Theatre NorthWest is haunted, and they have the pictures to prove it. Last week while at the theatre working late, one of the staff stumbled on the attached writings – proving that the ghost light they leave on each night is necessary. They managed to snap the attached picture before leaving the building.
“Ghost lights are a long tradition in theatres – there is often a single lamp left energized on stage. Light for the ghosts to perform by,” said Marnie Hamagami, Artistic Producer at Theatre NorthWest. “We have always suspected our theatre was haunted and now we have the photo to prove it.”
Along with the photo, are these papers from a long-ago employee:
Heidi Klepsch for Theatre NorthWest
I used to work at the theatre, many years ago, as a seamstress. One of my jobs was refreshing the costumes between shows. Most of the time, I’d do that in the morning. However, when a matinee immediately followed an evening show, I had to do the washing in the middle of the night so the costumes would have time to dry. I’d be the only one left in the building on those occasions, which always left me nervously looking over my shoulder…
I had trouble keeping my imagination from spiraling into scary places, to begin with. Adding long hours spent working in the shadowy, maze-like theatre was definitely more than I wanted to handle. But, I loved the rest of my job, so I steeled myself for the nocturnal bits and told myself I was being silly for feeling so spooked.
To my eternal dismay, it would turn out that there was something to be afraid of, after all…
As I arrived, my final shift began like all the others. The cast and crew members were leaving, and they said goodnight to me as they headed out to their cars, bracing against the wind and cold. They made the usual jokes about watching out for ghosts and how the theatre was haunted, at which I laughed nervously, as was expected. I locked the front door, then uneasily made my way through the creaky maze of hallways and twisting stairwells to get to work in the laundry room.
After a couple of hours, I finished the necessary washing, ironing, and mending. I left the laundry room, giving the finicky door a hard pull so that it closed. Then, I turned the lights out as I walked back into the lobby, a growing chasm of looming darkness trailing me. Bundled in my cold-weather clothes, keys in hand and my car remote-started, I was so eager to leave the creaking theatre and return to the warm sanctuary of my home. The only thing left to do was set the alarm for the building – but, I couldn’t.
A red light was flashing on the security system’s control box. It meant a door was open, somewhere, and the alarm couldn’t be set until it was closed. I was confused to see that “laundry room” was displayed on the screen beside the light… I had just closed it… But, it wasn’t out of the realm of possibility for it to have not latched fully, I thought… The theatre would shift and warp regularly, like old buildings do, as if it were breathing. Plus, the weather had just taken a dive into the damp and cold. That’s all this was, I thought. The normal stiffening of the old building’s bones. Nothing to be afraid of.
After a deep breath, I pocketed my keys and trudged back towards the laundry room, turning all the lights back on as I went. The room was hidden in the farthest, darkest corner of the second floor. I hated walking there – even during the day – because the lighting was so dim that I always felt like I was stepping into a black abys. My stomach always clenched as though I might fall right through the floor…
A sudden shiver ran through me as I reached the laundry room. Not only was the door wide open, but the sewing machine’s light was on, glowing expectantly in the darkness. I had not left it that way moments before… It was a compulsion of mine to turn the machine off whenever I stood up… Feeling deeply unsettled, I quickly flicked it off again, then pulled the offending door shut with a slam. I paused, my hand still clutching the doorknob, quieting my breathing to listen to the space… My skin prickled… I reached for my phone with my other hand, when–
– all the lightbulbs burst and I screamed sharply.
Enveloped by darkness, I was frozen with cold, icy terror. I felt my gut wrench in strangled fear and I thought I might vomit. My heart thundered painfully in my chest and I felt my head begin to spin as I took rapid, desperate gulps of air. I was trying to process what happened, when–
The doorknob within my grip turned sharply.
I flung myself backward, sprinting desperately away. A thunderous howl began behind me and the growing sound filled the darkness. My feet pounded on solid ground three times before sinking into the black void and I found myself falling through space, my stomach in my throat. I was screaming, but the sound I heard was foreign and frightening and louder than usual, but I couldn’t contemplate it because I felt suddenly as though my mind was being split in half. My brain was no longer able to process the intensity of the pain and the absolute blackness then appeared blinding white…
It was over.
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