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  The theatre that I currently work in is widely accepted as being haunted, and while I'm not sure if I believe in all of that, I have had some very strange and unexplainable things happen while I was working alone in the space, as so often happens to the stage manager who is the first to get there and the last to leave.  I thought that I would then pose the question to other stage managers:  Is your theatre haunted?

Sure, I've worked in 2 spaces I would consider "haunted."  Most of us saw the spirit I called Basil at a small space in the Silverlake area of Los Angeles.  He would come into the theater and stand near the door, arms crossed, and watch rehearsals and performances.  The woman who owned the building said that, when the building was dark for too long, he'd go home with her ans mess with her TV.

Another theater was in West Hollywood ... There was definitely something weird going on in the women's dressing rooms.  We never saw anything, but no one would go in them alone, either.  Unfortunately, that's where the power for the theater lights were, so we had to go in there to take the space to black before locking up every night.  Creepy!


The theatre at my alma mater has a ghost.  The legend says that years ago, the playwright-in-residence died in the theatre during a dress rehearsal for his new show.  He's haunted the theatre ever since.  During the run of Chicago, my board ops and I would hear someone walking in the hallway behind the booth, but we'd turn around and no one was there.  I decided he just liked watching the show and wanted a balcony view!! 

Three theaters I've worked in had ghosts.

In the community theater I worked in, there was a friendly ghost. At the end of every performance, all the chair seats were put in the up position (this was before the renovation when the seats were old and HAD to be manually put up). Repeatedly, one chair would be found down. This was the ghosts chair. Many people claimed seeing her. I thought I saw her once when I was onstage looking into the audience, but there is glass behind the audience and it could have merely been a reflection.

Another theater was a converted barn which didn't exactly have a ghost, but a lucky mouse. If you saw it scurrying by during rehearsal, you knew that the show would go well.

The third ghost I don't know much about, although funny things happen. I didn't like being in the theater alone at night especially. I left one of my actors alone in the theater for a short time and when I came back he had gone into another room, saying that he was freaked out by the ghost and had to leave the theater. I haven't seen any ghostly evidence first hand. I found lots of doors left unlocked after hours, but I think that that was sloppy human work and not a ghostly presence.

I like to think that all the engery that goes into a performance fills the space and makes it alive. It certainly felt different when we moved from that old barn and into a state of the art theater. It was very hard to work on the new stage, despite the beautifulness of the theater. It felt like the old barn supported the work and with the new theater we had to create the energy for future generations.

My drama school was housed in an old mental institution and was definitely haunted.  While I never saw a ghost there, several of my classmates did.  A venue I worked at in England supposedly had a ghost in its studio theatre - a crew member had died in there when something went wrong - but I never saw any evidence of it, and I was up there alone late at night pretty regularly!  My current place of work is in an old building - and there are "ghost tours" run through our building and the surrounding ones! - and supposedly we're haunted as well.


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