DOCUMENT: Funny, Internet

YouTube "Ghost Rider" Was Just An Apparition

How budding auteurs created viral car stunt video

FEBRUARY 16--For a few days at least, Tim Wehage appeared to be the country’s most reckless driver, a 20-year-old knucklehead who climbed out the driver’s window of a Ford Bronco and stood atop its roof as the vehicle sped down a Florida interstate.

Wehage’s dangerous stunt, known as “ghost riding the whip,” was, of course, filmed last month by a buddy driving behind him. The clip was then uploaded to YouTube, where it was discovered last Friday by Gawker and, in short order, went viral thanks to stories on other blogs, local TV stations, and British tabloids.

The Daily Mail gasped that Wehage’s “terrifying highway trip” was done for “cheap YouTube thrills,” while Gawker declared that he “might just be the most dangerous driver in Florida.”

Nobody, though, thought to ask Wehage, pictured above, and his cohorts if the stunt actually occurred as depicted on the YouTube clip.

As it turns out, the “ghost riding” never happened, it was a green screen-aided creation of Wehage and his friend P.J. Selzer, a 20-year-old film student at the University of Central Florida. Below you’ll find the original 55-second YouTube clip as well as raw video provided to TSG by Selzer.

Selzer’s footage shows that he filmed Wehage driving the car along Interstate 95 in Jupiter. At all times, Wehage is seated behind the wheel of the vehicle, which was going about 40 mph.

Then, with the Bronco parked in his parents’s Jupiter driveway, Selzer videotaped Wehage climbing out of the driver’s window and standing atop the stationary ride. With his father manning the camera, Selzer stood behind Wehage holding up a green sheet. Selzer’s stepmother can be seen holding a fan pointed at Wehage to approximate the wind that would be purportedly blowing through his hair and clothing as he surfed on the roof.

Using editing software, Selzer subsequently merged the two clips into a convincing video that has turned Wehage into a notorious Internet daredevil. Selzer, pictured at left, told TSG that his creation was an homage to a YouTube clip that purportedly shows a driver climbing atop a Volkswagen, where he straps on an electric guitar and plays a Hendrix-style version of the “Star Spangled Banner.”

Selzer, who runs 265 Productions with classmate Zack Spear, said that the “riding the whip” video was not an attempt to trick anyone into thinking Wehage had actually risked his life. Wehage noted that the clip, which had been intended for friends and family, was only viewed about 100 times during the first month it was on YouTube. 

“I did NOT get on top of a moving vehicle,” Wehage added. (1 page)

Comments (5)

Wait? People seriously thought this was real? Either the guy ghost riding was about 4' tall or it was an obvious fake.
Kudos to this kid. Nice to see a young person using their creative abilities for POSITIVE entertainment. I want to buy a ticket to his first feature film.
always had to be a fake...Let's face it - there's no American made car that rolls in a straight line with no one at the wheel.
Hold on just a minute. Is he trying to say that everything I see on the internet isn't true? He must be lying. But he said it on the internet so it must be true. But that means the internet contains lies. I'm so confused.......
LoL