Sometimes when traveling west along a certain stretch of the Q.E.W. (between Vinland and Beamsville) I have seen what has been referred to as "the phantom car". I, to my knowledge am not the only person to have seen the same phenomenon. What I've seen is a car in the rear view mirror, I don't know what it is that draws my attention, but it slowly passes by, at least in the mirror, and never appears beside the car I'm traveling in. The car has been described to me as a large black Lincoln, or an old Chrysler by others. But I'm quite convinced that it's a Cadillac.
Not a very scary story but I've seen it several times, and I know of a few others who have to.
A very peculiar thing happened to me early in the year while I was driving home alone from St. Catharines along the Q.E.W. heading Eastbound towards Toronto.
As I was approaching the Burlington Skyway bridge it became very cold in my car although I had the heat on full blast. At that same time, the front window of my car became completely frozen with frost on top and I couldn't see anything out the front window.
I turned on the windshield wipers but they did not help. By this time, I looked out my side window and I was on the bridge. I couldn't see what was in front of me so I could have easily hit something or gone flying off of the bridge. As I looked out my left side mirror I saw a big old black looking car behind me. (I'm not a "car person" so I don't know what kind of car it was.) Although my front window was still frozen and you could not see through it, the lights from the mysterious car behind me, somehow gave me a way to see what was in front of me through the frost.
As I was just driving off the bridge with a sigh of relief, I looked in the left side mirror again and the old black car was switching lanes to the one beside me. As cold as I was already, I decided to roll down the window to say thanks, but as i did this, the car had disappeared.
I thought it was a bit strange, and as I rolled up the window it became really warm in the car again and i could see perfectly fine out the front window. I'm not sure if it was the "phantom car on the QEW" that saved my life, but it sure was something else.
I had an experience with this so called Phantom car a couple of months ago. I was travelling along the QEW towards Stoney Creek. I was planning on taking the Centennial Parkway exit when I noticed this big black car (an older model, maybe early 80's) coming up behind me from the Burlington Street on ramp, it seemed to come out of nowhere. I couldn't make my lane change to get into the exit lane for Centennial and the car just seemed to tailgate me, actually I thought the person was being a jerk for not letting me over considering I had my signal on.
Finally I was able to switch lanes and the black car went to the lane to my left and sped up. The car went into my blindspot and I figured I wanted a look at the person who had tailgated me so I turned my head to catch a glimpse of them as the black car drove past. When I turned to look there was nothing there.
Considering the amount of traffic on the QEW at that time, (it was just after 6:00pm and I was in rush hour traffic,) I couldn't understand how such a large car could get past me without my seeing it.
I don't know if that was the Phantom Car in question, but the incident has stayed with me since then. It left me with an odd feeling, not a good one, I felt like I was being put in harms way. Unlike the other story of the Phantom Car having helped a woman over the skyway, I can't think of how the car could have been trying to help me. It also brings to mind the terrible accidents that have occurred, recently, in that same area.
I would like to share one that my father, now deceased, told anyone who would listen when I was younger.
It was in the late 70's, late at night, my father was driving his car (can't remember what kind it was, but it was a curvy black one, done up from the 50's). As he was coming off the 401, on the 400 exit to go North which is a very dangerous curve. He lost control of the car and smashed head-on into the rail or wall (again, I'm not sure which one, but it doesn't really matter.)
The front of the car was totally flattened, pushing the steering wheel into my father's chest. He was conscious, but he couldn't breath. He remembers trying to catch his breath, but his chest wouldn't let him, and he thought he was about to die.
Suddenly he heard a car pull up, and a car door slam. His door was pulled open, and someone whacked him on his back (like people do when they see others choking). Suddenly he was able to suck in a huge gulp of air, and he started breathing. He immediately turned his head to thank the person for saving his life, but there was no one there. He turned his head around as much as he could and looked around, but the highway was totally empty.
It happened last summer. Although I didn't think anything of it until my brother recently referred me to your web site.
While reading the second story about the window freezing over, I froze!
I too, lived in St.Catharines, and was traveling to Mississauga on a warm summer evening. As I rounded the bend just after Centennial Parkway, my windshield froze over in a fraction of a second. I put my wipers on to clear the ice but the ice was on the inside of my windshield. I put my defrost on high and rolled my window down so that I could see.
Unfortunately, I spent all of my efforts clearing my windshield and staying in my lane, that I didn't take notice any other vehicles around me.
I asked everyone I knew about this. Is there some sort of weather phenomenon that caused this? Or was this yet another encounter with the "Phantom Car"?
My fellow co-workers didn't believe my story as it had been almost a year since this happened. To validate my story, I called my Mom on speaker phone and asked if she remembered me calling her from my cell phone with this story right after it had happened. She acknowledged my claim with no prodding or coaching.
First off, thank you for your site. It is a constant favourite of mine.
The reason for my email is that I got a bit of a chill while reading your section about an alleged 'phantom' car on the QEW. I thought it might be worthwhile to relate something that happened to me just this past Sunday night (May 16th, 2004).
The weather was excellent, and I was out riding my motorcycle for several hours. As is usual, especially at this time of year, I had several minor difficulties with other motorists. I had been cut off, almost merged into and tailgated several times over the course of the evening.
At somewhere around 11:00 pm (I think, I don't have a visible clock on my motorcycle), I was headed westbound on the QEW towards Niagara, approaching the Burlington Skyway. The traffic was very light at the time, and I was travelling in the right lane. I looked in my mirror and noticed that there was an dark coloured, old sedan of some sort (rectangular headlights, not rounded on the corners) approaching quickly behind me. I figured that since I was already in the right lane, whoever it was would change lanes to get around me.
The car got uncomfortably close behind me, and still did not change lanes. I accelerated a bit, the Skyway now just ahead, to widen the gap between myself and the car, but the car continued to pace me, still far too close for my personal comfort.
Thinking that it was a motorist getting his/her thrills by 'playing' with a motorcyclist, I decided it would be best to just get out of the way. Just as I started up the Skyway, I moved over to the centre lane and accelerated fairly hard. The car did the same behind me, without signalling, though the gap between my bike and the car was now slightly larger. I was just about to move to the left lane and accelerate again when the visor on my full-face helmet fogged over. This was unexpected, since it was such a nice night, but the ambient air temperature across the Skyway tends to be colder than on either side of it. It wasn't until I read the accounts about the 'phantom' car on your site that I thought perhaps the fogging over of my visor was, maybe, not related to the weather.
Anyway, I flipped the visor up immediately, but because to my speed the wind in my eyes was dangerous and uncomfortable. The car was still behind me in the centre lane, so I moved over to the right lane and braked fairly hard. At the time, I just wanted to make sure that the car had no opportunity to get behind me again. In my mirror, the car continued to come up on my left side, then entered my blind spot. There was something on the road ahead that momentarily took my attention (garbage or something in my lane that had to be avoided), and I felt a rush of cold wind from my left side, as though I had just been passed by a large, fast-moving vehicle. However, there was no car there.
I checked my mirrors and looked behind me, but there was no sign of the car. There was nowhere for it to go, since when it disappeared I was just coming off the Skyway, and (of course) there are no exits off of the bridge. I was disconcerted, to say the least, by this turn of events. I decided to turn around and head home as soon as possible. I flipped my visor back down (it was now perfectly clear), exited the highway, looped around, and got back on the QEW heading east, back towards Burlington.
I was on the same stretch of road last night (May 17th, 2004), but this time nothing of the sort occurred. I figured it was just my overactive imagination after several hours of hard riding, until I visited your site today. I first read reports of this 'phantom' car on the QEW on your site today (May 18th, 2004), and now I want to revisit that stretch of road again as soon as possible.
Did I see a phantom car on Sunday night? I have no idea, though my experience seems eerily similar to some of the accounts reported on your site. Perhaps one day I'll have the answer.