Old Towne Orange, better known as Orange Circle by locals, is a one square-mile district that encircles the original plaza that was established in 1888. This historic district is listed on the National Register of historic places and features Orange County’s oldest operating bank and soda fountain. In fact, Old Towne Orange is the largest National Register Districts in California.
Today, it continues to thrive as a bustling neighborhood filled with antique and boutique shops, various businesses, great restaurants and cute cafes, and more. Like many places with history, there are always a few good ghost stories. So without further ado, here are some spooky haunted places in Old Towne Orange Circle.
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The Two Boys
For long-time locals, this story is well known. In the early days of Orange Circle a tragedy happened involving two young boys. According to the story, the two boys were playing in the road and were hit by the large wheels of a horse drawn carriage, killing them both. For years people would continue to see the two boys playing in the street. For a period of time the stories faded, until the filming of That Thing You Do, when several members of the cast and crew saw them again.
178 S Glassell St, Orange, CA 92866
Antique stores are always a mecca for extra energy. All the items have long individual histories and it is not surprising that they hold their own attachments. Couple that with a historic building and you got yourself a paranormal party.
At Antique Station, there is always a lot of unexplained activity happening. The last row of the shop has cold spots felt by patrons and dogs are known to act strangely while walking down this section of the store. Employees have seen shadows and black clouds of energy manifest and then quickly disappear as well as hear clear disembodied voices. A record was even said to have flown down an isle before making a sharp turn down another isle then falling to the floor.
131 S Glassell St, Orange, CA 92866
Started in 1955 by two military brothers, the Army-Navy store has an interesting history of its own. In fact, the same family still runs the original store today. It was even the filming location for That Thing You Do and Benchwarmers. The darker story of this store dates back to 1915, when a fire broke out in the basement sadly igniting a teenage boy. People still claim to see the burning boy running around Orange Circle.
Chapman University in Orange
One University Drive, Orange, CA 92866
The 100-year old Smith Hall at Chapman University is said to have a lot of paranormal activity. People have reported loud footsteps interrupting lectures in classroom 215 resulting in the basement being subject to paranormal investigations.
In the Waltmar Theatre, there have been claims of ghostly figures lurking on the catwalks and upstage. The show must go on, right?
Elliott Alumni House in Orange
204 N. Olive, Orange, California 92866
Once the Victorian Manor Tea House, this lovely home was purchased by Chapman University in 2011. The site has been the subject of many paranormal investigations and has had a ton of reported activity. Guests of the former tea house have reported seeing apparitions of a woman standing on the second floor balcony as well as footsteps and laughter of little children.
During a large-scale paranormal investigation, numerous people claimed to feel and see the presence of children’s spirits, including a young girl with curly blonde hair and a little boy that likes to move around the silverware. Numerous other spirits were detected, including several women and men spirits that are strongly connected to the property.
Matoska Trading Company
123 N Glassell St, Orange, CA 92866
Formerly the Old Orange Undertaker’s Office, the Matoska Trading Company has reported lots of movement and even loud crash sounds.
Royer Mansion in Orange
307 East Chapman Ave Orange, CA 92866
Built in 1900, the home was originally owned by Dr. Daniel Franklin Royer, a prominent doctor and surgeon in Orange. He also was one of the first mayor’s of Orange. His youngest daughter, Ava Royer, sadly died in the home in her late teens. Her apparition has been reported by numerous people. Later, the Royer Mansion served as the Donegan Funeral Home. The building now houses the city’s chamber of commerce and the site of a ton of unexplained paranormal experiences. Some of the stories are crazy. I recommend checking out Haunted OC’s podcast about Royer Mansion for some juicy tales.
264 N Glassell St, Orange, CA 92866
Built in 1915, Rutabegorz was once the home of settlers Danny and Annie Crawford. Staff have experienced disembodied voices, explained sounds, breezes and movements. Apparitions include a young boy and two adults. The young boy is probably the most interactive, as former owners even reported that spirit played with their kids and became like a member of the family.
That’s A Wrap!
So who is ready for a spirit day (or night) trip to Old Towne Orange Circle? If you would like more about the haunted places mentioned in this article, I recommend taking a ghost walk with HauntedOC and head to our vlog to watch Haunted Old Towne Orange Circle.
For those of you who just want to visit Orange Circle and know more about what this charming town has to offer, see our post about Things to do in Old Towne Orange and watch our fun family vlog, A Day in Orange Circle.
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