Things That Go Bump In The Theatre
Blair, New Hampshire, USA
My whole life, I've been a skeptic of paranormal activity. I have no belief in superstitions, I laugh until I cry at horror movies, and I attribute anything that goes bump in the night to the air conditioning system, the wind, or something of that kind. So, I think its safe to say I never believed in ghosts.
Key word: "believed."
I am very involved in the Drama program at my high school. I spend the majority of my time in the auditorium. I would even go so far as to say that it's become my second home. I love that theatre with all my heart.
Now, I'm sure you've heard that every theatre has a ghost. Well, supposedly, ours was no exception. Our ghost was called "Sharon." Some of the easily-scared people in the program say that she died in the theatre years ago. Any strange sounds, flashing lights, or unexpected black-outs were automatically attributed to her. But usually, you couldn't hear anything. She wouldn't "come out" unless it was dark, quiet, and there were few people around. That was an indicator to me that she was just a fabrication of overactive imaginations. And, yet...
One night, I was in the theatre very late. It was just myself and the woman at the head of the program. She had asked me to stay and help decorate the theatre for a show the following night, and I had been content to do so. When we were almost done, she asked if I minded staying and finishing up, as she had a prior engagement to attend to. I, of course, didn't mind.
So, she left me with the keys to the theatre, and I locked the door behind her. After she left, I continued hanging streamers and checking some of the sound and light equipment. I was nearly finished when I started to hear a type of banging sound coming from the catwalk area. Perplexed, I wondered what had caused it.
Now, I am absolutely positive that I was the only person in the whole school, never mind the theatre. Anyway, there was only one way to get onto the catwalk- and that was with a key on the key chain that rested safely in my pocket. I went back to what I was doing, yet I was slightly unnerved. I was, after all, all alone in the place.
When I was completely finished, and about to leave, the banging started up again. Louder than ever. It sounded almost as if someone was running back and forth up there. I sighed in resignation, knowing I had to go up and check. In the back of my mind somewhere, I thought that maybe someone had stayed, and was just trying to scare me. I went to the catwalk door, and, sliding the key in, opened it.
There was a sudden gust of cold air that rushed out at me. And, that's saying a lot, because the theatre was already cold. The gust was positively freezing. I chill ran down my spine as I began my careful ascension of the stairs. The theatre had been built in the sixties, and any renovations had only been done to the house and stage ? nothing was ever done where it wouldn't be seen. The stairs to the catwalk were old, and a few were broken. I doubt very highly that they've ever been repaired. Thus, very few people were allowed on the stairs, and those who were allowed rarely used them.
Once I reached the top of the stairs, I looked down the length of the catwalk. I saw nothing out of the ordinary, and was almost relieved. As I turned to leave, though, another rush of cold air came at me. I shuddered, and started descending the stairs. I went carefully, slowly down until I felt another gust of air hit me with amazing force. I tripped, and fell the rest of the way down the steep stairs.
I caught my breath at the bottom. My ankle ached dully, and I had scraped my arm on the way down. I was otherwise unscathed. I rolled on my back to look up the stairs. There was, of course, nothing there. But I was absolutely that certain someone - or something - had pushed me.
I jumped up, and half-limped to the door. I threw it open, and locked it behind me. Taking a few deep breaths, I collected myself, and walked off the stage and up the aisle toward the exit. That was when, all of the sudden, the lights went off. All I could see was blackness, all around me. And when I say blackness, I mean it was complete and utter. I couldn't see an inch in front of my face. And the only way the theatre gets that dark is if someone hits the "black out" button on the control panel up in the technical booth.
I felt another gust of the freezing air on my arms as I walked quickly in the direction of the booth. It was a good thing I knew the theatre like the back of my hand, or I doubt that I would've been able to find it in the darkness. I reached the door, which turned out to be locked, and opened it. I ascended the spiral steps carefully. When I reached the light board and was about to turn the lights back on, a sound reverberated from the theatre speakers with amazing intensity. It was a loud feedback sound. I quickly switched the lights on, and the sound stopped. I walked over to the sound board, only to find it (and therefore the speakers) off.
Needless to say, I very nearly flew out of the theatre that night. I have never told anyone else what happened that night. Not even after I researched about our "theatre ghost." I found that a girl named Sharon had hung herself from the catwalk in the late sixties, shortly after the theatre was built. Before then, it had always been just a legend to everyone, and a farce to me.
I try to avoid the catwalk at all costs, nowadays. And I never, ever stay late in the theatre by myself.