Orlando, FL

The ghost of Ted Bundy (maybe) haunts this historical Orlando Museum

Evie M.

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Ted Bundy sits thoughtfully in courtDonn Dughi Public domain

Every American knows the name “Ted Bundy”. If you don’t, honestly, unless you’re a child, that’s pretty concerning. As a terrible staple in our country’s history, Ted Bundy made his mark after his brutal stint as a serial killer over four years in the 1970s, murdering over 20 young women and confessing to over 30.

What I didn’t know is that Ted Bundy’s life ended in the electric chair right here in Florida, and you can visit the site of his death. Oh, AND it’s considered by many as one of the most haunted places, if not the most haunted place in Florida.

And it’s all (allegedly) because of Ted Bundy’s ghost.

At 65 E Central Blvd in Orlando Florida (a few miles away from me in SODO), The Orange County Regional History Center is a wonderful museum and a staple of Orlando society and a hot-spot for tourism.

The museum, which opened in 1976 after the original building, the famous brownstone courthouse, was destroyed in 1957. In 1995, a new courthouse came to Orange County, and Orange decided that the town’s courthouse from 1927 would become a museum. In 2000, the Orange County Regional History Center was born and beloved.

Guests can enjoy over six floors of incredible exhibits spanning over 12,000 years of Florida history. 12,000 years! The museum allows guests to rent out spaces for events and holds community gatherings of their own. Clearly, it’s truly a wonderful place to be. But then there’s Ted Bundy. Born on November 24, 1946, Bundy was undoubtedly one of the most brutal serial killers of our time.

While today a museum, as we now know (or maybe you already knew and the rest of us are just noobs), Ted Bundy died in the old brownstone courthouse. Three weeks after Buddy terrorized sorority sisters from the Chi Omega House at Florida State, Bundy got caught going after a child, a 7th grader named Kimberly Leach, who never turned up for P.E. class after going to get her wallet in homeroom, which was in a different building. Almost two months later, authorities discovered Kimberly’s body in an old shed meant for farm animals close to Suwannee River State Park. Witness reports state she was “taken by a handsome man in a white van that had been hanging around the school that morning.” (My question is why didn’t anyone say anything?)

Bundy stood trial at the Orange County Courthouse in Orlando. He earned the death penalty and died in the electric chair on January 24, 1989 at Florida State Prison. Good riddance.

But here’s where it gets weird. Since Bundy died, reports started surfacing that his spirit has (maybe) not left the building. One fascinating story is from a security guard that worked at the courthouse.

Back in 2001, a retired Florida for the Florida State prison reported anonymously to a Tampa newspaper that they’d seen Ted Bundy himself sitting in the electric chair after his death. The guard said Bundy “was just sitting in the electric chair casually, that he was not strapped in.” Even creepier, Bundy would smile when they entered the room, but when they tried to talk to him, he’d disappear. Bundy appeared so many times they couldn’t find a guard who wanted to step a toe in the room and I don’t blame them.

Bundy’s ghost also (apparently) spoke to every guard outside of his holding cell they placed him in just before he died, telling them, “Well, I beat all of you, didn’t I?”

Terrifying. And it seems Bundy’s ghost is very busy in the afterlife, as he also makes visits elsewhere, including the museum. Ghosts and Gravestones even has reports from visitors who've claimed to get photos of full bodied apparitions.

Guests and employees have heard horrible, maniacal laughter coming from nowhere, objects moving and floating. Many blame Bundy’s ghost, but the spooky spirit lawyers waiting for old trials I can’t explain, but you bet I want to see it all.

Could Bundy be haunting the very place he was tried for death? Maybe his spirit is linked to the initials he carved on the third floor (which you can check out behind a thick wall of plexi-glass). Who knows. But the museum has regular business hours and is right here in Orlando a few miles away, so you know I have to check it out.

My question is: Who’s coming with me?

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Orlando, FL
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