Indian Legend Adds "Spook" to Phenomenon
This isn’t your typical pay-at-the-gate attraction. In fact, there is no admission charge — it’s free! Some might not even call it an attraction, but don’t say that to the locals of Lake Wales, Florida. Spook Hill is proudly recognized by the town.
The "thrill" of the attraction is your vehicle seems to coast uphill. Is it a weird phenomenon, optical illusion or the unrest of spooky spirits? Well, the legend is that it’s spooky spirits.
History of the Legend
After the Seminoles left the Cherokee nation, they settled in Central Florida. One legendary chief, Cufcowellax, settled on the lake which is now known as Lake Wales. It was close to Iron Mountain, which as the highest point in Florida, was sacred to the Indians’ Sun God.
After several years living in peace, a bull alligator began harassing the tribe and soon began nightly raids on the village, causing fear among the tribe.
The brave chief set out to conquer the evil spirt. When he did, the tribe noticed a small lake had formed near the big one. They named it Lake Ticowa.
Eventually, the Indians lost their camping grounds to the encroaching white settlers. Circuit riders carrying mail between the coasts used the old trial around Lake Ticowa until they noticed their horses laboring downhill. It was those circuit riders that first called the place Spook Hill.
As the area developed and the citrus industry crew, the hills around Lake Ticowa were covered with citrus groves. As workers would drive their wagons around the lake, they would find their mule teams struggling downhill with a load.
The road was paved years later and residents found their cars would roll uphill by themselves. Word spread and others came to test this phenomenon. Soon it became a major attraction for visitors.
A gravity hill, also known as a magnetic hill (and sometimes a mystery hill or a gravity road), is a place where the layout of the surrounding land produces the optical illusion that a very slight downhill slope appears to be an uphill slope.