I recently started a fun little project of visiting some of New Jersey’s creepy urban legend type places. The kind you read about on Weird NJ. My first was the infamous Devil’s Tree in Bernards Township, which you can read about here.

Jeff Deminski photo
Jeff Deminski photo
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My next stop was the hill that allegedly defies gravity along a haunted (allegedly) road in Jackson. I always wanted to try one of these knowing full well it has to be an optical illusion. Sunday, I finally made the journey.

Traveling on North New Prospect Road in Jackson you come to a stop sign at a T intersection. You first see the stop sign from the top of a hill and from there driving forward you’re certainly mostly going downhill. Meaning if you were to go backwards from that stop sign it would have to be uphill.

Or would it?

Now before the videos I took of what happened, the background on this according to Weird NJ…

At this hill if you turn right and go about 5 houses down, you will see a house that was a living nightmare for a little girl. A girl and her father lived alone at this house, and rented a room to a stranger that they did not know. One day the girl came home from school and the stranger took her downstairs to the basement and tortured her until the father came home from work. When the father heard noises in the basement, he went down to see what it was. He was brutally murdered by the stranger. Legend has it that when you are at this hill, the father is trying to protect his daughter from any harm, pulling you as far as he can from the house.

That’s just one version. There are others.

So I tried it out for myself and this is what happened.

OK, so did I leave it at that? No. Of course, I turned around and went back for a round two.

There’s nothing to it. The optical illusion is as you’re coming down the hill towards the stop sign, that downhill stretch is steeper than the slight uphill just before the stop sign so that you don’t notice the uphill.

When you put it in neutral and take your four off the brake, you’re only rolling back downhill between 100 to 150 feet or so.

But that’s when you hit the actual uphill and that’s exactly when your car will stop rolling. Just as the laws of physics would have it. This was so obvious to me, I had to wonder how this became an urban legend in the first place.

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