Florida November 14, 2016
Spend The Night At This Haunted Florida State Park… If You Dare
Remember the first time you spent the night in the Great Outdoors? Those unexpected sounds of the wild might have kept you up all night. If you spend the night at this state park in Florida, those sounds might not be the only thing that keeps you awake…
Jonathan Dickinson State Park is a popular spot for hiking, biking, camping, fishing, kayaking and wildlife viewing on the Loxahatchee River. The park is a beautiful expanse of wild Florida, with sand pine scrub, mangroves and swamps.
What's really fascinating about this state park, though, is its history. In the 1930s, the area was settled by a man called Trapper Nelson. He was known as the "Tarzan of the Loxahatchee," and in the '40s and '50s, he turned his homestead into a zoo. It became a popular early tourist site, where people could see wild animals and watch Trapper Nelson wrestle alligators.
The zoo was shut down in the '60s, leading to financial troubles and causing Trapper Nelson to become a recluse. He was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot in 1968, but many people believed the case was not investigated thoroughly enough to rule out murder. His land was purchased by the state and his homestead is now a historic site within the park.
Over the years, there have been rumors that Trapper Nelson haunts the park, trying to tell visitors the truth behind his death. Sometimes he warns people to stay away from Indian burial grounds, and sometimes he's more playful, flirting with female visitors to the park and asking them for dates. It makes sense that a man who devoted so much of his life to this land might remain in spirit.
Have you stayed at the campsites or cabins at Jonathan Dickinson State Park? Did you have any strange experiences here or at any other parks?