Spook Hill

100_6832┬áLegend claims:After the Seminoles left the Cherokee nation, they settled in Central Florida away from the white man’s lodges to the North. One legendary chief settled on the lake which is now known as Lake Wailes. Here he had all the advantages of a high campsite on a lake which offered fresh water and good fishing. It was also close to Iron Mountain which, as the highest point in Florida, was sacred to the Indians’ Sun God. The chief, Cufcowellax, and his people were happy for several years, but then one day a huge bull alligator moved into the lake and began to harass the tribe. Soon it began nightly raids on the village, and the tribe lived in terror of this evil spirit that inhabited their lake. The legend says that Cufcowellax was a chief of great physical prowess and courage. He had great stature among his people both as a warrior and as a ruler. When he saw his people in constant fear, the chief, fearing for their safety, set out to conquer the evil spirit. His tribal shaman and elders placed him under the protection of the Great Spirit and he began his search. Though many suns came and went, he could not catch the ‘gator. Finally one morning he came upon the ‘gator on the northwest shore as it dragged another night’s victim into the lake. The legend says the chief battled the ‘gator on land and water for a moon, and then suddenly the great thrashing stopped, and the water of the lake turned red. The tribe watched the surface of the lake in fearful anticipation. With great joy they saw their chief rise from the water. In the midst of their celebration they saw something else. The great battle had made a smaller lake near the big one. When the chief died, he was buried on the shore of the little lake, Ticowa, and the place became sacred to the Indians.