The Legend of Spook Hill
Gravity-defying, Spook Hill, is one of Florida’s most unique roadside America attractions.. Centrally
located in Lake Wales, Florida, Spook Hill‘s unique history has been recorded from eye-witness
accounts spanning multiple generations.
Many things have changed through the years . . but this legend stands the test of time..
This is the story of the battle between the legendary Seminole Chief Cufcowellax, and a man-eating
alligator. When the Seminole tribe broke from the Cherokee nation, they settled in central Florida.
The chief was the leader of several villages surrounding the body of water we now call Lake Wailes.
This site was chosen due to its close proximity to Iron Mountain, the highest point in peninsular
Florida, believed to be sacred to the Seminole’s Sun God. The tribes were victims of nightly attacks
by a beastly alligator. Eye-witness reports state that the bull-gator was over 17 feet long. Men,
women, and even children, were plagued by the evil spirit that inhabited their lake. The tribe lived in
The Chief’s heart was heavy because he had great respect for all animals great and small. Until now,
he had only killed for food, but this battle was to save his people from certain death. He knew what
he had to do. Spookhill is where Chief Cufcowellax and the man-eating alligator fought their final
The Chief, being of great physical prowess, was a fearless warrior, and leader of his people. After
the Chief was placed under the protection of the Great Spirit, by his tribal shaman and elders, he set
out to conquer the evil gator that had been terrorizing his tribe.
The final battle lasted for several moons. The legend states that as the Chief wrestled the gator, he
called upon the mighty Forces of Nature to assist him, and miraculously the chief pulled the
monster down into the lake. The lake turned red with blood.
With fearful anticipation, the tribe watched the surface of the lake. Sounds of celebration rang out
as the triumphant Chief rose from the lake of blood. The tribe also noticed something strange. The
mighty battle had caused a second, smaller lake to appear, near the big one. Some say the smaller
lake, Ticowa, was created when the Chief gathered the forces of Nature during his battle with the
bull-gator. Years later, when Chief Cufcowellax died, he was buried on the shore of this site, which
is sacred to the Seminole people.
The gravity-defying legend began when pioneers first settled Lake Wales. They noticed something
mysterious about the hill itself. Circuit riders, carrying mail from one Florida coast to the other,
used the old trail around the lake until they discovered their horses were laboring downhill. As time
went on, the citrus industry grew and orange groves covered the hillside. Citrus workers driving
their wagons around the lake were startled to discover their mules were struggling as they pulled
their loads downhill. In later days, when transportation became modernized, a black fisherman who
was also a well-known merchant parked his truck on the hill, and was terrified to find the truck
moving backwards and uphill on its own. He attributed the phenomenon to the action of “Spooks”
and vowed never to return to the haunted hillside. The area became known as Spook Hill, as the
reporting of paranormal events continued to spread like wildfire.
It seems that a shift in the earth’s gravitational field. has occurred at this historic site. The belief is
that it originated when the Forces of Nature were evoked by the Great Chief during the final battle
to defeat the evil gator.
Each year, visitors from far and wide, are drawn to this unique roadside attraction. Come to Spook
Hill, park your vehicle on the marked, white line, place your car in neutral, and be amazed as your
car rolls uphill and backward! Defy gravity and experience the legend of Spook Hill.
“Spook Hill”, Lake Wales, Roadside America, Florida attractions, “gravity hill”, Legoland, “Disney area attractions”, monuments, “Polk County”