After the audience leaves, the building starts to settle, and the ghost light is the only light that remains, theatres become very spooky spaces.
And no surprise that they’re a little scary. Hundreds of strangers pass through every night. Performers steadily pour emotion and energy out into the space. The buildings stick around for decades (or centuries). Some things just seems to “haunt” these venues.
Then, as we’ve noted before, they’re historically home to many superstitions and, of course, full of people who love to tell stories.
From the list of our personal favorites (and a few from Theatre Projects’ long history), here are some possibly haunted sites that we’re dying to share with you.
TW: some of the linked stories contain depictions of historical violence, suicide, and abuse
While this site boasts a number of ghosts, the most famous is Ziegfeld star Olive Thomas, a celebrated beauty with a tragic story (and, supposedly, a spirit that can’t stay away from the stage).
After a pair of fires destroyed the first two buildings, the modern Piper’s Opera House carries the history from earlier incarnations and, perhaps, the spirits attached to those venues as well.
The site of a royal assassination attempt, more fires, and the famous Man in Grey (seemingly more good-luck omen than poltergeist), London’s historic Drury Lane is a space long-known for hauntings and horror.
Fans of Here Lies Love will know the darkest chapter from this Imelda Marcos-era art space: a construction disaster that has kept the center full of frightening stories since its opening.
Sightings both modern and from many years past relate to a mysterious figure in the mezzanine and a meddlesome projectionist with a sweet tooth.
Though full of fewer ghost stories than other NYC venues, the Met is home to a range of real-life horrors, involving patrons and performers alike.
Not surprisingly, the inspiration for Leroux’s The Phantom of the Opera has its history of fantastic and frightening occurrences: a haunted lake, a fire, a fallen chandelier, and more.
A chain-smoking projectionist, an accomplished organist, and the infamous “fedora man” all purportedly haunt this locale.
Another victim of multiple fires, this West Coast site keeps its employees on their toes with moving pictures, faulty electronics, floating lights, and—according to several accounts—the spirits of children and past patrons running through the facility.
Like many former hospitals, this repurposed venue might still house phantom patients from across its troubled history and, less frighteningly, the watchful ghost of a kindly “White Nun.”
One of the oldest running theatres on Broadway, this newly renovated space is home to many famous haunts, including acrobat Louis Bossalina and American film star Judy Garland.