In 1883 by the age of 19 Annie Russell was the darling of both British and American stages. She retired to Winter Park in
1918 and by the urging of her good friend Mary Curtis Bok Zimbalist convinced her to become involved in the nascent
dramatic arts program at Rollins College. The most beautiful architectural structures in Central Florida, the Annie
Russell Theatre was built in 1931.
The "Annie" serves as the heart of the oldest theatre program in Florida and one of
the most prestigious in America.. In 1998, the National Parks Service named the theater to the National Register of
Historic Places in recognition of its architecture and its role in education and the performing arts.
- Scott, Sprout, Stacy, Lori, Toni, Tom, the house manager Adam, and guest Cathy.
It has been witnessed that the 1st seat in the third row closest to the stage has been seen like someone was
sitting in it the chair is down (they are the fold up seats like in a movie theater) and no reason for that
particular chair to be down.
A man wearing clothes from the 30’s or 40’s has been seen walking down the center
aisle of the auditorium with a
bouquet of flowers as if he was going to deliver them to someone on stage. The center isle was filled in with
seats in 1977 to try and stop the spirit from upsetting the guest.
It has been said that people have seen an apparition coming from the bust of Annie that is sitting on the LH
staircase and then crosses the lobby. Actors practicing on stage have also seen an apparition crossing the lobby.
The picture of Annie next to the late arrivals door where she is portraying Puck has been noticed crooked at
several occasions when someone has been talking about her.
A man has been seen in the trap room yelling at students to “Stop”….It could be the spirit of an old security
officer that was thought to have committed suicide.
A student who fell asleep in the green room while studying woke up the next morning with a chair pulled up next to
her and I believe they said that she was even covered up.
Witnessed by security was the doors rattling.….First the front entrance doors then each of the side doors and then
all of them at the same time.
There is a door on the stage that is about 20 feet up and has no access stairs to it. Some have thought that this
could have been Annie’s private dressing room but there are no written facts to justify it. One thing that is
noticed is sometimes the door is found open, when this happens it’s a sign that the show will be a hit.
A room behind the stage is called the electronics room. One evening a man was working in the room when banging
started on the walls. When the banging continued on the ceiling he ran out.
A young man was on a ladder on stage doing some electrical work. He kept feeling a tug on his pant leg and paid no
mind to it. Unfortunately he got electrocuted and fell to the floor. A few moments latter another person came in
saw the man on the floor and proceeded to call 911. 911 dispatcher said that they had already gotten a call and
the ambulance was on its way. It has been thought that Annie herself made the call and because of the quickness
the young man lived.
Other occurrences nearby told to us by a security guard: In the chapel late at night voices, murmurs and a sneeze
have been heard. In the back pipe organ balcony what sounded like someone clearing their throat was heard when no
one else was there.
In the Crumner building next door there was a late night cleaning crew that has seen a woman in white in the hallway.