The Urban Legend Of The Haunted Railroad Crossing In Texas
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The Urban Legend Of The Haunted Railroad Crossing In Texas

An urban legend of the story of a haunted railroad crossing in Texas has been circulating for years. It has been on TV documentaries and was even the cornerstone for a movie. The legend states that a school bus full of children were killed in the 1950’s while crossing the railroad tracks. The problem is that no such occurrence ever happened in Texas.

There is a railroad crossing located just south of San Antonio that is claimed to be home to supernatural powers. It is said that if you stop on the tracks and put your car in neutral, your car will roll off the tracks even though the road faces uphill. The story suggests that the ghosts of children that were killed at this crossing will push your car to safety. There have been many documented cases of this happening and video footage of the cars moving has been shown on TV. If there is video proof of this being real, then how can the story be false?

The story of the school bus being hit by a train is true, it just didn’t happen in Texas.  On Dec 1, 1938 in Salt Lake City, Utah, a school bus loaded with children made its way to Jordan High School. There was quite a bit of snow on this day but the bus driver knew the road by heart. The school bus came upon a railroad crossing but the bus driver knew the train schedule and the train was not due for another hour. Unfortunately the train was behind schedule and was trying to make up lost time. The train was traveling 60 mph when it struck the bus broadside.

The impact of the crash split the bus in half and sent children flying through the air. The front of the bus was pushed almost ½ mile down the tracks. The bus driver and 23 children were killed on impact. Two more children died later from their wounds. It became the deadliest traffic accident in U.S. history.

As a result of the crash, almost every state in the nation passed new laws regarding school buses crossing railroad tracks. School buses were now required to stop, open the door, and listen for trains. Even though this tragedy occurred over 70 years ago, these laws are still in effect.

Why this tragedy became a Texas legend is not completely clear. The San Antonio newspaper ran the story for several days and it became ingrained in the minds of the locals. It is possible that they would use the story to fool the tourists. The Texas railroad crossing has an optical illusion that tricks many people. The railroad crossing looks to be uphill when it is in fact going downhill. Cars will roll off the tracks by virtue of gravity.

The urban legend also states that if you put powder on the back of your car after it rolls off the railroad tracks, you will see hand prints of the children who pushed your car. Many people have sworn that they have seen this with their own eyes.  This is one of the biggest lies of the story. This tragedy never happened in Texas so the children would not be there to push your car. Also, the children who were killed were ages 14-18 and not ages 8-10 as the legend states.

The Texas urban legend of the haunted railroad crossing is a great story but is simply not true. It is a story created by the locals to keep the tourists coming back again and again.

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