Ghosts of the Prairie

Dubuque, Iowa

If every good theater really does have a ghost, then the Grand Opera House in Dubuque, Iowa is no exception. The theater was originally built in 1890 and hosted stars like George M. Cohan, Sarah Bernhardt and Lillian Russell. In 1928, it became a movie theater and was even haunted at that time by a number of unknown ghosts. Apparently, the local police department have a record of calls made by theater cleaning ladies to report strange voices in the building at night. The Opera House is once again a stage for live theater in the city and is home to the Barn Community Theatre company. Since they took over the theater in 1986, they have collected many tales of strange goings-on in the building from ghostly voices to bizarre electrical problems. They also blame the spirits for the theft of small items in the theater and various other pranks.

In 1991, apparitions began to be reported in the theater in addition to odd experiences as one of the employees saw two women sitting in the auditorium seats. They inexplicably vanished.

Dubuque is located along the Mississippi River at the junctions of the lowa-Illinois-Wisconsin borders. The theater is located on Eight Street in Dubuque.

Copyright 1998 by Troy Taylor. All Rights Reserved.

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