I remember first hearing stories of Spook Hill, located somewhere in Somerset West, over 15 years ago. Details varied from one anecdote to the next, but the rumour had it, that left in neutral, your car would start rolling up the hill instead of down.
Some claim the phenomenon to be a gravitational anomaly, most say it’s just an optical illusion.
I have always hoped to visit the place myself some day to experience the alleged mystery firsthand. Yet, driving around Somerset west blindly looking for a nondescript hill has never quite made it to the top of my priority list… until today!
Tamara and I happened to find ourselves at our cousin Lea’s birthday party high up in the leafy hills of Somerset West this morning and suddenly the story of Spook Hill occurred to me. The perfect opportunity to look for it had finally arisen.
A bit of Googling and we managed to pinpoint the location, just a couple of streets away. After the party we set off on our search and managed to rope Nadia and Tanee into joining us, but when we got to Spook Hill it looked and behaved like any ordinary slope. Nadia and Tanee soon turned homeward disappointed. I was determined to discover the root of the rumours, so Tamara and I kept driving further up the road.
Here’s what we found: (Video)
It was only once we reached a No Entry sign at the top of the road and were forced to turn back that we saw it: the gradual downward slope of the road drops suddenly into a steeper decline, creating the illusion of a rise ahead. Add to that the low-lying area on the right with a few barely visible rooftops, and it starts forming a pretty convincing “uphill”. Hardened sceptics may have to apply a little imagination ;)
So today, after 15 years, I finally managed to discover the mystery of Spook Hill.