Weird California
Weird California - By Joe Parzanese

Gravity Hill

Loma Alta Drive, Altadena, California

Antioch, California

Lichau Road, Corona, California

In-Ko-Pah Road, Jacumba, California 91934

Jamul, California

West Muirlands Drive, La Jolla, California

Patterson Pass Road, Mile Marker 157, Livermore, California 94550

Moorpark, California

Moreno Valley, California

Ocotillo, California 92259

3448 Lichau Road, Sonoma, California

Whittier, California

Gravity Hills are locations at the base of a slope or hill where supposedly if you park your car and leave it in neutral it will somehow roll up the slope of the nearby hill. Several are rumored throughout California including San Diego, La Jolla, Livermore, Moorpark, Altadena, Los Angeles, Antioch, Petaluma, Redlands, Ramona, etc. According to some of our readers, Gravity Hills outside of California include Sweden, Maine and Bedford County, Pennsylvania. They are also occasionally known as "magnetic hill", "gravity road", "mystery hill", etc.

Scientific reasoning often explains this as an optical illusion which makes it appear as if you are rolling up hill. Supposedly if you take out a carpenter's level, it will actually prove that you are indeed rolling downhill. Course this may or may not explain places like the Santa Cruz Mystery Spot and Confusion Hill (Piercy, CA), both of which attempt to debunk the optical illusion aspect of their respective sites.

Gravity Hills are always surrounded by scary stories and far fetched urban legends. One of the more popular legends behind gravity hills involves the death of children. The children are often associated with a bus breaking down, and the children getting out of the vehicle and helping push. The story almost always involves the children getting crushed by the bus as it rolls back down the hill and over them. According to the popular legend, you can see the children's handprints if you put baby powder on the front of your car, as their fingers and hands will appear in it as they push. There are several other variations on this story, ranging from the children drowning to escaped mental patients, as you will read further below. One involves the children playing in the street while the bus driver checks out the engine. The bus driver looks up too late as a car comes down the hill towards the unaware children. The bus driver tries to save them, but the car takes out the driver and all the children.

A variation on the story involves a mother with a baby carriage. A speeding car perhaps with a preoccupied driver comes screeching down the hill. Again, like the bus driver, the mother tries to save her child, but both are killed by the oncoming car.

Eventually, we plan on checking out some of these and seeing if our car does indeed roll uphill, but for now, since we had so many inquiries, we decided to put up this stub of a page to handle the requests. For now we'll let you determine if Gravity Hills are simply optical illusion, or are the ghosts of children pushing your car up the hill?!

Altadena Gravity Hill
Directions to the supposed Altadena Gravity Hill: From Highway 210 in Pasadena, head north on Lake Avenue. Turn right onto Altadena Drive. Turn left onto Porter and go until it ends at E. Loma Alta Dr. Turn left on Loma Alta. Go over a few dips, and around a couple of corners. Go up the hill and right around the second sign for Sunnyoaks. You will be facing "downhill," evergreen trees to your left with something that resembles a flood control channel past that, a wall of rock and dirt to your right. If you go over a bridge after curving to the left you've gone too far.

This location also has a variation on the typical Gravity Hill legend. In addition to the usual ghostly children stories, a second story details an old Indian who died riding his carriage out of control down the hill to the bridge. Today his ghost pulls back motorists from the same fate that befell him.

Antioch Gravity Hill
Apparently this gravity hill is a result of children who died on the scene. Ironically, several gravity hills have the death of children attached to their site through urban legend. They apparently push your car away from the area so you don't suffer the same fate they did. One story states rather plainly that the students all drowned when they skidded off the road during a school trip on a school bus. Another more outlandish story claims that they were all murdered by an insane escapee from the nearby and now closed asylum. Apparently the asylum escapee made it onto the bus and killed them all. For added terror, there's also suppose to be an abandoned slaughter house in the same area.

Brentwood Gravity Hill
The Brentwood Gravity Hill is the classic urban legend of a bus filled with children in the fifties skidding off a road into water and all the children drowning. Now they push cars placed into neutral on the nearby road.

Cabazon Gravity Hill
Rumor has it that on Morongo Indian Reservation there exists a road where if you park your car at the bottom of the hill it will roll up it.

Corona Gravity Hill
The gravity hill in Corona involves a distraught young girl driving recklessly down Lichau Road after her boyfriend broke up with her. She hit a bump in the road, losing control and crashed into a tree, dying upon impact. Her ghost will push you away from her tree.

Jamul Gravity Hill
Jamul is a San Diego suburb where a gravity hill exists on a set of train tracks. The story relates that a school bus full of children ended up stuck on the tracks back in the 1950s. The bus with the children still inside was hit by the oncoming train. If you park on the tracks, you can hear children screaming and laughing. These same children will push your car back off the tracks in order to save you from the oncoming trains. Note, we do not advise parking your car in front of an oncoming train!

Jacumba / Ocotillo Gravity Hill
There's reportedly two Gravity Hills in the Jacumba / Ocotillo area out on Interstate 8. The one in Ocotillo is only available from I-8 westbound. Exit at the Mountain Springs off ramp and at the bottom of the ramp, stop at the stop sign and place your car in neutral to experience the car roll back up the ramp. If you are traveling eastbound on I-8, you need to go several miles to exit 87 and turn around to head back to Mountain Springs exit. The Gravity Hill in Jacumba supposedly somewhere on In-Ko-Pah Road somewhere on your way to the Desert View Tower. In-Ko-Pah Road is also off of Interstate 8, west of Ocotillo.

La Jolla Gravity Hill
Supposedly located on West Muirlands Drive between Nautilus and Fay Streets. There's a sharp left curve on Muirlands, and the Gravity Hill is shortly after this.

Livermore Gravity Hill
Mile Marker 157 on Patterson Pass Road in Livermore is the location of yet another Gravity Hill. Urban legends even add in sounds to this one, that as you roll uphill, you'll hear the sound of foot falls behind your car as some thing pushes it. And, like many Gravity Hills, hand prints appear on your car, in this case on your bumper from the person pushing.

There are two common stories surrounding this Gravity Hill. The first is the usual children in a broken down bus get out and try to push, but the bus rolls back on them, killing them all. However, stories also attribute this Gravity Hill to the death of two high school students post prom, who drove off the side of the road and fell to their deaths. They now like their solitude and push cars away from the site of their death, not wishing to be bothered by those who stop.

If the ghosts of children or teenage lovers isn't enough for you, the ghosts of angry naked football players lurk around a tree near Gravity Hill. According to the urban legend, in 1963, Livermore opened its second high school, Granada High, and had its first homecoming game against Livermore High School. Afterwards, players from the winning team hung out with two players from the losing team, inviting them to hang out and drink near the aforementioned Gravity Hill. During a drunken joke, the winning team's players stole the clothes of the losing teams two players and hung them from the branches of this tree. The story continues that in the morning the winning team players called some other players of the losing team, in order to tell them where they could collect their naked teammates. However, by the time they were found, the naked football players were dead, having died during the night, presumably from the cold. They now haunt the area around the tree seeking revenge on other careless teenage pranksters. Note, the winning team changes depending on which high school the teller of the tale is from.

Moorpark Gravity Hill
This gravity hill is near Moorpark Community College. The legend states that in the 1940s a school bus broke down, and the children were all waiting behind the bus for someone to come and fix the bus or pick them up. A local farmer was driving recklessly and not paying attention slammed into the back of the truck, pinning the children to bus.

A reader, John who grew up in Moorpark, offered up a different version of the legend: What I'd always heard was that the bus's brakes went out and the bus rolled down the hill and the kids died... Now, the ghosts of the children push cars back up the hill.....

The approximate address of the gravity hill is 12772 Kagel Canyon Road.

Moreno Valley Gravity Hill
There are two gravity hills located here. One is suppose to be on Nason Street and legend tells it is the result of the ghosts of children who were hit by a large truck. The other is called "Priest Hill" and is the work of a ghostly priest who broke down on the road and was killed by a passing car. Although if you look down below in our comments section, one of these gravity hills is also attributed to a man who was fixing a tire and ended up being run over by a passing car.

Placer County
On Highway 20 between Truckee and Nevada City, approximately four miles west of the Interstate 80 junction and 80 miles east of Sacramento, exists Placer County's so called Magnetic Hill. A PG&E Canal goes under the highway and it appears to west bound traffic that the water is flowing uphill.

San Diego Gravity Hill
Located on the Sorrento Drive exit from Interstate 5 South .

San Fernando Valley Gravity Hill
Tampa Avenue, off 118. Two right turns after Rinaldi Street the road will appear to crest and run downhill into a another hill ahead. Pull over after the crest and place your car in neutral and it will roll back up hill.

Sonoma Gravity Hill
This Gravity Hill was created by a bus full of children hit a dip, lost control and went off a nearby cliff killing everyone. To get to this Gravity Hill go down East Cotati Avenue towards Petaluma Hill Road (or take Rohnert Park Expressway east to Petaluma Hill Road). Make a right onto Petaluma Hill, then after less than a mile, a left onto Roberts Road. Make a right onto Lichau Road, and stay on it for about ten minutes. When you get to the top of the mountains there will be an iron gate with the words "Gracias San Antonio" or "Gracias Santiago". Once you pass the gate entrance, go to the bottom of the hill.

Taft Gravity Hill
According to one of our commentators, there is a Gravity Hill between Taft and the small town of Fellows out by Route 33. From the anonymous comment: "Gravity Hill is located in the oil fields between Taft and Fellows. The road to Gravity Hill is clearly marked on Highway 33 and is called Gravity Hill road. Take that road toward the south. Gravity Hill is just a short distance after you reach a sign which indicates that you have reached Section 24B. When you reach the hill, park your car at the bottom of the hill on the road headed toward the north in what seems to be in a portion of the road that is inclined upward, release the brakes, put the car in neutral and what happens will surprise you. "

Whittier Gravity Hill
This gravity hill is rumored to be in a cemetery called Rose Hills located in Whittier, California (down in the Los Angeles area) on Workman Mill Road, near Rio Hondo Community College and the interchange of the 605 and 60 freeways. Apparently Rose Hills Cemetery has several entrances and several different sections. The gravity hill is located in the section that contains the rose gardens. Proceed past the entrance gates, rose gardens and burial vaults, turn right and proceed along the base of a small hill, then make your first left and you are on the gravity hill. Park near the bottom, put car in neutral and you will roll up the hill. Park at the top and you will not roll down. It works for cars, bicycles, and skateboards.

Whittier also has Turnbull Canyon Road which is suppose to be full of Satanic cults, UFO sightings, and a gravity hill! Drivers have experienced strange knocking sounds in their cars as well as the typical gravity hill experience of rolling backwards uphill.

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Last Edited: 2013-10-25