Florida Myths and Legends

I was reading the VisitFlorida.com publication “Florida Insider” over the weekend and I came across an unusual article written by Idoia Gorosabel Gkikas on “Florida Myths and Legends“.

The article touched on some of the bizarre myths and haunting legends that surround the great state of Florida. Legends such as the Florida Skunk Ape. Apparently there are between seven and nine in existence and you’re most likely to find one in the Big Cypress National Preserve area of the Everglades… don’t worry too much about bumping into one though…you’re likely to smell one first!

If you’re into the supernatural then head to Monticello. This is the place without a single stoplight and in 2003 ABC named Monticello “The South’s Most Haunted Small Town” because of places like The Palmer House and The Monticello Opera House.  The Palmer House is said to be haunted by Dr. Dabne Palmer, a mortician and a physician who can be seen hanging around his old office while the Opera House is said to be haunted by its founder John Perkins. And… if you’re looking for a place to sleep, try John Denham House Bed and Breakfast which was voted by USA Today as one of the “Top 10 Places to Sleep with a Ghost”.

Spook Hill, near Lake Wales, is another interesting place to visit as according to legend, a ferocious gator terrorized the residents until the village chief killed the beast in an epic battle. Many years later, carriage drivers named it “Spook Hill” when they noticed their horses struggling to go downhill while today, motorists claim that their vehicles coast uphill when in neutral.

So, now you know, Florida isn’t all about the sun, the sea and the theme parks…

3 Responses to Florida Myths and Legends

  1. The Skunk Ape Research Headquarters in Sopchoppy is one place I’d really like to visit. When writing that story, I spoke to the founder and owner and he is the most ardent believer in the Skunk Ape. Very knowledgeable on the subject, as he has dedicated most of his life to studying the creature.

    It was difficult to hone in on just a few myths and legends of the Sunshine State. For instance, it was almost criminal to overlook Cassadaga, the town of psychic mediums near Orlando, or the Koreshan State Historic Site in Estero — the site of an abandoned cult that believed the universe was contained in a hollow sphere and the Sun and moon were mere reflections within that concavity.

    Florida is just brimming with oddities!

    Thank you for the mention and credit, by the way 🙂

    April 27, 2010 at 9:55 am

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  3. It was a great article Idoia and I know space requirements probably meant you left out a lot more… feel free to tell us more about the other things you discovered…

    April 27, 2010 at 11:19 am

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