Okeechobee, FL

Was this the most evil school in Florida?

Evie M.

A postcard featuring the Florida Boys SchoolPhoto bycreator unknown public domain

Have you ever heard of the Dozier School For Boys? The story is one that needs to be told again and again to keep this horrible memory alive, as much as we might want to look away. Or at least this is how I felt the moment I learned.

Known as the Florida Industrial School for Boys or the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys, this terrifying school ran from January 1, 1900 until shockingly recent times (June 30, 2011) on the allegations of the Dozier school getting a “reputation” for doing awful things I can’t mention here to the innocent boys that were under their care.

The town of Okeechobee, Florida, home of Lake Okeechobee, famous for Large Mouse Bass and Speckled Perch fishing, was also the proud site of the Dozier School, which was more specifically located in Marianna. And, for quite a few years, it seemed, revered as the premiere juvenile reform school in the entire country.

However, the Dozier School’s horrific reputation didn’t take long to develop, and for 111 years before the investigation that would ultimately lead to their downfall, many knew the Dozier School for their nightmarish treatment of young boys, which including locking them into a separate building on school grounds called “The White House”. Eighty-one young boys were said to have died in this horrible place, however many speculate more.

But karma is beautiful, because it was this building that was the demise of the school, as hundreds of the boys, now brave and healing men, once locked in this building, calling themselves “The Whitehouse Boys” came forward to end the school over the years.

And in 2009, justice was finally served when the Dozier School failed routine state inspection and the current governor called for a full scrub down in order to shed light on the allegations, which have been confirmed by both the Florida Department of Law Enforcement in 2010, and by the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice in 2011.

That same year, the school was closed for good. But this doesn’t mean those who suffered have left. In fact, the school’s considered to be so haunted it even earned a spot on Ghost Hunters back in 2010.

The campus is said to have many paranormal “hotspots”, considering that over fifty boys have been found in unmarked graves and goodness knows how many else there are. There’s no doubt there would be some malevolent energy left behind, seeing what these poor boys, some as young as six, were made to endure.

I can very much understand how this could be the most evil place in Florida.

Visitors to the Dozier school grounds have reported: “intense feelings of nausea to being touched by an unseen force....or in some cases being pushed or barged past in this area.”

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Orlando, FL

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