saw her standing on the highway. He certainly never heard her whistling. But boy did he feel her presence that day when she demanded his respect.

 

My uncle drove about five miles with his passenger and then, just as unassuming as she’d come, she left. The temperature in the cab went back up to normal. The windows unfogged. He was breathing normally–no more condensed air, no more fog. He was no longer getting that sick feeling and his skin did not pimple over. Slowly, he rolled his windows down and he turned the radio back up and he prayed, thanking God he made it through that stretch of highway and promising he would never, ever doubt the wisdom of those who had gone before ever again.

 

So, my friends, that is my childhood story about the Wee Wee woman and about my grandfather and my uncle’s experiences with her. If you have family stories about hauntings or creepy things or whatever that you think you would like to share that I might be interested in, I would love it if you emailed it to me at Amber at Bluedemonmedia.com. As always, thanks so much for being here, thank you so much for reading my work. I hope you have a lovely day. Until next time! Bye bye.