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Ghostly Telephone Call

Ethan, MA, USA
August 2001

Between 1992 and 1993 I worked in an old movie theater. It is a large, old building located in downtown Worcester, Massachusetts. The site on which it is located has held theaters since 1912.

At one end of the building, a few pieces of the original 1912 structure remain. In a basement storage area are a few walls and doorways. This area seems to have been backstage in the original theater. Over one doorway is visible the outline of a horseshoe that was once mounted there. Old dressing rooms are still there, and the remains of an old dance studio and music shop business.

Long-time employees of the theater have a few stories of strange happenings there. One manager saw a ghostly apparition disappear into the ceiling of the lobby, forty or fifty feet above the floor late one night while working alone. A projectionist saw a face peering in through the booth. A light bulb wouldn't stay in it's socket, preferring to rest on the cement floor 8 feet beneath its socket. It was found there several times, unbroken.

Although the building could be sinister and frightening, I never saw anything ghostly, although I looked. But that's not to say that nothing unearthly happened to me.

A common rumor among the employees of the theater was that a stagehand had fallen to his death back in the days when it was a vaudeville house. I did an hour or two of research at the local library, but was unable to uncover any accounts of death at the theater.

About this time, I related the stories of the hauntings to my mother. She told them to a woman who claimed to have psychic abilities. She told my mother that she had attended movies in this theater, and that she had perceived some things about it. In particular, she had the impression that someone had died suddenly in the building, perhaps from a fall. She said she received the impression of a name beginning with the letter "M". My mother and I discussed my inviting this woman down for a tour of the but I never did.

Sometime later, I was the sole manager on duty one evening. I spent most of the evening in the basement manager's office. After the first set of evening shows had gone in, the cashier called me on the intercom system. There was a phone call for me.

As soon as I lifted the handset, I noticed something strange. There was a loud squealing and hissing on the line. The phone system in the theater was modern, and there were never any problems with it. When I said hello, there was no response. Just the horrible squealing and hissing sounds. I said hello again, this time much louder, trying to make myself heard above the noise. Another few seconds passed. The suddenly a man's voice spoke, loud and clear above the noise: "This is Mike." Calm and matter-of-fact. I waited for him to continue. After a pause, I grew impatient. "Mike who?" I said with some irritation. There was no reply. The line abruptly disconnected. I waited for him to call back, but there was nothing. I asked the cashier who it was. She said that they hadn't identified themselves, but asked for me. They had specifically asked for me by name. I thought this was strange, since I couldn't think of anyone by the name of Mike that would call me at work. There were two people named Mike who worked for the theater, but I knew their voices well, and it was neither of them, as each later confirmed.

A few minutes after the call, as I was still puzzling about it, I remembered what my mother's acquaintance had said. Someone whose name began with the letter "M". Mike! I felt my hair stand up on the back of my neck. I told several of the other employees about the call, and was met with disbelief.

The theater closed a couple of years ago, and sits vacant. I hope the building finds a new occupant. I'd really hate to see it torn down.

Ethan, MA, USA
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