The story behind the paranormal phenomena at the theater appears to be highly exaggerated. It seems that there are many witnesses to several different kinds of ghostly phenomena. However, during six separate investigations, conducted between April 1993 and May of 1999, we were only able to find seven witnesses that have claimed to have had a firsthand paranormal experience. All of the other stories about the paranormal incidents at the theater were second or third-hand accounts. Out of those six witnesses, four were merely low grade in nature, consisting of the sense of an unexplained presence or feeling cold spots in the building. So the focus of future investigations was focused solely on the remaining two accounts. Both of these witnesses requested to remain anonymous, so they were given aliases.
The interview with “Hugo” was very insightful and provided some helpful information. He was assigned to watch the curtain (exit) on the south side of the stage (stage left) after several customers had attempted to exit the theater through this area. This hallway leads backstage and will take you downstairs to the lower floor (sometimes mistakenly called a basement). He also informed us that a homeless man had managed to wedge a piece of wood into the locking mechanism of one of the old freight doors and was entering the theater at night until he was caught by a manager that was running a “haunted house” in the basement area. He suspected that the man was also stealing food as he would have had access to the kitchen.
Another interesting revelation that came from the witness interviews involved the origin of the “malevolent spirit” that supposedly exists on the stairs behind the stage. In reality, there has only been one account of someone having their ankles grabbed while going down the stairs. As it turns out that was actually explained soon after it happened. An extension cord had been run from the first floor up to the second, and the unfortunate stagehand had gotten tripped up on the extension cord. However this did not stop the account from making its way into various versions of the ghost story. Again this is another effect of myth building. As the stories continue to be told, new ghosts start being reported to account for the “new” paranormal activity.
Indeed, myth building was already rampant by our third visit in 1996. There were now twice as many stories and all of them were second or third-hand accounts. Also, this location was included in the book “The International Directory of Haunted Places” by William Hauck, which had recently been published. This would have a substantial effect on the myth building as the apparition seen near the stage was suddenly switching suits, often favoring a black tuxedo instead of the cream double-breasted one. When major details of apparition sightings change like this, it is usually an indication that the stories are just passing from one person to the next as there are no additional witnesses or encounters to add to the story.