Monday, October 17, 2011

Historic State Theater in Pt. Pleasant

The Historic State Theater in Pt. Pleasant came to our attention during the 2007 Mothman Festival.  The theater, which was hosting several Mothman movies and documentaries for the festival, was being rented by a lovely family who wished to get the building listed on the National Register, and restore it to its former glory.

Upon meeting this family, we were invited to come down to the theater and check it out, as there had been some strange activity occurring lately.  As myself and another investigator stood in the back, waiting for the current showing to come to an end, we both caught a glimpse of the same thing...a shadowy image of a person walking past the ladies' restroom.  Apparently, this HAD been one of the issues that were popping up in the theater, which dated back to the early 1940s.  We set up an investigation, and within a month, we were back at the theater in full force, ready to find out the truth.

We arrived early, and quickly explored the outer grounds.  The theater, which stands in the middle of downtown Pt. Pleasant, was unusually close to the site of the Silver Bridge disaster of 1967.  In fact, we would later learn through an extensive interview (on file in Theresa's personal archives) that the theater and the attached hardware store next door, did play a vital role in the disaster.  The hardware store's basement, due to it being literally at "ground zero" of the disaster, was used as a temporary morgue for the bodies that were being pulled out of the river.  Interestingly as well...during the investigation, the side of the theater that shares the wall with the hardware store had consistently much higher EMF readings, and much colder temperature readings, including one seat in the back which maintained an even colder reading consistently.

Another noted phenomenon was the alleged nightly visit from the first owner of the theater, one Mr. Ross Philson.  Witnesses claim that nearly every night at 8:45pm, Mr. Philson could be seen walking down one aisle of the theater, and up the other side, making his nightly rounds.  We set up a makeshift laser grid, and sat in perfect silence...but unfortunately, Mr. Philson did not make himself known that night.  However, SOMEONE did, as a light in the projection booth turned itself on and back off, and I (Theresa) felt a cold, hard pressure on my back, as if someone touched me, right outside of an upstairs office.

The movement of stage curtains was also activity that was reported, and even observed slightly during our investigation.  Unfortunately, we were not able to prove this to be of a paranormal nature because of the likelihood that the theater's close proximity to the river, and thus barges...plus the fact that the area is located on a minor fault line, were the root of natural causes.

In any event, the investigation was a lot of fun, and the family in charge of the building at the time were some of the sweetest, most caring people you'd ever meet.  Unfortunately, we've lost contact over the years, and it appears as though despite being open for certain sporadic events, especially during the Mothman Festival, the theater is back to largely sitting empty and unused.

Photo property of HPIR President, Melissa Stanley

HPIR Investigation of the State Theater

1 comment:

  1. I do love a good haunted theatre! A marvelous entry! Thank you!

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