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The Legend of Spook Hill

By: Peyten Palo

Lake Wales is known for its citrus groves, charming downtown, and iconic Singing Tower; however, the “Crown Jewel of the Ridge” also has an eerie side….it’s called Spook Hill.

Get Your Chills on at Spook Hill!

What would you say if I told you your car could defy gravity, and roll up hill all by itself? Well, it can at Spook Hill! Spook Hill in Lake Wales, Florida is a magnetic hill or “gravity hill.” Gravity hills can be found all over the world, and continue to spur folklore and curiosity as cars appear to roll up hill when placed in neutral. Not only is it one of the country’s oldest known gravity hills, it is also the only known magnetic hill in the state of Florida. In April of 2019, Spook Hill was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

The Legend

Legend has it that a Native American tribe in the area was being harassed by a giant alligator. They sent their warrior chief to fend off the beast. Following his brave battle to the death, the chief was buried on the north side of the hill. Years later, pioneers hauling goods from the army trail, noticed that their horses strained at the foot of the ridge, even though it appeared to be going downhill. This eerie occurrence is why they started to call this area Spook Hill.

Is the warrior chief and the alligator continuing their battle in the afterlife? Or is it a mere optical illusion? The only way to know for sure is to try it for yourself!

Visiting Lake Wales

This unique, fun and free activity is a perfect addition to your next visit to Bok Tower Gardens and the Lake Wales History Museum. Whether it’s otherworldly forces at work, or an optical illusion – Spook Hill is a fun activity I know you’ll be dying to try on your next visit to Lake Wales!

Looking for more spooky ideas in Central Florida? Check out our Fall and Halloween events blog, Things To Do Section or follow us on Instagram.

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