In 1826, a man named William Cooley moved to New River, which is present day Fort Lauderdale.
Mr. Cooley supported his family by starting an arrowroot plantation, and later becoming involved in local legislation and administration.
In 1835 he became involved in a case where a handful of white settlers were accused of killing a local Creek Indian chief, named Alibama.
Crimes and Sin in Fort Lauderdale
Updated 9/26/2019 – Due to a lack of concrete evidence, the white men were released from jail and clear of all charges.
Many Creek Indians blamed Mr. Cooley for this result and vowed to get revenge.
During January of 1836, a small group of Creek Indians raided the house and killed Mr. Cooley’s wife and children while he was traveling.
Today, a park stands where Cooley’s plantation was once built.
The park is known as Cooley’s Landing, and is in honor of him and his family.
For the last couple of years, reports of the park being haunted have been increasing in volume.
Local residents claim that the screams of dying children can be heard emanating from the park during January.
And one such local has experienced much more than that.
“A relative of mine lives near the area, so I heard about the screaming spirits when they first started happening,” explained Mohammad.
“The rest of my family didn’t believe my aunt, but I could tell by the look on her face that she had heard it, and the sound had devastated her.
“I decided I wanted to back her up, and in order to do so, I would have to hear it for myself.
“I asked if I could stay with her for a week, and each night I would grab my coat, and walk to Cooley’s Landing.
“When three nights went by without a peep, I wondered if I was crazy for believing my aunt,” he admitted.
“Still, I was going to stay for the remainder of the week…
I figured it wouldn’t hurt to just keep trying until the week was over,” Mohammad shrugged.
“On that fourth night, just a little past midnight, the wind began to pick up.
“I started to hear the faintest sounds of crying in the air.
The Ghost of Cooley’s Daughter
“After a few more minutes it picked up, and it sounded like there were children all around me,” he gestured.
“I heard boys and girls, crying out in pain and fear…it was horrible.
“After I knew that they were there, I wanted to get proof for my family.
“So I purchased an EVP recorder and went back to Cooley’s Landing the following night.
“For two hours nothing happened.
“Suddenly I heard a rustling in the brush behind me, and when I turned to look I saw a little girl.
“She was blurry, and the wind kept blowing her hair on her face.
“But when she looked up and acknowledged me, I somehow knew that she was one of Cooley’s children.
“I will be the first to tell you that I started crying—I was so sad by her fate and for poor Mr. Cooley,” Mohammad said, tearing up.
“But when she saw my tears she smiled.
“As if to tell me that she was happy and she was in a much better place now.
“I bring flowers to Fort Lauderdale every January now, and place them at Cooley’s Landing.”
Cooley’s Landing Park
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312