The Truth Behind the Legend of the Ghost Kids of El Paso’s Haunted Gravity Hill
The "haunted" road on El Paso’s west side has been part of the Sun City’s folklore for decades. But is something truly paranormal at play or is it just an urban legend?
Supposedly, allegedly a section of the street is haunted by the ghosts of a mother and her small children tragically killed once upon a time, and whose sole reason for not crossing over is to help motorists avoid the same fate.
Another version is that the horrific wreck was that of a school bus and the spirits pushing vehicles are those of the dead children, but their intent isn’t as benevolent.
These spirits don’t push the cars to safety, their intention is to push the passengers to their death.
Whether it’s the first or second version recounted, or a different one altogether, they all end the same way: to experience the paranormal pushers yourself make your way to Thunderbird Drive and put your car in neutral pointing towards Mesa between Twin Hills and Singing Hills, and then take your foot off the brake.
You will soon feel your vehicle moving, pushed along they say by those long-gone souls. Sounds both thrilling and terrifying. Except it’s not true.
The Haunting Debunked
A number of years ago one of the local news stations looked into it and found there were no ghostly goings-on going on.
Oh, you’ll feel the car slowly moving backward uphill, but it's science not spooks.
In the investigative piece, the reporter spoke to a UTEP physics professor who said that particular stretch of road has an imperceptible slope, and because the mountain blocks the horizon, people’s perception is that they’re moving backward when the car is actually going downhill.
In other words, it's an optical illusion.
But What About the Hand Prints?
The legend also goes that if you cover the back of your car with baby powder, when it stops moving and you jump out and check you’ll find small ghostly hand prints left behind.
More likely what you’ve discovered is the ghosts of your palm prints from when you last closed the trunk.
El Paso’s Gravity Hill. It's a good campfire story, but it's not ghosts pushing. It's gravity pulling.
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Gallery Credit: Mike Nied