If you’re driving through Niles Canyon in Fremont today, don’t pick up a hitchhiker—unless you like talking to spectres. For today, February 26, is Niles Canyon Ghost Day, when a young woman will flag you down and ask to be driven to San Francisco. But by the time you arrive at the Dumbarton toll plaza, she will be gone.
Alas, the story is just a variant of the well-known “Vanishing Hitchhiker” myth. Too bad, for Niles Canyon is the perfect place for ghosts—steep canyon walls, hardly any development, two-lane highway, old railroad trestles—all of the classic features for a ghost story.