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A man ghost riding on the back of a (moving) golf cart

Ghost-riding, frequently used in the context of "ghost-riding the whip" (a "whip" being a vehicle) or simply ghostin', is when a person puts a vehicle's transmission in gear then exits the vehicle while it is still rolling to dance beside it or on the hood or roof.[1]

Ghost riding is an activity that has been practiced in the San Francisco Bay Area for many years during what are called sydeshows. The popularization of ghost riding the whip is a byproduct of the popularity of Bay Area music and hyphy culture in general. The term "ghost ride the whip" was given nationwide exposure in E-40's 2006 song "Tell Me When to Go".[2] Oakland rapper Mistah F.A.B.'s hit song "Ghost Ride It", further popularized the term due to the song's consistent playtime on radio and television stations throughout the United States. The song references actor Patrick Swayze, lead star in the 1990 film Ghost,[3] sparking internet references to ghost riding as "going (Patrick) Swayze". Finally, ghost riding is a minigame in the hip-hop-culture-centered video game Pimp My Ride.[4]

As with car surfing, ghost riding can be dangerous and has resulted in two known deaths in North America.[5] However, some websites claim that ghostriding is responsible for up to eight deaths in the United States.[6] Ghost riding is often featured in similarly risky urban sideshows, which also originated in Oakland, CA.[3]


  1. ^ Flambosting the hyphy nation. Steve Jones, April 13, 2006. Last accessed January 6, 2007.
  2. ^ Ghost-riding: Another bad idea from California. Paul Farhi, Washington Post. January 8, 2007. Last accessed January 10, 2007.
  3. ^ a b Farhi, Paul. "Ghost-Riding: Brake-Dancing With Zip Under the Hood", The Washington Post, December 27, 2006, p. C01. Accessed October 18, 2007.
  4. ^ Pimp My Ride GameSpot Review. December 18, 2006. Last accessed January 6, 2007.
  5. ^ "Hip-Hop Car Stunt Leaves 2 Dead"
  6. ^ [1]


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