Ghost Tours Announced At Playhouse Square

Ghost Tours Announced At Playhouse Square

During its nearly 100-year history, Playhouse Square's theaters have been the sites of spirits, ghost sightings and unexplained occurrences, as reported by visiting psychics, performers and theater workers. Now The Cleveland Area Paranormal Society and Playhouse Square will host "The Connor Palace Ghost Tour" March 25 and April 1.

The Ghost Tours offer up the untold history of spine-chilling stories from investigations by paranormal researchers as well as first-hand accounts from theater employees. Go behind the scenes of the Connor Palace to see what happens after the stage lights dim and the only illumination that remains is the ghost light! **

(Past research by paranormal professionals who have visited Playhouse Square have eluded to: a female ghost whose domain is the balcony of the Hanna Theatre; a lady who always wanted to be an actress so she now roams the KeyBank State Theatre; a benevolent gentleman in the Connor Palace who may have worked there as usher in the 1930s.)

Staggered, guided tours will be offered at 7:30 p.m., 8:30 p.m. & 9:30 p.m. on Monday, March 25 and Monday, April 1. Space is limited, as each tour will accommodate only up to 25 people! Tickets are $35 each, on sale beginning Wed., Feb 13 at 11 a.m. at playhousesquare.org; the Ticket Office or 216-241-6000. Ghost tours are not recommended for young children.

In addition to the guided tours, other activities and attractions will be available from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Snacks and specialty cocktails will be sold in the mezzanine level of the theater. Readings and tarot card readers will be available throughout the evening at an additional cost.

Special thanks to the Cleveland Area Paranormal Society for their contributions to this event.

**GHOST LIGHT: A single bulb, uncovered, on a tall stand at center stage. Superstitious theater people believe every theater has a ghost. Some of those theaters have traditions to appease ghosts, such as London's Palace Theatre, where two seats in the balcony are permanently bolted open to provide seating for the theater ghosts. Some say ghost lights are needed to ward off ghosts or distract them...fooling spirits into thinking the building is occupied. (It is also bad luck--and bad business--for a theater to be "dark"-i.e., without a show

Similar superstitions hold that ghost lights provide opportunities for ghosts to perform onstage, thus appeasing them and preventing them from cursing the theater or sabotaging the set or production. This is also used to explain the traditional one day a week that theaters are closed...so ghosts may present their productions.

Ghost lights have a practical purpose, too. Theaters are specifically designed to shut out natural light. Before departing for the night, the stage crew switches on the ghost light-usually these days, an energy-saving compact florescent bulb. This helps ensure no one accidentally crashes into the scenery, which is set up differently for every show, or mistakenly steps off the edge of the stage in the dark. Prior to the incandescent bulb, most theaters' ghost lights were lighted by gas or candles...which is why almost no theaters from the 1700 & 1800s remain, as fire consumed them.

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