It’s that time of year again in the 407- carved pumpkins pop up on entranceways, and the weather gets a few degrees cooler. There is something spooky in the air during this time of year, and we love getting in a spooky mood in Winter Park. Winter Park is full of rich history dating back to the 1800’s, and it is full of creepy places, stories, figures and things. Read on to find out some of the most haunted places in Winter Park…if you dare.
Albin Polasek Museum and Sculpture Gardens
Opened in 1961, the museum is home to over 200 sculptures by Czech artist Albin Polasek. The museum has been known to have a few paranormal sightings. Several museum staff members feel Polasek’s spirit is still around, refusing to leave his beloved sculptures. In 1997, one guest snapped a photo of a tear miraculously suspended on the cheek of Jesus on Polasek’s “Stations of the Cross.” The staff had no explanation for how it got there.
Rollins College – Annie Russel Theater
Anne Russel Theater, built in the 1930’s, was named after the actress Annie Russell, who taught at Rollins College. She had even performed onstage opening night in 1932. Annie died four years later in 1936. Over the years, there have been sightings of a female ghost in the second story changing room (no longer accessible after the remodeling). However, there have been a few eyewitness accounts:
“I worked in the Annie Russell Scene Shop as a student…. As we were pulling off a particularly stubborn strip of molding, the emergency exit door slowly swung open about halfway. My friend and I turned to see who was opening the door only to find no one was there. The door, which had a self closing arm, stayed half open of its own accord for quite a long pause as if someone or something couldn’t decide if it was coming or going. My friend and I looked at each other and I turned back to the door and jokingly said, “Hey Annie, shut the door”. As soon as I finished saying it the door slowly swung shut. We sat in stunned silence for a few moments” – Meghan
The Enzian Theater is a favorite movie and dining spot in the Maitland/Winter Park area. It’s one of the few places you can watch independent and foreign films in Orlando. However, things have been known to get a little spooky. At approximately 1 a.m., movie goers have seen a ghost swirling around with a disembodied head. This apparition starts in the north corner of the theater and then floats to the other corners. It also screams out before vanishing into the kitchen at the adjacent restaurant, Nicole St. Pierre.
Harry P. Leu Gardens
In the Baldwin Park/Winter Park location in Winter Park is one of the most scenic, lush gardens in Winter Park. However, there are some strange happenings that go on the grounds. People believe that the spirits of Harry Leu and his wife Mary Jane still live here. There are frequent sightings when people tour the mansion on-site. The most notorious place that appearances happen is on the secondary story porch, where phantom footsteps can be heard.
What do you think of some of these haunted places in Winter Park, Florida? Have you ever had a paranormal experience at any of these locations?
PLEASE NOTE: It is your responsibility to acquire appropriate permissions before investigating any of these locations. Private property should be respected at all times, as should all posted signs concerning trespassing, hours of operation and other local regulations. Many “ghost hunters” have been arrested because they failed to contact property owners and/or local authorities ahead of time.