As sunny as Florida may be, there’s a lot of darkness lurking around the state. With so much history, especially during the Civil War era, the state is the eternal home of many ghosts. While some of these will hardly harm you, many will go to lengths to suppress your breath.
And the latter type are where you least expect them to be – at the best Florida state parks and national parks.
The following is a list of the most haunted across the state. But be forewarned – only venture there if you’re not afraid of losing your life while pursuing the dead.
9 Florida State Parks That Possess Terrifying Ghostly Activity
Table of Contents
- 9) Dry Tortugas National Park – Key West
- 8) Koreshan State Historic Site – Estero
- 7) Jonathan Dickinson State Park – Hobe Sound
- 6) Blackwater River State Park – Holt
- 5) Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park – Key West
- 4) Everglades National Park - Everglades City
- 3) Camp Helen State Park – Panama City Beach
- 2) Yellow Bluff Fort Historic State Park – Jacksonville
- 1) Addison Blockhouse Historic State Park – Ormond Beach
9) Dry Tortugas National Park – Key West
Located in the Gulf of Mexico, this national park also houses a Civil War landmark: Fort Jefferson. Many of the 1,729 soldiers in the fort either died in battle or during the yellow fever epidemic. That’s why visitors see soldiers charging at them on the grounds, or hear cries and moans inside the fort.
One entity you should definitely beware of is Dr. Samuel Mudd. If you see this man coming your way, be prepared to be pushed roughly outside. As Mudd isn’t bound by the fort, he’ll chase his victims until they leave the park.
And, in case you’re wondering, no one has tried standing their ground to see what he’d do. They probably had a reason to not act brave. So, follow their lead and LEAVE!
8) Koreshan State Historic Site – Estero
Step into this state park and you’re bound to see or even feel the cold, chilling presence of Cyrus Teed.
Teed was the messiah of a new religion he founded back in Chicago. But he didn’t resurrect after his death in 1908. His followers kept vigil for a few days until they were ordered by the county to bury his decaying corpse. Till this day, they’re loyal to their leader, appearing by his side even after death.
The Koreshans, however, are far from harmless. Many campers complained about “strong winds” that blew their tents down on windless nights. Visitors to Koreshan State Park’s historic buildings have felt freezing hands encircle their necks or seen light orbs hurl in their direction.
Especially beware of the bakery building. According to one of the rangers, a little girl got poisoned and died there in the early 1900s. Since then, many visitors (especially women) experience heart burn and sore throat after being there.
7) Jonathan Dickinson State Park – Hobe Sound
Despite what you read in brochures, this isn’t the best Florida state parks to relax in. The ghost of Vince ‘Trapper’ Nelson won’t let you.
Nicknamed the “Wild Man of the Loxahatchee”, Trapper Nelson never missed the chance to play pranks while alive. He would swing out over the river on a rope just to scare tour boat parties. Even now, campers report hearing snickering at night and waking up to a complete mess.
If you’re a female camper, you may want to be extra careful. The womanizing ghost tends to pat women on their rears while whispering, “Will you go out with me?” If you say “No”, just remember you’re in the presence of a man who knows how to expertly trap and skin animals.
6) Blackwater River State Park – Holt
Wearing a long white gown, the ghost has blood all over the front of her dress and face. Legend has it she was sacrificed for a ritual near the tree.
If you plan to follow her, though, don’t look into her eyes. A woman barely saved her boyfriend from being stabbed by the ghost. When he came to, from what his girlfriend claims to be a “trace of sorts”, he said he didn’t remember walking to her.
You may also experience chills and feel suffocated near the tree. Many believe these to be the result of many sacrificial rituals that took place there. So, if you experience these signs, walk fast and far from wherever you are.
5) Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park – Key West
One of the best Florida state parks, Fort Taylor has a dark past that dates all the way back to the Civil War era. Though no blood was shed there, many died from yellow fever and other horrific diseases on the grounds and within its walls.
It’s these lost souls whom you should fear, not the ghostly soldiers lining up outside the fort. Mutilated and angry, they attack visitors. Especially in the downstairs section of the fort. A woman blogged about hearing the cries of a woman before seeing her cradling the small decaying body of a baby.
Fort Taylor also comes to life with the sounds of gunfire and whistles from time to time. But you’ll never smell gunpowder or see a person nearby. So, don’t go there if you’re faint-hearted.
4) Everglades National Park - Everglades City
Everglades is one of the few national parks where the ghosts are more blood thirsty than wild animals. And this park is home to the Florida panther and American crocodile!
Haunting this national park is a crew of phantom cruel pirates who were cursed to sail the grasslands for eternity.
According to a 1901 New York Daily People editorial, the pirates forced the crew of a merchant ship to walk the plank. After the skipper met the same fate, his wife prayed to God to judge her captors. She later said that a tidal wave carried the pirate ship towards the glades.
Stuck in the everglades, the pirates died from fever and starvation. But their suffering was far from over. And that’s why you’d better run in the opposite direction if you see a pirate ship with “rotting masts and hull”.
3) Camp Helen State Park – Panama City Beach
It may be hard for you to believe that this peaceful park is on this list. But there are actually three ghosts haunting it.
The first ghost in Camp Helen Park is that of Margaret Hicks’ only grandson. The boy wandered down to the boat dock and drowned in the lake. You may spot him during the earlier hours of the day, especially on the pier down from the house.
Another ghost you may spot at the beach is Rose. A young slave, she was killed by Indians in the 1840s. Visitors have seen her rise from a shallow grave to walk the beach she died on. Though frail, Rose has been known to scream so loudly, leaving campers unconscious.
The third ghost, however, is the most violent. Captain Phillips, the namesake of Phillips Inlet, never liked people during his lifetime. And he definitely hates them more now, often attempting to pit family members against each other. Visitors to the Hicks family lodge usually receive a horrific command, “Kill. Kill him now!”
On two separate occasions, visitors have reported their family member experiencing a seizure just minutes after hearing the Captains instructions.
2) Yellow Bluff Fort Historic State Park – Jacksonville
Yellow Bluff Fort, which was actually a fortified camp, is the eternal home of a Woman in White. She usually appears near the confederate memorial during moonless nights. Visitors who spotted her say she’s usually crying at the base of the memorial.
Some stories say she’s the wife of one of the 350 soldiers who lost their lives during the war. A medium who supposedly tried contacting the ghost claims that she was the lover of one of the soldiers.
Regardless of her origin, the Woman in White can be dangerous. She especially attacks couples, attempting to kill the men with her long, sharp nails. Even if you’re alone, don’t interrupt her grieving. The nearest hospital is quite far away and your injuries may grow worse before you even get to your car.
1) Addison Blockhouse Historic State Park – Ormond Beach
A picturesque landmark, the Addison Blockhouse was a thriving plantation that was burned down in the 1830s. Many of the slave families that lived there haunt the ruins. The most prominent member of the ghostly community there is that of a 6ft. burly man.
The man never allows the living to interfere with the other ghosts. A hiker who tried getting closer to the ruins was beaten to within an inch of his life. Had another visitor not spotted him, he too would have joined the ghosts of the Addison Blockhouse ruins.