Category: Socialising
Hits: 859

Theatre Ghosts

I was leaving Her Majesty 's theatre in Aberdeen with Dave Allen, the comedian. He had been invited to a drinks do with the 'Friends of' after his show. It was 1988 and I was his tour manager.


Dave Allen

He decided it was time to go and we left the bar at the front of the theatre and stopped as we had no clue on how to get out. An elderly man said he'd show us out and we followed him down and along a long corridor up a flight of stairs, to the street. We turned to say thank you, and he had gone, vanished. There were no doors for him to go into, it was a mystery.

Dave Allen made a huge joke of it, 'ghosts mwah ha ha'. We laughed, but still walked quite quickly back to the hotel.

Fast forward to 2006, sadly after Dave had died, and I received a letter explaining that, yes, we had met the theatre ghost, a stage hand who had died on stage, rather horribly. My first ghost. I love backstage areas in theatres, they are usually very friendly places, no ghost but so many people have claimed to have seen 'something' in the auditorium. There are hundreds of references to men and women in 'grey' floating around all over the world.

Theatre Ghosts

Then you suddenly hear of something very specific and you have to think about it a bit.

Starlight Express, the roller skating musical was staged at the Victoria Palace there in London. It was a fast moving hi- tech show. A stage had stopped all the scenery one day as a little girl was standing on one of the 'bridges'. When he went to check on her, she had gone. The theatre was built on the site of a children’s home.

The Dominion on Tottenham Court Road is on the site of a very troubled area in London, The Rookeries. Hundreds of alleys with slum housing had been on that site for centuries. It was also the scene of a bizarre tragic accident. The world's biggest barrel of ale stored millions of gallons just behind where the theatre now stands.

One day the barrel exploded, sending a tidal wave pouring into the Rookery and down into the basements where amazingly, only 10 people drowned.

Several people at the theatre have reported seeing a man in a leather apron hammering metal on stage. A cooper from years gone by, but the strange thing is you can only see him from the waist up. The Theatre Royal Haymarket is famously haunted by an old manager, beautifully dressed disappearing through walls, and into the no.1 dressing room. Many people have seen him. But it was Patrick Stewart on stage in Waiting for Godot, who looked up in a scene with Ian McKellen and saw another man on stage, a ghost he thought, and not the manager.

Theatre Ghosts

Anna Pavlova 

To meet Bram Stoker you have to be in the right office at the London Lyceum, apparently, and if you miss him, you could see Anna Pavlova on the stairs. ?

{module comment link}