Twice-Told Tale

The Student News Site of Lake Highland Preparatory School

Twice-Told Tale

Twice-Told Tale

Where to Unearth Haunted History

Ms. Allie Dunaway
(Above) Right here on the LHPS campus, eerie feelings have emerged when students and staff have walked alone in Highland House, where students come to attend classes in the traditional and digital arts. Highland House was originally a family home, built in the late 1940s or early 1950s. After Orlando Junior College purchased the land, it was used as offices but, “Retained a ‘house’ layout,” states Dr. Brenda Walton. She also said that by the 1970s, the land became a part of Lake Highland with various purposes, including hosting home economics, science, and yearbook classes as well as a space for faculty to host holiday parties. By the 2000s, it became the arts building. However, with a long history comes troublesome events, including the deaths of many people around the property. Ms. Ginger Bryant, states that although she doesn’t believe in ghosts, she has, “Seen things in that building that [she is] not able to explain with any sort of scientific backing.” Other administrators and students have relayed similar sentiments, stating that they feel some sort of presence or negative energy when passing by the building.

As the summer heat is beginning to cool down, and the autumn wind begins to pick up, people across the country are preparing for the scariest time of the year. Aside from the tricks (and treats) and frighteningly realistic decor, this is the time when even those who don’t believe in spooky stories might be persuaded. In fact, the city of Orlando is home to many eerie tales. From Highland House on campus to Winter Park and Orlando, here are some of the most creepy and mysterious glimpses into local history, guaranteed to send chills down your back.

(Above) A familiar campus to those who live near Orlando is Rollins College. However, what many might not know about is the haunting of the school’s Annie Russell Theater. After retiring from acting, Annie Russell came to Rollins to teach, and the school founded a theater in her honor not much later in 1931. However, after Russell’s death in 1936, many mysterious reports began to emerge. Most infamously, while a student was hanging lights for a stage set, he felt someone tugging at his leg. However, he did not notice anyone. As he turned back around, expecting to reach for the next rung, he accidentally grabbed a live wire instead, causing him to fall off the ladder after being electrocuted. His friend, who was working at the other end of the theater, rushed over and called an ambulance. Yet after explaining what happened, the dispatcher claimed that an ambulance was already on the way, after an elderly lady called. Making the event even more sinister, when the paramedics arrived, they noticed the words, “Electrocuted” and, “Broke his back” graffitied on the wall. Although he fractured his spine, the student survived, leading many to believe that Russell’s ghost pulled his leg as a warning and was the one who called for an ambulance, before the accident even happened. To this day, some of the graffiti is still visible as students exchange Russell’s ghost tales when welcoming new students to campus. (Minaal Arain)
(Above) The Harry P. Leu Gardens are one of Orlando’s most beautiful areas. From casual walks to weddings, the gardens are a popular spot all year long where people escape their busy lives and view the various gorgeous plants. Apparently, Leu and his wife, Mary Jane, agree. People have commonly reported seeing the couple when touring the grounds, especially on the second story of their house, which was purchased by the couple in 1936. It is here that their footsteps can also be heard. (Minaal Arain)
(Above) Lake Lucerne, located on South Orange Avenue, offers a peaceful view of Downtown Orlando, just outside of the active city. In addition to the beautiful landscape, a woman dressed in white might catch your eye. She is said to be seen along the eastern shore of the lake, or under an old oak tree as the sun begins to set, disappearing into the night after dark. (Minaal Arain)
(Above) The Orange County Regional History Center previously served as the Orange County Courthouse, the very one where serial killer, Ted Bundy, was convicted at for the murder of Kimberly Leach in 1979. Visitors of the museum can see the courtroom in which his trial took place, along with the desk where Bundy carved his name during the trial. However, guests have also reported some activity that’s not as obvious. They have reported seeing the ghost of a man who looks strikingly similar to Bundy, as well as objects moving on their own. (Minaal Arain)
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About the Contributor
Minaal Arain
Minaal Arain, Co-Editor
Minaal Arain started writing for Lake Highland Preparatory School’s newspaper, Twice-Told Tale her Junior year of high school and now is the Co-Editor of the publication, as well as the Director of Photography of the school's literary magazine, By Any Other Name. Aside from writing on various subjects, she enjoys working on her photography, listening to music, reading, and spending time outdoors. Some of her favorite activities include football, swimming, and weight training. Minaal's favorite moments are with her friends and family. In the future, she wants to go into photojournalism and law, continuing to express her passion for photography and revealing the truth.  

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