Florida may be the Sunshine State, but once the sun sets and darkness takes hold, excited cheers turn into shrill screams. From Lake Okeechobee to Round Cypress Head and all the way to the May-Stringer House, Florida has many haunted locations that’ll send chills down your spine.
Let’s face it – nothing is as terrifying as the haunted forests in Florida.
Dark and creepy, they’re home to some of the most restless spirits in the state. And these aren’t just your scare-the-living kind of ghosts. They’re the kind that’ll drag you down to hell, leaving no trace. Even those who do manage to get away barely manage to survive the physical and emotional scars.
So, unless you’re willing to put your life on the line, think twice before venturing into the following 10 forests.
Table of Contents
- 10) Ocala National Forest – Ocala
- 9) Tate’s Hell State Forest – Carrabelle
- 8) Apalachicola National Forest – Bristol
- 7) Osceola National Forest – Lake City
- 6) Blackwater River State Forest – Milton
- 5) Belmore State Forest – Starke
- 4) Big Shoals State Forest – White Springs
- 3) Cary State Forest – Bryceville
- 2) Indian Lake State Forest – Silver Springs
- 1) Tiger Bay State Forest – Daytona Beach
10) Ocala National Forest – Ocala
In travel brochures, Ocala National Forest is “bursting with adventure”. You can swim or paddle in its sprints, take a hike, ride a bike or horse, or simply enjoy a lazy camping trip. But what most won’t tell you is that this is a blood-stained land with bizarre occurrences that are definitely paranormal.
Take Christine Wiles for example. The 41-year-old went missing in 2007. Her 1995 Chrysler New Yorker was discovered with a pool of blood. Her body, however, was never found. A psychic was recently contacted to help solve the case.
One spot you should be wary of is Mud Lake. Especially if you’re alone. The entity haunting it tends to choke people who come close, dragging them into the lake. If you see hands rising from the water and hear faint footprints behind you, RUN!
9) Tate’s Hell State Forest – Carrabelle
If you’ve ever visited it in broad daylight, you may wonder why Tate’s Hell State Forest has such a creepy name. There are miles of scenic rivers, streams, and creeks where you can canoe, boat or fish. And you’re always welcome to hike your way to the dwarf cypress growing prolifically there.
But stay at the forest after midnight and the only emotion you’ll feel is fear.
The spirit of Cebe Tate of Sumatra, the original owner of the land, has been known to emerge from the swamp. Legend has it that he went missing in the swap in the late 1800s, wandering aimlessly for days with high fever and a snake-bitten limb. Though he did find his way back alive, his spirit will make sure you don’t.
If you ever hear the sinister laugh echoing through Tate’s Hell Forest, pray that you escape the clutches of the emaciated, white-haired ghost before he drags you through the same hell.
8) Apalachicola National Forest – Bristol
The largest forest in Florida, the Apalachicola National Forest, is home to the unusual Leon Sinks and Apalachee Savannas Scenic Byway. It’s also a favorite for those who enjoy hunting and fishing. But, if you’re weak of heart, this is one place you shouldn’t visit alone.
Hiking up the Bradwell Bay Florida Trail, you may come across a little boy swimming in the water. DO NOT APPROACH HIM. Avoid eye contact if you’d rather not begin bleeding from your nose as you run away.
The Apalachicola National Forest also has black-eyed children lurking under the pond cypress domes. Most campers claim the children would extend their hands while silently screaming before trying to drag them into the swamp.
So, unless you wish to become their next victim, don’t linger around the wetlands for long.
7) Osceola National Forest – Lake City
If you love camping, boating, water skiing, and swimming, the Osceola National Forest may be your dream destination. Its trails, including the Florida National Scenic Trail, are a must-hike for many across the state.
But if the paranormal scares you, you may want to skip visiting the forest’s Olustee Battlefield alone at night.
Soaked in the blood of over 10,000 Confederate and Union soldiers, the battlefield is haunted by several fallen soldiers. And these guys are violent! While riding a horse, a re-enactor was tripped and assaulted with a rifle butt. However, his assaulter left no footprints or evidence.
And this is just one of many such encounters. So, stay safe while heading to Osceola National Forest’s Olustee Battlefield.
6) Blackwater River State Forest – Milton
As part of the Blackwater River State Park, Blackwater River State Forest is a favorite outdoor recreation spot. But if you’re tubing, swimming, boating or fishing in the river, make sure to leave the water before the sun sets. Otherwise a woman in the water will drag you to the bottom with her.
One of the least known ghosts in the area, the woman in the water, has been described as a deathly pale woman with long jet-black hair. The few people who managed to escape her clutches first smelled rotten flesh right before she re-surfaced and tried dragging them to their deaths.
One account says that the ghost of Blackwater River isn’t limited to the river. Apparently, she grabbed a man’s ankle from within a puddle as he ran away from her. He was lucky. You may not be. So, stay safe at the Blackwater River State Forest.
5) Belmore State Forest – Starke
If you thought that the Belmore State Forest was safe just because it’s open during daylight hours, you’re in for a rude awakening. While hiking through the forest, many noticed ‘someone’ hiding behind the trees. Those who dare to call him out, unfortunately, don’t always make it out alive.
Legend has it that a man was murdered in the woods by his wife’s lover. The wife, who had enough of his abuse, smashed his face in. And that’s why those who come across this ghost NEVER forget his grotesque face and eyes filled with rage.
So, even if you’re there to hike, cycle, ride, or view the wildlife, keep your eyes peeled for this malevolent spirit. Especially ensure the safety of women as the ghost of Belmore State Forest targets them often.
4) Big Shoals State Forest – White Springs
Famous for its whitewater rapids, Big Shoals Forest is a beautiful place to enjoy hiking, fishing, hunting, and cycling. However, you may want to take heed of the Florida Forest Service’s warning and navigate a little further away from the shoals. For a different reason altogether.
Haunting the shoals is the ghost of a bruised, bloodied woman. Many rush to save her only to be trapped by the increasing water levels at the shoals. And that’s when her calls for help turn into frantic screams and shrill laughs. If her victims are found, and that’s a big IF, they’re barely hanging onto their lives.
3) Cary State Forest – Bryceville
Whether you’re planning a scenic hike or a serene camping trip, Cary State Forest may seem like the best site. Unfortunately, you’ll be risking your life going there.
The forest is home to several entities, many of which target campers. That’s why the campsites are constantly undergoing ‘renovations’. One entity which most have noticed is that of a little girl. Campers would hear a child laughing around 2am and see her silhouette against their tents.
If her invitation to “come out and play” is rejected, she would lash out on the campers. Those who oblige were found later near the swamps of the Fireline Trail or Red Root Trail. While most are dazed after their encounter, others would cry and scream for days before growing completely silent.
So, protect yourself while you sleep at Cary State Forest. You’ve been forewarned.
2) Indian Lake State Forest – Silver Springs
A favorite for those seeking water-related recreation activities, Indian Lake State Forest is renowned for its scenic hiking and horse trails. But what most don’t know is that it’s one of the several haunted forests in Florida.
If you’re ever near Indian Lake just before dawn, you’ll see a white figure make his way towards the water. In his arms is a baby, whom he lowers into the water and watches as it sinks to the bottom of the lake.
DO NOT MAKE A SOUND! If you indicate your presence in any way, you’ll find yourself exactly where the ghost sunk the baby. Pushing you down is a cold, pale-gray hand. A survivor claims that the entity cooed at her while attempting to drown her. Her only savior was the rising sun. But we can’t all be lucky, can we?
1) Tiger Bay State Forest – Daytona Beach
Home to the wetland Tiger Bay, Tiger Bay Forest welcomes everyone to enjoy recreational activities like hunting and horseback riding. Camping, however, is another story. Not only is the campsite primitive, it’s 100% haunted!
Several incidents have taken place over the years which prove this. A camper woke up to a pale face with bright red eyes staring down at him from the top of his tent. Another took in a family of three into her tent only to see them disappear once she zipped the flap up. And the stories go on.
Have you been to any of these forests? What did you experience? Tell us in the comments below.