Theatre Ghosts and Hauntings

 
Moving Chair

Location: Romford (Essex) - Brookside Theatre
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: July 2014
Further Comments: CCTV recorded what appears to be a chair moving unaided in the theatre, although some claim that the movement is an optical illusion caused by a water droplet on the lens of the camera,


 
Thespian

Location: Rugby (Warwickshire) - Rugby Theatre
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The theatre is thought haunted by two ghosts. One man fell to his death from the balcony and now haunts the stalls, while the other phantom is of an old actor who died of natural causes at home, but his love for the theatre ensured his return.


 
Bloodied Hands

Location: SE1 (Greater London) - Old Vic, Waterloo Road
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This ghostly woman has appeared several times, always clasping her bloodstained hands. Some believe that she was an actress, and that the blood is fake - used for a stage production of a Shakespearian play.


 
Dylan Thomas

Location: SE13 (Greater London) - Bush Theatre (Shepherd's Bush Hotel)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Twentieth century
Further Comments: A former BBC worker, Thomas enjoyed drinking and socialising at this site.


 
Smartly Dressed Woman

Location: Shaftesbury (Dorset) - Shaftesbury Theatre
Type: Unknown Ghost Type
Date / Time: 1970s
Further Comments: Seen only once, this woman in autumn clothing stood on a catwalk seventy foot above the stage - she was passed by a builder who was sent to fix the ceiling damaged in a storm. At first it didn't register that she was out of place, and when the worker went to speak to her, she had vanished.


 
Strange Shadows

Location: Southsea (Hampshire) - Kings Theatre
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: July 2006
Further Comments: Staff and visitors to the theatre have reported seeing weird shadows and hearing strange noises. Wessex Ghost Hunters investigated the site and the team's medium declared the theatre to be haunted by the ghost of a woman who committed suicide.


 
Charles Manford

Location: St Andrews (Fife) - Byre Theatre
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Late twentieth century
Further Comments: Though never seen, the non-threatening presence of the former owner is often felt or heard, and is considered reassuring. The ghost moved with the theatre after it was pulled down in 1970, and relocated under half a kilometre down the road.


 
Man Dressed in Black

Location: St Helens (Lancashire) - Theatre Royal
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Late twentieth century
Further Comments: There are several people in the running who could be this ghost (including a former manager and a World War Two pilot), who wears a black suit and long coat.


 
Allan Mair

Location: Stirling (Stirling) - Tolbooth Theatre
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 2002
Further Comments: Allan Mair was a prisoner held at this former jail. He died on site and was buried within the grounds. Manifesting in eighteenth century clothing, Mair is also held responsible for smashing bottles of alcohol and creating noises where the cells once held him.


 
Mrs Johnstone

Location: Sunderland (Durham) - Empire Theatre
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1970s
Further Comments: A violinist who died on the site, Johnstone has been seen by the manager, drifting along the dress circle before vanishing. There are also rumours that Sid James haunts the Empire, and that Barbara Windsor (and several others) now refuse to work there.


 
John Baldwin Buckstone

Location: SW1 (Greater London) - (Haymarket) Theatre Royal
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 2009
Further Comments: A welcome ghost, Buckstone only puts in an appearance when a performance is destined to make it big. Patrick Stewart reportedly spotted Buckstone during a performance of Waiting for Godot. Another former manager of the theatre, David Morris, is reported to return maybe once a decade to the theatre just to cause trouble for a single night, before returning to his grave.


 
Former Actress

Location: SW1 (Greater London) - St James's Theatre (no longer standing, replaced by an office block), King Street
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Pre 1957
Further Comments: This white clad ghost was thought to be an eighteenth century actress. An unknown presence would also hammer at dressing room doors, disappearing as soon as they were opened, and once it was announced that the theatre would close, a man would be seen standing in the shadows, vanishing if approached.


 
Alfred Frederick Janes

Location: SW16 (Greater London) - Odeon cinema (was the Streatham Astoria)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Late twentieth century
Further Comments: Alfred once owned a large house which was demolished to make way for the development of a large theatre. He died shortly after completion of the playhouse, and since then his ghost has been spotted moving around, and once was heard shouting 'I won't sell!'.


 
JB Mulholland

Location: SW19 (Greater London) - Wimbledon Theatre, Wimbledon Broadway
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A former manager, Mulholland has been seen whilst sitting in the boxes, watching rehearsals. Another classic theatre ghost, a grey lady, also haunts the building, sometimes laughing to herself as she drifts through closed doors.


 
Nellie Melba

Location: SW4 (Greater London) - Bingo hall along Clapham High Street
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1973
Further Comments: Nellie fell from the roof of this former theatre, after climbing to the roof in a drunken haze. Her shade, headless, was reportedly seen by a number of staff members near the area of the former stage.


 
Jenny

Location: Swansea (West Glamorgan) - Grand Theatre
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1980s
Further Comments: An actress who went down with the Titanic, Jenny last acted in this theatre before meeting her doom. She is now seen dressed in brilliant white, quickly vanishing into thin air after being spotted.


 
Running Figures

Location: Swindon (Wiltshire) - Wyvern Theatre
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Shadowy figures have been reported running in the building, and footsteps heard in areas that should be empty.


 
The Pushing Chair

Location: Upminster (Essex) - Theatre
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Late twentieth century
Further Comments: People who sit in a certain chair in the auditorium experience the sensation of being pushed. This phenomenon is said to be related to a suicide which once occurred here. Watchers on one ghost hunt heard footsteps and tapping in the same area, but could see no one.


 
Woman on Staircase

Location: W1 (Greater London) - London Palladium, Argyll Street
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Twentieth century
Further Comments: A red staircase and the surrounding passageways towards the back of the building are haunted by a rarely seen woman moving silently between them.


 
Severed Head in Lap

Location: WC2 (Greater London) - Lyceum Theatre
Type: Unknown Ghost Type
Date / Time: 1880s
Further Comments: A married couple in a box looked down into the stalls and could see, much to their horror, a woman with a severed head resting in her lap. They later recognised the head in a painting of a family which once lived on the site of the theatre. The ghosts of Ellen Terry and William Terriss are also said to haunt the theatre.


 
Usherette

Location: WC2 (Greater London) - Lyric Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1972
Further Comments: This figure, seen walking along the aisles of the theatre, was killed by a bomb dropped by a zeppelin in World War 1.


 
Manager in Brown Suit

Location: WC2 (Greater London) - Metropolitan Music Hall, Edgware Road (no longer standing)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Killed in the trenches during the First World War, the manager came back to his beloved theatre, and watched the first performances of new shows to ensure they were up to scratch.


 
Anna Pavlova

Location: WC2 (Greater London) - Palace Theatre, Cambridge Circus
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The debate to whether the ghostly ballerina to be found here is really Pavlova is still in motion. The building's other entity, Ivor Novello, died in 1951 but still watches performances from the back of the dress circle.


 
Fading Lady

Location: WC2 (Greater London) - Peacock Theatre (was Royalty Theatre), Dean Street
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Lady circa 1934, Dolphin from 1980s onwards?
Further Comments: A woman clothed in an outfit dating from the Queen Anne period is reported to descend the staircase here, slowly fading before she reaches the bottom. A short scream is said to signify her complete disappearance. The female ghost has not been seen as of late, and appears to have been replaced by the sound of a phantom dolphin which, during life, was kept in a small tank under the stage in the 1930s).


 
Unknown Woman

Location: WC2 (Greater London) - Vaudeville Theatre
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 2000s
Further Comments: Box office staff regularly smell a heavy herb-like perfume around them and backstage staff report noises and presences. A workman reported briefly seeing the feet of a woman and the bottom of a cloak pass him by (the rest of the person was obscured) after the building was closed for the night.


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