By  Mike Miller  Updated November 13, 2023

Spook Hill is located on 5th Street in Lake Wales Florida.  It is near an elementary school of the same name and is in the same neighborhood as Bok Tower Gardens.

Spook Hill in the 1950sSpook Hill in the 1950s

It's a tourist attraction that you can enjoy without leaving your car.

You park your car at the bottom of the hill and put the gear in neutral. A white line is painted on the road so you know where to park.  The car will start rolling uphill.  At least that's what you will feel like it's doing.

It is a free attraction, and it has become so popular that the City of Lake Wales has put up direction signs all around town.  Just follow the signs until you come to the starting point where the City has placed a big sign that explains the history of the hill.

There have been several signs over the years, so look for a new one every time you visit.

Spook Hill Back in the DaySpook Hill Back in the Day

The version on the City's sign is but one tale of many that attempt to explain the mystery of a car rolling up hill.

The hill has been a tourist attraction for many years.  Where else can you see gravity being defied?  Nobody knows for sure when people started enjoying the mystery of the hill.  There are stories of horse drawn wagons enjoying the attraction, so maybe it goes back more than 100 years.

Spook Hill, photo Lake Wales Chamber of CommerceSpook Hill, photo Lake Wales Chamber of Commerce

The photo of the sign is from the 1980s.  It has been replaced a couple of times since then, but still tells the same story.  

Another story that the locals tell is that a black man named Buster Coon parked his car at the bottom of the hill and walked to a nearby fishing hole.  

As he was walking toward his fishing spot, he looked back at his car and saw it rolling up hill.  He thought that ghosts were pushing the car, and his story spread all over the town and other people started trying it.

Some folks thought that there was a big magnetic meteor buried beneath the hill that defied the local law of gravity.  Many other theories popped up over the years;  some credited supernatural causes, others tried to explain the mystery scientifically.

The fact is that the natural terrain and vegetation alongside the road is responsible for the illusion.  Don't let that fact spoil your fun.  Just believe your lying eyes.

Spook Hill Sign, Lake Wales, FloridaState Archives of Florida, Florida Memory

A private group has raised money to build a new monument to replace the old sign on the site.  The City Council decided the Indian story was the real deal, and approved a conceptual design that includes a Seminole chief and an alligator.  


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