Ghostly faces and strange noises are among the hauntings at Dayton’s historic theater

A vanishing woman, mysterious noises and ghostly sightings are part of the history of Dayton’s Victoria Theatre.

A vanishing woman, mysterious noises and ghostly sightings are part of the history of Dayton’s Victoria Theatre.

The theatre, 138 N. Main St., opened Jan. 1, 1866, a year after the Civil War ended, so it’s not surprising spooky tales and rumors of ghosts would emerge through the decades.

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Take, for example, the story of Victoria, a touring actress in the early 1900s who went to her dressing room to change for the next scene.

Forgetting her fan, she returned to the dressing room and was never seen again, according to a story in the Haunted Ohio book series by Chris Woodyard.

A ghost light placed at the center of the stage keeps the empty Victoria Theatre illuminated. LISA POWELL / STAFF
A ghost light placed at the center of the stage keeps the empty Victoria Theatre illuminated. LISA POWELL / STAFF

Credit: Lisa Powell

Credit: Lisa Powell

No trace of her was ever found, though fewer and fewer actors would use that dressing room, with reports that some would look into the mirror and see her face staring back again.

Staff members through the years have said they’ve heard strange noises like the rustling of satin or taffeta, or suddenly smelled the scent of roses in the air.

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Many of the historic theater’s long-time volunteers and staff like to blame these strange occurrences on “Miss Vicky.”

From the wings the Victoria Theatre stage looms toward the house. The historic theatre is celebrating its' 150th anniversary. LISA POWELL / STAFF
From the wings the Victoria Theatre stage looms toward the house. The historic theatre is celebrating its' 150th anniversary. LISA POWELL / STAFF

Credit: Lisa Powell

Credit: Lisa Powell

If that wasn’t enough spine-tingling fun, the theater also is believed to have a second ghost.

In the 1880s, a man committed suicide in the theater by wedging a knife into the seat in front of him and throwing himself upon it. Blood ran down the Victoria’s floor into the orchestra pit.

When the curtains around the left exit door are pulled, some people claim to see his face.

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