The story starts on the evening of 12 April 1968, close to Easter Weekend with recently engaged couple, Maria (Ria) Roux, a student nurse and Michiel (Giel) Pretorius, an army corporal, travelling all the way from Pretoria in their VW Beetle in order to announce their wedding plans to Ria’s parents in Riversdale.
Story alleges the Beetle was veered off course by a strong gust of wind, Giel lost control and the vehicle overturned. Ria who was sleeping in the back was flung out into the ditch and died on impact.
Seriously injured and concussed, Giel was unable to find her in the dark. He was rescued by a passing motorist who took him to hospital. Ria’s body was later discovered by a local farmer. She was buried in Riversdale where her grave can still be seen. Ria was 22 years old when she died.
Since her tragic death, stories of a ghostly hitchhiker started surfacing around 1976. Sightings most often reported a young female with dark hair and dressed in a dark top and pants, thumbing for a lift somewhere along the R341 turnoff. Good Samaritans would pick her up and then be left cold by the sudden sound of vehicle doors opening and closing, a shrill laugh and an icy chill spreading inside the vehicle and when they finally dared turn to their passenger, she would simply vanish into thin air.
Though sources differ, the last reported sighting of the ghostly hitchhiker was in 1984 and sightings have seemingly stopped all together after the death of her former fiancé, Giel Pretorius, ironically, in yet another car accident; pray her soul has finally come to rest...
Suikerbossies are a South African geocaching team.
You can follow our adventures on our Facebook Page Suikerbossies Geocaching Adventures.