Thank you in advance for taking the time to read my story. It is my first time posting here. I've experienced many unexplainable things but this is one that has stayed with me.
In a scenic Minnesota city, near where I went to college, there is a theatre that is storied to be haunted by a mischievous ghost.
This ghost, or the Blue Man, was known to move props, mess with curtains, and turn the stage lights on and off during performances. Stage managers would talk about things going wrong in the booth and then suddenly fixing themselves. Actors would talk about weird feelings or shadows backstage. And several people that I knew had reported to have seen a man in blue coveralls, shaggy light hair, and 70s style glasses around the theatre. The theatre was attached to an old train depot so it stands to reason that the ghost was a worker or engineer, but I do not know that to have ever been confirmed.
Being an actor and a paranormal believer, I loved hearing stories of this supposedly haunted theatre. No one ever felt threatened or that anything evil was there, if anything, stage managers and crew would be annoyed because inevitably during every production, something would be amiss.
I only worked there twice, both times in musicals.
The first show, I played a lead and would come in early and was often the last person to be dismissed from rehearsal. I tend to pretty sensitive to paranormal things and was aware of that feeling of being watched or that uneasy feeling of not being alone but not being able to place why. I was pretty consumed with rehearsals though and didn't spend time thinking about ghosts or the Blue Man, until he came to rehearsal one night.
To paint a better picture of the theatre itself, it's a proscenium stage, one of those big places with fly space and wing space, the stage about 3 ft from the floor where the audience sits. The house itself has few hundred seats, all in a slight semi-circle facing the stage. The lighting booth was dead center in the back. Its important to note that there are center aisles. Audiences would enter from the lobby through double doors and then could go left or right through a swinging door (that was propped open before the show and at intermission, but then closed during the performance by ushers) and would have get to their seats from either of the two side aisles. This means that if your seat was in the middle, you had quite a number of seats to walk by to get there. Each row had between 20-30 seats or so.
The two swinging doors at the exits were very heavy and would bang loudly if you didn't catch them or close them carefully. To minimize disturbances and interruptions during rehearsals, the stage left door, was always bolted shut. So basically, the only way into the theatre from the audience was the door on stage right. The only door into the lighting booth was also on stage right.
Alright, so one night, per the norm, I was the only actor left and was working on the stage with the director and assistant director. Everyone else had left either through the back loading dock or through the stage right door to the lobby. We had been working for a good 45 minutes and were the only three people left in the building.
I was standing on stage, toward the edge of the stage. The director and AD were on the floor in the audience in front of me, comparing notes in a script that was lying on the edge of the stage. We were all leaning over it, the two of them were discussing something, and I suddenly got this overwhelming feeling that I was being watched. I looked up and there he was. In the very back row, far left corner of the audience, was a man with shaggy hair and 70s style glasses. It looked like he was wearing a gray button down to me and I only saw him from mid-chest up, like he was either sitting in that corner seat or standing behind it. I did a bit of a double take because I wasn't expecting anyone else to be there and hadn't seen or heard anyone come in (I was on stage and had been performing straight out to the audience and would have seen if anyone came in). I thought oh it must be a janitor or the parent of one of the kids in the show, so I went back to looking at the script. The director and AD didn't seem to notice him and were still talking so I straightened up and looked back at the guy in the back of the house. We had eye contact, he was looking right at me. I smiled at him and did a little, half-wave at him. He didn't respond but kept looking at me. I looked down at the script and in a split second thought "Wait, no one else is here" and immediately looked up again and he was gone.
I was stunned, literally frozen, staring at where he had been. It was only then that I remembered the description of the Blue Man and thought, Oh my god, that must have been him! The Director and AD asked me something and brought my attention back to them. I asked if everyone else had gone and they said yes and that we had to exit out the back because the janitor had locked everything in the front when he left 45 minutes earlier. Neither of them saw anyone else or seemed to feel anything or to even notice that I was a bit shook up. We packed up our stuff and I watched as the AD walked to the stage left door in the audience and pulled on it- it was locked. He walked all the way across the back row of seats to the stage right door, pulled on it to make sure it was locked, and then we turned off the lights and exit through the loading dock together.
When I got to my car, my heart started racing faster as I tried to reasonably explain what I had seen. It COULD have been a janitor (it didn't look like the janitor but it could have been one I hadn't met yet.) But if it was, I would've had to have seen him leave. I had looked away from him for no more than a second and the man was gone. How could he have gotten out? The only door that was open during rehearsals was stage right and I would have seen him walking across the back row, just like the AD had to do to check the doors. He could not have gone into the lighting booth because that entrance was also on the right. If he had keys, he would've had to either unlock it before he left or lock it after he left and that would have taken time and all three of us would've heard that deadbolt turn. He would've had to stand and open that swinging door, which I would've seen, and if he left in a hurry, he would've had to let the door close on its own (or I would've seen it close) but there was no loud door slam.
The more I thought, the more convinced I was that I had seen the Blue Man. My first time seeing an apparition, it was kind of a big deal. But then I started to worry. He liked to mess around with things like curtains and cables and lights in the wing space and fly space during shows and this particular show involved actual flying with cables and harnesses. I was suddenly worried that one of his pranks could affect the rigging and someone (like me or children) could get hurt.
The next night I got to rehearsal early. No one else was on the stage, the ghost light was still there, and I walked down stage center to where I had been standing when I saw him. I felt like someone was watching me and my chest felt tight and I was excited and nervous as I looked out into the house, all around the stage and up in the rafters. I said something to the effect of- Hello. I'm (insert name) and I'm playing (insert role). Thank you for coming to rehearsal last night. It's nice to meet you. We're all very excited for the show but I'm really nervous about flying and all the harness and cables. Would you mind keeping an eye on us and keeping us safe?- and then I thanked him again for coming to rehearsal and for sharing the space with us.
I didn't see him again after that. I sometimes felt things backstage but for the most part, paranormally speaking, things were quiet the rest of rehearsals. People even commented on how they hadn't seen or heard from The Blue Man yet. We got through all the rehearsals and all of the performances without a single problem with props or lights or sound or cables (well, that couldn't be obviously explained by human error). At the cast party, the stage manager and I were talking and she said it was the first show she had ever done there when the Blue Man didn't do ANYTHING, and she had been doing shows there for years. When I told her about what I had experienced, she smiled and nodded her head and said, well, must've made a friend.
I don't know if that's true but I'm very glad to have had that interaction. I think because I said hello that first night and asked him nicely to keep us safe, that we had some kind of understanding, at least for that show.
The very next musical, I was also in. I didn't see him or even really feel his presence during rehearsals but then one night during the first huge company number, the stage lights suddenly all went out. The actors and musicians kept going and a minute or so later the lights all suddenly came back on. The show must go on and no one missed a beat but at intermission, I found the stage manager (who was in the booth controlling the lights) and asked her, "what happened?" She sort of laughed and said, "I guess he's back at".
Great story in a theater!
My name is Erick Yáñez, I'm a reporter from Mexico City. I work for a podcast produced by the WNYC (New York's Public Radio) called Spooked, which is also a spinoff from the award winning show 'Snap Judgement'. It's a show about paranormal experiences in the voices of the people who lived them. This is the link of the show:
I'm wondering; would you be interested to chat with me via skype, hangouts or phone so I can get to know the details of the story and evaluate if it's a good fit for our third season?
I'm leaving Spooked's webpage here so you can check it out.
Thanks in advance!