The Legend: Long ago, an Indian village on Lake Wales was plagued by the raids of a huge gator. The Chief, a great warrior, killed the gator in a battle that created a small lake. The chief was buried on the north side. Pioneer mail riders first discovered their horses laboring downhill, thus naming it Spook Hill. Many years later when the road was paved, people began to notice that cars rolled uphill! Is this the gator seeking revenge, or the chief still trying to protect his land?
Today, automobiles seem to defy gravity on this Lake Wales notorious side street. Spook Hill has been thrilling the willing for over 100 years by making wheeled vehicles seemingly roll uphill. Some say it is the result of a buried magnetic pole, while others believe it’s the ghost of Seminole Chief Cufcowellax still trying to protect his land from the spirit of the man-eating alligator.
Actually, Spook Hill is an optical illusion. Because the hill on the north end of the street is relatively big and steep, it makes the south end of the street – the approximately 100-yard stretch on which cars appear to roll uphill – look as if it’s on an incline, as well. In reality, it’s about a 15 degree downhill slope.