Orlando, FL

(Maybe) don't sit beside the nice old man on the bench at Heritage Square

Evie M.

The Orange County Regional History center just outside of Heritage Square in Orlando, FloridaMiosotis jade on wikimediacommons.com

Orlando is truly a beautiful city. While (according to local friends) I moved here a year ago after pandemic, missing what Orlando truly was pre-COVID, but honestly, I still find it very charming. Of course, I’d been here before briefly when I came to perform on the Disney Cruise Line. Back then, it seemed like the mecca of all things entertainment in the South, much like my home state of California but with lots more palm trees, marshlands, and gators.

But then I moved to the City Beautiful to live and learned it’s so much more than what you see.

Even the most quaint and scenic places can have dark rumors and stories surrounding them. Lake Eola, Lake Lucerne, and of course, the famously haunted Heritage Square.

Let’s talk about Heritage Square first, though, because honestly, I’m shook. How many times have I been down to Central Blvd. in Orlando and had no idea Heritage Square as a whole could be haunted?


Of course, you have the Orange County Regional History Center, located directly in front of the Heritage Square Courtyard at 65 East Central BoulevardOrlando, FL 32801 if you wanted to pay a visit, which (could be) haunted by the ghost of serial killer Ted Bundy.

But that’s all I knew. I’d put a pin to go to the museum when I had to the time and continued on to catalogue other haunted areas around Orlando (I’ve written a few stories about my exploits, actually), and am kicking myself now that I didn’t know what kind of ghostly history was right beneath my feet. It would’ve saved me some gas and time for sure as I drove around trying to find a way to get into Lake Lucerne (and I still couldn’t find the entrance).

But this is the entire reason I like to learn about the state I’m living in. You miss out on opportunities like these, though Heritage Square is not an unknown haunted location. Not only is a popular spot on many ghost tours you can take throughout the city and even a clue on ghostly Scavenger Hunt maps, there are countless stories about the (alleged) paranormal activity here.

Considering that the heart of Orlando stemmed from the core that was Heritage Square dating all the way back to 1857, it’s no wonder there are ghost stories.

Even now, as you walk down the street, you’ll be surrounded by actual buildings from the 19-century, giving you a glimpse into the lives of post-modern Orlando and a walk through actual history. And then there’s the ghostly man that is reported to sit on a bench, only to disappear when you speak to him.

There is literally no mention of who he is, which makes it only spookier, but if you’re in Orlando, the street is completely accessible if you wanted to do a little sleuthing and find out who he is.

Just sayin’.

I know I will head back soon. My only question is: Who’s coming with me?

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"Reader beware, you're in for a scare!--R.L. Stine"

Orlando, FL

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