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Enjoy a Relaxing Vacation at the Everglades Cruise Port
The Everglades Cruise Port is the perfect destination for a relaxing vacation. Located in South Florida, the port offers a variety of activities for visitors to enjoy. From boat tours to fishing trips, there is something for everyone. Whether you are looking for a romantic getaway or an adventure-filled family vacation, the Everglades Cruise Port has it all. Here are some of the reasons why you should plan your next vacation at the Everglades Cruise Port.
Experience Nature’s Beauty
The Everglades Cruise Port is home to some of the most beautiful natural scenery in South Florida. Visitors can take boat tours through the mangroves and see wildlife such as alligators, turtles, and birds. There are also plenty of opportunities to explore nature on foot with hiking trails and nature walks. The port also offers kayaking and canoeing trips so visitors can get up close and personal with the wildlife and scenery of the area.
Take Part in Exciting Activities
The Everglades Cruise Port also offers a variety of exciting activities for visitors to enjoy. Fishing trips are available for those looking to catch some of Florida’s famous fish such as snook, tarpon, and redfish. Visitors can also take part in airboat rides that take them through the wetlands and swamps of the area. For those looking for something more relaxing, there are sunset cruises that provide stunning views of the area’s natural beauty.
Relax in Comfort
When it’s time to relax after a day of exploring, visitors can stay at one of the many hotels located near the port. These hotels offer comfortable accommodations with amenities such as swimming pools, spas, restaurants, and bars. Visitors can also enjoy shopping at nearby stores or dining at one of many restaurants located within walking distance from the port.
No matter what type of vacation you are looking for, you can find it at the Everglades Cruise Port. With its stunning natural scenery and variety of activities, it is sure to be an unforgettable experience that will leave you feeling relaxed and refreshed when you return home.
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Spooky stories: Mystery in South Florida
–The Ghost Ship of the Everglades has been haunting Florida’s south coast since the days of pirating marauders — its phantom crew cursed to sail the seas for all eternity, after giving chase to a merchant ship and getting lost in the twisting channels of the Everglades’ swamplands. The story has been told in one form or another for hundreds of years.
–The story of Edgar Watson is a strange one: No one knew where he came from, but he built a cabin in the Everglades over 100 years ago and largely kept to himself, until a fisherman found the gutted body of a woman floating in the Chatham River. Authorities eventually found dozens of human bodies buried on Edgar Watson’s farm, and a former farmhand reported seeing him take lives ritualistically. The property is thought to be haunted to this day.
–It’s not clear what happened to the Calusa, an ancient tribe of Native Americans that resisted incursion by the Spanish and fatally injured explorer Juan Ponce de Leon in 1521. The Calusa practiced human sacrifice and believed their leaders had supernatural powers. The mass remains of their civilization were found hundreds of years later in the form of human skulls. Piles of them!
–Numerous planes have disappeared in the Everglades over the years, never to be seen again. In December 1972, Eastern Air Lines Flight 401 was headed to Miami from New York, but due to an electronic failure and pilot error, it crashed in the Everglades, killing 96 of 163 people onboard. Paranormal events were soon experienced on other Eastern Air Lines planes that used parts cannibalized from the wreckage of Flight 401. The odd occurrences were documented in the 1976 book “The Ghost of Flight 401,” and the airline eventually replaced all of the parts salvaged from the doomed flight.
In May 1996, a fire broke out on ValuJet Flight 592 shortly after takeoff from Miami. The plane plunged into the alligator-infested water and very little of it was ever found; all 105 passengers were killed. Some consider it to be one of the most baffling airplane mysteries in modern aviation history.
No one knows the Everglades like Captain Mitch’s Airboat Tours in Everglades City, Florida. To book a tour, visit our website or call 800-368-0065.
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My motto in life is to be calm, be kind, and get things done. I'm a cartographer, illustrator and graphic designer who left the real world to live the life of a nomadic entrepreneur, currently visiting all 59 National Parks of America.
Why We’re Happy a Park Ranger Pulled us Over
Politics aside, here’s why we need parks, 51 comments.
Good Luck with your NP quest. I’m planning a similar road trip next July from San Jose, CA. Only difference: For Kobuk Valley and Gates of the arctic, instead of Bettles, I’m flying to Kotzebue, and take an Air Taxi from there – might also take the Bering Land Bridge National Monument (weather, time and costs permitting)
Thank you Sashi! Wow good luck to you as well. We’re hoping our ideas for Alaska will hold true, it’s been awhile since that plan so we shall see. I’ll have to get in touch with you closer to July and see how your plans are going 🙂
My wife and I, along with our 7 yr old beagle mix are just now looking into completing our final leg of our bucket list of visiting all 60 National Parks (NPs) with the 8 NPs in Alaska for the grand finale (ie., August and September, if needed). I want to commend you on your summary of your excursion – it gives me a starting point for like you alluded, ‘this seems like a daunting undertaking’.
I do have several questions and was hoping to strike up a correspondence to avoid possible missteps. Or if there is an organization that now sponsors such an undertaking. Please advise if this is possible with in this format of sending you my email address.
Thanks for the great article … I look forward in hearing from you soon!
Hi Mickey, Thanks for your comment, you may be interested in this new post http://nationalparkquest.com/the-cost-of-visiting-all-alaska-national-parks/ PLease let me know if you have any questions.
Thanks for the interesting information about costs to camp and visit all 8 Alaska National Parks. I will add my experience to the discussion. First, there are 61 National Parks. Be sure you have counted Indiana Dunes, added in February of this year!
I am spending about double what the earlier poster is to see all 8 parks. No camping, all lodge and motel nights, some meals covered, a little car travel, a little train travel, lots of small plane travel. Single occupancy rooms (which are typically priced at 150% of the rack rate!). Total costs to me, a little over $21,000, spread over two trips.
I normally don’t use travel help of any sort either, but for the more complex parts of this endeavor, American Samoa and Alaska, I engaged Off the Beaten Path In Bozeman Montana (ask for Julianne! She is the national park pro). They design custom trips.
Twelve parks to go!
Hi Andrea, Thanks for your comment, we just finished posting the full cost break down for visiting all 8 Alaska National parks, it may come handy; http://nationalparkquest.com/the-cost-of-visiting-all-alaska-national-parks/
I am driving from Vermont to Alaska in August to visit 6 national parks…Glacier Bay, Katmai, Kenai Fjords, Lake Clark, Wrangell St. Elias & Denali. Along the way with stops for camping in Theodore Roosevelt NP in ND and Olympic NP in WA before getting on the Alaska Marine Highway. I quickly realized how complicated travel can get visiting all these locations so I contacted Viking Travel in Petersburg AK for help. Kelly at Viking Travel was SO very helpful putting together a travel plan to make All of this happen with minimal stress to me. This trip will be so enjoyable due to the help from Kelly & Viking travel!!
We’re currently planning a similar trip for August 2017. Wondering what your plans are for Kobuk Valley, Gates of the Arctic and Lake Clark? I’m thinking a float trip down the Alatna in GOTA but unsure of the other two right now. Also, have you managed to price bush flights out to these places yet? I’m having a hard time budgeting for these as I just can’t seem to find information out there.
Thank you for this great information. I am 70 and plan to take one or two really good photos in each NP. That keeps my eyes active. ..Alaska first. Best wishes.
That’s wonderful, and a great project! We are tackling Alaska last, you’ll have to let us know how things really are and share your photos with us :-). Thanks for writing.
Did you ever make it to Alaska? I need to visit for my personal project to run a marathon (26.2 miles) in all 59 parks. I’m at park 36 right now. Read more at http://www.runningtheparks.com .
I would be interested in chatting about logistics and expense.
Hi Bill! That’s awesome.. Your project sounds amazing. We haven’t made it yet, Alaska will be at the end of our journey this summer. We’ll share more about it on our blog then 🙂
Thanks for the info- I also use Roadtrippers to plan our trips. I have taken my kids to 24 so far and we are planning out a route to visit 6 more this summer. Since I am the only adult traveling with 3 kids, Alaska may not be anytime soon, but I appreciate that you documented this for others interested. Have a great trip!
That’s awesome and admirable to take your kids to so many parks 🙂 – you must have so many beautiful experiences. Well surely when kids are older you can have an adventure in Alaska together. Thanks for stopping by!
Hi! I just stumbled across your blog and it’s great. I too am questing to visit all 59, I’m about 15 in so far. I’m a travel nurse so I’ve been using that to travel a bit of the country and visit the parks in that region of the country to help defer costs. I just arrived in Anchorage for a three month nursing contract yesterday and I’m planning to hit up all eight Alaska parks while I’m here. It’s certainly a bit more involved than getting to any of the other parks! After reading I think that I’ll copy a lot of your routes in getting to the parks. I wish I had done a bit more pre-planning like you’ve done, there’s no way I’ll be getting into Bettles Lodge at this late notice. Oh well! Look forward to following.
Hey Kyle! Combining your profession and passion for national parks is an awesome way to see all 59 – we’d love to read your blog if you write one. Yeah Alaska is definitely a challenge.. sounds like 3 months will give you a good amount of time to get even to the remote ones. Happy the routes can help out, it’s incredible how big this country is. Keep in touch 🙂
I stumbled upon your blog. We are also finishing the Big 59. We have done 30+ so far and now here in Montana to cross to Canada, then drive to Alaska. We are planning to cross next week. I understand from above that you are planning to do this trip next month. If you wish, I can give you some feedback (aka learn from our mistakes. HA!). Feel free to send us a message. Good luck and safe travels!
Thanks for your comment, right now we are in Alaska I will soon post the insights we learned from this trip to all the National Parks
I’m on my way home from doing the four fly-ins, Lake Clark, Katmai, Gates of the Arctic and Kobk Valley. Yeah! That gets me to 46 parks! I plan to come back next summer to do the other four. I haven’t done all my researvh yet, but I am wondering which parks I can get to via the railroad…
Hi Andrea! What company did you use for the Gates of the Arctic and Kobuk? These are the 2 national parks I am having difficulty planning! Thank you!
From Kotzebue, you can use Arctic Backcountry to fly to Kobuk Valley and Gates of the Arctic. I’m planning that next summer.
P.s. Can you tell which park is the bacgrond of my photo?
Victorina .. Thanks for asking! I used Off the Beaten Path to plan my trips, [email protected] To get to those two parks you can stay in Bettles Lodge in Bettles (fly in from Fairbanks) and fly to the parks from Bettles with the wonderful Kevin Kellogg at Birchwood Aircraft Services. Kevin: [email protected]
Just back from attempted 8-park 25-day Alaska road trip. My plan involved driving to Skagway, take the AMHS ferry to Juneau and from there Alaska Airlines to Glacier Bay. Due to widfires in British Columbia I was Held up a 100+ miles before Prince George and was forced to spend a night in an evacuation center. Long story short I missed the Ferry at Skagway and had to cancel my Juneua/Glacier Bay trip (Glacier Bay has a 2 month cancellation policy, so long the $500+ in addition to the airline fee and the Juneau hotels). Used the days gained to spend additional time in Fairbanks and Anchorage (Portage Glacier, Alyeska Tramway, Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center). On the drive to Alaska I wanted to do an Icefield Landing tour in Kluane NP (adjoining Wrangell St Elias in Alaska) in Yukon – land on the world largest non-polar icecap – weather was not in my favor and that could not happen.
Stayed in Anchorage 5 days. Visited Katmai for a day trip (there overnight stay was sold out by last December). Went well. Visited Lake Clark using Lake Clark Air and stayed over night at the Farm Lodge. Took the 7 hr Kenai Fjords boat tour and also visited Exit Glacier. Took a Flightseeing tour of Wrangell St Elias NP, landed in McCarthy and got my passport stamped in Kennecott. Drove to Denali, camped there 2 days, and took the 13 hr Kantishna experience bus tour – weather and chance favored me that day – goot good views of Denali peak (only 30% of visitors get to see it, it seems), and saw a decent amount of wildlife. So that is 5 out of 8 parks visited.
For the final stage of my trip, boarded the flight to Kotzebue (from where I was to visit Kobuk Valley and Gates of the Arctic NPs). Because of bad weather in Kotzebue the AA plane was not allowed to land. After a 2+ hrs on the tarmac in Nome, the plane returned to Anchorage. AA said they could not fly me even the next day and refunded my fare. So had to give up Gates and Kobuk.
Alaska was amazing. Saw a fair amount of wildlife in Alaska and also the drive there in Yukon and Hwy 37 in British Columbia. On the drive back , on Hwy 37 I saw 10 black bear in a 1-hr period at dusk! My advice to anyone driving this hwy, allow ample time for this ~450 mile road , and drive slowly – you will see plenty of bears and foxes.
Disappointed that I could not see 3 of the 8 parks (Glacier Bay, Gates, Kobuk). Planning to go there again next year (by flight not road) to see these 3 parks and also to take the WhitePass and Yukon railroad from Skagway)
PS: I have so far visited 45 of the 59 NPs. By next summer, after my Alaska trip, hope to complete 50. However I’m not seeking to visit all 59 (the remaining 9 involve visiting distant states for just 1 park )
Just back from an awesome Alaska trip. Visited the 3 parks I missed last year – Glacier Bay, Kobuk and Gates; and a lot of other places including Katmai, Denali and Kenai Fjords. I’m now at 53 out of 60 NP.
Kudos to you Sashi, keep the adventure up, you are almost done with all of them, best luck to you.
Thanks Andres. Best of luck with your inspiring quest.
Please share your experience. My husband, myself and 2 dogs plan on doing this in August 2018. Would love your feedback. We will be roadtripping from Atlanta, Ga. My bucket list is to see all NP.
To all those on their NP Quests looking for tips on this page: If, in addition to seeing all NPs, you also want to have your NP Passports stamped in all NPs, that will determine the exact routes you will take in some cases. For example, if you are not into passport stamping, and just want to visit the parks, you would fly to Bettles from Fairbanks and take a tour to Gates and Kobuk NPs. On the other hand if you are into passport stamping, the passport stamp for Kobuk Valley NP is only in Kotzebue, so you would fly there by Alaska Airlines and take a tour of Kobuk and Gates of the Arctic from there.
Also if getting your passports stamped is the primary driver of your quests a few things to consider: The Alaska Public Lands Info Center (APLIC) in Fairbanks has the stamp for Gates of the Arctic NP. The APLIC in Anchorage has the stamp for Lake Clark NP. If you are considering day trips to Lake Clark NP and Katmai NP, you could consider skipping Lake Clark (not much to do/see there), get your passport stamped in Anchorage APLIC and plan a 2+-day trip to Katmai (lot to see there).
Hi! We just came from Bettles 2 weeks ago (Aug 14). There is a stamp for both Kobuk and Gates at the visitor center there. There is also a visitor center inside Lake Clark during summer months (we were there 2 days ago). They have a stamp there (in addition to the APLIC in Anchorage).
Thanks for the correction. Now I have to re-evaluate my next years plan and possibly change Kotzebue for Bettles.
Good luck and have fun!
Hello! I’m planning a trip to Gates from Fairbanks and trying to decide whether to drive (on Dalton) or to fly. I wanted to ask if you have any thoughts/tradeoffs on one vs. the other (financially, experience, etc)? Also, if coming from Denali, are there any other transportation options to Gates beside driving into Fairbanks?
Hi Mary, Thanks for your comment, we can say from our experience that the only option we found was from kotzebue since the bush flights take off from there, I honestly do not know about flying into the gates of the Artic from anywhere else. We took a flight from Anchorage into kotzebue using Alaskan Airlines you can probably fly from Fairbaks into kotzebue.
I also thought that Kotzebue was the best option to see Kobuk and Gates but another commenter corrected me – it seems Bettles is also an option.
I’m just back from an Alaska trip and visited Kobuk and Gates from Kotzebue. The plus points for choosing Kotzebue was 1. convenient Alaska Airlines flights 2. excellent hotel in Kotz (the Nullagvik).
However from my experience it seems, from Kotzebue, the bush flights are ideal for a Kobuk Valley visit, but are limited to landing in the western edge of Gates of the Arctic. If your goal is just to ‘visit’ all 60 NPs, landing in the western edge is good enough. On the other hand if you want to see the iconic sights of Gates (such as Arrigetch Peaks or the actual ‘gates’ – Frigid Crags+Boreal Mountain – etc) Bettles MAY be a better option.
Ideally, if time and costs are not a concern, it would be good to visit Kotzebue (and see Kobuk Valley NP and Noatak and Bering Land Bridge), and Bettles (and see Gates of the Arctic).
Hoping to take another Alaska trip next year to visit Gates via Bettles and maybe see the polar Bears on the North East Coast.
Hi Sashi, Thanks for your comment and sharing this new information, definitely we will keep Bettles in mind next time we visit Alaska for sure. You are right everything comes down to time and money, we did Kobuk and Gates of the Artic in one flight from kotsubue since 4 hour flight in the region is around $2K. Next time we go I would love to see a Polar Bear.
- Pingback: Visit Alaska Gates of the Arctic – NATIONAL PARK QUEST
Hi Andres, Can you get an air taxi in Kotzebue that will take you over Kobuk and Gates and land in Bettles and then return to Kotzebue? Who can I call for that kind of info? We are planning a trip for 2019 to get the 5 Alaska Parks that require flights. We are at 47 of the 59 NPs!!
Hi Linden, Thanks for your questions, we are always happy to share. Yes you get a taxi from Kotzebue into Gates of the Artic and Kobuk we did it using Golden Eagle Outfitters In this post we give details how we did the 2 parks on the same day; http://nationalparkquest.com/visit-alaska-gates-of-the-arctic/ The other flights you would need is one to get to Lake Clark National Park and to Katmai National park. Good luck with your journey you are almost done, also keep in mind now we have 60 National Parks, Gateway Arch in Saint Louis Missouri just became a national park in February of 2018, Please let me know if you have any other questions.
Gateway Arch in St Louis? Really?
Yes, actually we are right now in Saint Louis MO visiting the Gateway Arch.
Wow! I have just returned from a 5 week tour of national parks in the lower 48. I did 13 parks and one national historic site ( 9937 miles ). I am now starting to plan for the AK parks for summer 2019 but after reading all the comments I am kind of on info overload. Did anyone use a travel agency or guide site to coordinate all of this or did you just make the arrangement on your own? I live in northern Vermont so doing the AK trip takes me a Long way from home. I am retired so time is not the issue…it’s all the planning!!
Any help, suggestions or comments from any of the travelers here will be MUCH appreciated.
Jeff Morris Waterford VT
Hi Jeff, Thanks for your comment, we did not use any travel agency we just planned on our end, we are putting together a compilation for our Alaska trip specifying the details, itinerary and the cost we will share it soon with you in a blog post so it might give you some insights for your Travel Plan.
Thank Andres. Would love to see the finished itinerary and prices. It sounds like you need to plan at least one year in advance, yes?
Hi Ben Thanks for your comment, you may be interested in this new post http://nationalparkquest.com/the-cost-of-visiting-all-alaska-national-parks/
Fellow Vermonter here also ticking off the National parks. I’ll also be in Alaska this summer! I will be in Katmai, Kenai Fjords and Denali. I have never used a travel service as the planning is half the fun and there is SO much information on the web.
Sue Waterbury Center, Vermont
Hi Jeff, Thanks for your comment, you may be interested in this new post http://nationalparkquest.com/the-cost-of-visiting-all-alaska-national-parks/
Hi Andres, Hope you will post your details when you can. Colleen
Hi Colleen, Thanks for your comment, you may be interested in this new post http://nationalparkquest.com/the-cost-of-visiting-all-alaska-national-parks/
Thank you for your post. It’s really helpful for dreaming and planning.
Thanks for your comment, stay tuned for more!
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Many scary stories have come from all over Florida, and quite a few involve the Everglades. There are sightings of ghosts that aren’t pretty orchids, and disappearances as mysterious as the Skunk Ape. In honor of Halloween, here are some of the strange mysteries associated with the Florida Everglades.
The lost patrol, bermuda triangle victims.
There have been some aircraft that have vanished over the Everglades. In 1945, a group of five naval planes took off from Fort Lauderdale Naval Air Station for a training mission. All five Grumman Avenger TBM Torpedo bombers lost radio contact and disappeared. Over the years, the wreckage of old military planes has been found in the Everglades. But to date, no trace of Flight 19 has been found, which helped to popularize the legend of the Bermuda Triangle.
The Everglades Ghost Ship
Centuries ago, pirates terrorized the seas from the Gulf of Mexico to the Caribbean, attacking merchant ships. One such attack involved a pirate ship overtaking a merchant vessel off the Florida coast. The chase angered the pirate captain so much that he made the merchant crew walk the plank and made their captain’s wife watch.
Before her turn to walk she cursed all pirates, and suddenly rough waves pushed the pirate ship deep into the Everglades. The story goes that the cursed ship and the ghosts of its crew wander the swamps and marshes to this day!
The Ghosts of Flight 401
In December of 1972, an Eastern Airlines flight bound for New York crashed into the Everglades after taking off from Miami. The crash was likely caused when the autopilot was accidentally shut off by a while investigating a burned out indicator light. In the years after the tragic crash, sightings were reported of ghostly-looking men on Eastern flights.
The descriptions given of the men sounded very similar to those of the captain and flight engineer of Flight 401. Rumor has it that Eastern Airlines installed good parts from the wrecked plane into other planes in their fleet.
Bermuda Triangle and pirate ghosts aside, the Everglades itself holds a great sense of mystery. It’s this mystery that gives weight to the stories and legends born here. But when you take an airboat ride at Mack’s Fish Camp , there’s nothing to be scared of. It’s just the side Florida very few people get to see.
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2 min read October 2019 – The Everglades is a sprawling wonder of nature – over 1.5 million acres of swampland that is home to 350 species of birds, 300 species of fresh and saltwater fish, 40 species of mammals, and 50 species of reptiles, as well as several protected animal species. Coming in just after Yellowstone as the third-largest national park in the United States, its vast and difficult-to-navigate terrain has swallowed up many an unprepared traveler. Here are just three of the unsolved mysteries of the Everglades buried deep in the swamplands.
1. The Lost Patrol
South Florida lies just at the tip of the Bermuda Triangle, and is not exempt from its fair share of missing aircraft, especially in the deep swamps of the Everglades. One such case that remains unsolved today is that of The Lost Patrol in 1945. As World War II was coming to a close, a training flight of five Grumman Avenger aircraft left Fort Lauderdale Naval Air Station and were never seen again.
A wreckage was found in 1989 but this was later attributed to a later crash, in 1947. But a research team led by entrepreneur Andy Marocco is convinced that, rather than flying east out of Fort Lauderdale and getting lost in open water over the Atlantic, the flight went down over the Everglades. As it stands, there are no known unexplained wrecks of Avengers in or near Florida, and the Lost Patrol remains to be found.
2. Eastern Air Lines Flight 401
In 1972, Eastern Air Lines Flight 401 took off from New York to Miami but crashed over the Everglades, killing 101 of the 176 on board. Among the dead were pilot, Bob Loft, and flight engineer Don Repo. The crash was found to have been caused by a minor technical fault, which was then fixed by Lockheed. Some of the parts of the downed craft were able to be salvaged for use in other airliners.
But pilots, flight officers, even a vice president of Eastern Airlines, later reported seeing the two on flights that had reused the components from the crashed aircraft. The Eastern Airlines VP reportedly had a conversation with someone he assumed to be the captain, but as soon as he realized it was Loft, the apparition vanished. On board one aircraft, a galley oven was mysteriously repaired despite the insistence of the plane’s engineer that he did not carry out the repair and there was no other engineer on board. A flight attendant sighted a man that resembled Repo seemingly carrying out repairs on the oven.
But one of the most startling incidents happened on the Tri-Star 318, where flight attendant Faye Merryweather saw Repo’s face staring out from a galley oven. Two more witnesses backed her claims, and all three heard Repo say “Watch out for fire on this airplane” before he disappeared from sight. Later in the flight, the plane encountered serious engine trouble, and the last leg had to be canceled. Interestingly, the galley oven had originally been aboard Flight 401.
3. The Everglades Ghost Ship
According to the legends, the Everglades Ghost Ship was originally a pirate vessel in the 18 th or 19 th century, which targeted a merchant ship to pillage. The merchant ship led the pirate ship on a lengthy chase, and when it was finally caught in Cape Florida, the pirates were so incensed that they made every man aboard walk the plank to their death in the murky swamp. But having been forced to watch the slaughter of the crew, the wife of the skipper reportedly cursed the pirates and immediately an enormous tidal wave dragged the pirate ship far inland. To this day, it is doomed to roam the twisting waterways and labyrinthine swamplands of the Everglades, searching for a way back to sea. Natives, locals and hunters have all reported seeing the spectre of the rusted ship wandering aimlessly through the depths of the swamps.
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Creepy Stories And Legends About The Florida Everglades
To many, the Florida Everglades are a wonderful reminder of the beauty of nature, but behind the luscious green landscape lurks a dark, twisted history. Some seriously scary stories and legends come from the Everglades. As it turns out, alligators aren't all you have to worry about in the Florida wilderness.
These Everglades urban legends range from mysterious disappearances to horrifying alligator-human hybrids. There's no limit to what can be found deep within the swamps, and this list highlights the absolute scariest and weirdest stories about the Everglades. Vote up the creepy Florida Everglades stories that will give you the scariest nightmares. Is it the clown one? It's probably the clown one.
Carl Tanzler Made A Human Doll
The scariest stories are true stories, and that's what makes Carl Tanzler so frightening . In the early 1900s, Tanzler worked as an x-ray technician in Key West. He became obsessed with a young woman named Maria Elena Milagro de Hoyos, who was a tuberculosis patient at his hospital and looked like a woman he had spent years dreaming about. Despite being desperate to save her, Maria died in 1931 at just 22. Tanzler went and visited her grave every night.
Eventually, he dug up her corpse, loaded it into a small wagon, and wheeled it home. He turned the body into a giant doll using wire coat hangers, wax, plaster, and her own hair. He kept the body in his own bed and slept with it for close to a decade before he was arrested in 1940.
Prime Spot For Dumping Bodies
Some people look at the Everglades as a beautiful area packed with lush wildlife and exotic beauty. Others see it as a great spot to dump bodies. If you're ever lucky enough to visit the Everglades, keep an eye out for decomposing remains that have a habit of getting tangled in the weeds and the muck.
Authorities and locals have stumbled across numerous bodies that were dumped in a gruesome manner in the Everglades. Bodies that had been shot, stabbed, mutilated, burned to death, and otherwise tortured have all been found floating the rivers, and the cases are notoriously difficult to solve. Since 1965, there have been over 175 unsolved homicides in the Everglades, and those are only for the bodies that were actually found.
The Everglades Ghost Boy With The Evil Red Eyes
While canoeing with his family in the Everglades, a young man looked into the water and saw a ghostly figure floating below him. It looked like the ghost of a young boy, and his dark red eyes and evil glare scared him. Suddenly, the wind started to pick up and it caused his cousin to accidentally fall overboard. He knew something bad was going to happen, so he rushed to his cousin's aid to get him out of the water as fast as he could.
When they got back to land, the cousin started complaining about her back hurting. She took off her shirt and the family was shocked to see her entire back was horribly bruised. Later, the young man went back to that area and tried to find out more about what he saw. He found out that, years prior, a young boy drowned trying to win a bet and now his spirit haunts the area. Perhaps his cousin's bruises were caused by the ghost, trying to pull her under and condemn her to the same fate.
Robert The Doll Has A Life Of His Own
As the story goes, one day in the early 1900s, Robert Eugene Otto was given a doll by his Bahamian nanny. The nanny had just been fired for practicing voodoo and she gave the doll to Robert as a parting gift, but the family quickly started to believe the doll was haunted. By all accounts, it had a weird hold on the family, and soon Robert gave his name to the doll and decided to start going by Gene instead.
Reports say that the doll could make objects move, change its expression, and giggle innocently. There were even claims that the doll tried to kill the family. It became such a big deal that Robert the Doll now resides in a museum in Key West, where hopefully it can't do any more harm.
A Cornerstone Of The Bermuda Triangle
Mysterious plane disappearances around the Everglades have helped cement the legend of the Bermuda Triangle. One of the most infamous plane disappearances of all time happened in 1945 when a training patrol of five Avenger aircraft just vanished. Nobody knows what happened to them and no scrap of wreckage has ever been found. It's no wonder why the squadron has been labeled "The Lost Patrol."
To add to the strangeness, the Navy seaplane that was sent to try to rescue them also disappeared without a trace. The mysterious disappearances of the planes and the boat would become one of the major reasons why the Bermuda Triangle is so feared.
People Just Vanish Off The Face Of The Earth
Scarier than the people who are found floating face-down in the swamp are the people who just vanish without a trace. In 1998, Wendy Hudakoc snuck out of her bedroom window to go to a party and promptly disappeared forever without any solid evidence or leads. In 2009, seven-year-old Adji Desir went missing while playing in the front yard of his grandmother's house. Amy Billig was last seen hitchhiking down a stretch of road in 1974 and was never seen again, leading her mother on an extensive search to find her with tragic results.
Those are just a few examples of the hundreds of missing person cases from the Everglades. Where are all the people who went missing? Were they kidnapped? Are their bodies just decomposing in the Everglades, waiting to be discovered by some unfortunate tourist? Perhaps we will never know.
Edgar Watson Brings Mystery And Death To Chokoloskee Island
In the 1880s, Edgar Watson moved to Chokoloskee Island in the Everglades and quickly got to work building a sugar cane empire. He was an eccentric individual, and soon rumors began to spread that he moved to the island after killing several people, but there wasn't any evidence to back that up.
The townsfolk realized how dangerous he was after one drunken fight led Watson to slash a man's throat. The man barely survived, but strangely, no charges were pressed and Watson never stood trial for attempted murder. Many people believed Watson's wealth helped keep him out of jail.
His reputation got even worse when laborers on his property started to disappear. People assumed Watson was killing them at the end of the season and dumping them in the Everglades so he didn't have to pay them. The rumors were so strong that those who vanished at the end of the season were said to have gotten a "Watson Payday."
Eventually, evidence of Watson's crimes surface and the town had had enough, so they gathered up a posse and confronted Watson. Watson denied everything, then accounts say he raised his gun and tried to fire it. He had purposely been sold waterlogged bullets by a suspicious townsperson, however, and nothing happened. It caused the posse to open fire on Watson, riddling his body with bullets and killing someone who might have been a mass murderer.
Eastern Airlines Flight 401 Disaster
In December 1972, one of the worst plane crashes in United States history occurred when Eastern Airlines flight 401 crashed into a Florida swamp. One hundred and one people on board lost their lives in the tragic accident, and it's said that their spirits still haunt the crash site.
The weirdest sightings are of Bob Loft and Don Repo, the pilot and the flight engineer. Numerous accounts have claimed that these two liked to appear on Eastern Airlines flights and help out when there were plane problems. It seems they wanted to spend their afterlives trying to prevent other plane passengers from joining them in death.
The Lost City Brings A Mysterious History
Nobody knows the true history of Lost City, leaving only wild speculation and rumors to fill in the blanks. Lost City is a three-acre site full of rotted shacks and old artifacts. It's perhaps best known as one of Al Capone's hideouts. The famous gangster allegedly used the area for an illegal bootlegging operation, but there are more ghostly connections than people realize.
Before Capone, during the Civil War, close to 40 Confederate soldiers hid out there but were soon slain by the Seminole tribe. It's rumored that their spirits still haunt the place. Whatever happened before that is anyone's guess.
The Everglades Are Said To Be Home To The Gator Men
Supposedly, there have been sightings of Gator Men since way back in the 1700s. As you could probably guess, these creatures are described as terrifying. They are part human, part alligator, and only reach about five feet in length. They have greenish scales, strong tails, and scaly reptilian limbs with webbed feet and toes. Of course, their most horrifying feature is their mouth, which is full of jagged fangs.
They're not peaceful like other mythical creatures and like to travel in packs. They supposedly display cunning intelligence and can speak to one another in a feral, guttural language.
The Legend Of Skunk Ape
It's not as well-known as something like Bigfoot or a yeti, but the skunk ape is one of Florida's most enduring legends. These creatures are supposedly seven feet in height and can weigh around 450 pounds. They got their unfortunate name because they're said to look like some sort of demented orangutan and have an almost unbearable odor.
Supposedly, there are only about 15 of them left in the state, and they stink because they like to go into alligator caves where there are a lot of dead animals. They come out smelling like a mixture of rotten eggs and methane. Even though scientists and wildlife experts have concluded that the skunk ape is nothing more than a figment of human imagination, it's a legend that's deeply rooted in Florida's culture.
Ghost Pirates Lost For All Eternity
This legend originated in the 19th century and was told by sailors to pass the time. It deals with an entire crew of ghostly cutthroat pirates, who were cursed to sail the twisty, curvy channels of the Everglades as eternal punishment for their dastardly sins. What could be so bad that it cursed these men for all eternity?
Well, as the story goes, these pirates were roaming the high seas when suddenly they spotted a merchant ship. They gave chase, but the vessel was able to elude the pirate ship for hours. When they finally caught the ship, the pirate captain was so furious about the length of the chase that he made all the crew members walk the plank while making the skipper's wife watch. Out of anger, the wife prayed to God to punish the pirates, and he responded by cursing the pirates for all eternity.
- Graveyard Shift
20 Bizarre Things About The Everglade Swamp (We Never Knew)
We've uncovered some of the weirdest and intriguing facts about the truly incredible Everglades National Park.
How much do you know about the Everglades? It is one of America's murkiest treasured in more ways than one. Home to abundant wildlife; verdant grasses and cypress trees; gator lovers and air boats. The Everglades were first inhabited by the Seminoles thousands of years ago, and time has buried their secrets. Since 1947, according to National Geographic, the wetland has been a national park and a nature reserve, and that isolation has obscured even more.
The land was first named Pa-hay-Okee by its original inhabitants. According to the National Park Service, the name "Everglades" comes from "forever" and the old English word for a "grassy open place."
It is the third largest National Park in the United States, but it is smaller than it was before Florida became more developed. The secret and the bizarre about those swamplands are gone, but there are so many more in the gator-filled waters of the modern national park. We've uncovered some of the weirdest and intriguing facts about the truly incredible Everglades National Park.
20 It isn't actually a swamp: it's a river.
This national park's other common name, the River of Grass, is a more accurate descriptor of this vast, verdant wetland. The Everglades are a shallow, very wide, and very slow-moving river. The water would have to be much more stagnant to make it a true swamp, according to Encyclopedia Britannica. The whole ecosystem of the Everglades are a network of subtropical wetlands, lakes, and rivers, according to Live Science. This swamp-like river takes up a major portion of the tip of the Florida peninsula, though it has shrunk drastically. According to the Florida Museum, the wetlands covered 4,000 square miles, once upon a time. Today, they cover less than half of that acreage.
19 Although they’re obnoxious, mosquitoes are crazy important to the ecosystem of the Everglades
Mosquitoes bite, they buzz in your ears, they fly in your eyes. For humans, they are generally a nuisance, but they help maintain the balance of the Everglades' ecosystem. In the summer wet season, mosquitoes lay their eggs in water, and when the larvae hatch, they live in water. Female mosquitoes, who feed on blood, feast with abandon during this period to maintain the necessary protein levels to lay eggs, according to the National Park Service. The mosquito larvae are a food source for several fish species, including the Everglades Pygmy Sunfish. Did you know that mosquitoes can even bite alligators?
18 You can go “slough slogging”, a kind of very wet hike with rather limited appeal.
It's for some, but certainly not for all. Slough slogging is walking through the wetlands, which can have waters as high as waist-deep. This kind of hike is led by a ranger, according to the National Park Service – remember, there are a whole lot of gators in those waters. Even though this trek is guaranteed to be a soggy one, the rangers do take their sloggers off trail. For the uninitiated, a slough is a "a low-lying area of land that channels water through the Everglades," according to the National Park Service.
17 A “Lost Patrol” of planes disappeared while flying over the Everglades and has been associated with the Bermuda Triangle.
On December 5, 1945, five Navy torpedo bombers took off from Ft. Lauderdale Naval Air Station. The flight was a routine training mission, according to AJC. But their training took a fatal turn, and the squadron was never seen again. It has taken on legendary status as the Flight 19 "Lost Patrol", according to the Chicago Tribune. This Lost Patrol is a cornerstone of the Bermuda Triangle myth. Plane wrecks are found nearly as frequently in the underbrush of the Everglades as human remains. According to the Sun Sentinel, aviation experts believe that the planes went down in the Atlantic Ocean, but the belief persists that the planes crashed in the Everglades. The planes have yet to be found, but the searches for Flight 19 have uncovered other downed crafts.
16 In the 19th century, Chokoloskee Island in the Everglades was a remote hideout ideal for criminals and vagabonds, including the infamous Edgar Watson
Chokoloskee Island was wild and isolated for most of its existence. By the 1800s, it was the perfect place to go on the lam. According to Mysterious Universe, by the late 19th century, there was a community of fugitives that made Chokoloskee home. Enter Edgar Watson, who moved to the island in 1880 and started a sugar plantation. According to Mysterious Universe, he became known among villagers as a shifty character, in a community of shifty characters. There were abundant rumors that Watson had committed several crimes before coming to the island; once on the island, he nearly hurt a fellow villager following an argument. Seasonal workers on his island often disappeared after they finished working for Watson, and the remains of known former employees were found by villagers. Eventually, villagers had enough of Watson and he was no more.
15 The Everglades is the only place in the world where both alligators and crocodiles live
Can't always remember the difference between an alligator and a crocodile? Don't worry, we'll help you out. The most significant difference, according to Live Science, is that crocs usually hang out in saltwater environments, while gators tend to live in freshwater environments. Also, crocodiles have more V-shaped snouts that give them a grinning look while closed; alligators' snouts are more U-shaped and solemn (Live Science). Where the Everglades meet the coast, there is brackish and saltwater where crocodiles thrive, though they also travel farther inland, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. In the waters of the Everglades, both reptiles are right at home.
14 Eastern Air Lines Flight 401 crashed in the Everglades in 1972 and the ghosts of the passengers haunt the crash site
While the Flight 19 aircraft have never been found in the Everglades, a whole host of other crashed planes have been found rusting among the grasses. One of the biggest Everglades crashes, Eastern Air Lines Flight 401, was found long before it could rust. On December 29, 1972, Flight 401 was flying from JFK Airport in New York to Miami; while over the Everglades, the crew noticed a malfunction with the landing gear light, and were distracted enough that they didn't notice that the autopilot had been turned off, according to Mysterious Universe. The plane lost altitude and crashed in the Everglades. According to Mysterious Universe, some of Flight 401's parts were salvaged and used for other planes, and 401's passengers are said to haunt these repaired planes. But the crash site is reportedly haunted, too.
13 There are several major cases of people simply disappearing in the Everglades
It is murky, muddy, and home to vicious predators; it's rather unsurprising that people on occasion disappear into thin air. According to Mysterious Universe, the swamp has had this reputation for gobbling people up, but since the nineties, there have been high profile disappearances. In 1998, fourteen-year-old Wendy Hudakoc went missing in the area, and Terrance Williams and Felipe Santos went missing in 2003, and seven-year-old Adji Desir went missing in 2009. As of 2018, none of the missing people have been discovered.
12 There are only 2 seasons in the Everglades
Quite simply, there's a wet season and a dry one. The changes of season aren't marked so much by the change in temperature or verdure as the change in water level. The dry season is in the winter, when the rains take a vacation, from December through April. Wet season is in the summer and part of hurricane season, and lasts from mid-May to November. According to the National Park Service, the dry season is when northern birds migrate to the Everglades to enjoy the warmer climates. Many also nest, lay eggs, and care for their young in the Everglades' dry season.
11 The Everglades is a freshwater ecosystem, but is also home to some saltwater fish
Remember those brackish and saltwater regions of the Everglades we talked about earlier? Those areas support saltwater fish, just like they support crocodiles. And there sure are a lot of saltwater fish. Some species include the Gulf Killifish and Tarpon; the latter fish is among the most popular for fishing in the region, according to the National Park Service. With over 300 species of fresh and saltwater fish living in the Everglades National Park, it is a popular destination for recreational fishing.
10 This renowned wetland catches on fire, a lot
Like any other forested area, the Everglades needs periodic fires to maintain the environment. Even though the environment is very wet – most of the time. There is a dry season with drought-like conditions that result in lots of tinder-dry grass and underbrush, according to Everglades Holiday Park. The National Park Services maintains a regular schedule of controlled burning, which it says is crucial to maintaining the biodiversity of the park. The Park Service conducts several "prescribed burns" per year, usually of several hundred to a thousand acres at a time. After the dry season, the rains come and the Everglades are returned to their soggy, swampy goodness.
9 The Everglades is a great place to hide things – especially evidence
That evidence is usually a body. Hundreds of corpses have been found among the grasses and muck of the Everglades. According to Mysterious Universe, US 41 and the road known as "Alligator Alley," which both wend their way through the empty grassland and the very sparsely populated Collier County, have proven popular dumping grounds. During the 1970s, so many bodies were found in the Everglades, according to Mysterious Universe, that officials suspected they might have a person of interest at large. (They didn't.) The discoveries hardly abated during the 1980s. Despite the large number of crimes, relatively few of the persons have been identified or their murders solved. There have been 175 unsolved cases in the Everglades since 1965, according to Mysterious Universe. And these are only the ones that were discovered.
8 The Everglades are being invaded! By Burmese pythons
A lot of factors have threatened the wellbeing of the Everglades, from commercial expansion to climate change. And then there are invasive species, in this case Burmese pythons. Burmese pythons are not native to Florida, but to Southeast Asia. According to the English edition of Deutsche Welle, these giant snakes were introduced to the Florida wild in the 1970s, when people released their pet pythons into the Everglades. The pythons have no predators in this nonnative environment, so they reproduced and thrived in the Everglades unheeded. According to the Sun Sentinel, a Burmese python can eat deer or alligators whole. By 2017, the impact on the native wildlife of the Everglades had gotten severe enough that the National Park Service started an official python-hunting program, according to the Sun Sentinel. They had a successful year, but there is still a long way to go to turn the tide on the python invasion.
7 Throughout the 19th century, businessman tried to drain the Everglades to "reclaim" the land for agriculture
The leaders of the young United States were not as concerned about environmental conservation as we are today. As Florida became part of the Union and also more settled, businessman and government officials looked to Florida's swamplands, the Everglades in particular, to drain for use as agricultural land, according to the University of Florida. Hamilton Disston, a Philadelphia industrialist, bought 4 million acres of land and tried to drain the Everglades by building drainage canals. According to the University of Florida, this endeavor was ultimately unsuccessful, and Disston parceled up this land and sold it. Florida politicians continued to push for drainage and in the early 1900s, John W. Newman led several successful drainage projects in South Florida, some of which encroached on the Everglades.
6 A missile base was built in the national park during the Cold War and it’s still there
Built in 1965 by the Army Corps of Engineers following the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, this base in one of the best preserved sites of the US Cold War era technology. The base houses two Nike Hercules missiles, according to the National Park service. When active, the site employed 140 officers to man the base in case of an attack from Cuba. Eventually the threat from Cuba lessened, and the site was not active after 1979. The Department of the Interior added the base to its Register of Historical Places in 2004. According to the National Park Service, the site is generally open to visitors from December to March, though availability fluctuates, so check with the NPS before planning a visit.
5 The Everglades is a major source of freshwater for the whole state of Florida.
If there's one thing to be said about the Everglades, it certainly has a lot of water. Enough so that it has been put to good use and provides water for one out of every three Floridians, according to Florida Trip Guides. According to the NPS, in addition to keeping Florida residents supplied with water, this also helps ensure that the Everglades don't become too waterlogged – water balance is key to the maintenance of the Everglades environment. According to WLRN, the environment acts as a natural filter for the water. The water flows into the Biscayne Aquifer in the southeast Everglades, which furnishes municipal water supplies.
4 There is a ghost town in the middle of the swamp, known as "Lost City" or "Ghost City"
Uncharted, overgrown, and little known, the three-acre settlement of the Everglades' "Lost City" holds many secrets and affords few answers. According to Mysterious Universe, was once a Seminole settlement, which was abandoned abruptly, for unknown reasons. The former Seminole tenants left behind a range of artifacts, including a canoe and distilling vessel that were 1,000 to 2,000 years old. Today, there are ancient ruins as well as several crumbling cabins left behind, and mysteries persist about who lived in them and why. It is rumored that 30 to 40 Confederate soldiers used the area as a hideout during the Civil War, after they allegedly stole gold from the Union.
3 There is a rumor connecting known gangster to the Lost City in the Everglades
The most rumored and fantastical story about the Lost City needed its own item. The Lost City is suspected to have been the site of a clandestine bootleg operation in the 1930s run by Chicago mob boss Al Capone, according to Mysterious Universe. This period was the Prohibition era, when the production, sale, and transport of alcohol was illegal, so the booze business went underground, and people like Capone ran it. The Lost City likely produced moonshine for Capone, who owned a saloon and dance hall off the Tamiami Trail, according to the Sun Sentinel. The Lost City was isolated enough that it would have been difficult for the authorities to locate the operation.
2 The Everglades are supposedly home to a ghost pirate ship
The nearby Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, and the coast of Florida have an illustrious history of swashbuckling. It seems natural that there should be a pirate story associated with the Everglades – a ghost story no less. Whether sanctioned privateers or straight criminals, piracy in the region started in the 16th century with Spanish pirates and extended until the 19th century, according to Mysterious Universe. The story, as detailed by a 1901 edition of the Chicago Tribune, is that in the 1600s a pirate ship captured a merchant ship off the coast of Florida. They gave the pirates chase and gave them enough trouble that the pirates made every crew member walk the plank, while retaining the captain's wife to make her watch. She cursed the pirates and, according to legend, they are doomed to roam the Everglades on their ship in perpetuity.
1 The Everglades are supposedly home to two cryptids: the Skunk Ape and Gator Men
Like many a wild place in the United States, the Everglades is supposedly home to cryptids – according to those who believe, anyway. The Oxford English dictionary defines a cryptid as "an animal whose existence is disputed or unsubstantiated." And the Everglades has two. The first is the Skunk Ape, a Sasquatch-like creature covered in red hair that is 7 feet tall and stinks (Everglades Adventure). Very badly. A creature of similar description was long reported by Natives in the area, and there have been sightings reported and photographs taken in the modern day. The other Everglade cryptid is the Gator Man: half gator, half man. Mysterious Universe says that sightings have been reported since the 1700s. Who knows?
References: Mysterious Universe; Sun Sentinel; Chicago Tribune; National Park Service