Landlord Sues Restaurateurs Over Ghosts

(AP) — The landlords of an Orlando entertainment complex are suing two restaurateurs for refusing to move into a renovating building because they claim it is haunted.

Subcontractors who worked there and other people have reported seeing ghosts or other apparitions, said Lynn Franklin, attorney for the restaurant owners.

“It’s very serious,” Franklin said Thursday. “A lot of people are corroborating having seen incidents in this location.”

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The $2.6 million lawsuit filed last month by the owners of the Church Street Station entertainment complex says an offer to hold an exorcism was refused.

“I asked them if these were good ghosts or bad ghosts, and if they were good ghosts why it was a problem,” said David Simmons, an attorney representing the building’s owners, who include boy band promoter Lou Pearlman. Simmons is also a member of the state House.

Christopher and Yoko Chung, the owners of Amura Japanese Restaurant, had planned to move into the building last October, but backed out of the lease.

Franklin said Christopher Chung’s religious beliefs as a Jehovah’s Witness required him to “avoid encountering or having any association with spirits or demons,” and Chung also objected to the offer for an exorcism because it is a Roman Catholic rite not accepted by his faith.

The lawsuit also asks a judge to decide whether the building is haunted and, if so, whether the ghosts would interfere with the restaurant’s business. Renovations have stopped on the building, and it remains empty.

A company called Orlando Ghost Tours regularly led visitors through the property until it changed hands in 2001 and still begins its tours in front of the building.

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Sep. 8, 2005
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