Theaters are somewhere near the top of the list for places that are most likely to become haunted. The amount of energy expended in such places throughout the years can lead to a haunting, as can the devotion shown the theaters by the actors and staff members who spent their lives there. Dayton boasts two haunted theaters and both of them are said to be haunted by someone who worked there... who didn't realize they were supposed to leave after they died. Memorial Hall is the home to the Dayton Philharmonic and it was built in 1909 and renovated in 1956. The theater is haunted by the ghost of a former custodian who accidentally fell into the orchestra pit and broke his hip more than thirty years ago. He died shortly after and strange events began to take place in the theater. Stage hands and staff members often report that the lighting system behaves erratically, footsteps sound on the overhead (and empty) catwalks and even toilets sometimes flush by themselves.
The Victoria Theater is a restored and ornate building that is said to be home to at least two ghosts. The most famous is that of an actress who disappeared mysteriously from the building in the early 1900's. She left the stage for just a moment and vanished, never to be found.... and that mystery remains unsolved. In the years that have passed, the ghost has been seen in the theater and often leaves behind the scent of rose perfume to announce her presence.
The other ghost is the spirit of a young woman who was attacked at night in one of the theater boxes during a performance. After her death, the ghost returned to linger in the box and on one occasion a man entered the box and was slapped by an invisible hand that clearly left a mark on his face.
Dayton, Ohio is located in the western region of the state. Memorial Hall is located
at 125 East First Street in Dayton and the Victoria Theater is located at 138 North Main
Street. Author Chris Woodyard conducts ghostly bus tours of the Dayton area, which include
these theaters, each October.
Copyright 1998 by Troy Taylor
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