I read with interest Benjamin Thornton’s letter (The Picton Gazette April 25, 2019) ‘ Picton’s iconic Regent Theatre in desperate need of a ghost’.
The Regent Theatre doesn’t need a ghost. It has one.
Experience of the paranormal is neither unknown nor even uncommon at The Regent. Lights flickering. Doors closing – and locking – of their own accord. A man in a top hat looking down from the flies above the stage. Someone crossing through the old balcony and then disappearing. Smudges of ‘coloured smoke’ appearing on prints taken during a photo shoot. The actors in the photos smiling broadly, unaware that they are not the only ones in the picture.
But let me tell you about my experience.
I was doing summer stock at The Regent in the early 2000s. The work load was heavy, the hours long, the shows terrific. Appropriately, Sweeney Todd was top of the bill. One morning I was busy with paperwork, head down at a desk in what was the adminstration office at the time, a room on the right, just past the original Box Office. Suddenly, I heard a shrill, piercing noise like steam forced under pressure from an old kettle boiling madly on top of a wood stove. I looked up and saw the head and torso of a very angry women, eyes ablaze, sweeping through the arched entrance towards my colleague who was working at a desk on the opposite side of the room, his back to the apparition. I screamed out his name and the woman vanished. I quickly explained what I had seen. Skin prickling, we rushed to the entrance to find that the air had turned cold. The woman? Her face matched that of the old theatre manager, Louise Cook, who had spent her life working at The Regent and living in the apartment upstairs.
My colleague had taken over her apartment for the summer. I guess she was not happy about that. The Regent had been not only her home, but her whole life.
Ask around. You will find others who have witnessed the inexplicable. I’ll tell you about the photographs some other time.