Gainesville, FL

There's (apparently) a haunted Steak N' Shake in Gainesville, Florida

Evie M.

One thing I learned about Florida from the day I arrived here a year ago is if you’re hungry, you’re in paradise. Not since I moved from my home state of California (and I have lived all over the world) have I seen so many different options. You want chinese? There’s a bomb buffet down the street. Mexican food? Authentic, mouth-watering Menudo down the block every weekend that sells out if you’re not early. Cuban? Sushi? The best fresh seafood in the country? Fast food restaurants you’ve never heard of? It’s all here.

You also have the historic restaurants, some of them as old as the state itself, or just about. A lot of them are famously haunted, too.

And then there’s the apparently haunted Steak N’ Shake on 13th st. in Gainesville, Florida. Yes, a haunted Steak N’ Shake. Naturally, the moment I found out about it, I had to learn more. I mean, it’s a haunted Steak N’ Shake.

So let’s get into it.

If you’ve never been to a Steak N’ Shake before, you are missing out. Established in 1934 in Normal, Illinois, Gus Belt founded Steak N’ Shake after deciding to serve the Cadillac of burgers to people, going so far as to wheel in barrels of steak to grind in front of his customers, proving his quality.

Well, it worked, because Steak N’ Shake slaps. I can’t talk too much about it now because I’m getting hungry. All I’m going to say is: If you’ve never had a meal from Steak N’ Shake, what are you doing with your life?

Today, Steak N’ Shake has locations all over the country, including one on 13th st. in Gainesville, Florida (1610 SW 13th St.) And it makes sense that there would be rumors this store is haunted, as 13th street, I’m learning, seems to be a pretty haunted street in Gainesville. (There’s a haunted Walmart on the same street I just wrote an article about).

So what’s the story? According to sources, this poor Steak N’ Shake has been through it. The tale, which has absolutely no basis that I can find, says five people were murdered by a “disgruntled employee” in the walk-in freezer. It’s horrible news, but without an actual report in the books to hold onto, it’s just a spooky story.

Regardless, employees to this day refuse to go near the freezer “even in the daylight”. And this is after two complete remodels, where the Steak N’ Shakes were torn down to make the same exact Steak N’ Shakes again. There’s no saying why they remodeled the stores, but maybe it had something to do with trying to shed a little of that bad Ju-ju. Even if the story about the employees aren’t true, there could still be something there.

What do you all think? Have you heard the rumors? Do you believe they’re true?

I think I am in the mood for a Steak N’ Shake combo and a drive to Gainesville soon. My only question is: Who’s coming with me?

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