State’s Urban Legends: Florida

Oh, you think swamps, gators, hurricanes and surviving DisneyWorld are the worst of your troubles when you visit Florida? Check out these four urban legends.

Skunk Ape

Florida's Skunk Ape.

You’ll smell him long before you see him.

Look, even Bigfoot needs to get away for the winter sometimes. The Skunk Ape is just as tall, just as heavy and smells just as bad as Bigfoot is reported to be in the Northwest. Skunk Ape usually feasts on berries and small critters but he’s been known to shop at nearby farms. Wild Boars are an occasional treat too.

If you really want to help prove this legend is real there is even a place in the Florida Everglades where you can take the tour or join an expedition to find it.

Happy hunting!


The Fountain of Youth

Ponce de Leon went in search of it. Captain Jack Sparrow found it.

But your search for the source of eternal life needs not encompass life-threatening journies facing cannibals and strange creatures. Urban legends say those are just some of the trials you will face in your search for the fountain.

Just drive over to St. Augustine and enjoy the 15-acre Fountain of Youth theme park. You won’t be any younger. You will be a little poorer in the wallet. But you’ll live to tell the tale.


Spook Hill

Legends say Spook Hill is the site of a Native American burial ground. One has it that a Chief engaged in a battle of the ages with a crocodile on the hill.

But one fact is indisputable. Park your car in neutral, turn off the engine, get out and watch the car roll – uphill!

Spoiler alert: It isn’t disembodied spirits pushing your car. It’s actually an optical illusion. The spot you parked on is actually sloping downhill – the surrounding area makes it seem otherwise – so your car really is rolling downhill as gravity dictates it must.


Captain Tony’s

There is a saloon on Key West that first opened for business in the 1850s. So Captain Tony’s has had 16 decades to build up its fair share of urban legends.

Oh yes, its haunted. Doors slam for no reason, ghosts wander about and banging sounds fill the air with no clue to their source.

As for why it is haunted, well it isn’t so much what happened inside the bar over the years. The site used to house the town’s morgue. Oh yes, one more thing. There used to be a tree there that was used to hang pirates.



About the author

Richard Paolinelli