ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

cloudy-day
61°
Cloudy
H 76° L 63°
  • cloudy-day
    61°
    Current Conditions
    Cloudy. H 76° L 63°
  • cloudy-day
    75°
    Afternoon
    Cloudy. H 76° L 63°
  • partly-cloudy-tstorms-day
    68°
    Evening
    Thunderstorms. H 76° L 63°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest top stories

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest traffic report

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest forecast

00:00 | 00:00

10 theaters with frequent ghost sightings

It's one thing to sit in the audience and enjoy a spooky play or movie. It's another to stumble upon a legendary ghost in an empty hall (even if it is Judy Garland). Not for the squeamish, these terror-ific theaters will make your skin crawl.

We go to the theater for all kinds of thrills—suspense, romance, and unexpected plot twists. But the theaters themselves, with their long histories of players, staff, and audience members coming and going, are often the stuff of legend. Maybe it's just because the buildings are old and creaky, maybe it's because we expect our emotions to get cranked up to 11 when we walk into a performance space, but these 10 theaters all come with at least one resident spirit.

SEE THE THEATERS!

Belasco Theatre

New York City

David Belasco was one of the most colorful of the early 20th-century Broadway producers, known both for being a lady's man and, in a move that was oddly flamboyant even for a theater producer, dressing in a monk's flowing robes. His ghost is said to haunt this theater-district gem. Originally named the Stuyvesant when it opened in 1907, the theater featured a duplex apartment for the producer. The Belasco has played host to some of the greatest Broadway productions, including Clifford Odets's play Awake and Sing in 1935, the nude review Oh, Calcutta! In 1971, and a revival of August Wilson's Joe Turner's Come and Gone in 2009 that was attended by President and Mrs. Obama. But theater pedigree has not kept the space from some unsettling sightings. David Belasco's robe-clad figure has been reported in the office space that now occupies his old apartment and in the theater's balcony. Some women have even reported feeling a mysterious ghostly pinch, which theater folk attribute to (who else?) the randy producer.

What's playing now: A revival of Clifford Odets's Golden Boy will open at the Belasco in November. For more information and tickets, visit telecharge.com.

Palace Theatre

New York City

Many ghosts lay claim to the title "famous," but the Palace is home to the spirit of a superstar, Judy Garland, who blew audiences away in her 1960s comeback performances here with heart-stopping renditions of hits like "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and "The Man That Got Away" before descending back into the addictions that would take her life. The theater started as a vaudeville house in 1913 and "playing the Palace" was regarded as the pinnacle for touring singers, dancers, and comics. The stage has been graced by Harry Houdini, Will Rogers, Ethel Merman, and other stars, and has played host to groundbreaking musicals, including Man of La Mancha, La Cage aux Folles, and Beauty and the Beast. But musicians playing in the orchestra pit may not feel as lucky as audience members: Legend has it that a special door was built in the pit for Garland's entrances and exits, and that the ghostly figure of the troubled star is sometimes seen in the doorway.

What's playing now: The evergreen family musical Annie is enjoying another great run. For tickets, visit telecharge.com.

Paris Opera

Paris

Yup, the Phantom of the Opera is rooted in legend. In the early 20th century a mysterious apartment (and, by some accounts, a male corpse) were found in the opera theater, the Palais Garnier, inspiring the 1910 novel that in turn inspired a silent film and the smash Andrew Lloyd Webber musical. The theater, which has been renovated several times since the 19th century, acquired a reputation for lavish productions and sets. But, curiously, although the well-known Phantom has brought the Paris Opera worldwide fame, there are no serious Phantom sightings on record. (A chandelier did fall in 1896, killing a construction worker and supplying the famous scene in the novel.) The theater's resident ghost is an older woman who committed suicide in the 19th century and is said to roam the streets outside the opera house searching for the man who jilted her.

What's playing now: Like most opera houses, the Palais Garnier offers a rotating repertoire. In the coming months, ballet performances will alternate with operas such as Igor Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress (one of the thorny Russian composer's most accessible works) and Giacomo Rossini's La Cenerentola, a witty operatic retelling of Cinderella. For more information and tickets, visit operadeparis.fr.

Palace Theatre

Los Angeles

The oldest movie theater in L.A., the Palace has a "third balcony" that was once closed off from the rest of the theater for racial segregation and became legendary as the site of ghost sightings, with onstage performers seeing mysterious figures in the balcony when locked doors should have prevented anyone from appearing up there. The Palace, known until 1926 as the Orpheum, was once one of the premier theaters on the famed "Orpheum circuit" of vaudeville houses and saw its share of live performances before transforming itself into a silent-movie venue. Over the years, audience members and theater staff reported the figure of a woman dressed in white lace crossing the stage during performances, then disappearing into the wings, never to be seen again.

What's playing now: The theater is preparing for a new chapter of live performances and is currently available for parties and other events. Take a peek at losangelestheatre.com/downtownpalace.html

Theatre Royal Drury Lane

London

Standing on a spot that's been occupied by three previous theaters since 1663, the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane (known as "Drury Lane" to Londoners), should be one of the likeliest spots for a spook. Sure enough, one of London's most famous ghosts, the "man in gray," is regularly reported here, wearing riding boots, a powdered wig, and tricorn hat. The story goes that the apparition is the spirit of the fellow whose skeletal remains were found in a walled-up passageway here in the late 19th century. Kind of makes you wonder what else might be lurking in the walls, no? On a much more positive note, the Drury Lane is where Rodgers and Hammerstein's golden-age musicals had their London premieres, including Oklahoma!, South Pacific, and The King and I.

What's playing now: Shrek the Musical is currently banishing the cobwebs at the Drury Lane. For tickets, visit reallyuseful.com/theatres/theatre-royal-drury-lane.

Orpheum Theatre

Memphis, Tenn.

Sure, most of the seats at Memphis's Orpheum are good ones. But you might want to steer clear of C-5. That's where "Mary," a see-through apparition, has been seen enjoying rehearsals and performances at this former vaudeville venue. Built as the Grand Opera House at the corner of Main and Beale streets in 1890, the theater joined the "Orpheum circuit" in 1907 but burned in 1923. The new Orpheum was built on the site of the Grand, at twice the size. It was converted into a movie theater in the 1940s, then began hosting touring productions and concerts in the '70s. In 1984, a refurbished Orpheum reopened and has seen productions as big as The Phantom of the Opera nad Les Miserables and acts as intimate as Jerry Seinfeld and Tony Bennet.

What's playing now: The Orpheum now plays host to opera, ballet, and touring productions that will include Cedric the Entertainer, a production of The Velveteen Rabbit, and Blue Man Group in the coming weeks. To learn more, visit orpheum-memphis.com.

St. James Theatre

Wellington, New Zealand

It's curious that the "haunted theater" phenomenon is found mostly in European and Euro-centric cities, and even in New Zealand, thousands of miles from the lights of Broadway and the West End, a theater teems with alleged paranormal activity. The St. James Theater was built in 1913 and was initially a venue for silent movies. Throughout the 20th century, the theater was home to film, live theater (ranging in quality from Shakespeare to minstrel shows), and other entertainments. But perhaps no single theater has such a wide array of freaky sightings. "Yuri," a Russian acrobat who supposedly fell to his death during a performance, is often credited for the theaters lights turning on and off. The "wailing woman" was, the story goes, an actress who was booed off the stage and consequently did herself in; she is now blamed not only for mysterious cries heard in the space but also for a series of calamities that have befallen actresses at the St. James, including falls, sprains, and performance-endangering head colds. Another legend has it that during World War II, a boys choir sang its last concert at the St. James before departing New Zealand on a ship that was never seen again. The boys' ghostly singing is now heard by stagehands and others.

What's playing now: The St. James offers a variety of theater, music, and dance. In November, Agatha Christie's theatrical thriller The Mousetrap will run from the 15th to the 24th. For more information and tickets, visit ticketek.co.nz.  

Adelphi Theatre

London

The present-day Adelphi is a relative kid among London playhouses, built in 1930, but theaters have stood on this site since the early 19th century, and the place has a paranormal pedigree to match its age. The ghost of actor William Terriss, who was stabbed to death at the stage door in 1897, is said to haunt the Adelphi. According to legend, Terriss's understudy had a dream the night before the actor's murder in which Terriss lay bleeding on his dressing room floor. The theater was home to Noel Coward's Words and Music in 1932 and hosted the London premiere of Stephen Sondheim's A Little Night Music in 1975.

What's playing now: The new musical The Bodyguard, adapted from the hit film starring Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston, begins previews on November 5 and is scheduled to officially open on December 5. For tickets, visit reallyuseful.com/theaters/Adelphi-theatre.

Grauman's Chinese Theatre

Los Angeles

In a story that would fit right into a film noir classic such as Sunset Boulevard or Double Indemnity, Hollywood lore says that actor Victor Killian walks the forecourt of this iconic L.A. landmark, searching for the man who beat him to death outside the theater, which has been the site of lavish movie openings since Tinseltown's early days. You can do some searching of your own outside the theater, where the cement handprints, footprints, and signatures of Hollywood stars have adorned the sidewalk for decades. The theater was the site of the Academy Awards ceremonies in 1944, 1945, and 1946, and is next door to the Dolby Theater, where the Oscars celebration is currently held each year.

What's playing now: You can often find a variety of vintage films and premieres scheduled at Grauman's and the adjacent Chinese 6 multiplex. In the coming week, the theaters will show Bad 25, Army of Darkness, and on Halloween night, well, Halloween. For showtimes, visit chinesetheatres.com

Oregon Shakespeare Festival

Ashland, Ore.

From royal ghosts traipsing through Macbeth and Hamlet to the knavish sprite Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream and the mysterious, magical Ariel in The Tempest, William Shakespeare provided the world with a small army of supernatural supporting roles. But the Bard of Avon's work is seldom as downright terrifying as the grounds of Lithia Park, home to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, which offers a mix of indoor and outdoor theater spaces. The ghost of a young girl murdered in the 19th century is said to walk the grounds of the park. Not impressed? Visitors to the park have told local police that the girl is surrounded by a mysterious blue light that enshrouds onlookers and drives them to hysterical fright.

What's playing now: The Oregon Shakespeare Festival's 2012 season ends this week, with productions of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet and a stage version of the Marx Brothers' anarchic Animal Crackers. The festival will open its 2013 season in February, offering new productions of Shakespeare's tragedy King Lear and late romance Cymbeline as well as the Lerner and Loewe musical My Fair Lady, Tennessee Williams's A Streetcar Named Desire, and other plays. For more information and tickets, visit osfashland.org.

More From Budget Travel:

Read More
VIEW COMMENTS

There are no comments yet. Be the first to post your thoughts. or Register.

The Latest News Headlines

  • A dentist in Washington state didn't show up for an appointment Saturday, so just after 7 p.m., a family member called the King County sheriff. >> Watch the news report here What they found has devastated a family and touched people in Sammamish and Seattle, where he and his wife worked. Dr. Rick Nicolini, his wife and adult son were all found dead inside their home in Sammamish's tony Broadmoore neighborhood. It is a development where neighbors say they know each other by name. But few people knew the Nicolinis well. 'They kind of kept to themselves,' said neighbor Rick Willard. 'I saw the kid when he was going to school.' And Willard said he saw nothing that foreshadowed this.  'And you never heard, you never saw anything between, among them, that would make you say ...' he was asked.  He interrupted the question and said, 'Never heard them yelling or screaming. Nothing, yeah. Just heard them doing yard work.' >> Read more trending news  He said the entire neighborhood was surprised to see King County sheriff's deputies surrounding their home Saturday night.  On Monday, investigators said all indications are that Richie Nicolini killed his parents, then took his own life.  Nicolini and his wife, Mary Ellen, worked at his dental office on Olive Way near downtown Seattle. KIRO-TV went to Sound Dentistry.  'Hi there,' said reporter Deborah Horne. 'We're from KIRO 7.' But the receptionist said everyone was grieving too much to talk. No patients were waiting; the Nicolinis didn't work Mondays.  Back at their home in Sammamish, a second car was parked in the driveway. The people in it said they had nothing to say. All of this is a sorrowful coda to three lives. 'Yeah, it's sad,' said Willard.  'Sad and, as you said, a surprise?' he was asked.  'Yeah,' he replied. 'I don't know what would drive somebody to do that.' That is what detectives are trying to determine, too: why Richie Nicolini shot his parents and himself in the head. The case remains an active investigation.
  • At least one person has died in a morning crash on CR 210 near South Hampton Golf Club.  A semi truck and three other vehicles were involved in the crash.  The St. Johns County Sheriff's Office says that the Florida Highway Patrol is on scene and conducting the investigation. 
  • Rahmael Sal Holt, the suspect in the shooting death of New Kensington, Pennsylvania, Officer Brian Shaw, is in custody after a days-long manhunt. >> Watch the news report here Police had been searching for Holt since Friday night’s shooting. He was arrested Monday morning at a home on Ladora Way in Pittsburgh’s Hazelwood neighborhood after law enforcement agencies received a tip that he was there. In addition to Holt, eight other people were arrested – including his mother. >> Visit WPXI.com for complete coverage Shaw, 25, was killed after he pulled over a Jeep on Friday in a traffic stop on Leishman Avenue. According to court documents, the Jeep never stopped and Holt, who allegedly killed Shaw, fled and Shaw pursued him on foot.  >> Suspect named in Pennsylvania police officer's shooting death Tavon Harper, who police say was driving the Jeep, took off, police said. Holt then fired multiple shots, killing Shaw, according to court documents. Shaw was transported to Allegheny Valley Hospital, where he later died.  >> Read more trending news  WPXI confirmed with multiple sources that Shaw was ambushed that night and at least one of the bullets went through a soft spot in his body armor. Read more here.
  • Jacksonville, Florida, officers say a man was high on 'loveboat' when he shot and killed a driver on I-95. >> Watch the news report here Police said 32-year-old Tyrell Brown was sleeping in the passenger seat of 25-year-old Steven Shawn Grady's car as they drove through Jacksonville on Sunday. The group was traveling from Orlando to North Carolina. At one point, Brown woke up and shot Grady in the face, a witness told police. The witness, who was in the backseat of the car, tried to gain control of the wheel. The car ran off the interstate and crashed near the Union Street exit around 3:15 a.m. >> Read more trending news  Officials said Brown violently resisted officers when they got to the scene. There was no indication of a prior altercation between Brown and Grady, officers said. A Jacksonville Sheriff's Office spokesperson said Brown smoked a cigarette dipped in formaldehyde and marijuana before the shooting. He was taken to UF Health Jacksonville for his safety, officers said. Brown is facing a murder charge. His next court date is Dec. 12.
  • Charles Manson’s infamous “family” numbered around 100 people in 1969, when Manson orchestrated a series of murders in Los Angeles that, over two nights, left seven people dead.  Nearly five decades later, the names of only a few family members are remembered, mostly due to the grisly nature of the crimes for which they were convicted.  >> Read more trending news Here’s where the most notorious Manson family members are now: Charles Manson Manson, 83, died Sunday night at a hospital in Bakersfield, California. He was taken there last week for treatment of an undisclosed illness from the California State Prison at Corcoran, where he was serving a life sentence. Manson, along with several of his followers, was convicted of multiple counts of murder for the Aug. 9, 1969, killings of actress Sharon Tate, celebrity hairstylist Jay Sebring, coffee heiress Abigail Folger, her partner Wojciech Frykowski and Steven Parent, as well as the Aug. 10, 1969, murders of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca.  Manson was also convicted of the unrelated murders of music teacher Gary Hinman and stuntman Donald “Shorty” Shea.  Though Manson was not present for the Tate-LaBianca homicides, he was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death. That sentence was commuted to life in prison in 1972, when the California Supreme Court ruled the death penalty was unconstitutional.  According to the Los Angeles Times, Manson’s stay in prison was not a peaceful one. He racked up hundreds of infractions and over the years was denied parole 12 times.  His next parole hearing was scheduled for 2027, the Times said.  Susan Atkins Susan Atkins, who was 21 at the time of the crimes, died of brain cancer at the Central California Women’s Facility at Chowchilla in September 2009, just a week shy of 40 years after her conviction. The longest-serving female inmate in California, she was denied compassionate release by the state parole board. Described by a former prosecutor as the “scariest of the Manson girls,” Atkins played a large role in the murders, particularly that of Sharon Tate, who was nearly nine months pregnant when she was killed. The Times reported that Atkins confessed to stabbing Tate to death as the young actress pleaded for her life and that of her unborn son. “Woman, I have no mercy for you,” Atkins testified she told Tate.  Atkins also participated in the LaBianca murders the following night.  The Manson family became suspects in the murders, in part, due to Atkins’ confession to cellmates while she was jailed on unrelated charges.  Atkins, who embraced Christianity while incarcerated, married twice while behind bars, the Times said. Despite prison staff advocating for her release as far back as 2005, Atkins was denied parole 13 times before she died.  Charles “Tex” Watson Tex Watson, 71, is imprisoned at Mule Creek Prison, where he is an ordained minister, the Times reported. A model prisoner, he works as a janitor at the facility.  Watson, who described his position in the family as Manson’s “right-hand man,” was the Manson-appointed leader at both the Tate and LaBianca murder scenes. According to testimony in the murder trial, Watson shot Parent, Sebring and Frykowski, who was also pistol-whipped. He also inflicted some of the stab wounds on the victims in the Tate murders. Manson also put Watson in charge the next night at the LaBianca house, where he killed Leno LaBianca and participated in the slaying of Rosemary LaBianca. Watson, who was married and divorced in prison, and fathered four children, has his own ministry, Abounding Love. His website, run by an administrator outside of the prison, states that he “testifies that anyone can be forgiven and transformed by Christ, even a former member of the Manson family.” Watson has been denied parole 17 times, most recently in October.  Leslie Van Houten Leslie Van Houten, 68, remains jailed at the California Institution for Women at Corona, where she has spent her entire sentence as a model prisoner, the Times said. She was convicted of murder and conspiracy in 1978, following her third trial on the charges. A former homecoming princess and the youngest of Manson’s followers, Van Houten held Rosemary LaBianca down as Tex Watson and Patricia Krenwinkel stabbed her to death. Testimony at trial indicated that Van Houten also stabbed the victim, but did so after she was already dead.  Van Houten once told a parole board she was “deeply ashamed” of her role in the slayings, the Times reported.  “I take very seriously not just the murders, but what made me make myself available to someone like Manson,” she said.  The state parole board recommended Van Houten for parole in April after 19 previous tries, but California Gov. Jerry Brown reversed the decision.  The parole board again recommended her for parole in September, and Van Houten is awaiting Brown’s response, the Times said. Patricia Krenwinkel Patricia Krenwinkel, who became the longest-serving female inmate in California upon Susan Atkins’ death, remains at the California Institution for Women at Corona, where she works in the prison’s rehabilitative programs, the Times said. She has condemned Manson in the years since the murders. “What a coward that I found myself to be when I look at the situation,” Krenwinkel told the New York Times in 2014. “The thing I try to remember sometimes is that what I am today is not what I was at 19.” Krenwinkel participated in the murders at both the Tate and LaBianca murder scenes. Testimony at trial showed that she chased an injured and screaming Abigail Folger from the house onto the expansive lawn, where she continued to stab her 28 times, CNN reported.  The following night, Krenwinkel stabbed Rosemary LaBianca to death, testimony showed. She later scrawled “Death to Pigs” on the wall in Leno LaBianca’s blood. Krenwinkel has been denied parole 14 times, most recently in June.  Linda Kasabian Linda Kasabian, who drove the killers to both the Tate and LaBianca scenes because she was the only family member with a valid driver’s license, was offered immunity from prosecution in exchange for her testimony at trial.  Kasabian, who Watson ordered to remain outside during the Tate murders, later recalled seeing some of the victims run screaming from the house, followed by their killers. She also remained outside at the LaBianca house.  The Times reported that, as of 1994, Kasabian was a mother of four. She was believed to be living on the East Coast.  Robert “Bobby” Beausoleil and Bruce Davis Bobby Beausoleil, 70, who was convicted of murdering Gary Hinman on Manson’s orders, is housed at California Medical Facility in Vacaville, according to CNN. In jail awaiting trial for Hinman’s slaying in August 1969, he was not involved in the Tate-LaBianca murders.  Bruce Davis, 75, is imprisoned at the California Men’s Colony at San Luis Obispo, where he is serving a life sentence in the murders of Hinman and Shorty Shea. Davis, who the Times reported has been denied parole 30 times, became a born-again Christian in prison and earned a doctoral degree in religious philosophy.  Steve “Clem” Grogan Clem Grogan, who rode along with Manson and the other killers the night of the LaBianca murders, did not participate in the killings. He did help Manson, Watson and Davis kill Shorty Shea, however.  Grogan, who was convicted and sentenced to life in prison, was released on parole in 1985 after he helped authorities recover Shea’s remains by drawing a map to where the stuntman’s body was buried.  Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme Squeaky Fromme, who was one of Manson’s most devoted followers, did not participate in the murders, but was present outside the courthouse every day during the murder trial of Manson and the other defendants.  Fromme achieved her own notoriety in 1975 when she attempted to assassinate then-President Gerald Ford during a visit to Sacramento. Her gun did not fire and Secret Service agents wrestled her to the ground.  The Times reported that Fromme, who was sentenced to life in prison, escaped from a West Virginia federal prison in 1987, but was recaptured two days later. She continued to write to Manson while in prison.  Fromme, now 68, was paroled in August 2009 after serving 34 years in prison, the newspaper said. 

The Latest News Videos