Ghost believed to haunt TCU Hays Theatre

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One night junior theatre production major Taylor Bracey was working in the Marlene and Spencer Hays Theatre with the lighting designer when the lights suddenly went out.

It is just one of the spooky events that have some wondering if the theatre may be haunted.

“We went over to the wall and the switches had been flipped, but nobody was in there, and we had to flip them and turn them back on,” Bracey said.

Another time, Bracey was in the theatre taking a power nap when she heard noises.

“There was someone typing on a keyboard in the booth, but the booth was locked,” Bracey said. “The theatre was completely dark. Nobody was in there.”

Bracey said she doesn’t like working in the theatre at night anymore because she believes the unexplainable events are caused by a ghost.

Victoria Sanchez, a junior music education major, went to the theatre once after midnight to see for herself about the ghosts she had heard about.

Sanchez described her experience as “unnatural.”

“All we could hear was a high C being played on the piano, so we ran out,” Sanchez said. “We couldn’t get out because the door was locked.”

Sanchez said after a few seconds they were able to get out, but it felt like forever.

Kyle Montgomery, a senior theatre major, said that most people have their own opinion about the ghost’s identity.

“A common theory is that it's the architect who doesn’t like the renovation recently made, so now he watches over the theatre,” Montgomery wrote in an email.

Montgomery has also had a ghostly encounter.

“I've seen a woman in the balcony and the fly rail,” Montgomery said. “She likes to whistle as well, and I've heard that.”

But Sue Ott, a School of Music administrative assistant whose office adjoins the Walsh Center, said the ghost is a man.

“He reminds you of a skinny Colonel Sanders because he’s dressed in white, has a beard, and walks with a cane,” she said.

Ott said she has experienced the ghost multiple times. The first time, she heard a bell similar to the noise a typewriter makes after hitting the return key. However, no one was in the building at the time.

Another time, Ott and her friends saw flickering lights inside the theatre.

“The lights were just flashing like programmed to music,” she said.

Upon leaving the theatre, Ott and her friends then heard what sounded like footsteps.

“It was like little children running up and down the stairs,” she said.

A few years ago, some ghost seeking TCU students spent the night in the theatre.

“What ended up happening is that they heard a lot of weird creaking noises and saw some lights flicker,” Caitlyn Rizzo, TCU senior theatre production major, wrote in an email.

Rizzo wrote that it always feels like someone is in the theatre even when it’s empty.

“It's that feeling you get when you know someone is looking at you,” she said. “Except in the Hays, you're usually by yourself.”

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