Saturday, September 8, 2012

Former Ravenswood Theater

This tale is summarized from two different books on WV ghost-lore, Ruth Ann Musick's Coffin Hollow, and A Guide to Haunted West Virginia by Walter Gavenda and Michael Shoemaker:

A young man who worked at the former Ravenswood Theater as a projectionist shared a very eerie tale which happened to him while working at the theater one night.  After the last movie had ended, and the last guest had left, the boy was sweeping up, and getting ready to lock up for the evening.  That's when he saw what he described as something passing behind the screen, carrying what appeared to be a lantern.  Knowing that no one else was in the theater, the boy panicked and called the police, who found the door locked and no evidence of anyone having been there.

The owner of the theater, an older lady, was also alerted, but told the boy he didn't need to worry about someone being there who shouldn't because for the past 30 years, this same person walked the theater on a regular basis...and he was not of this world.  She went on to explain that at one point, there was a lodge for a local fraternal organization located adjacent to the theater, and at one point, there were actually passages between the buildings.  The type of lodge this was has been lost to folklore, but many believe the second floor was used in questionable initiation rites, which were shrouded in secrecy.  One night, a fire broke out in the lodge, gutting the building.  There was allegedly one tragedy--a man believed to have been in the attic at the time was never found, and presumed dead.

The owner believed it was this man who haunted the theater, as she herself had seen the phantom many times.  The boy verified this story with his father, who provided one more fascinating detail:  the man who died in the fire was the HUSBAND of the theater owner.

During the 1960's the theater ceased operations, and would later house Almeda's Clothing Store.  Today, its home to a physical therapy office.  As an interesting side note:  As I was sitting here typing this entry, I had the Guide to Haunted West Virginia book sitting open beside me on the desk to refer to.  I checked a fact, looked away, then looked immediately back at the book to verify what I had just read.  In that split second I looked away, a ladybug took up residence right on the page.  Ladybugs are considered almost universally as a good luck sign!

*There's been a ton of visitors to this post today, and I want to thank you all for stopping by!  If you'd like to hear of another Ravenswood area haunt featured on Theresa's Haunted History of the Tri-State, please feel free to check out the Washington Motel! *


  1. Replies
    1. Unless otherwise noted, all haunted locations on this site are places where others have reported paranormal activity. Unfortunately, since this location is a little out of my geographical area, I haven't devoted any time to do any in-depth research to verify the death of anyone in the building due to fire.