This was written by psychologist Dr. Milton "Mitt" Addington and recorded as a single (TCF Hall 102) by Dickey Lee. The song was inspired by a story that ran in a Memphis newspaper in 1964, written by a 15-year-old girl named Cathie Harmon. Dr. Addington credited her and shared his royalties from the song with her.
The original article by Cathie Harmon was possibly inspired by the legend of Resurrection Mary, described as a shy young woman with very cold hands. A number of young men reportedly encountered her at dance parties in Chicago beginning in the 1930s. Escorted or given a ride home, she typically asks to be dropped off at Resurrection Cemetery on Archer Avenue, where she vanishes, asking her escort not to follow her. In 1939 a man named Jerry Palus met her at the Liberty Grove dance hall and she told him her actual home address; going there the following day, he found an older woman who verified that she had had such a daughter, who had died many years before. Her picture was identical to the girl Jerry had escorted to the graveyard.
Radio stations like to program this during Halloween specials.
Suggestion credit: Ekristheh - Halath, for all above
Larry from Sacramento CaThis story was not that original. In my Spanish class in 1963 we had a reader called "Vente Cuentos del siglo XX" (Twenty stories from the 20th Century) - presumably well-known ones. One of them was this exact story. I am not saying that 15-year old girl plagerized the story - especially if she was not in advanced Spanish. It is a neat and touching story and could have been imagined by more than one person independently. (I'm kinda surprised I never saw it on Twilight Zone...)
Rocky from Fort Smith, ArThis song came out way before I was born. I first heard it at about 5 yrs old on a Halloween radio special. It creeped me out, but I loved it. Years later, I read a book on factual ghost encounters & I saw it in there. Thanks to "Edward of Henderson, NV" because I think the story in the book was on "The Vanishing Hitchhiker." Thanks to Dickey Lee for recording this song & bringing it into the music scene.
Rotunda from Tulsa, OkThis song was on the charts in 1965 when I was in high school. I liked it because it was spooky. My boyfriend in high school bought the record, but I didn't. Every record store I look in already sold out. Back then, I heard about the story even before I heard the record. I think I read it in a newspaper. Well, anyway these days my kids hear it on these Halloween radio shows & sometimes I even listen in too. It even brings back memories of 1965, like at the teen dance parties we used to have & when this record was played no one would dance to it. Too slow. Too spooky. But it's a good record.
Edward from Henderson, NvThis story is more familiar today, as the urban legend of "The Vanishing Hitchhiker."
Joel from Columbia, ScSurely this song had something to do with the movie. Jamie Lee Curtis played Laurie Strode and odd things did keep happening. LOL