Finishing up with what I began, the believes, and my findings on them.
5. Activity ramps up when the building undergoes renovation. I worked there for a couple of seasons, and I heartily agree with this. All kinds of things went on during the first run of Nunsense, and this was when they were attempting to put the elevator in. Lights would go up and down (I worked a followspot for this) and the tech’s hands were nowhere near the light board. There were footsteps in the balcony, on the stage, behind the stage. There were vague feelings of discomfort, of being watched, and cold spots, primarily in the balcony and the stairways stage right. The second run of Nunsense was just as bad, if not worse, and at the time I didn’t know it, but later found out this was when they were converting the first floor to the Visitor’s Center. None of this activity felt particularly malicious or angry, but it did make one uncomfortable.
6. The road to nowhere… Paranormal aside, this building is absolutely fascinating if you take the time to piece it together, because you simply can’t. There are doors that go nowhere. There are doors you can’t get to because there are pipes in front of them. There is a visible catwalk, and it’s only accessible from stage left (if I remember correctly, there is a door stage right, but no one I knew ever figured out how to get to it). A walkthrough looking at the layout and you’ll realize there is a load of dead space somewhere. I remember part of what used to creep me out about the stairwell on stage right is one of the landings has a wooden floor, and there was a gaping hole in it, and nothing beneath but blackness. And while I’ve never been, I know someone who used to go to the basement frequently, as it was used for costume storage (I believe when the ground floor was the children’s clothing store, they used it for storage also) and he relates it as a veritable labyrinth of dead ends and blocked doors. For history buffs, the first floor also housed a bank and a post office at various times.
Of note, there is also a loge (there are 2 on each side) stage right, upper level, and the only way into it is to climb. There is no door. I’ve climbed into it a few times, and the reason this sticks with me is because there is a painting in it that creeps me out. It’s not remarkable; I don’t even remember it that clearly, except that it has dogs in it (I’m pretty sure its some kind of hunt scene, like a fox hunt). But every time I climb into that loge and see it, it comes back to me as if I’d only seen it the day before.
7. And today? Today C&R Productions has taken over, and I haven’t set foot in the building in a few years. Last time I did, the city owned it, and it was open for tours. The seating in the house was extensively redone. The orchestra pit was changed. And I sensed nothing. No activity at all. Of course, it was the middle of the day, but also, renovations were done. Nothing was going on.
8. Finally, one scary night. Most of what I’ve seen and heard here hasn’t bothered me too much. Like I said, it never struck me as angry or dangerous. But one night, myself and 2 friends (I’ll call them B and D) were driving around the ol’ Cappy D showing each other haunted places, and I got the genius idea of showing them the Music Hall. It was around 1 am when we got there, and parked across the street. Right off the bat, we saw a red glow from the far left window in the 3rd row (the 2nd one in; the last is bricked over). It looked almost as if there were an EXIT sign shining through…except that’s the attic, and there is clearly no exit anywhere near that corner.
Creepy, and odd, but not a deterrent. We walked over and peeked into the downstairs windows first. Initially, my two companions thought there were people inside; these were actually black and white cardboard cutouts that were part of the Visitor’s Center. The building did have a funky feel to it: not sure if you can see in the above picture but around the main door is all green marble, and it felt as if it were squirming under my touch. We walked around the right side of the building into a small alleyway, but there was nothing of note. As we came back out front, the streetlight in the middle went out. Ok, well, streetlights do that (especially around me, someday I’ll tell you how many streetlights I killed in Hudson during the Winter Walk). It was creepy, but nothing to write home about, right?
We started to cross the street. I was in the middle of the road. B was at the car, D was trailing me slightly, still near the curb. I turned to look back at the building, and in the far right window, I saw the black lady, standing there looking back out (on the inside, this would have placed her on the first landing of the stairwell, leading into the house). While I was looking at her, I saw movement out of the corner of my eye, and turned to the far left window one floor up (the 2nd row, this would be against the back of the balcony) with red light emanating from it. The light was gone from the attic window, and only showing along the bottom of this one, because most of it was covered by a shade. However, the corner of the shade began to lift. Yes, lift, as in something was pulling it up.
B never saw it; he was already in the car. D saw it, and me, being ever the intrepid ghost hunter, yelled, “Get in the car! DRIVE!” I had no desire to see what was lifting the shade. For the first time ever, I also sensed what I first thought was hate or anger, but later realized might have been frustration; either way, it was the first time I ever got a truly negative vibe from the building. None of us slept that night. I couldn’t shake the feeling of anger or resentment, and a vague dread that it may have followed us (it didn’t, I’m just really good at freaking myself out). I have been back since, in the daylight, and as I said, I picked up nothing. I’m pretty sure we went at a period when they were still working on the Visitor’s Center, and so still doing renovating.
Knowing that the theater is being used again, I have no problem going back and seeing a show. Anyone with me?