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Digital Subscriptions > Skeptical Inquirer > July August 2016 > Japanese Taxi Drivers Claim Ghost Passengers

Japanese Taxi Drivers Claim Ghost Passengers

More than a half dozen Japanese taxi drivers claimed earlier this year to have had ghostly customers. They report that all seems like a normal fare until the phantom passengers mysteriously vanish from the back seat before arriving at their destination. According to a February 7 story on

At least seven taxi drivers in Ishinomaki, north-east Japan, have reported experiencing a “phantom fare” in the wake of the devastating 2011 tsunami and earthquake. In each instance, the story is similar. A taxi driver picks up a passenger in an area devastated by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. He starts the meter and asks for the destination, to which the customer gives a strange response. Either then, or sometime later, the driver turns around to address the man or woman—but the passenger has vanished. This is because, it is claimed, it was a “ghost passenger” who was, in fact, killed in the disaster five years ago. (

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