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The Opera House The old Desoto Opera House is now the Opera House Antique Mall & Museum and is located at the corner of Oak and Desoto. John J. Heard, whose name can be found in many places in Desoto County history, built the building in 1906. The auditorium of the old building back in the day was used for everything from church to traveling shows to local USO shows. The building’s first floor originally housed the Florida Loan & Trust. It later became a department store, and is now an antique shop. Those who have had a lot of experience inside the old building often feel cold spots and drafts for no reason (many parts of it are not air conditioned), and hear footsteps, sighs and voices. A past owner of the building swore several times he heard people talking in the space where movies were once shown, but no one was ever there. The Old Blue House The Old Blue House, unfortunately, is no more. The space where it used to sit, however, at N. Lee Street and Levines Avenue, is a dark, forlorn, overgrown place where a large residence used to sit. Locals say that an entire family was murdered there in the early 1800s, but that has not been proven. The family was reportedly buried there, and was not pleased after another house was rebuilt on the ruins of the first. Others say the Richardson/Bryant family lived there for a time. One Arcadia resident said his parents told him never to play there, as anyone who lived in the house that used to be there had gotten very sick or had died. Some of the deaths were said to be from suicide. The Plaza Hotel For its time, The Plaza Hotel was a picture of grandeur in a cattle town. With stained glass pyramid skylights and mosaic floors, a man named Michael Schlossberg built it in 1925. They charged $1 a night back in 1930, which was a goodly amount. Strange noises and shadows plague those who work there now, including the ghost of a large black woman who is often seen in the kitchen wearing an apron and sporting “big hair.” Doors are said to open and shut on their own, toilet paper unrolls mysteriously and water faucets randomly turn on and off. 32


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