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Suburban Legends - Roadside Assistance [Excerpt]

Suburban Legends - Roadside Assistance [Excerpt]

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Published by QuirkBooks
A gaggle of ghostly children proves it’s always unwise to get caught on the wrong side of the tracks.

An excerpt from Suburban Legends by Sam Stall, now available via Quirk Books. http://quirkbooks.com/book/suburban-legends
A gaggle of ghostly children proves it’s always unwise to get caught on the wrong side of the tracks.

An excerpt from Suburban Legends by Sam Stall, now available via Quirk Books. http://quirkbooks.com/book/suburban-legends

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Categories:Book Excerpts
Published by: QuirkBooks on Oct 02, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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04/13/2014

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Next to tales of ghostly hitchhikers, one of the most widely circu-lated supernatural stories concerns a group of schoolchildren who,“many years ago,” were killed when a train collided with theirschool bus, which was stalled on a section of railroad track. Theevent is supposedly commemorated in a nearby subdivision, whichwas allegedly built at about the same time as the accident. Thestreets are all named after the dead kids.And now, the story goes, if you park your car on the trackswhere it happened and put the car in neutral, a pack of invisibletots will push the vehicle out of danger. Even more creepy, if youdust the back of the car with talcum powder, after you roll off therails you’ll be able to see ghostly handprints on the trunk.The story seems as implausible as it is entertaining. Whatmakes it even more astounding is that it contains a grain—a very small grain—of truth. It turns out the original mother of allchild-haunted railroad crossings is set on the southern edge of SanAntonio, near a tiny suburban neighborhood where the streets do
Roadside Assistance 
Agaggleofghostlychildrenprovesit’salwaysun-wisetogetcaughtonthewrongsideofthetracks.
 
indeed bear names such as Nancy Carole Way, Cindy Sue Way,Laura Lee Way, and Shane Road. Head west on Shane, and you’ll very quickly hit a rail line.
The
rail line.If you pull up to the eastern side and look across the tracks, itseems as if the road ahead slopes gently uphill. Which makes whatcomes next even more disturbing. Throw the car into neutraland it will roll eerily forward, over the tracks, and back onto theroad. And if you conduct the talcum powder test, there’s a decent
chance you may nd prints on your trunk at the end of the adven
-ture.Not surprisingly, this railroad crossing is an extremely popularspot with teenagers—particularly around Halloween, when linesof cars wait patiently for a chance to roll across the tracks. Indeed,one wonders if the ghost kids ever get tired. One also wonders,
given the stupidity and inherent danger of goong around on rail
-road tracks for any reason, whether the toiling tots haven’t been joined over the decades by a few unobservant thrill seekers. Onewould think those invisible, car-pushing grade schoolers wouldserve as a warning.Sadly for ghost lovers, there’s a logical explanation for almostall of this. A few years ago a San Antonio TV station hired sur- veyors to examine the road. They found that in spite of appear-
ances (or a common misperception), the grade slopes downhill
rather than up. So a car placed in neutral could roll over thetracks from east to west naturally, without any ghostly assistance.Even more telling, extensive research turned up no record of aschool bus crash at that spot.There’s even a perfectly reasonable, perfectly boring explana-tion for the handprints. When would-be ghost hunters spray theirtrunks with talc, the material is soaked up by oil from any hand-prints that might be there already, casting them into sharp relief.

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