I’m stumbling around getting my bearings back. I was at home for four days! I probably could have updated, but what would the point of being on vacation been?
The urban legends surrounding ghost rescues-rescues that were successful because of the intervention of individuals who are either known to be dead prior to the rescue or found dead on the scene- are complicated in part because they’re both so common and so comforting. The comfort is two-fold; the soul exists beyond death, and that love is so strong that those who went before us are still watching over us.
Shows like Paranormal Witness like to play off of the trope; wide-eyed individuals like to tell stories of family members leading police and other response personnel to hidden crash sites to find those victims still living. While it’s possible that some of these stories are true insofar as the witness is certain that this happened to them-so not a direct lie in that they are telling the truth as the events happened to them. However, some of these stories exist in print as least as far back as the 1890s which suggests that this would either have to be a fairly common situation, or a well established North American urban legend.
However, unlike some urban legends, there’s no ‘set pattern’. Other than a ghost/spirit acting to prevent tragedy or aid rescue, the legend from local to local. Logic or reason varies depending on story, ranging from children attempting to prevent injury in the area they were killed to parents working to protect their still living children.