Is there anything more fun than a haunted theater? You can’t think of anything can you? Maybe a chimpanzee on a skateboard, but that's a tie at best. Haunted theaters and theater ghost stories are some of the coolest things you can come across when you’re on a ghost hunting trip through the good ol’ U.S. of A.
Theater ghosts tend to be manifestations of people that once worked at the theater they’re now haunting; actors and stage hands alike have been known to float through theater, decades after the drew their last breath, and spook everybody out. Theater ghosts are the best. Even if you’re a skeptic you have to admit that there’s something ominous about being all alone in a theater when the lights go down.
If you were a theater kid in high school then you’ll be all too familiar with plenty of these urban legends of hanging stage hands, or ghostly theater guests who vanished mid performance. The spirits that haunt these eerie theaters either love being around show business or they can’t free themselves from this earthly plane, but either way they don’t seem to be angry about it. Never the less, there’s nothing more unsettling than walking through a pitch black theater and knowing that something is lurking in the shadows – even if it is just the ghost of a girl named Mary who only sits in seat C-5 and just sort of hangs out. Could you handle an evening in any of these haunted theaters? Or would you be calling for the Ghostbusters by the end of the first act?
The New Amsterdam TheaterPhoto: Wally Gobetz
The New Amsterdam theater in New York City is one of the oldest surviving Broadway theaters, and it even played host to the Ziegfield Follies from 1913 to 1927. It was during the Follies that Olive Thomas, an actress who won the "Most Beautiful Girl in New York City” contest, received her big break and began to work in silent pictures. Things went sour for Thomas in 1920 when she and her husband went to Paris.
While they were in the City of Love, Thomas allegedly discovered that she had contracted syphilis from her husband and committed suicide. Shortly after her death, stage hands began to see Thomas passing through the theater wearing the same green dress that she wore during her big break in Ziegfeld's Follies.
The Lincoln TheaterPhoto: straightedge217
When you think of haunted Illinois you probably don't think of Decatur, but it turns out that the Lincoln Theater plays host to ghostly footsteps, cold spots, and at least one full form apparition. One theory behind the apparition is that it belongs to an old stage hand named Red, a World War I veteran who laid down to take a nap at the theater and simply never woke up. Most people, however, believe it belongs to an actress that frequented the theater in its early days.
Mabel Tainter Center For The ArtsPhoto: Lost in Scotland
This lovely theater in Wisconsin plays host to a bevy of apparitions, but the main ghost seems to be that of Mabel herself, a young woman who passed away before she could see the final construction of the building. Multiple people have seen a young woman making her way through the halls, and a few women have even mentioned that they've seen something floating near the women's restroom.
Aside from the female ghost there seems to be an apparition that was either once a stage hand at the theater (or possibly someone that just loves to mess with stage hands), that tries to play with the sound equipment when no one is paying attention.
Mount Baker TheatrePhoto: Andrew Reding
Bellingham, Washington isn't just home to indie rock sad boys Death Cab For Cutie, it also houses Judy, Alice, and Geoffrey, three ghosts that live in the Mount Baker Theater. Both Alice and Geoffrey have supposedly introduced themselves to people who work at Mount Baker, and according to a tour guide at the theater Geoffrey is very concerned with personal property. "[Geoffrey] was dressed in a pinstripe suit and told an investigator to be sure to return a paperback book about the history of the theater that she had found on the shelf in the boss room." Thanks, Geoffrey.