Saturday, June 5, 2010
Searching for Ghosts and Tapas at Church Street Station
The market place was situated around an old abandoned train station that immediately caught my eye. I took a plethora of photos and then we skulked about until we found a fabulous place that served tapas and cocktails. After a few drinks, I was convinced the train station was haunted and my poor husband had to drag me out of the train station before I killed myself. We went home and I got on the computer and found out several interesting things about the old station.
The station was built by the South Florida Railroad in 1889. The SFR was then bought out by Plant System in 1893 and taken over by Atlantic Coast Line Railroad in 1902. Of course none of this is that interesting. In the 1970's and 1980's, long after the railroads had closed. The Market Street area became a hot spot for local clubs and restaurants. The station was then converted into a club and then served as several restaurants. It was very popular for a good period of time and the area became second only to Disney itself in Orlando's most popular area category. However, a steady decline followed and the station itself eventually fell into disrepair and was abandoned. Many of the buildings that are part of its complex, remain active and are still popular.
What's interesting about all this is that in 2005 the station was leased by the Chungs, owners of Amura Japanese Restaurant. They leased the property with the intentions of renovating it and placing their restaurant there. They reneged on their lease and when the owners of the property sued them, the Chungs claimed that they couldn't use the property because it was too haunted. This was their actual legal defense. Apparently, the owners of the station offered to bring someone in to exorcise and cleanse the station, but the Chungs refused. The owners of the station used this as evidence that the haunting couldn't be the main problem. They also argued that the ghosts had never been hostile so they didn't think it could be the cause of breaking a legal contract. Apparently, tales of ghostly hauntings in this area are numerous. There have been ghostly bar tenders and dancers seen and contractors renovating the building claim to be very familiar with the haunting. None of this had been made known to Chung, however
So, even though I never found my tour, at least I found some ghosts who were active enough to fuel a major lawsuit.