Destination – Spook Hill

Backwards Hill in Lake Wales!

Illusions – Delusions – And Fun!

Spook Hill is a gravity defying hill in the city of Lake Wales!  You can park your car at the bottom and it will roll uphill!  It’s such a popular spot for curiosity seekers that the city has put up little brown directional signs all over town so you can find the mysterious hill.  (I don’t know if these still exist) But, watch out, because the local pranksters often turn these signs around so they point in the opposite direction. One switched sign sends you into oblivion but lucklily, that’s not too far from Tanglewood!  Oblivion, that is.

If you can get to Spook Hill Elementary School, you’ll see a hill just ahead of you. Once at this point you can’t miss the sign erected by the city that explains the history of the place.  The sign explains how to experience Spook Hill. Park your car on the white line that’s painted on the street.

Shift into neutral and let the car roll backwards up the hill.  On a weekend there could be as many as 10-15 cars lined up waiting to try out the crazy gravity.

“I know everybody believes Spook Hill is just a trick of the land, but what explains the fact that not only do cars roll uphill, but also soda cans, oranges or anything else that is round?” – Sherry Lynn

“Instead of using your vehicle to check out Spook Hill, try walking or running up or down the hill – its a weird feeling because when you are going what seems to be downhill, it is harder than when you are going uphill.” – Randy

“Does time run slower at Spook Hill? … I heard that your watch will run slower on this hill and that you can watch the second hand slow down!” – Kbar

The solution:  Some time ago the state geologist said “There are no mysterious forces at work at Spook Hill. It is an illusion and can be verified with a simple carpenter’s level.” The lay of the land around Spook Hill is responsible for the illusion. If you approach the hill from the opposite direction and survey the surroundings, you can see that cars are not really rolling uphill; they are actually rolling downhill.  Got it? Knowing this doesn’t spoil the fun.  Have a good time figuring out the illusion.

Source: Story and pictures: Weird Florida by Charlie Carlson, 2005


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