A UFO abduction at Deacon’s Corner Truck Stop in Winnipeg and a female trucker gets French-kissed by a ghost in her Peterbilt bunk. A trainee and his over-the-road mentor on a driving test run hit a mother and her baby, but there’s no body to be found. When the police arrive, the trainee explains breathlessly, “Thank God, I missed her.” The police officer says stone-faced, “Yeah, by about 28 years.”
These are a few examples of stories told by truckers in the new book Trucker Ghost Stories, compiled by author Annie Wilder and just released through Tor Books Inc.
Trucker Ghost Stories is Wilder’s third book, continuing her theme of ghosts and tales of the unknown. She should know about ghosts and spirits. She lives in a haunted house in the small picturesque town of Hastings, Minn.
She suspected that it was haunted when she first toured the house with her realtor. She bought it anyway, and she was right.
Wilder’s first book was entitled House of Spirits & Whispers, which describes the strange events that occurred in the 120-year-old house immediately after she moved in. She discovers that the house is inhabited by the spirit of the previous owner, Leon.
Wilder is fearful at first, but begins to learn to live peacefully with the spirit, who tends to be a rather benign ghost. She and her husband claim to have seen Leon and often feel his presence. I toured the house a month or so ago and sadly, I did not see or hear Leon but did experience a few anomalies, such as lights blinking on and off inexplicably.
Wilder’s motivation to write a book about true tales of haunted highways began while watching Ice Road Truckers. She said, “Oh my gosh, I have an idea for the perfect mash-up of paranormal and uber-masculine profession: trucker ghost stories!”
She remembers the days back when she was a young girl answering phones at her father’s sand and gravel company.
While trucks loaded up, Wilder had a few minutes to meet the drivers but especially remembered trucker Bill Sykes, a tall rail-thin fellow who wore cowboy boots, black slicked-back hair and a long chain on his wallet. He loved to tell the story of a little ghost girl he saw on the highway. Wilder was hooked on ghost stories.
As she began to gather ghost stories from truckers around the world, she had a vivid dream about Sykes…or was it his ghost, because Bill has been gone for a few years?
In her dream, Sykes showed up with his black slicked-back hair and simply nodded to her and left. She took that as a sign that she had his blessing. It took a few years but Wilder’s book Trucker Ghost Stories is in book stores and online. I read it and loved it, but then I have enjoyed ghost stories since my father and his friends swapped spooky stories back in rural Cape Breton when I was a kid. I am still a bit of a skeptic, but I keep my mind open. After all, I have only seen one ghost. That’s a story for another time.
For bunk-time reading, if you aren’t easily spooked, pick up a copy of Trucker Ghost Stories. The Forward is beautifully written by trucker Terry Aldershof. He has driven nearly six million miles.
He writes: “These are our stories – stories told by real truck drivers and by their families and colleagues in the transportation world. If you met us, you will be able to recognize us by what they call the thousand-yard stare in our eyes – for we have seen so much more than you ever will.”
– Stan Campbell is host of Trucker Radio, a syndicated radio show that can be heard on dozens of country music stations across Canada, the northern US and in Europe. For more info, visit