Long ago, a horseman was riding beside the River Dove on his way home to Hartington when he met a young woman, alone and distraught. When he asked her what was amiss she couldn’t answer; she merely sobbed. So he lifted her on to his horse, told her to grip his coat so she wouldn’t fall, and rode onwards, resolved to put her into the care of the vicar at Hartington.
Part way through the journey he turned to speak to her but she was no longer there. Alarmed, he turned his horse and rode back the way he’d come, but he found no sign of her, though it was a bright moonlit night. He called, but there was no answer.
In the end he was obliged to give up the search. The woman had disappeared. He never saw her again, or heard news of her.
The more familiar type of “phantom hitchhiker” story is to be found in various parts of the Peak District, as it is throughout most of the world.
See Mark P. Henderson, Folktales of the Peak District, Amberley Publishing, 2011, pp. 134-136 and 157;
Also, David Clarke, Supernatural Peak District, Robert Hale, London, 2001 – Dr Clarke devotes an entire chapter to road ghosts.