Stage fright

The phantom of the theatre / photo: alphaspirit

The phantom of the theatre / photo: alphaspirit - Credit: Archant

In the run-up to Halloween, we’ve asked our readers to submit spooky stories and poems with a local connection. This tale of a haunting apparition comes courtesy of The Everyman Theatre in Cheltenham...

At the end of the day, the Stage Door Attendant is responsible for making sure the building is locked and alarmed, and that everyone is out safely.

One night, a couple of years ago, a young lady called Sam was locking up the theatre as usual. She remembers Graham, the security guard, was on the end of the walkie talkie singing I’m A Little Tea Pot (he used to try and keep people company while they did the lock-up alone).

She’d gone onto the stage. The iron curtain was in so everything was in darkness except for the dim blue workers’ lights that are downstage left and right. She walked across the back corridor to get to Stage Left so that she could turn the blue lights off. As she bent down to do so, she saw something move from the corner of stage right. She looked across the stage and opened her mouth to say ‘you frightened me’ - she thought it must have been someone from wardrobe, as it looked like they were hanging something up on a hook. The words stuck in her mouth as she looked at the tall grey figure, static with its back to her, as if it had just taken off a cloak to hang it on a peg. As she stood frozen, it turned to look over its shoulder at her, before fading as if someone had opened a curtain causing a shadow to disappear. At that point, she managed to stammer, “Graham, there’s someone on stage...”

He came running through into the theatre but saw nothing, except Sam looking rather pale. They walked back over to stage left where the figure had been, and went to switch off the blue worker lights - but they were unplugged from the wall... Yet the lights were still on.

They looked at each other bewildered, and walked out of the stage door to set the CCTV video recorder for the night. As the tape went into the machine, the strangest groaning sound came from the theatre. Graham looked at Sam and said “Come on dear, we’re leaving!”

The End.

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The Everyman will be running Ghost Tours around the theatre from Wednesday 5 to Friday 7 of November to coincide with The Woman In Black coming to their stage. For more details and to book, call the Box Office on 01242 572573.

Submit your own spooky stories and poems with a local connection to us by emailing them to: