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Theatre Spirit Activity


My old high school had a pack of ghosts. I'll tell you about my experience with one of them. I held off telling this one for good reason. The evidence is fairly flimsy and not the kind of thing I like to call proof but it's an interesting story so I hope you like it.

As I said our school was very old. It is the school which is in the famous Australian legend of Picnic at Hanging Rock which some people may know about. It has several known hauntings. Since I had only a single experience with one I might as well briefly tell you about the other ones; they're worth it, I think.

One was a White Lady who was known to be seen wandering on the croquet lawn late at night. The principal saw her several times and he was a credible man. Above the lawn is the Tower. The legend is that she was a school girl who cast herself to her death after being impregnated by the stable boy. I don't know if the story has any truth to it. Our soccer oval had the coach house on it originally. 3 graves were found there when the oval was being shaped. There have been reports of the sound of horses and voices down there at night.

My own experience was with the third. My drama teacher called her Penthesilea; a name coined from a line of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night in which Sir Toby Belch bids Penthesilea goodnight. Our drama teacher developed a ritual of saying good night to her. The drama office was in an annexe overlooking the theatre. It's less of a theatre, more of a hall set up for dramatic studies. The previous drama head working late would hear crying from the back stage area and investigate only to find nothing and the crying would cease until she left the area then it would continue. The current teacher, my teacher for 3 years only once saw her after making the mistake of turning off the lights from his office before getting to the outer door of the hall; something he never did for fear of seeing her. He didn't really like to talk about it. Now, onto my own experience.

We were putting on a play which required a large amount of weekend rehearsal for me because I had a main role. This would have been in 2004 and I would have been 17 going on 18. There were four of us in the building on a gloomy Saturday. It was cold; the school is on a mountain in the bush in an area which often gets snowed on in winter which is unusual for Australia. The character I played was one of three mains who occupied the stage area. One particular scene I was not in and since we were quite a way into the rehearsal process, I was occupying the area where I was supposed to be during the real show rather than sneaking off front stage for a coffee and a biscuit. The area was a small unlit costume room off side of the stage. It was used for storage of the usual junk which you would usually find floating around a theatre. I put a stool in there and sat waiting to come on. The other actors were blocking fairly vigorously and were taking a long time and I was sitting alone in the dark in the dingy costume room. I have to admit, I dozed off for a minute as the whole process was quite stressful and tiring. I think it was this relaxation on my part which drew her out.

I awoke sharply because the room had gotten overwhelmingly cold. As I previously mentioned it was a freezing day but inside it was temperate. In the tiny room I was sitting, the temperature plummeted. Immediately I felt really uneasy but didn't immediately think anything of it. Then all of a sudden I knew she was there. It was an unbelievably strange experience. I was definitely awake, facing the door and just felt her in the top right corner of the room behind me. I knew it was a female and I knew her presence was up in an unreachable area of the room but for some reason it felt so sensible for a moment or two before I was overwhelmed, jumped up and ran from the room without looking back. That was the first time I felt her presence in that room. During one of the actual performances of the show I felt like I wasn't alone back there.

I don't like to talk about "feeling" things. I'm not sensitive to anything especially not feelings. I have never felt anything like this before or since. I feel that the spirit was in fact merely curious. There was absolutely no hostility. I was hesitant about sharing the story because I didn't actually see anything with my eyes but at the same time I just knew she was there with me. The only real evidence I have was the overwhelming coldness which occurred suddenly and a cold spot is not exactly proof. There was enough evidence of experiences in the building to warrant me believing it without thinking that I'm crazy or that the whole thing was imaginary. It was the closest I have had to a conclusive experience so I wanted to share it. The place is a wonderful historical area and has many great stories associated with it so it felt appropriate to tell it.

Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed it.

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Comments about this paranormal experience

The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, burning_flame87, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

WinkycatOfGhosts (1 stories) (10 posts)
13 years ago (2009-03-25)
I have seen ghosts at my school too! They were old and always stared at people. Anyway great story!

Winky ❤
ChrisB (6 stories) (1515 posts)
14 years ago (2008-07-01)
I think some things can be explained. I think what Rhodes is saying is true. You must never listen to rumours because thay can easily scare you. Then there are times when people do see things but it is caused by the mind. I liked this story thanks for sharring. I hope to hear from you soon and take care
burning_flame87 (1 stories) (52 posts)
14 years ago (2008-07-01)
thanks for the comments guys. In response to rhodes I very much understand what you're saying. It was a profoundly interesting experience. I honestly still don't know if there was really anything there but at the time I was not in a PN mindset or anything like that. I think I was more surprised than anything else.
rhodes68 (14 stories) (1596 posts)
14 years ago (2008-06-29)
"Good night, Penthesileia... She is a beagle, true bred, and one that adores me. What o' that?"

Shakespeare is known to have numerous times borrowed Greek mythological and historical figures but twisting a bit the "facts" to fit his plot. He used the name of Penthesileia in The Twelfth Night but also the name of Penthesileia's sister's Hippolyta in A Midsummer Dream to suggest that she, as the Amazon Queen, was engaged to the Duke of Athens, Theseus.

As for Penthesileia in the Greek Epic Tragedy, she was the Amazon Queen (daughter of Ares and Otrera) who, after accidentally killing her sister Hippolyta while hunting deer, wished nothing more than her own death. Being an Amazon and a Queen she knew she had to die an honorable death in battle so she joined the Trojan war on the side of the Trojan defenders.

She's said to have been killed by Achilles (Epitome of the Bibliotheke) who fell in love with her after her death.
dukemanistan (3 stories) (34 posts)
14 years ago (2008-06-28)
I would really be interested in hearing about anyone else there who has actually encountered Penthesilea. Penthesilea was an amazon warrior of unrival ferocity in Grecian lore, I wonder if this title is exactly deserved as from what you mention here this spirit was attacked nothing.
Oglegen (6 stories) (61 posts)
14 years ago (2008-06-28)
I think sometimes, if you "know" something is there, it is there. It's like meeting someone for the first time and having a thunderbolt experience and knowing you'll fall in love with them etc. I believe she was probably there, and it's always at the times you least expect like when you were rehearsing and not even thinking of her. Please do post more, Burning Flame, I really liked your story and the way you told it.
rhodes68 (14 stories) (1596 posts)
14 years ago (2008-06-28)
Burning_flame87 hello and thank you for sharing your story.

Without wishing to undermine your experience (sometimes our senses play an important role in what we call paranormal experiences and it is because of our ability to sense deeply what others cannot which allows us a glimpse to the other side), you need to acknowledge the fact that constant rumors about paranormal activity in a particular place can sometimes create a lot of expectations.

Even more, confirmation of a haunting by people we think highly of can equally enhance these expectations and there's possibility that we tend to misinterprete every natural phenomenon as paranormal.

What I'm trying to say is, there might have been "something" there-something that either chose to reveal its presense to you or something you could "capture" because of your senses but, at the same time, it's very probable that you interpreted a simple draft or even a simple tremor as an indication that the White Lady was there.

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