Ghosts of Chokoloskee SOFTCOVER

Ghosts of Chokoloskee SOFTCOVER

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Rick Magers

The 100 year old Smallwood Trading Post/Museum on Chokoloskee Island, Florida is a 20 mile trek that begins in Naples, crosses the Everglades on Tamiami Trail (US 41) and turns south on Highway 29. You will go through Everglades City, the infamous little fishing village where, arguably, one hundred thousand tons of marijuana was brought in by local smugglers during the 70s and 80s. Once you arrive in Chokoloskee, no longer an island, since a causeway brought the inhabitants into a modern world they had no use for. A book by Peter Matthiessen: Killing Mister Watson, the true account of the local vigilantes that had been bullied by Edgar Watson since he arrived from Oklahoma Territory. While there, he and Belle Starr developed a hate for one another. One night, after Belle was paid a very large sum for her part in a bank robbery, she was found dead from a shotgun blast, and the money was gone. Very small boot prints led straight to Edgar's cabin. It was well known that for a tall, stout man, with more muscles than most, Edgar had extremely small feet. There was no eye witness, so the sheriff was forced to free him. Edgar walked out of the jail, and left his wife and children to fend for themselves, as he headed south. There have been many claims over the years, after Watson was gunned down for killing the help on his small plantation, 20 miles east of the Smallwood Trading Post, that he killed them rather than pay them. Ghosts are regularly seen inside, under, and throughout the vicinity. Letters have been sent by tourists who visited the Museum to take photos, that stated they would never return because, "We can see ghosts in every photograph." Were they simply hysterical people who wanted badly to see the ghost of Edgar Watson, Ted Smallwood, Green, Big Hannah, numerous black men, and a few foolish men who challenged the deadly killer, Mister Watson. Professional ghost seekers have received permission from the Smallwood owners of the museum, to come inside and use their search equipment, and also photograph ghosts. Some said they recorded several ghosts, and photographed some of them. Others said, "There is so much paranormal activity in here, no doubt due to so much killing done by Edgar Watson, and the killing of him, that one day something bad will happen at this museum, so we are never coming back. Read this first, and then alter next year's itinerary, and visit Everglades City and Chokoloskee. Bring your camera, and you just might take a ghost home with you.