The vanishing hitchhiker story is an urban legend in which individuals traveling by vehicle meet with or are followed by a hitchhiker who afterwards disappears without explanation, often from a moving vehicle. Vanishing hitchhikers have been reported for centuries and the tale is found across the world, with numerous versions. The popularity and endurance of the legend has served it spread into actual common culture.
The primary modern vanishing hitchhiker is a figure seen in the headlights of a vehicle traveling by night with one occupant. The form acquires the position of a hitchhiker. The motorist stops and allows the figure a lift. The travel goes on, sometimes in total silence, and at some subsequent point, the passenger seems to disappear while the vehicle is in motion. In numerous cases, the hitchhiker disappears when the vehicle reaches the hitchhiker's destination.