Miamisburg’s Plaza Theater will host it’s first ghost tour Monday night.
Everyone loves a good ghost story and during the hour-long tour, visitors to the historic theater will hear spine-tingling tales that might make the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end.
>> PHOTOS: A look inside the Plaza Theatre
Tickets to the 7 p.m. tour cost $5. Space is limited and pre-purchasing can be done online in advance at www.myplazatheatre.com. The ticket will include a glass or beer or wine. Visitors must be able to navigate stairs.
The theater originally opened on Christmas Day in 1919, the Plaza was the glittering jewel of the community, who flocked to see plays, and eventually movies there. However, it fell into disrepair over the decades, and was thought a lost cause by some until it was rechristened in 2015.
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Here are four reasons people believe the historic Plaza Theatre is haunted:
1. Murderous History
The Plaza Theatre is the unfortunate site of the only Miamisburg police officer killed in the line of duty. In 1922, theater managers refused entry to a man who was described as drunk and disruptive. Officer Frank Weidner attempted to intervene, but was stabbed to death by the man outside the entrance.
Years ago, during a previous restoration effort, a team of ghost hunters enlisted the help of a psychic who described a spirit following her through the foyer of the building. The team reported elevated energy readings in the area at the time.
A former usher claimed a lover’s triangle led to a double homicide in the early 1960s in the area that is now stage left in the renovated theater. Town records could not confirm the crime, however, the psychic and ghost hunter team reported strong readings from the same area.
“Although it’s not documented,” said David Sweeney of the Plaza Theatre Association, “the feeling is someone expired in this area.”
2. Mysterious Death
In the mid to late 1960s, a homeless man was allowed to stay in the Plaza’s basement in exchange for performing odd jobs around the theater. The lifeless body of the man, who was nicknamed “Sheepskin”, was found in the basement roughly a year later. It took the town weeks to raise enough money to give Sheepskin a proper funeral. No foul play was suspected in his death. Both the Plaza Theatre Association and Miamisburg Mayor Dick Church have confirmed this story.
3. The Moving Stool
In the same room where Sheepskin’s body was discovered rests a stool that was there before the recent restoration began. In a 2016 interview the theatre’s Emily von Stuckrad-Smolinski, said the stool is the scariest part of the building.
“We have high school students that work in the concession area. I think they may have come down here and moved the stool. To hear them tell it, if you move the stool, the stool comes back on its own.”
Von Stuckrad-Smolinski won’t go down to the basement by herself as a result.
4. General Spookiness
Though, by its very nature, malaise is hard to quantify, patrons have reported feelings of unease come over them in certain areas of the theater. Perhaps not exactly those feelings of dread in one’s basement or attic Dr. Egon Spengler once famously referred to in Ghost Busters, but it’s definitely creepy.
WANT TO GO?
WHAT: Plaza Theatre Ghost Tour
WHERE: Plaza Theatre, 33 South Main St., Miamisburg
WHEN: Monday Oct. 29, 7 p.m.