I loved my experiences at my haunted theatre camp. Nothing says summer fun like a good old fashion ghost story. So naturally when i started my theatre company in 2010, I couldn’t wait to discover a ghost of our own.
I know most people don’t expect to find a ghost but my theatre is in Salem Massachusetts where pretty much every historical building claims to have a ghost.
When i first started the theatre we didn’t have much money… so we rented rehearsal space from a very old church right down town. It was built in the 17 hundreds and rebuild/renovated just after the civil war. It had been used as a hospital periodically as well.
We held our first summer camp their and we only had about 15 kids at the time. We started small.
The church had a hall with a stage on the second floor. And there was a loft in the back of the room where we mounted our theatrical lighting equipment. The loft was wicked creepy.
Have you ever seen the movie “the never ending story”? This loft looked a lot like the attic where Bastian reads the book in that movie. Old church pews stacked on top of one another, science lab skeletons, even a Dinosaur head! Not to mention the cobwebs and dust covering the whole place. No one liked being up there alone (but actually everyone liked being up there alone because they liked to brag about how scary it was).
We used to hear what sounded like footsteps running up and down the stairs. We assumed it was rodents honestly because old buildings like that almost always had mice.
One day we heard footsteps run down the loft stairs, and then down the main stairs. It was so loud and obvious and so creepy, we actually went down to the main office of the church to ask the secretary if she knew what it was. To our surprise she said “oh, that was probably just Sarah Anne!”
“Sarah Anne?” I asked “is that your granddaughter?”
“No, no” the secretary said, “she’s a little girl who used to go to this church, but she died over 100 years ago.”
I kind of thought she was messing with me or she was just overly superstitious but I also thought it made a great story. I couldn’t wait to tell the kids. I didn’t have much time to tell them that day though because we had a show at a different school that day. We were only at the church to pack up all our scenery, props, and costumes and bring them to the school that had asked us us to do a performance.
I left and headed out to the school but about half way through our dress rehearsal, we ran out of batteries for our wireless mics. I knew we had more at the church so I headed back with one of my coworkers. I walked in, ran up the stairs and grabbed the batteries and ran back down. Then I noticed a little girl standing in the main lobby. The church also rented to the Girl Scouts so I kind of assumed it was a Girl Scout.
“Sweetie, can I help you? Are you looking for something?”
She didn’t responds which was really strange, so I went back out to the car to ask my coworker to come in and help. We both asked her if she needed help, if she was with the Girl Scouts, if she was lost. We checked the basement where the Girl Scout usually were and they were not there. Then the little girl walked into the kitchen. We followed her and there was no one there. We basically freaked out and ran out of there like the place was on fire.
The next week we were back for camp and decided we should do a little research. I’m just going to say as a disclaimer, I was 19 years old and apparently stupid.
We decided to do a Ouija board.
We waited until all the kids were picked up and made a ouija bird out of poster board and used a bottle cap as a planchet. We turned off all the lights and lit three candles because someone told us ouija boards work better with only candle light. I don’t think we expected anything to happen really but it sure did. Either my coworker was messing with me and totally moving it, or we communicated with the spirit of a little girl named Sarah who died during a Typhus fever epidemic.
After a pretty long conversation that seemed pretty innocent, whatever we were communicating with started to scare us. It started talking about evil. It didn’t actually say anything other than evil but it really creeped us out so we said goodbye and closed out the conversation. We turned the lights back on and blew out the candles and that was that.
My coworker went to the bathroom and I went to go lock up the classrooms we used. As i locked up the last classroom I heard my coworker say “haha very funny” from the bathroom.
“What?” I said.
“You turned the light off to scare me” she replied
“No I didn’t!” I called back, getting kind of freaked out.
“Sure you didn’t” she said with clear disbelief in her voice as she exited the bathroom.
I had gone back into the main room when I heard her say “and you didn’t even lock up the classroom?” “Yes I did!” I said and then walked over to the classroom to see not only the doors wide open but the lights all on! We freaked out and left as fast as we could.
We only had a week left of camp but our lighting designer and another employee both claimed to see a little girl on the stairs. It was a wicked creepy summer. We were at that church for camp for two more summers and nothing as creepy as this ever happened again but we still tell the kids the stories and they all want to see Sarah Anne and are scared they might see Sarah Anne. Every time I drive by that church I think about her and wonder if she misses being surrounded by kids all summer.
It must have been a little less lonely for her.