A ride on the wild side

Brittany Moseley

‘Ghost riders’ balance atop moving cars for dangerous thrill rides

In mid-ride, Jamey McCullah-Faber, sophomore English major at Saint-Mary’s College in Maryland, poses for a photo on top of his truck. PHOTO COURTESY OF JAMEY MCCULLAH-FABER

Credit: John Proppe

Last summer Jamey McCullah-Faber went across the country with some friends, but they didn’t just “drive” their car. Every time they came to a state border, they would get out and dance on top of their car while it was moving, leaving the car driverless.

Sound crazy? Faber and his friends are just a few of the growing number of young adults who are catching on to this concept of ghost riding.

“It’s quite dangerous,” said Faber, sophomore English major at Saint Mary’s College in Maryland. “It’s a blast though.”

Faber, who started the Facebook group “Ghost Riders USA,” started ghost riding a year ago. His ghost riding nickname is Swayze, as in Patrick Swayze in the movie Ghost.

“My friends and I were hanging out and we met [the rapper] E-40, and we approached him and he showed us some of his moves,” Faber said. “We became his apprentices in a way.”

Most people attribute E-40 as the creator of ghost riding. In his song “Tell Me When to Go,” he repeats the line “ghost ride the whip,” in which “whip” means car.

Tyler Johnston, freshman exploratory major, doesn’t ghost ride now because he doesn’t have a car on campus. However, Johnston said he and his friends used to ghost ride after parties. He first heard about ghost riding when it was on the news.

“I wasn’t nervous the first time I did it; it takes more than that to faze me,” Johnston said. “The first time I did it, I just hopped on top of my car and started poppin’ and lockin’.”

Faber said the only time he felt scared while ghost riding occurred when he did it on top of a monster truck.

“My friends and I knew the guy who had it, and we decided to ghost ride it,” Faber said.

When it comes to what kind of music to play, both Johnston and Faber agree that it can’t be just anything – it has to be something that gets the adrenaline going, and it must be loud.

“You have to dance to rap. It would not be the same if you tried to dance to country,” Johnston said.

Faber said his favorite song to dance to is “Danger Zone,” but anything by E-40 is good. He and his friends also play Def Leppard a lot too.

Ghost riding is most popular in major cities, so there aren’t too many teenagers in Kent dancing on top of their cars.

Faber said it has yet to surface. He and his friends are the only people he knows who do it. He also said there aren’t too many girls who ghost ride.

Although the Kent Police Department hasn’t heard of ghost riding, it is illegal. Faber has been stopped by the cops before.

“The cops have stopped us before, but we always talk our way out of it,” he said.

Most police officers would recommend that parents watch out to see if their children are ghost riding.

Even though it’s dangerous and illegal, Faber doesn’t plan on quitting any time soon.

“It’s such an adrenaline rush,” he said. “You get hooked.”

Contact features correspondent Brittany Moseley at [email protected].