Elijah Hand was an undertaker and furniture-maker from Indiana who moved to Orlando in 1885. It might sound like an odd juxtaposition, but back in the day it was fairly common, as the undertaker often was also responsible for crafting coffins.
Elijah was different from other undertakers because he was a practicer of a then-new art-form – embalming. This allowed families to delay burial for more than the customary 24-48 hours, to allow friends and family time to travel and attend from far-away places. As the first and, at the time, only embalmer in Orlando, his practice flourished.
His embalming-and-furniture store became known as the “Hand Building”, and still stands to this day. The undertaking was done on the ground floor, while the upper floor housed his furniture store. The story goes that Elijah had become so successful, and often had so many bodies to attend to, that he would often store them upstairs on empty beds or sofas until there was enough room in his morgue.
More modern workers in the Hand Building (which has long been general office space, though as of writing it appears to be vacant once more) would often see items thrown by unseen hands, or moved around on their desks to inappropriate places. There are also claims of a “Lady in White” seen amongst the offices.
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- Near 18 W Pine St
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- 28.541379399881155, -81.37946670713194
- Orange County, Florida
- Nearest Towns:
- Orlando, FL (0.2 mi.)
Holden Heights, FL (3.1 mi.)
Fairview Shores, FL (3.5 mi.)
Edgewood, FL (3.8 mi.)
Conway, FL (4.0 mi.)
Pine Hills, FL (4.5 mi.)
Winter Park, FL (4.8 mi.)
Orlovista, FL (4.8 mi.)
Pine Castle, FL (4.9 mi.)
Azalea Park, FL (4.9 mi.)
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