The more I learn about Pasadena, the more I'm convinced it's secretly just the set of an Eerie Indiana-type TV show. There is, quite simply, a gobsmacking amount of vaguely spooky shit going on up there.
There's the infamous Suicide Bridge, which is actually quite fun to go strolling on (and judging by the name, even more fun to go jumping off.) Suicide Bridge is apparently right down the street from an abandoned insane asylum, which probably came in very handy when Reagan decided to let all the mental patients loose on the streets in the 80s. There's the ruins of the White City Resort perched in the mountains above, its tennis courts scorched by fire, swimming pool now a cauldron of dirt and dead leaves. There's the Haunted Forest below, with its secret trails leading to claustrophobic tunnels and caves. (A hiker made a video of his Haunted Forest exploration, complete with helpful tips like "Do not go into this cave on your left; a man lives in there and he does not like to be disturbed."
My favorite amongst these eerie treasures is the Gravity Hill. Situated on a winding mountain street in Altadena, it's a section of road wherein a driver can put their car in neutral and then start traveling "up" the hill. Science tells us it's just an optical illusion, but I prefer to approach this with a "teach the controversy" mindframe and say that the forces pushing your car up that hill could just as easily be the ghosts of children killed in a spectacular schoolbus accident. (Science, after all, is just its own form of faith.)
Remember in high school, when you'd first gotten your drivers license, and your heart would flood with giddiness just at the prospect of going aimlessly exploring in your car? Gravity Hill will take you back to that space in your mind, free of charge.*
*The ghost-kids may request a 10% tip for pushing your car up the hill.
- WHAT: Pasadena's Gravity Hill
- WHERE: Directions are here
- WHEN: The neighborhood frowns on loitering, but do your thing
- $$$: Free