Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Orpheum Goes Ghost Hunting

Although The Orpheum is a gorgeous gem of a theatre with a rich history, sometimes that history has a bit of a creepy side. Ghostly little girls have been spotted in box seats, disembodied voices echo in the basement, and occasionally tricks are played on unsuspecting employees (our marketing director has a theory that the ghost named Mary is the one that keeps changing all the dates on her spreadsheets). Last year we posted some of our more famous ghost stories, but this year I and a few other brave members of the staff decided to make some ghost stories of our own.

We enlisted the help of Rich Newman (with Paranormal Inc.) to stay with us after hours last week and do some ghost hunting with his gear. If you've ever watched any of the ghost hunting shows on TV, you know the drill: sound recorders are set in previously "active" areas (in this case Mary's box and the Upper Gallery), pictures are taken in night vision, and EMF sensors are used to detect spikes in electromagnetic activity. We split into teams (conveniently ignoring the advice of every horror movie in existence) and began to stake out our two hotspot areas, asking questions and pausing to allow for answers to be recorded as EVPs. After we finished we headed to another hotspot in the Gallery level bathroom and then down to the basement, where we had a very interesting question and answer session with something that was causing the EMF detector to go crazy.

(Not working in your browser? Click here to listen.)

Overall the experience was a lot more fun than it was spooky, and luckily none of the staff that attended were too scared to return to work the next day. A few days later Rich sent us the above EVP and several photos, including one from a previous visit that was never published:

That's Vincent Astor playing the organ. See anything else?

How about now?

And a photo from our investigation:

Can you spot the ghost? Hint: it's circled in red.

Since we were only in the theatre for about two hours, Rich wasn't surprised we didn't pick up more earth-shattering evidence. To get the really good stories you have to have spent years in the theatre, which is definitely something that Vincent Astor can claim. Watch the video below to hear his spooky experiences with Mary and more!

EDIT: A staff member just sent this photo after the post jogged her memory:

 "I gave a tour last year to a camera club and they took this. It isn’t doctored or smudged. I was standing right next to the guy and every other picture he took was perfect!"

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