The Legend of The Haunted Railroad Tracks in Texas

Haunted Railroad
The haunted railroad tracks in San Antonio, Texas. Andy and Debi Chesney

Just south of San Antonio, Texas, in an unremarkable neighborhood not far from the San Juan Mission, is an intersection of roadway and the railroad track that has become famous in the catalog of American ghost lore. The intersection was the site of a tragic accident in which several school-aged children were killed. But according to locals, their ghosts linger at the spot. And ghost hunters from all over the country come to this section of railroad track to witness firsthand the paranormal phenomena they've heard takes place there.

The Legend of the Haunted Railroad Tracks

Back in the 1930s or 1940s, a school bus full of children was making its way down the road and toward the intersection when it stalled on the railroad tracks. A speeding train smashed into the bus, killing ten of the children and the bus driver. Since that dreadful accident many years ago, any car stopped near the railroad tracks will be pushed by unseen hands across the tracks to safety. According to believers, it is the children who push the cars across the tracks to prevent a tragedy and fate like their own.

Even today, cars line up at the haunted intersection to see if the legend is true. The driver stops the cars some 20 to 30 yards from the tracks and puts the car in neutral gear. Some even turn off their engines. And sure enough, even though it appears that the road is on an upward grade, the car begins to roll. It rolls slowly first, then steadily gaining speed — seemingly of its own accord and against gravity — up and over the tracks. This has been tested time and time again, and cars do roll up and over the tracks — every time.

But that's not all. The second half of this legend is that if a light powder — like talcum or baby powder — is sprinkled over the car's trunk and rear bumper, tiny fingerprints and handprints will appear — the prints of the ghost children pushing the car. Many who have tried it swear that indeed they can see the evidence of small children's handprints in the powder.

The Facts

Several investigations into the legend have come up empty-handed when it comes to documentation of the accident. A precise date has never been determined. There seem to be no records or archived newspaper articles about such a tragic accident. A San Antonio police officer, who regularly patrolled that district and had heard the ghost story, researched police records for such an accident and found nothing.

So what about the gravity-defying cars? Investigators have found that it may be an optical illusion. While the road looks like an uphill slope, it declines very slightly. A car in neutral will naturally roll downhill.

Other Weird Events

Whether there ever was an accident involving children on a school bus at this spot is open to serious question. Nevertheless, many people report other strange phenomena taking place there, such as recording unexplained voices, heartbeat or sighting of figures. Others report having strange car issues right at the spot of the train tracks.

Ghostly Photo

Another person allegedly captured a photo of a young child near the tracks. It shows a small girl holding a teddy bear. Take a look at some enlargements and enhancements of the image. What do you think?

Whether the legend of the haunted railroad crossing is true or not, is there an explanation for the strange phenomena reported by the many visitors to the spot? Could it be that the expectations of all these people produce a kind of energy that results in the paranormal activity?