This story happened a while ago near Kells, County Meath, and even though it sounds like an Alfred Hitchcock tale, it’s actually true.
John Reilly, a Cavan man studying in UCD, was on the side of the road hitchhiking back to Dublin on a very dark night and in the midst of a big storm.
The night was rolling on and no car went by. The rain and wind was so strong he could hardly see a few feet ahead of him. Suddenly, he saw the headlights of a car slowly coming towards him and it stopped.
John, desperate for shelter and without thinking about the danger, got into the car and closed the door. As he turned to thank the driver, he discovered to his horror that there was nobody behind the wheel. The car was moving on it’s own as the engine wasn’t on.
Thoughts of the dreaded Coach Devour overtook his mind and he wondered if this might be the end.
The car started moving slowly again. John looked at the road ahead and saw a curve fast approaching. Scared, he started to pray, begging the Lord for his life and to please save his wicked soul.
Then, just before the car hit the curve, a hand appeared out of nowhere through the window, and turned the wheel. John, paralysed with terror, watched as the hand steered the car around the bend – but it never touched or harmed him.
Shortly thereafter, there was a break in the storm and John saw the lights of a pub appear down the road, so, gathering all his strength, he jumped out of the car and ran to it.
Wet and out of breath, he rushed inside and started telling everybody about the horrible experience he had just had.
A silence enveloped the pub when everybody realised he was crying… and wasn’t drunk.
Five minutes later, the door flung open, and two other people walked in from the dark and stormy night. They, like John, were also soaked and out of breath.
Looking around, and seeing John Reilly sobbing at the bar, one said to the other…
“Look Frank, there’s that fooking idjit that got in the car while we were pushing it!”