Fort Cooper State Park

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This state park was once home to Fort Cooper during the Second Seminole War. Nothing of the fort remains apart from some archaeological finds, but at least one staff member thinks the spirit of an Indian chief still lingers. There aren’t many sightings – most people just “feel” his presence around the gift shop and ranger offices. He does, however, have a tendency to get a bit ornery whenever a controlled burn is lit within the park – there is a picture hanging on the wall that one ranger swears always tilts to one side, on its own, whenever a fire is lit.

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Geographic Information

3100 S Old Floral City Rd
Inverness, FL 34450
United States

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28.815653655289708, -82.30433195829391
Citrus County, Florida
Nearest Towns:
Inverness, FL (2.1 mi.)
Inverness Highlands South, FL (2.2 mi.)
Floral City, FL (4.6 mi.)
Inverness Highlands North, FL (5.5 mi.)
Hernando, FL (7.2 mi.)
Citrus Hills, FL (9.2 mi.)
Istachatta, FL (10.9 mi.)
Lecanto, FL (11.4 mi.)
Beverly Hills, FL (11.6 mi.)
Nobleton, FL (12.0 mi.)

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Comments (5)

  1. Not sure why this Chief would be upset about controlled burns. Native Americans knew, understood the importance and did controlled burns in all states.

  2. When I was in high school, myself and a few friends parked our car outside the entrance to this park late at night, about 1 in the morning. We had heard stories and wanted to check it out. after sitting there for about 10 minutes, we heard this groaning sound. We all heard it. The best way I can describe it is it sounded like someone who was injured and in a lot of pain groaning or moaning loudly. The noise kept getting closer and closer until it sounded like it was in the car with us. It scared us all so bad that we sped off and have not been back since.

  3. I rode the bike trail into fort cooper, I’m such a history buff that when I’m in a place of a known war I try to put myself in the shoes of the men who once served their. I’ve visited many sites in my life but this was one that kind of made me think really hard about going into a person’s space without asking. As I rode my bike into the park from the back side I was just in all with what had happened in this blood soaked land. I then peddled towards the back side of the lake and towards the fort when a man came to me and said why are you here and what is it that you seek. Thrown off I said I seek nothing I’m just trying to understand this place, the man said with a low painful but sad voice, this is a place that has many of unknown understandings. I asked the gentleman if he was OK and if he lived around the area, the long haired man took a look straight into my eyes and said where I live no white man will ever know nor understand, at this very moment I became very overwhelmed as if my whole world was torn out from under me. I literally broke down and started balling my eyes out and in the back of my mind I didn’t know why I was crying, the next thing I know I was on my knees looking up and the gentleman I had been talking to was gone. Still in thought of loss I got up and looked around yelling for the gentleman. I didn’t have a name and to be honest it never once crossed my mind to ask what his name was. But know I’m yelling for this man thinking I’m going completely insane and as I’m yelling something told me to look towards the water and when I did I saw the man he had an odd type hat on with a red feather and Sandy white garments And a look of lose in his eyes. It was then in a few seconds he literally turned into a misty haze and vanished. I literally snapped back as if a loss in time just caught up to me and got on my bike and peddled so hard to get out of their, but as I approached the bike trail I had that feeling of remorse come over me again and even with everything that had just happened and as shaken up as I was not to mention in straight up fear, I stopped at the entrance of the park by the bike trail literally got off my bike and said thank you for allowing me to have your time. Then I peddled my butt off and have never went back. Sometimes looking back on that experience I sometimes wonder if I could have maybe took things differently. Whatever it maybe I hope I have not offended anyone that still remains at that fort site today. However I do hope that that gentleman realizes that the ear is over and finds his way home. God bless those who fought and died on that sacred ground. May they finally rest in peace. Amen.

  4. My husband and I went into the park to do a little nature walking. We never had heard of Fort Cooper and thought it would be good to visit a new park.

    During our walk we started to experience some weird things. First my husband felt as if he was being held by the legs as he walked in front of the fort. Then I was also felt like I was stuck and couldn’t walk. we Shrugged it off thinking it was the Twigs on the ground.

    We continued past the fort when we started to feel like someone was arching us in the grasses. We kept looking around hoping to see other people, but there was no one else in sight.

    Then we heard shots in the air. They were slow shots. We walked through the area where we both heard the shots and no one was there. As we continued down the road, I saw someone hunched over, with a feather and long hair cross the road in front of us. As we walkes the long Loop, we heard talking. Suddenly, my husband felt a sharp pain on his right side as if it were an arrow sting. After walking over a half hour, we started to feel the urgency to leave.

    Once we got home, we could not stop talking about our experiences and then looked up in Google and found that this Forest is very haunted. When we were leaving, there were no other cars in the parking lot just us.

    We love going to haunted places, but I must say this is definitely the most haunted place we’ve experienced. Maybe you like to feel the hair stand on the back of your neck, definitely come here.

  5. I work on the outskirts of the property. Ever since I started this job I’ve felt a presence watching me especially in one specific part of the building but I never did see anything until three months ago. I saw a shadow in the back hallway leaning out the doorway and when I turn look take a second look it was gone. After that every week I work I have an experience from loud bangs to knocking on the doors. I am the only person on the property at the time so no one else could be making these noises. Two weeks ago when I was locking up the gate I saw a tall figure in the woods roughly 30 feet away from me. Ever since it saw the shadow the activity has picked up.

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Disclaimer: The stories posted here are user-submitted and are, in the nature of "ghost stories," largely unverifiable. makes no claims that any of the statements posted here are factually accurate. The vast majority of information provided on this web site is anecdotal, and as such, should be viewed in the same light as local folklore and urban legends.