Newsworthy Hauntings 6/24/2012

Haunted theatres figure into two newsworthy haunts this evening.

Valrico, Florida’s JAMES McCABE THEATRE (506 5th Street) has recently been the scene of a fund-raising investigation by two paranormal groups, Fire and Ice Investigations and Plant City Paranormal. With the recent recession and many arts groups and historic sites hurting for funds many have tried using their ghosts to help raise money. In conjunction with local paranormal organizations, they will put on ghost hunts where participants can pay a fee for ghost tours and helping with a paranormal investigation. This is what this historic theatre has done while raising money to restore and renovate this more than century old building.

Built in 1915 as the Valrico Civic Center, the building served as the home to a woman’s club later. The building was repossessed in the late 1970s and The Village Players, a community theatre group, was allowed to use the structure. The building was deeded to the theatre in 1994. Over the years, local thespians have noticed odd occurrences in the building including many odd noises and the occasional apparition. The June 16th investigation uncovered a few interesting pieces of evidence including some EVPs


The second theatre in the headlines is the RICE THEATRE (323 North Parkerson Avenue) in downtown Crowley, Louisiana. This location is one of two being investigated by Louisiana Spirits Paranormal Investigations though, according to the article, neither location has a reputation of being haunted. The theatre was built by The Southern Amusement Company in 1940, but its opening was delayed by damage done by a hurricane. It opened in 1941 with the film This Thing Called Love. Sold to the City of Crowley in 1986, the building now serves as the Rice City Civic Center.

The Rice Theatre in downtown Crowley. Photo 2003 by Falcanary, courtesy of Wikipedia.

Also up for being investigated is CROWLEY CITY HALL (425 North Parkerson Avenue) just down the street. There are, however, a few tales of ghosts from city employees. A freight elevator has been known to function on its own accord, something that, according to a city hall staffer, is impossible. Another employee has seen shadow figures and heard voices. This 1920 structure was not built as a government building but as a car dealership and later served as a recording studio before becoming city hall.


Newsworthy Hauntings 6/17/2012

For those regular readers of this blog, my apologies for not having updated sooner. As I revealed in the last post, I’m working in Cherokee, NC and I’m still settling in. Finding time to write has been increasingly difficult, though I’ve uncovered a good deal of material and will be writing about those things soon. Please stay tuned!

The Corners Bed & Breakfast Inn
601 Klein Street
Vicksburg, Mississippi

According to Alan Brown’s 2010 Haunted Vicksburg, there doesn’t appear to be much going on at The Corners Bed & Breakfast Inn. His entry on this home includes only a single sighting of a woman in Victorian clothing seen by a couple staying there. Returning from a day of sightseeing, the couple had this oddly dressed woman walking ahead of them. When she reached the back door, she vanished through the closed door.

It is the lack of information on the haunting there that makes this recent article from the Jackson, Mississippi Clarion-Ledger so interesting. It covers a recent investigation by Smoke & Mirrors Paranormal and includes a few of the odd things that occurred during the investigation. Among the evidence captured by the group are EVPs and a video of an odd orb. One of the more interesting, though possibly one of the more easily debunked, pieces of evidence is a clock radio in a room cutting on at exactly midnight and playing Diana Ross and Supremes’ hit, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.”

The house has a fascinating history that is compounded by its association with Cedar Grove Mansion which is located just around the corner. The Corners, listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Isaac Bonham House, was built in 1873 by John Alexander Klein who had built Cedar Grove. The house was built for Klein’s daughter and her husband and the home’s architecture reflects its status as a wedding gift. Hearts, rings, diamonds and shamrocks are woven into the design of the pierced columns that line the front porch. Though, these symbols of marital bliss do not reflect the sad events that took place. Isaac and Susan Klein Bonham had two sons who died of malaria at an early age. Isaac was killed when he tried to break up a bar brawl between friends. Unable to live in a house with so many memories, Susan moved into Cedar Grove following her father’s death.

By all accounts, the house should be haunted and this investigation will add a new layer of evidence. Perhaps, this will help to prove that ain’t no river wide enough will keep the spirits away.

Please see Smoke & Mirrors Paranormal’s website for evidence from this investigation.