The stretch of highway along Interstate 4, between Tampa and Daytona, has a bit of a dubious past. You see, it was built on the site of the Swedish settlement. After the Yellow Fever epidemic, all that remained of the pioneering site was an abandoned farmhouse and several family graves (of those who perished during the epidemic). Did that halt construction of the I-4? Nope.
Way back in the late 1800s when the Department of Agriculture along with the Governor of Florida established the ‘Florida Land and Colonization Company’, its purpose was to populate the state with workers. This is how the tiny colony of Swedes came to settle the area initially. It was called Saint Joseph’s Colony, and it was a religious settlement led by Father Felix Prosper Swembergh. However, when Father Swembergh was sent to Tampa he contracted Yellow Fever and died. Soon after the families of St. Joseph’s Colony also contracted the disease and allegedly, those afflicted weren’t afforded last rites.
Today, there are rumors and legends of “pioneer ghosts standing by the busy highway at night, ghostly voices coming over radios, CBs and cell phones and radio stations going dead while crossing the grave site...” It’s been referred to as the “Dead Zone,” and it’s believed to be one of the most haunted highways in America. The weirdness begins at the southern side of the bridge as it crosses over St. Johns River, just west of modern-day Sanford, for about a quarter of a mile”.
Read the full story of haunted highway I-4 here.