Coral Cut – Palm Beach, Florida - Atlas Obscura

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Coral Cut

This spooky road cut through a mound of ancient coral might be haunted by a witch. 

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The town of Palm Beach sits on a barrier island, which as you may expect is mostly flat and sea level. However, the southwest corner of the Palm Beach Country Club sits on a mound of rock and coquina shell up to 200 feet tall. This may have resulted from deposits slowly building up from the intracoastal to the west and the ocean to the east, serendipitously converging at this spot. A few homes directly south of the golf course were also built on top of this mound, and Country Club Road was eventually cut through it.

The road is fascinating enough from a geological standpoint: different layers and patterns are easily visible. But what makes this stretch a local legend known as the “Witch’s Wall” has to do with the small window carved into the south face and covered with a metal gate. Some say an evil witch lives in one of the homes on top of the mound, and she would kidnap and kill children by locking them behind the gate, their souls to remain imprisoned in the porous coral forever. Visitors could visit the gate and touch it to release a lost soul, but it would only motivate the witch to come out and capture another one.

Other legends tell it slightly differently. In one case a woman lost her husband in a car accident on Country Club Road and then her son moved away shortly after, causing her to grow mad. Another claims the son locked his mother in the basement, where her only exposure to the outside was the gated window in the wall. Or perhaps the house on top of the mound was once an asylum, and one patient nicknamed “the witch” tried to escape, but got caught behind the locked gate.

The town will be quick to tell you that the property on top of the mound is now a water pump station, and you can clearly see a pipe behind the gate in the wall. Whatever you believe, the Coral Cut remains a spooky place to drive down, especially at night under its solitary street light.

Know Before You Go

Country Club Road is very narrow, with a blind corner at the west end. There is no room to pull over for photos, or really even to walk down. Use caution and keep an eye out for traffic.

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