Experience Spook Hill in Lake Wales

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Spook Hill | Photo by @redjupiter

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places is a topographical optical illusion called Spook Hill.

The story goes that many ages ago, there was an Native American village in Lake Wales that was plagued by sudden attacks of a giant alligator. The chief killed the alligator and in the midst of the battle, a small lake was created. The chief was eventually buried on the north side of the lake.

Later on, pioneer mail riders discovered that their horses were laboring downhill, thus resulting in the name “Spook Hill.” When the road was eventually paved, cars were pushed uphill.

And so the question remains: Is the gator seeking revenge or is the chief protecting his land?

If you drive over to Spook Hill (on the east side of N. Wales Drive/5th St.), you’ll be able to experience it for yourself. There’s a sign marking the starting point with the following instructions: “Stop on the white line, take your car out of gear, and let it roll back.” The result? Cars appear to roll up rather than down the hill.

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