Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Ghost of James Dean

On this day in 1955, the hunky and talented actor James Dean was killed in an auto accident at the young age of twenty-four.  It was early evening and the young Dean was taking his Porsche 550 Spyder to a race in Salinas.  German Porsche mechanic Rolf Wütherich was riding along and was injured in the crash, breaking his jaw and shattering his thighbone.  Based on an earlier speeding ticket and the amount of distance Dean had traveled in a short time, it is believed that he was speeding when he approached an intersection and crashed into a Ford sedan that was making a left turn through the intersection.  The driver of that car was a college student by the name of Donald Turnupseed and he was only injured in the crash.  Neither Dean or Wütherich were wearing seatbelts.  The picture from the wreck paints the picture of how violent the wreck was and why it killed Dean.
The story sounds like your typical deadly accident, save for the famous driver, but the story continues with some bizarre twists that include tales of a cursed car and people.  Several parts from the Spyder were salvageable and placed in other cars: the engine, transmission and tires.  All cars that received parts from the Spyder were later involved in terrible or deadly accidents.  When the car was initially brought into the shop of the new owner, George Barris, it rolled off the back of a truck and crushed a mechanics legs.  Later the car was being used as an educational piece about driving safety and on a trip to one event, the truck transporting the Spyder went off the road and killed the driver.  At another safety event, a teenager's hip was broken when the car's restraint chains snapped and the car fell on the teenager.  Then somehow the Spyder managed to disappear...forever.

The German mechanic who had ridden with Dean when the accident occurred tried to kill himself a number of times.  He was never successful, but he did go on to stab his wife fourteen times.  He died in 1981 in a drunk driving accident.  Was this about guilt or was he cursed?

It is reported that James Dean is not at rest.  He was buried in Park Cemetery in Fairmount, Indiana and his grave sits atop a small hill.  People claim that Dean's ghost haunts his grave site.  James Dean was a smoker and a legend has grown that if a visitor to the grave site places an unlit cigarette at the headstone after dark and leaves for a bit, when they return they will find the cigarette lit and the scent of cigarette smoke in the air.  Some people report that the cigarette completely disappears. 

The ghost of Dean appears as well.  He has been spotted sitting on the tombstone and cold spots in the heat of summer can be felt around the grave.  The area where the car crash occurred has also apparently been visited by a hitchhiking Dean who disappears when people stop to pick him up.  The Porsche, driven by Dean, is sometimes seen cruising the highway as well.  So is James Dean still roaming the earth?  That is for you to decide.


  1. the car i bought recently had to travel to brisbane qld to drive it back and on the way back i think i was tired a bit cuz i heard man soft talking then slowly got louder and louder yelling in my ear he called me li'l bastard couple times and then said smash crash smash the car and i yelled back to SHUT THE F UP and it did it went quiet and the steering changed it got better before that it was impossible to drive
    and i have like tartan seats and its a convertible
    several of these cars same model mysteriously were made in different countries all over the world same model
    same brand Holden Tigra