Saturday, January 3, 2015

CT's Haunted Sterling Opera House

From Electronic Valley
Located in Derby, the Sterling Opera House was the first building from Connecticut to be added to the National Register of Historic Places.  Named for piano manufacturer Charles Sterling, the opera house opened for business on April 2, 1889.  Over the years, many notable performers and performances took place at the Sterling, including my personal favorite, Harry Houdini!

Unfortunately, the last official performance of the Sterling was in 1945.  After that, the lower levels of the building were used as city hall offices, a police substation, small jail, and even a fire station.  Since the 1960s, the structure has largely sat empty, waiting to be restored through grants and hard work to its original glory.  While it waits, its racked up quite a lot of interest through its reputation as being haunted!

From Electronic Valley
Numerous investigation teams have had an opportunity to explore the paranormal claims of the Sterling, including TAPS, who shot an episode of Ghost Hunters there that aired in April of 2011.  Some of the claims that have been made have been shadow figures, finding a child's handprints in the dust, EVPs of children's voices, and even a photograph that allegedly shows a Victorian-era woman and child.

It is theorized that any number of people may actually haunt the old Opera House, but many believe that the most likely suspects are Charles Sterling, who died two years before the building was completed and a young boy they call 'Andy.'  Visitors leave balls and toys for Andy throughout the building, and its been said that he likes to move them around when no one is looking.

There's also a certain chair in the middle balcony beside a pole that garners a lot of attention...Even 'Maggie,' the official dog of the TAPS team, was drawn to this specific chair.  Wherever in the building she was let loose, she always made her way back to that chair, said to be occupied by an unknown ghostly woman.  Is this the woman that was allegedly photographed?  Is she Andy's mother?  As restorations are still being planned, the location is still accepting investigators to try to uncover the mysteries of the Sterling Opera House.

Sources and More Info:

Damned Connecticut
Haunted Hovel
Save Our Sterling
Electronic Valley

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