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Londons Most Haunted Theatres

Friday, 23rd Oct 2015

There’s something about theatres that makes them the perfect haunting ground for ghosts. Perhaps it’s their already dramatic appearance or simply because they’ve been around for so many years. Whatever it is, it is clear that they have more stories to tell than the ones that unfold on their stages.

To this day, theatre staff will always leave a light on once everyone has left to keep evil spirits at bay. But even a burning ‘ghost light’ can’t keep away the haunting tales of the past and with Halloween around the corner, here are some of the most famous:

Drury Lane Theatre Royal

Dating back to 1663, Drury Lane is the oldest theatre in London and also the most haunted. In fact, many paranormal experts have dubbed it the most haunted building in the world! The theatre is said to be haunted by several ghosts including two clowns, a troubled actor and the ‘Helping Hand’ ghost who likes to nudge actors into position on stage.

The most eerie tale however belongs to the Man in Grey, who is often seen in the fourth row of the Upper Circle dressed in 18th Century attire. When the theatre was undergoing a refurbishment in the 1840s a skeleton was found behind a cavity in the wall. Many believe this to have once been the Man in Grey and there have been sightings of him ever since the 20th Century. The most famous of which was in 1939 when the entire cast of The Dancing Years saw him whilst they were performing on stage.

Adelphi Theatre

Legend has it that the Adelphi Theatre is home to the ghost of Victorian stage actor William Terriss. Although his ghost has been seen it is more often heard, particularly if you’re unlucky enough to be using the same dressing room as his actress lover Jessica Millward, who he died in the arms of and is often heard knocking on her door. Terriss is also said to make his way across the road to the Covent Garden tube station we he has been spotted a number of times.

Dominion Theatre

It is the ghost of 14 year old bar maid Eleanor Cooper that is said to haunt the Dominion. Eleanor died in the London Beer Flood, which took place in October 1814 when a 15 foot tidal wave consisting of more than 1 million litres of beer came rushing down Tottenham Court Road, taking the lives of 8 people. The tragic event took place at the Horse Shoe Brewery, which closed in 1921 and was replaced by the Dominion Theatre. To this day the theatre staff often hear mysterious noises and giggles believed to be the young barmaid.

Be sure to keep a look out for some spooky activity the next time you head to the West End…if you dare! Because if you happen to feel a cold breeze brush the back of your neck, beware, there may be more than an old draughty theatre to blame.

Article filed under: Theatre News | Articles |