Chalk Hill is a humble little road of blue collar homes, trucking terminals and warehouses. It crosses Interstate 30 in West Dallas, and it backs up to Lowe’s.
Chalk Hill Road has come up a lot lately in discussion of the planned Chalk Hill Trail. And it came up about a month ago when I posted the above photo of the Eagle Ford School, which is famous as the elementary school where Bonnie Parker was a student. I snapped that pic on my West Dallas bike route; I ride up Chalk Hill Road about once a week. Aside from your typical knucklehead driver now and then, it’s never given me any problems.
But every time Chalk Hill Road comes up — every time — I am admonished to stay away.
Chalk Hill Road, they say, is haunted.
An Advocate reader twice has advised avoiding Chalk Hill: “It’s known as dead man’s road,” he says.
One Oak Cliff native told me the old school was known for devil worshipers, an urban legend (or is it?) that I’ve been able to corroborate at every turn.
A friend who I respect and admire told me a story about driving on the road as a teenager in the mid 1990s. Her car died right in front of the old “devil worshiper” school. Just as she and her friend got the car started again, the hood flipped up on its own. Clear and compelling evidence of the power of Satan, or haunting or something, right?
Rosemary Cortez, who attended kindergarten at Eagle Ford School the year before it closed, told me at the Chalk Hill Trail meeting last week that the school has a basement, and that’s where the bathrooms and water fountain were. She grew up on Chalk Hill Road and has always heard the school was haunted.
Chalk Hill Road is part of the old Cement City, where dust and fumes from three big cement factories were part of every day life for generations. It is part of what city leaders in the 1960s were referring to as the “Dallas West slums.”
The narrow Chalk Hill Road crosses railroad tracks, and it meets West Davis just where car traffic begins to descend a steep hill. Over the years it has seen many fatal car accidents. A man’s truck was hit by a five-car Amtrak train in 1977 and pushed almost 2,000 feet. In 1950, a 22-year-old woman was crushed to death on Chalk Hill Road while trying to push her stalled car uphill.
Dead bodies have been found there. In the 1960s, police found a shotgun victim off Chalk Hill Road; they estimated the man had been dead at least a month. Motorists found a suspected drug dealer who had been shot to death on Chalk Hill Road early one morning in 1991.
Those are just a few examples. So, yeah, OK. There have been some dead people on Chalk Hill Road.
But is it haunted? Should we say a prayer and carry rosary beads over there?
Tell us your story about Chalk Hill Road in the comments.