I've had a lot of experience with the paranormal since I was about 16 years old, and I'd like to share one of my more memorable experiences.
When I was about 20, my dad (he was a mechanic) got me a GMC Jimmy. I'd never had a new car, and this was no different. I'm not sure how old it was because it was basically a mishmash of different SUV's. The glove compartment said it was a Bronco, but the frame said it was a GMC, and I assumed it had been in some sort of accident if the frame and inside were different. I asked my dad, but he said he got it in an auction, so he didn't really know the history of it.
I drove it for a few weeks, and had no problems. I thought it was pretty good for a beater SUV, and took the time to clean it inside and out. After a few weeks, I remember driving home from one of my jobs (I worked at Starbucks and was a lifeguard at a few different pools), and looked in the rearview mirror. I saw a kid, maybe about 7 or 8 years old, with bright orange hair in a bowl cut sitting right behind me in the center of the backseat. He was smiling, and had a small gap in between his teeth. I turned around to look, and he wasn't there. I turned back around to look at the rearview mirror, and it fell off. I pulled over because I was on the highway, and looked around, but didn't see anyone. I tried sticking the mirror back up, but it wouldn't stay.
I ended up going to get some glue for the rearview mirror at an auto parts store right after, but no matter what I did, it wouldn't stick back on. I told my dad it had fallen off, and he finally got it to stay on after messing with it for a while. I was understandably wary after that, and kept checking behind me periodically in the rearview mirror, but nothing happened for a few days.
One afternoon, I was driving home from lifeguarding, and my driver's side window just fell into the door. I told my dad, and he fixed it, and even though at that point I was uncomfortable driving the SUV because of what I had seen, I figured maybe it would have some problems since it was older, so I didn’t associate the kid with the problems. My dad fixed the window, but the next night I was driving home at around 11 p.m. after lifeguarding, and my gas pedal fell off. I almost wrecked the SUV because it happened just as I was passing some construction, and the lane had shifted due to a path made by road cones.
There was a police car behind me, and they pulled me over, probably thinking I was drunk. When they came up to my window, they saw me, and asked what happened. I showed them the gas pedal, and they kind of laughed and told me to get it fixed.
I told my dad what had happened when I got home, and he said that even though the SUV was kind of old, it shouldn't be falling apart like it was. I didn't tell him about the kid I saw, because I kind of felt like maybe he wouldn't believe me.
About a week later, I was driving down the highway to get to work, and the brakes wouldn't work. I pressed down, and nothing happened. I was pretty freaked out, but just let off the gas and steered the SUV to the side of the road. I got it stopped, then walked to a payphone to call my dad.
He got there, and checked the brake line, and said there was no brake fluid in it. At that point I was done. In my mind, even if it had nothing to do with that kid, I felt like it was too unsafe to drive.
My dad replaced the brakes and the brake system, and drove it for a week or so, told me he had no problems with anything, and said it would be okay to drive. I couldn't tell him that I didn't want to drive it, because I didn't want to have to explain why, so even though I didn't want to, I drove it to work.
The brakes failed again. It was the same thing, I got my dad to look at the brakes, and he said the brake fluid was completely gone, but he couldn't find anything wrong. At that point, he said he didn't want me driving it because he was afraid that I'd get into an accident.
We parked it at our house, and let it sit there for a couple days. My dad said he was going to talk it over with his friend who was also a mechanic, and decide what to do with it. After a couple days, I was sitting in our kitchen, eating lunch, and my dad and brother walked in the house. My brother asked my dad if he'd ever seen a kid with red hair in the SUV, and my dad said, "With a bowl cut?" I was so surprised, and I just looked at them and said, "Yeah, he's about 7 or 8 years old."
We all talked about what we had seen, and my dad figured that maybe a kid had died in the SUV, and that was why we'd all seen him at some point. We had all seen the kid in the same spot, in the center of the backseat, smiling. We’d all seen him at a glance, but when we looked back, he was gone. My dad had seen him when he was driving the SUV around after the brakes had failed the first time, and my brother had seen him when he was walking by the SUV to come inside the house. My dad never said anything, but I think maybe after we talked, he thought all the weird stuff that had happened in the SUV had something to do with that kid.
I told my friend who worked at Starbucks, and she said that she wanted to see the SUV. My dad had gone to visit our relatives in Florida, and my brother was living at my aunt's house, so she and I went over to my house to go look at it.
My friend has had a lot of experiences with the paranormal too, so I figured she'd be able to see the kid if he was there. We had spent the day at her house, so we went over there at about 11:30 p.m. She pulled into our neighbor's driveway across the street so we could watch the SUV. We didn't see anything, so we just sat there, talking about what had happened with the SUV. I remember not looking at the SUV the whole time, because I just felt uneasy looking at it. We both looked at the SUV at the same time at one point, and we both saw the kid sitting in the backseat, right in the center.
It's so surreal to think about it now, but it was just as surreal back then. I thought it was a person, just sitting there, because the headlights on my friend's car were shining off of the back of the kid's neck. He wasn't moving or anything, just staring straight ahead. I felt like I couldn't move, like I was paralyzed, and then the kid's head started to turn to the right, and my friend peeled out of there. I remember my head hitting the headrest, she hit the gas so hard. We didn’t really talk about what happened, I guess because it was so scary that it’s just not one of those things you want to discuss, you just want to forget it ever happened.
I stayed at my friend's house until my dad came back from Florida. When my dad came back, I told him what my friend and I had seen, and that he needed to get rid of the SUV. I just didn't want to have anything to do with it after that. I never did find anything in the news about a kid with orange/red hair who was about 7 or 8 years old and had been in an accident.
I'm not sure who my dad gave the SUV to, and I never asked.
*I originally posted this story on Reddit's Paranormal subreddit in case you've read this before. This story is true and one of the scariest paranormal experiences I've had yet. Please let me know if you have any questions. Do you have any paranormal experiences? If so, please share in the comments below!