The Vanishing Hitchhiker in Pakistan
During my search for stories, I met a sophomore, nineteen year old male student who is majoring in Chemistry and Math. His parents are from Muzaffarabad, Pakistan. Currently, he lives in Maryland. His father is a cardiologist and his mother is a housewife. His parents immigrated to the United States in the 1970's.
The source says this story is known by almost three quarters of the people living in Pakistan. His uncle initially told him the story when he went back to Pakistan for the first time. The story takes place in the mountainous regions of Pakistan that are fairly remote from civilization. However, other versions take place in a middle of small towns.
One day, a man is driving along a road that is often surrounded by repetitive landscape, such as continuous mountains and plains. Upon driving for quite some time, he spots a silhouette of a woman a kilometer down the road. As he gets closer, he realizes that it is a young woman wearing a slender white dress, and from her expression, he deduces that she has lost her way and needs to get home. From a quick glimpse at her face, he realizes that she is very beautiful. Confused, but being the caring gentleman that he is, he offers her a ride back to her home. She meekly nods as she slowly enters the car and sits in the passenger seat. He begins talking to her, and the subject matter often varies in different variations, but the consensus is that it is small talk. From the moment she speaks, he is astonished by her beautiful voice. Before long, the man actually becomes attracted to her. They continue talking as he continues driving. At one point in their conversation, he reaches to the right to get his drink by his side. Suddenly, he catches a glimpse of her feet and notices that her feet are backwards. In the Pakistani culture, backwards feet indicate a witch or ghost. From here, there are different variations. One version is that he becomes so terrified that he dies instantly. Another version is that the man immediately stops the car and pushes her out of the door, off a cliff or an overhang to her supposed death. He flees and when authorities come to that location afterwards, they find no trace of the young woman. However, there is a clear consensus that she disappears in the same manner which she came--out of nowhere.
The storyteller performed this story in a very calm and meditative manner, choosing his words carefully as he reached back in his not too distant memories. He undertook a serious demeanor and utilized a matter-of-fact style. He used finesse and really lulled me into the setting, and I could easily comprehend the situation from his specific descriptions. His subtle eye movements added a level of suspense, leading up to the moment when the driver noticed the woman’s backwards feet. He added some aspects which I could tell were most likely the variations, which made the story cohesive rather than a piece...