Hey, everyone. I’m happy to report my missing muse has reappeared. I wrote a bit on my WIP this weekend and sent three chapters to my critique partners.
I’m still behind in scheduling blog posts. In particular, research for Mystery Mondays has been lacking. I became aware of this week’s tale several years ago and had wanted to write about it for a while.
However, when doing research, I found the legend has been debunked. So maybe it’s not much of a mystery, but I’ll leave you to decide.
Imagine you drive up to a railroad crossing. Before driving across the rails, you stop, kill the engine, put it in neutral, and wait.
But you don’t stay still for long. Within a few seconds, your car begins to move uphill over the tracks and comes to a stop around a curve in the road.
You might think this is a far-fetched tale, but this apparently happens at a railroad crossing south of San Antonio. Even skeptics have tried it. Some had the foresight to dust the trunk or bumper with baby powder and many have seen fingerprints or handprints afterward.
The Children of the Tracks Legend first became popular sometime in the early 1970s. The story goes that sometime in the 1930s, a school bus stalled on the tracks and was hit by a train. Several children died. Many believe it is the ghosts of those children the “push” cars over the tracks to safety.
This mystery, like many, has been featured on several television shows, including Unsolved Mysteries and Sightings. Articles have appeared in numerous Texas magazines.
However, there is no documentation of any such bus crash occurring. One would think a catastrophic event like this would be recorded somewhere. It’s also important to note that although the tracks appear to be uphill, they are downhill. The appearance of handprints could have already been present on cars.
But some swear cars move on their own. In one article I read, a resident of Seguin, Texas claimed his 1968 Firebird was “pushed” over the tracks. This person had a new parakeet in the car. He claimed the bird chirped up until the vehicle began moving on its own, then grew quiet until they were on the other side of the tracks.
There are many similar stories. Whether myth or real, the phenomenon may not occur any more. In late 2018, the Union Pacific Railroad began installing two miles of side tracks in this area—including at the “Ghost Crossing.”
Whatever the case, this makes good fodder for fiction. Next week, I’ll endeavor to have something more mysterious.
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