Spook Hill

Today on the way to Bok Tower and Gardens, Mom, Carol, and I went on a search for Spook Hill, a mysterious road where gravity does not work correctly and cars can coast up a hill. We saw a lot of signs to Spook Hill, but as we got closer, the signs disappeared and Spook Hill seemed to vanish even though we knew we were within 0.3 miles according to the last sign.

Once we went to Bok Tower we got better directions and found out that it was right next to Spook Hill Elementary School. There is a sign on the street that explains the legend of Spook Hill and then instructs you to drive forward to a white line on the pavement at the bottom of the hill, put the car in neutral, and let the power of Spook Hill push your car back up the hill to the sign again. There was a van in front of us doing it and the effect must have been so surprising that they coasted backwards right into the curb.

Once it was our turn, Carol did a much better job of driving, but even without touching the gas and in neutral, we coasted right up the hill!

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5 thoughts on “Spook Hill

  1. By popular demand: as with most things that are hard to explain or understand, the answer has to do with magnets. In this case, behind the large white sign is an enormous magnet. When a car passes, electricity causes the magnet to get power and pull all things metal towards it (unless you are in front of the sign).

    For further reading, there are several good articles on Wikipedia, which has an article on Spook Hill itself as well as general articles about magnetic hills and a list of magnetic hills (the list also includes a picture of a magnet used to draw cars up hills).

    Though “scientists” will tell you that it is all an optical illusion, it really does look like a dip in the road. An “engineer” might say that there is a steep uphill grade, followed by a gentle uphill grade, followed by another steep uphill grade that makes it look like there is a hill and a dip when actually these are just changes in curvature while the overall grade remains positive. I looked for drainage inlets at the bottom of the hill and saw none. It could be that water can coast down the far hill and make it up the near hill and over.

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