This Is The Number One Unsolved Mystery In Florida And It Will Leave You Baffled.
In the charming town of New Smyrna Beach, located in Volusia County, you’ll find an ancient mystery, rumors of paranormal activity—and possibly even a curse.
At first glance, these ruins resemble a typical fort, so you can understand why the site was named Old Fort Park. Like the Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine, the structure is made out of coquina. Unlike that historic landmark though, there is no obvious place nearby where the coquina would have been sourced. However, the spot has been marked as an ancient shell mound on old maps.
The site is most often associated with an English settlement founded by Andrew Turnbull in the 1700s. Some historians believe the foundation was intended to become his mansion, but it was never completed. Others believe it may have been a fort that proves New Smyrna Beach had a colony that predates the settlement of St. Augustine. Still, others theorize that they could be the remnants of a colonial church. In the 1850s, the foundation was used for a popular hotel, but it was destroyed in the Civil War. It was later rebuilt but torn down only 30 years later.
It seems like nothing built on this foundation has been able to stick. Some have wondered if building on the site of an ancient Indian shell mound may have cursed it. These speculations have evolved over the years into rumors of paranormal activity and creepy “shadow people” that haunt the ruins. Hopefully someday this mystery will be solved, but for now these strange ruins remain an intriguing piece of Florida’s past.
Have you ever visited the ruins at Old Fort Park? What stories and explanations have you heard about the mysterious site?
The Turnbull Ruins are located at Old Fort Park on N. Riverside Drive, near downtown New Smyrna Beach.
From U.S. 1 (Dixie Freeway), take Canal Street (traveling east) to Riverside Drive; turn left (north) onto Riverside Drive, and continue one block to Old Fort Park.
From SR 44 (traveling east), turn left onto Live Oak Street and continue to Canal Street; turn right and continue to Riverside Drive; turn left and travel one block to Old Fort Park.
Street parking is available between Julia and Washington.