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Fort Walton Beach Volleyball Haunt Jaunt: Eerie Eateries, Burial Mounds and Monsters

Yesterday I wrote about how we took a trip south to the beach to participate in the Emerald Coast Volleyball Week fun in Fort Walton Beach. Today I’m continuing with what kind of jaunts we came across once we got to Fort Walton Beach.

THE PREHISTORIC INDIAN MOUND

We didn’t have time to go explore the Indian Temple Mound or Museum at Fort Walton Beach’s Heritage Park and Cultural Center. (We had to be at the courts by 8:30 every morning. By the time we finished up in the afternoons all we wanted was a nice shower and a little rest time before heading to meet everyone for dinner.)

It’s really a shame though because (a) the Park and Cultural Center was just down the street not even a mile from where we were staying, (b) it looked really neat, and (c) due to its history, I have a feeling I might have found some ghost stories there.

I read that exhibits in the Indian Temple Mound Museum reflect the 12,000 years worth of history of the Native Americans who inhabited the area. It also housed artifacts from European explorers, pirates, Civil War soldiers and early settlers. With all that history, there was bound to be some energy in that place.

And that’s not even taking into account the Indian mound itself –a prehistoric mound– on the property. It’s the largest mound on salt water and was a sacred burial ground.

That definitely has all the makings of a possible haunt. I sadly just didn’t get the chance to confirm.

EERIE EATERIES IN FORT WALTON BEACH

Staff’s Restaurant, Fort Walton Beach

People at our hotel’s front desk recommended Staff’s when we asked about a place to get a good seafood dinner upon arriving to Fort Walton. It was right across the street within walking distance so we decided to head on over.

They gave us a sort of newspaper with our menu that told about Staff’s history. It’s the oldest family owned restaurant in Florida. There were all kinds of pictures of the family who’d made it to Fort Walton Beach a hundred years ago and started the Gulf View Hotel (which still stands behind the restaurant).

Part of the building that now houses the restaurant was at one time used as a general store. I don’t know what it was, but I sensed with so much history there must be ghosts present. Much to my husband’s chagrin I asked our server if they happened to have any ghosts.

Much to my surprise our server went white. Then he said, “It’s so weird you ask. I totally don’t buy any of that stuff. I think it’s nonsense. But I was working in back one day and saw something walk right by the door. Not another co-worker. Not something I just sort of saw out of the corner of my eye. I was looking straight at the door and saw an apparition. I refuse to even go back there anymore it scared me so much.”

I tried to conceal my excitement because he didn’t even try to hide how spooked he was, but I couldn’t help it. I love finding Eerie Eateries!

Magnolia Grill, Fort Walton Beach

The next night we dined at the Magnolia Grill. It rendered no ghost stories, but it did fill up two very hungry tummies with some very delicious seafood so I thought I’d write about it.

Plus, the inside was charming. I didn’t know it until I read it on their website, but all of the décor on “[t]he walls of this 1910 catalog house are covered with pieces of local history including photos of people and places that now only exist in the memories of those who grew up or lived here ‘back in the day.’”

I’m not as good with the camera as Julie from Above the Norm or Jessica from Ghost Stories and Haunted Places, but I did my best to try and capture the spirit of the Magnolia Grill. However, the best way is in person. If you’re ever in Fort Walton Beach, I highly recommend this restaurant!

One of the cute alcoves in the Magnolia Grill
Fireside dining at the Magnolia Grill
Another inside view of the Magnolia Grill

ALLIGATOR MONSTER

I added a new pic to my collection of “running from a monster” shots. This is for all you monster hunters out there.

Alligator outside Fudpucker’s, Fort Walton Beach

BTW, THE RESULTS?

For those of you wondering how the tournament went: My team had a lot of fun. (That’s my way of saying we came in dead last.)

My husband’s team, on the other hand, came in either 3rd or 4th in their division. (I’m not sure how it worked out in the end. They finished top four for sure is all I know.)

Really, win or lose it didn’t matter. We were at the beach!!!

Me, happy as can be to be at the beach!
Courtney Mroch
Courtney Mroch, otherwise known as HJ's Ambassador of Dark and Paranormal Tourism, is an author, traveler, and ghost enthusiast. When she's not writing, jaunting, or planning her next trip, it's a safe bet you'll find her on a tennis court somewhere. She currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee.
http://www.courtneymroch.com

3 thoughts on “Fort Walton Beach Volleyball Haunt Jaunt: Eerie Eateries, Burial Mounds and Monsters

  1. Oh, cutie! You look so happy and adorable! I don’t think you got away from the monster, though. You were flailing too much! Hee hee

    Very good finds for a haunted eatery and the museum sounded awesome! I get all itchy in museums wanting to be allowed to touch the items and read their history! I would love to hold a pirate’s sword (which sword, you ask? Whichever II could get a hold of, mind you). Aaaargh!

  2. Thanks for the comments on the alligator pic, ladies. Sorry it took me so long to respond.

    You are so funny, Autumnforest. I can just see you in a museum being all like a kid wanting to handle everything.

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