The Faceless Hitchhiker

Careful who you offer a ride to...


This story today comes from an Ohio Folklore listener in Columbus. I want to thank him for telling me about this fabled highway intersection in Clermont County, about 20 miles east of Cincinnati.  For decades, many motorists have claimed to come upon a ghostly figure standing at the crossroad of State Routes 125 and 222. Observers have noticed his clothing, a dark, long coat and a hood and dark trousers. They’ve reported seeing his gloved hands, with the fingers cut out. The most telling detail, however, is his shrouded face, hidden, turned away, or in some cases, blackened out by a vacuous, blank space. We’re talking about the Faceless Hitchhicker.

This section of highway was first laid out in 1831 when the designers of the Ohio Turnpike laid foundations for what would later become State Routes 125 and 222. When it was built, it had a steep, sharp curve at this location. This was to save the time and expense it would have taken to plan a slower and less steep route. Any cost savings would soon be outweighed by the tragic deaths of people and horses alike who couldn’t make the sharp turn, and toppled over the embankment. Some tales proclaimed that horses and their wagons were seen running straight off the embankment, without even trying to make the turn despite their driver’s commands. The spot became known locally as Dead Man’s Curve, a phrase that’s become common in the American lexicon. You can find a “Dead Man’s Curve” in places all over the country, including multiple other locations in our home state of Ohio. 

Listen to the Faceless Hitchhicker here:

Listen to Part 2 of the Faceless Hitchhiker here:


Historical Photos

Danny Dobbs


High School Graduation Photo

Spring 1969

Bill Caskey


High School Graduation Photo 

Spring 1969

Connie Jo Conner


In Memoriam Dedication

1970 Yearbook

Hamersville High School

Lena Baynum


Lena Baynum.  Her body was found by a fisherman on Aug. 31, 1999, just south of Dead Man's Curve


Photo documenting erosion of Highway 222, leading the state to reconstruct the highway.  Project completed in September, 1969, one month before fatal accident


Map showing location of Lena Baynum's body.