San Antonio, Texas: Ghostly Gravity HillIf you park your car in neutral, "child ghosts" may push it about 30 feet up a slight hill and onto some railroad tracks!
- Shane Rd, San Antonio, TX
- Southeastern edge of the city, at the junction of Shane and Villamain Rds. I-410 exit 42. Turn south onto Southton Rd, then take the second right onto Shane Rd. Drive about three-quarters of a mile to the railroad tracks -- which are still in use; be careful!
- Public road. Hazard flashers recommended. Use at your own risk.
Visitor Tips and News About Ghostly Gravity Hill
Anyone who claims to have seen anything "paranormal" at this location either subconsciously convinced themselves that they had an experience because of things heard from other people... or they simply wanted to lie for dramatic flare!
Regardless, don't fall for this one. SyFy has a show called FACT OT FAKED -- their teams investigate claims sent from fans all over the United States. The show traveled to San Antonio and actually replicated the supposed "original story" by putting one of the team members in a school bus before testing the claims/theory. It worked!
The trees were causing an optical illusion in regards to the "angle" or direction you are looking as you are sitting behind the wheel. At first glance it appears that you are going up hill. After the tests came back, it was concluded and agreed upon that the train track story could be debunked! The vehicle always travels down hill...never up hill. Sorry guys! I was bummed to hear it too.[ker, 03/12/2011]
My daughter, knowing the tale of the children killed on the railroad tracks and visiting it as a child, took her own children. She showed me a photo of a little girl peeking through the trees in the surrounding area. At first we thought it was coincidental, but as we magnified the image, it was a scary photo to say the least. I wish I had asked her to send it to me so I could share it with you. However, I must say that without a doubt it was a little girl looking though the wooded area, an innocent child. It gave me such a chill that I asked my granddaughter to delete the photo so as to not bring it home with her.[Lucy, 11/02/2010]
The famous "Ghost Tracks" of San Antonio. The story is of a bus load full of kids that was killed when their bus stalled on the tracks. I am an avid ghost amateur ghost hunter, and while the ambience is conducive, the story has no factual background.
I have been to the site on numerous occasions, and conducted research of my own. It is true that your car, if parked on the upside of the hill when put in neutral will roll down. If you powder your bumper, you will in fact see hand prints on your car.
The truth is that your car rolls down the hill due to gravity and is able to catch enough momentum to push you over the tracks. It will not work coming from downhill. The prints you see are your own oily prints from all the times you opened your trunk or touched the back end of your car. I washed my car just prior to going over the tracks on my last try, and there were no prints even though my car still went up and over the tracks.
There is no doubt that the area where the tracks are located is a scary place especially at night. Ghost kids, though? No. If you're in for a in the mood for a true haunting, San Antonio does have some real ghostly activity. Try going to Espada Park Dam which is very near "the tracks", and near dusk you will hear and feel things that will make the hair on your entire back stand on end. Happy Ghost Hunting!
PS- If you do go down to "The Tracks" be careful. There are no crossing guards or lights on the tracks, and they are sometimes still in use.[Marissa Gibson, 04/06/2006]
I am a citizen of San Antonio and I appeal to all who read this to please pay attention to it and do some research. You are wasting your time. There are many other actual ghosts and hauntings in San Antonio. I advise you seek them out.
The legend is that a busload of kids were killed when their bus stalled on the tracks and was hit by a train, and now if you stop on the tracks and put your car in neutral, your car will roll over the tracks. The legend also states that if you powder your car you'll see the kids' fingerprints in the powder and that the streets in the neighborhood are named after these kids.
There is no record of any bus being hit by a train here, the streets in the neighborhood are named after the developer's kids (who are alive and well), if you don't wash your car down thoroughly first you'll see your own prints in the powder (and those of any kid who has touched your car recently), and it can appear that you are rolling uphill when you are actually rolling downhill.
This is a very popular legend that has been made famous in recent years by the press. The San Antonio Police Department is tired of dealing with the traffic problem caused by people testing the tracks (and the drugs and alcohol that seem to find their way there), and the local residents are tired of the traffic congestion caused by people stopping on these tracks. Do not ask me for the location, I will not disclose it out of respect for the people of San Antonio who have to live there.[Jason Rodriguez, 10/17/2004]
This is the spookiest gravity hill I have visited to date. The legend, which dates back to the 1950s, sends a chill down your spine even without visiting. A long time ago -- nobody is 100% of the exact date -- a school bus full of children were headed home when their bus stalled on the railroad crossing. While the bus driver attempted to restart the bus, the children did what any other child would do on a bus: make noise. Nobody heard the train rounding the corner until it was too late. The children in the front of the bus were killed instantly, the ones in the back, who couldn't manage to open the rear door, suffered more horror in their last minutes as they were dragged along the tracks by the speeding train. When the bus came to rest, after splitting in two and rolling across the road the field opposite the road, all the children, and the driver had perished in the crash.
After much research I found the cross-streets for the hill at Shane and Villamain. I arrived during the daylight hours and found the hill facing the tracks to be a shallow one, not a dramatic hill such as the gravity hills of New Paris, PA or Booger Hill down in Georgia. But nevertheless it appeared to be a hill and I began my testing. Top speed, after rolling down the other side of the tracks turned out to be 8.6 mph and the rolling distance was an adjusted .02 miles.
These numbers don't seem very impressive for a gravity hill, and I have to admit I was a little disappointed with the visual aspect of the hill, but just as I was making my final test of the a hill a lady in a mini-van full of children stopped and said you must be testing that hill. If want a scare come back here and try it at night. When I asked if the legend was true the mini-van mom simply grinned and said, Come back at night and you'll find out.
A week later I found myself back in San Antonio, so I went back at night. I stopped my car at roughly where the end of the bus would have been with its engine stalled on the tracks, rolled down my windows, turned of the car, put it in neutral and waited. First of all, at night the place without a gravity hill would be spooky enough for city folk. It is nearly pitch black, with very little background noise of any kind, except for the occasional owl or coyote breaking the silence. As I was about to adjust the starting position of my car, I heard things moving around the brush that I dismissed as rabbits or other small animals, but as the noises got louder my car started to roll! As I crested the railroad tracks I thought I heard a child laugh and a light mist started to fall. I exited the scene promptly.[Greg Brown, 01/20/2002]
Nearby Offbeat Places
- Frank's Hog Stand, Inside a Pig, San Antonio, TX - 7 mi.
- Menger Hotel Bar - Bullet Holes, Rough Riders, House of Lords, San Antonio, TX - 8 mi.
- Wooden Nickel Museum and Giant Wooden Nickel, San Antonio, TX - 10 mi.
- In the region: Bat Tornado at Dusk, Fredericksburg, TX - 59 mi.