The Gravity Hill of Greenfield, Massachusetts
The Gravity Hill of Greenfield, Massachusetts
Okay, so here we are! Halloween is around the corner, the leaves are changing color, Slightly Odd Fitchburg: The Odd and Haunted History of Central Massachusetts is available in both paperback and Kindle, and gravity is pulling cars uphill instead of down! Good stuff!
Oh, what’s that last part? Damn. I was hoping you were going to ask about the book I wrote that was published by Weird Darkness Publishing instead. Whatever, that’s fine. It’s not like we put a ton of work into it or that you can find it on Amazon or through WeirdDarkness.com or that it's super fun and guaranteed to make you more attractive or anything. Yeah, let’s talk about the other thing instead.
So, yeah, there’s a hill in Greenfield that makes cars roll uphill when they’re just sitting there in neutral! It’s a whole lot of fun and there’s a video later, but first, let’s talk about the fact that you’ve heard about this sort of thing before. Here are some famous examples of this very same phenomenon!
Gravity and Magnetic Hills Abound
Lake Wales, Florida
One of the best-known gravity or magnetic hills you can hear about is called Spook Hill in Florida. There are a few different stories, but the locals take it very seriously and one of them is printed on a giant sign.
The other story is that “after years of pillaging and plundering on the high seas, two pirates, Teniente Vanilla and Captain Gimme Sarsaparilla decided to retire to Lake Wales. When Vanilla died, he was buried at the foot of Spook Hill and Captain Sarsaparilla ended up at the bottom of the pond, bearing the name Lake Wales.”
And then, “Centuries later, a man parked his car at the bottom of Spook Hill so he could go fishing. As he headed toward the lake he glanced back at his vehicle, and it was traveling backward uphill even though he did not leave the motor running. As the story goes, the man cried out, ‘Dem’s spooks’ before he fainted. That’s how Spook Hill acquired its name.”
Yeah, you read that right, by the way. The pirate’s name was Gimme Sarsaparilla. I’m not sure I can attest for the accuracy of this version!
Then there’s Gravity Hill in Prosser, Washington. This one is cool for two reasons. One is that it has a sweet “START” line so you know where it is!
The second is that it has one of the more common folklore elements attached to it. That’s the story where, if you dust the back of your car with flour after you get pushed up the hill, you’ll see child-sized hand prints. According to their flavor of the legend, “the nearby gray barn at the crest of the hill is haunted by several young girls who met a brutal end, and it is their hand prints you see on the back of cars.”
Then there’s a Gravity Hill in the made-up country of Scotland. There’s a place called Electric Brae in Ayrshire where, if you park at the bottom of the hill, well, you can guess what happens. The supposed reason for this one is either a chain of magnets buried under the road or witches. You can decide which explanation is right for you.
Trust me when I say that I could keep going. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of these locations around the world. In fact, just take a look at the Wikipedia page dedicated to them!
Did you know there’s a place called Salalah in Oman? Did you know there was an Oman? Well, there’s a Gravity Hill there, too!
So that brings us to Greenfield, Massachusetts. The area was originally settled by Whitey in 1686 but its history goes back much farther than that. In fact, Native American artifacts from the area have been dated all the hell the way back to 9,000 BCE!
Do you realize how old that is!? The Pyramids of Giza started being built in 2550 BCE! Those pyramids were ancient when the Roman Empire was new! Hell, civilization didn’t even really start until 4,000 BCE! No one even thought about building a house in the Americas until 1200 BCE!
|That's even older than Bigfoot, who you can coincidentally get on this sweet T-shirt!|
So, when someone tells you that something is ancient, you have the right to scoff right in their stupid face and point to Greenfield! THAT’S what old looks like!
The name of those Native Americans who were Greenfield before Greenfield was cool was Pocumtuck. This group planted crops and fished in the river and basically just chillaxed.
|Pictured: Prime Chillaxing Real Estate.|
That was only until the English showed up in the 1600s. There are two variations on the story of why the Pocumtuck disappeared.
One is that the Mohawk came to town and wiped them out. That’s a possibility because the Mohawk walked right on through the area on the reg.
They used a trail through Greenfield to walk in from the New York State area and trade with the New England Natives. They used the trail so often that it’s still around. It's called the Mohawk Trail and its history is fascinating. You can learn all about it with that link and you really should! It's also most of Route 2 in Western Massachusetts.
The other possibility is that the Pocumtuck hooked up with Metacomet and the Wampanoag to put the hurt on the White Man during King Philip’s War. We’ve talked about that whole thing at length, so you really have no excuse not to be an expert at this point. If you want to fill in your knowledge gaps, please feel free!
Anyway, the one hard fact is that the tribe played a big part in the Battle of Great Falls in 1676. The result was a whole, damn lot of them fleeing and becoming part of the Abenaki and Mahican Tribes.
That left the area Greenfield uninhabited and ready for those filthy colonists to come in and make it part of Deerfield! Then, almost a hundred years later in 1753, it took its name from the Green River and broke off from Deerfield to become Greenfield. Even more then, a few hundred years after that, someone with a broken spinal cord would sit at a computer and type those words about that same land that’s been inhabited since mastodons still roamed the Earth. History is fun!
Gravity Hill, Greenfield
Okay, so that’s the vast history of the town but we’re here for the mystery! Some people call it Magnetic Hill and some call it Gravity Hill. What doesn’t change is the place itself.
|Strange things are also afoot at the Circle K.|
It’s right on Shelburne Road and all you have to do is find the spot going east, right under Mohawk Trail Rd. Yes, the same Mohawk Trail as before, only now it’s a bridge. You can get there by taking exit 26 off I-91, going west on Route 2, and taking a right onto Colrain Rd. From there, take a left onto Shelburne Rd, go under the Mohawk bridge, bang one of them U-turns, and you’re there. Now it’s just a matter of putting your ride into neutral and waiting for the magic to happen!
Just keep in mind that this is a public road and you’re going to be sitting in the middle of it, in neutral, like a jackass. Definitely don’t do it when there’s any traffic around. Luckily, if you go late enough at night, it’s pretty deserted, so you should be okay. That’s exactly what we did.
|This is a pretty good landmark to seek out.|
Yes, we rolled up a hill, so you don’t have to! Just because I like you, I turned it into a whole-ass video for you to enjoy!
It’s the real outcome of sitting at the bottom of the hill in neutral and you might be surprised at the results. You also might not be surprised, so I made it funny!
That makes this a great time to follow the YouTube channel for more videos like it. If you don't, whatevs. You still get to watch it. Just try to like it. Here we go!
So, there you have it! Gravity Hill is an actual thing that actually works! Now the question is why!
It’s not difficult to find out how these Gravity Hills work. What’s unexpected is just how much they mess with your mind. I was convinced that something with momentum was going on.
If you look at the hill from the starting point, it kind of makes you think that you’re going to downhill just a little bit then uphill. I really believed we were simply going downhill and picking up momentum that brought us up and over the crest.
That’s not the case, though. The car, even though it really looked like it was going uphill, was simply going downhill the entire time.
I brought a sawdust covered level to check the whole thing out, just to be as scientifical as possible about the whole thing. Here it is at the top of the “hill.”
Now here it is on the bottom of that “hill.”
Yup, drink it in with your eyes! The whole Gravity Hill, or Magnet Hill, or however you think of it, is a total down slope!
Check it out!
So that’s what it’s all about! It’s a road that makes you think you’re going uphill and messes with your brain to give you an experience that you don’t have every day!
You should really check it out for yourself. It’s a lot of fun to put your car into neutral and just sit there while it falls uphill. In fact, bring some friends and make a night of it!
Just make sure you’re not blocking traffic and you’ll be good. It’s out of the way and you’re just having some good, clean, mind altering fun and you don’t have to pay those big city illicit drug prices!
While I have you here, how about getting your very own Ouija Board, made by me! They help support the site and you'll never find a higher quality, handmade board anywhere!
|Get it customized, too!|