This archived article was written by: Christopher Palo
With Halloween approaching, we tend as a culture, to gravitate towards fear and things that produce fear. I am no different. I heard theater majors tell of the haunting of Geary Theatre. They recalled the tales of their late nights working there and experiences with the supernatural.
Theater director Corey Ewan recalled many of his experiences when I went hunting this phenomenon. His first experience with the haunting was in 1979 when he was working on the show “The Merry Widow.” He came in early, walked on the stage at 5 p.m., heard a loud crash and there was no one else in theater. This began a long career of dealing with the supernatural for Ewan.
After gathering other accounts of the haunting, many people claimed it was the ghost of Elmo Geary, the namesake of the theater and founder of the community theater in Price. Many say he isn’t there to be malicious, just to protect the theater and the integrity of the show.
I decided to take matters into my own hands and investigate this haunting. Because I’m literally afraid of everything, I decided to take a friend, if not for back up then at least someone I could trip and feed to the ghost if trouble arose. I chose Jorge Lascano. I received permission from Ewan and decided that Lascano and myself were going to spend the night in the theater.
After choosing a night and planning a time to meet, we set out to research for the story. We were locked in the theater that night because the only key belonged to the stage manager and she had to take it with her. The doors could be opened from the inside, but not from outside, so we couldn’t leave.
Nine p.m. came around on the night we were to sleep in the theater and Lascano was nowhere to be found. I was a strong-willed man and had only cried twice from loneliness and fear at that point. I felt I was going to make it.
Ten p.m. arrived and still no Lascano. After many calls and texts, I was getting worried. I paced up and down the lobby, I passed the doors to the house portion of the theater and heard indistinguishable voices of a young male and female. I figured some of the theater majors were playing a trick on me, I investigated the sound, but found no one in the building.
I was slightly terrified for my life and afraid my bowels would relieve themselves out of fear. I called Lascano for the 17th time; still no answer. I thought maybe I could curb my fear by eating or drinking something, but had nothing to eat or drink. Then I remembered that the costume room had a refrigerator and I decided to try my luck and see if some poor soul had left food in it that I could devour upon sight.
I walked to the costume room, I heard the door at the far side of the room slam, but again no one was in there. I approached the refrigerator, and a feeling that I shouldn’t be in there crept up inside of me, but like any pretty girl in a scary movie, I ignored the screams in my mind telling me to run far away and decided to carry on doing the exact opposite of what every scary movie taught me. I reached for the handle to the refrigerator and pulled, it wouldn’t open; it was jammed. I pulled harder, but to no avail. I put both my hands on the handle and pulled with all my strength. It opened. I looked at the contents of the refrigerator and saw three sodas and not much else, so I grabbed a soda. I knew that the sodas belonged to Ewan and to drink one was to visit untold horrors upon myself. I threw caution to the wind, shut the door and pulled the tab on the top of the soda back. As soon as I heard the sweet delicious hiss from that ill-gotten soda, I heard a thunderous crash come from the stage, then another from the lobby and many more from other areas of the theater.
At that point, I realized I had opened a literal can of Whoop Ass. Whatever poltergeist inhabited the theater obviously had some blood contract
he or she signed with Ewan and was going to carry out Ewan’s fury in his absence.
I ran from the costume room back out into the lobby and again called Lascano, but my unreliable cohort was absent. I put my headphones in, listened to music and sat against the wall so I could have a clear view of the lobby. As I sat and enjoyed my delicious, yet possibly deadly soda, I had the ominous feeling that I was someplace I shouldn’t have been. I lay on the couch, gave Lascano one more call and text and once more it went unanswered. I slowly drift off to sleep listening to “It’s a Dead Mans Party” by Oingo Boingo, admittedly probably not the best song to listen to, given my situation.
I woke up to a crash once again in the back of the theater and looked at my watch and found that I had been slumbering for two hours. It was now 1 a.m. and no Lascano. I climbed to my feet and tossed the empty soda in the trash. About to give up and just leave, I saw headlights. Finally Lascano decided to show up. After he came in the door, he got a stern talking to then a longing hug because I felt with him at my side, I would survive the night, even if it was to be at the cost of his life at the hands of the ghost.
With an overwhelming hunger, I left Lascano in the theater. I still had the feeling that I shouldn’t be there. I left to get food and decided to pick up sodas. As I came back to finish the story and find more evidence of the haunting, not that I really needed any, I carried the food and soda in with me, and felt I no longer had the urge to leave. I walked in, put the case of soda in the refrigerator, the door opened easily and no other slamming happened.
I met Lascano on the stage. He was already asleep. Poor little guy, he must’ve had a hard time being late and letting me get scared out of my mind. I lay the sleeping bag down and felt completely at home. As I lay on the stage trying my best to sleep and if need be, incapacitate Lascano so that the ghost would take him instead of me, I looked out into the house of the theater and check my surroundings. Then I saw it, up in the top–right-corner seat of the theater, someone sitting in the chair. I immediately retrieved my ghost-repelling flashlight and shine it in the spot, but there is nothing and no one there. I see movement in the corner of my eye, this time the person is walking by the sound booth at the top of the house, but again my flashlight scares it away.
I think of bashing Lascano in the head with the light, feeding him to the ghost and saving myself. I figured it would be what he wanted. But I restrained myself and decided to spoon him, purely for comfort and safety, and slept like a baby angel.
I woke up and the next morning without having to deal with another supernatural incident. On the drive home, I was thinking about what I had learned. And what I had learned was if you drink Ewan’s sodas he will send ghosts after you.