The Ghost of Cyrus Teed

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Koreshan State Park in Estero, Florida, offers a window into the lives of a unique and eccentric pioneer group that made its home under towering oaks on the Estero River banks.

In 1869 a Chicago doctor named Cyrus Teed changed his name to Koresh and started a new religion. In 1894 claiming to be the Messiah, Teed brought his followers to the property on the Estero River banks and built a commune named the Koreshan Unity.

Living celibate lives, the enterprising Koreshans established a farm, nursery, and botanical gardens on the property, believing that the universe existed on the inside of the Earth.

Teed died in 1908, and his eccentric pioneer group of followers awaited his resurrection. After about 3 weeks, the health department stepped in and forced the group to dispose of the body. It was placed in a mausoleum on the beach, but a hurricane washed it away a few years later.

The last of the Koreshan Unity members died in 1982, and many believe that the followers’ spirits are still there watching over their land. Witnesses have reported shadowy figures who appear and disappear on the trails of the now Florida State Park. Unexplained voices have been heard in the buildings, and also floating orbs of light have been reported.

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