Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Twin City Opera House

Ground broke for the Twin City Opera House and Town Hall on October 20, 1889 atop land referred to as the "burned district".  Designed by H.C. Lindsay at an estimated cost of $16,000, the building was to have been three stories high, with a ballroom on the third floor, and a clock tower.  However, overspending and lack of funding caused the project to be delayed, and the clock plans scrapped.

Official opening night for the Opera House was Saturday, May 28th, 1892.  All eight hundred seats were sold out to see a performance of the Arion Opera Company's rendition of Gilbert and Sullivan's "The Mikado."  In all actuality, many of the patrons came more for the novelty of electric lights than the show.  The Opera House was the first building in the city to be outfitted entirely with electric lights.  Unfortunately, on opening night, the generator failed, plunging the building in darkness, as ushers scrambled to find enough gas lamps to light the Opera House.  Because it was deemed that electric lights were too unpredictable, the Opera House was redone entirely with gas lamps. 

The Twin City Opera House has a long history with the paranormal which seemed to reach a peak in the 1960s.  A janitor saw or heard something that so frightened him that he ran out of the building, and immediately quit his job, refusing to ever enter the building again.  Objects would move around on their own accord, the drapes would close over the screen during movie showings, and the little girl began making an appearance.

This little girl is believed to be 10 year old Elizabeth.  People have heard Elizabeth giggle, and have seen her peeking out from the catwalk above the stage.  In addition to Elizabeth, other ghosts include the apparition of Everett Miller, who spent 30 years at the Opera House as an usher, and then later as a manager.  He is sighted wearing a white suit, just as he did in life.  There is also the spirit of Red Wine Robert, who often communicates through EVP, including telling one investigator, "I've got red wine!" 

The ballroom is home to the spirit of John Leezer who was stabbed in the early 1900s.  Also in the ballroom, witnesses report hearing the disembodied voices of women singing jingles popular from the 1950s and 1960s.  Also seen with alarming frequency are the shadowy beings that reside in the basement near the old tunnel system.  The shadows have been noted to growl and even drastically drop the temperature when confronted.

Today, the Opera House hosts ghost hunts, and is available to rent out for private investigations.  Over 300 EVPs from the site are on record, leading many to believe that the Twin City Opera House is the most haunted building in Ohio.

Twin City Opera House Website

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