While many people from out of state tend to flock to Florida’s many picturesque beaches and resorts, those who live there try their best to enjoy the natural beauty of their state without dealing with tourism. For citizens who live in Fruitland Park, one of those lesser known beautiful landmarks is right in their backyard. Lake Griffin State Park is a whopping 620 acres.
Daytime visitors tend to explore the park’s various hiking trails, and then cool off by swimming or kayaking in the lake. Those who wish to extend their visit like to camp near the lake. For the Stevenson (Names changed for privacy) family, Lake Griffin State Park is an inexpensive yet beautiful place to spend national holidays.
Fruitland Park—A Dark Secret
Beth Stevenson is nine years old, and when she began to tell her parents and older brother about a ghost that lived at the park, nobody felt too inclined to believe her. “Beth has always had a bit of an overactive imagination,” Darryl Stevenson, her father, said with a laugh. “I can’t tell you how many times she has snuck into our room at home, insistent that wolves were howling outside her window, or that the boogeyman was lurking in her closet.
“Telling us that a dead boy lived near the campground was just something we came to expect from her.” “We were at Lake Griffin for two days before I noticed how odd Beth was acting,” Carol Stevenson, Darryl’s wife, chimed in. “I would look up from my book and I’d find her at the corner of our campsite, talking to herself.
“She did this for about an hour straight before I walked up to her and asked what she was doing. ‘Talking to the boy who died here,’ she told me. She was so nonchalant!
Conversations with the Dead
‘Is the boy your friend?’ I asked—because I had no idea what else to say. Beth looked up at me and smiled and told me that the boy liked to play with her hair.” “That night, I heard her voice emanating from the little tent we had bought for her for her birthday,” added Darryl.
“I couldn’t hear anyone with her, but she kept speaking as though she were responding to someone else’s questions and statements. Carol had told me about what Beth had said earlier that day, and the fact that she had kept up the charade even while we slept was very unnerving to me. I woke my wife up, and the two of us decided that come morning we would sit Beth down and have a long talk about how fibbing could potentially be dangerous.”
“It was just after breakfast, and I signaled to Darryl that I was ready for our talk with Beth,” Carol murmured quietly. “She was at the edge of our campsite, chewing on a waffle when we approached her. When we gently accused her of lying about the dead boy, she stood up and started yelling that she was telling the truth, that the boy was standing next to her that very moment.
“Then she turned to her left and said, ‘do it,’ to the empty air. And all of the sudden a huge chunk of her hair suddenly moved, as though someone had picked it up and dropped it. We love Fruitland Park and everything, but I want to do some investigating before we consider going back next year,” Carol said.