Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Utah Mysteries and Urban Legends: Gravity Hill

Above Memory Grove Park, and just East of the Utah State Capitol, there is a road known as "Gravity Hill". Logic says that when you stop on a hill, put your car in neutral, your car is going to roll downhill, right? Not at Gravity Hill; instead, your vehicle rolls up the hill.

View the video below that we took during a Grimm Ghost Tour.

Besides Salt Lake City, there are many other places in the world that also have a Gravity Hill. 

How does this happen?
There are a few different theories and legends about Salt Lake City's Gravity Hill. (Most of these cannot be backed up by historical documentation, thus why we call them "legends".)

The Utah State Capitol
  • Legend is told that when the Utah State Capitol was being built, they wanted people to be "drawn" to it, so they constructed it with several magnets inside the wall. Because of this, it pulls your car towards it. 
  • Another legend is that the Utah State Capitol is built on a Native American Burial ground. The story is told that the natives to this land were not happy about the State Capitol being built on their land, so they put a curse on it that would "cause people to gravitate" towards the building.
A Farmer
  • Legend is told that back in the early days of Salt Lake City, a farmer was driving his tractor up this hill. Confused by the landscape and if he was going up or down, he became disoriented and tipped his tractor, killing him instantly. He does not want this same fate for others traveling on this stretch of road, so he protects motorists by pushing them up the hill. Rumor has it that if you get out and look, you can see his hand prints on your bumper where he pushed you up the hill. This is one of the stories we heard on our Grimm Ghost Tour.
South Jordan School Bus Accident
  • One of the worst school bus accidents in United States history occurred on December 1, 1938. A bus loaded with 38 students from South Jordan, Riverton, and Bluffdale crossed in front of an oncoming train that was obscured by fog and snow. The bus was broadsided killing the bus driver and 23 students. You can read more about that tragic accident HERE. Legend is told that these students had recently went on a field trip to the State Capitol and Memory Grove Park, and so they protect the area by pushing vehicles up the hill. Rumor is also told with this story, as in the farmer tractor story, that you can see their hand prints on your bumper.
The Truth....revealed!
  • This phenomenon occurs because the landscape appears that you are going uphill, when in reality you are traveling downhill, thus causing your vehicle to "roll uphill". 
How To Get There:
  • Take North Temple to State Street, go through the intersection, turn on to 2nd. Ave, go up the hill to B St., turn left, go up the hill to 11th Ave., go straight to Bonneville Blvd. You come to a point where another road leaves the main road and veers uphill to the left. Stay on the main road another 100 feet, stop, put it in neutral, and you'll coast back uphill.

Read more about Utah's Mysteries and Urban Legends HERE!

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