Who You Gonna Call?
Fair Warning: This post is in no way about the James Cameron film; Jack and Rose are 100% fictional characters; and while the infamous car was in fact in the cargo area, it was in a sealed crate and unavailable for handprint-making. Sorry to disappoint.
This post is about the real Titanic, the real people on the ship, the real Orlando attraction Titanic the Experience on International Drive, and the real ghosts who haunt the building.
OK OK OK, I totally understand if you don’t believe in ghosts! I’m not sure I totally believe. But unexplainable things have happened at Titanic The Experience ever since it opened 13 years ago. So unexplainable in fact, that professional ghost hunters have visited the attraction and proven that spirits definitely inhabit the exhibit. For the nonbelievers, take “proven” with a hefty grain of salt if you prefer.
In the spirit of Halloween, Titanic The Experience held evening tours that were completely different from the normal tour — this one just focused on the ghost-y, eerie, kinda creepy stuff. Totally unique and unlike other things to do in Orlando. So of course I went on Halloween night. Pssshhh. Duh.
I won’t bore you with all the spookified details, but suffice it to say I learned a lot about what happened on the Titanic before, during, and after its doomed maiden voyage.
Did you know the cruise line’s lucky cat (which lived on ships and loved it) removed herself and six newborn kittens from the boat before it left? Animals can sense things. Just sayin’. One photographer sold photos with the name Titanic “PhotoShopped” on the ship before it had actually been officially christened. Major no no and bad joojoo-inducer! An infamous photo taken of people on the ship shows someone who is there but not there. Either it’s an apparition, or someone has gotten away with a decades-long PhotoShop scam before PhotoShop existed.
The tour took us through recreations of many of the ship's rooms, all featuring actual artifacts from the boat. Our guides Christian and Jack recounted major goose bump-inducing stories about the ghosts who had been seen; the sights and sounds that had been recorded when no one was in the building; the pranks ghosts play on employees (humorous, never malicious); and the former employees who won’t step foot in the building after seeing the ghost of someone who died on the Titanic. You don’t have to believe it (a lot of people on the tour didn’t), but some of the things that happened actually happened, and have no explanation.
How does a dress blow in the breeze in a room with no air conditioning and no vent? How does a ball roll back and forth across the room when no one’s in it? How does a wheel turn when no one is close enough to touch it?
As for what I experienced, two things stand out as What the $%#&?! The first was at the replica of the grand staircase. One of the resident ghosts, the White Lady, is known to often be there. Everyone in the group took photo after photo in the same spot, and no lie, one person would have a totally normal pic (me), and the girl to your right would have orbs of light and a streak that looked like the end of a dress cascading down the stairs and out of the frame. How!? We took the exact same picture at the exact same time!
Chill-inducing moment No. 2 was on the “deck” of the ship where the passengers evacuated in lifeboats. In the middle of storytelling, Christian started making a really weird face. He then explained a couple and young child were on the outside of the “boat” wearing their life vests. Half the tour group fled and half stared trying to see the ghosts. No, I didn’t see them. But, (again, no lie!), there was a haziness and thickness in the air where he said they were “standing” that wasn’t there before. Not kidding! One of the women in our group (who had more orbs in her photos than anyone, I swear!) described the family in detail, including the order they were standing and how they looked. Unless she was a plant (I’m 99.9999% sure she was not), there is no way she could have known that!
Obviously you don’t have to believe any of this, and feel free to rationally explain everything that happened. I still don’t know how much I believe. But, as far as visiting an Orlando attraction, if you like history, I recommend a visit to Titanic The Experience, where you will learn SO much about the ship and people onboard, both the survivors and deceased. It’s a fun, informative 75-minute tour. Totally ghost-free.*
*Let’s be real; the ghosts are on the tour whether you like it or not.
I'm thoroughly creeped out. I need a drink ...
Lucky for you, there's plenty of bars to choose from on International Drive. Or, if you're still in the spooky spirit, head downtown and visit the haunted Ghost Bar. Or not ...
The Pub is located at Pointe Orlando on International Drive. Recount all the fun Titanic facts you learned as you sample beers from two Pour Your Own Beer walls.
If wine is more your thing, visit Funky Monkey Wine Co., which is also at Pointe Orlando. The sushi there is also pretty good.
If you need a gigantic tower of beer, then stop by Brick House Tavern & Tap, which has more than 80 beers (20 on tap), wine and a full-liquor bar.