Local Legends: Gravity Roads in New Jersey

When you’re looking for an interesting local legend in New Jersey, perhaps the Gravity Roads of the state is something to pique your interest. In this article, you will learn what is so special about these roadways.

There is a phenomenon throughout New Jersey that is usually referred to as a ‘Gravity Road’ or ‘Gravity Hill.’ According to various legends, when traveling down these roads, you may encounter gravity-defying results.

Gravity Road , Franklin Lake

The intersection found at the Ewing Street exit off Route 208 in Franklin Lakes is the site of a local legend centered on Gravity Road. The State of New Jersey prohibits any vehicle from backing up on an off-ramp and tickets are given to any car that tries to explore the validity to the Gravity Road legend.

The legend states that a young woman was killed at the bottom of the exit ramp will try to push you backwards up the road if you are stopped at the stop sign. Supposedly, this is the doing of the woman who lost her life (the ghost). Some say that you can put flour or baby powder on your front bumper to capture the ghostly handprints of the woman.

However, the phenomenon is often dismissed as an optical illusion because while the road seems to have a downward slope, it actually isn’t. The contours of the embankments are what are to blame for the misconception. Yet, some people have experienced the motion of rolling backwards uphill.

Gravity Road in Titusville

If you’re in the Delaware-Raritan Canal region, Route 29 will take you between Trenton and Lambertville, where you will encounter the Titusville Gravity Road. Once you reach off Route 29, you will happen upon Pleasant Valley Road, which is known for producing an odd uplifting phenomenon. Sometimes, the locals will indicate a ‘starting point’ to experience the strangeness that takes place on the road. However, the rural country road also has a small sign on the left referring to the road’s interesting properties.

It is said that if you stop your car on either side of the road, your vehicle will feel as if it is being pulled forward or backward uphill. In addition to the local legend, people also tell a tale of a farmer and his family. After visiting neighbors, the farmer returned home to find his family trapped inside their house, which had caught on fire. With lantern in hand, he saw a group of people sitting in a carriage watching the home burn. He asked for help, but in the end, he and his family died in the fire.

Locals say that it is the ghost of the farmer that is behind the force that is pushing or pulling your car away from the spot where the fire occurred. It is believed that the ghost doesn’t like cars stopping in front of his property. Some claim to have seen “ghost lights,” which is said to be the apparition signaling you with his lantern , asking for help saving his family.

In New Jersey, other gravity roadways include Gravity Hill in Jackson and “Magnetic Hill” in Morristown.