The Pasadena Playhouse is one of the city’s oldest buildings. If you’re looking for a night of quality entertainment, look no further. The Pasadena Playhouse is the place to go. If you’re looking for some ghostly activity, the Playhouse can help fulfill those needs as well. The theater’s original owner, Gilmor Brown, is said to haunt this historic landmark, pulling pranks, and correcting actors, along with other spirits.
It all started in 1917. Brown had a group called the Gilmor Brown Players. At the time, Pasadena was a small town of farmers and rich vacationers. The group was performing in an old burlesque house at the time. Luckily, Pasadena loved their performances. Fans and the town donated to them, and they were able to move out, and move into the Pasadena Playhouse in 1924. At the time, it was known as the Pasadena Community Playhouse. It was the most advanced theater on the west side of the Mississippi. With all the success of the group and the city, George Bernard Shaw called Pasadena “The Athens of the West.”
Brown was the artistic director of the Playhouse. He was quite the perfectionist. If something was wrong, he would have his actors do it until it was right. He got this cue from his cat. Usually, the cat would turn it’s back to the stage if a scene was being done incorrectly. Brown took this as a sign to adjust the scene. When it was corrected, the cat would turn back around. He died in 1960, but he is still correcting actors in rehearsal to this day. The stage lights flicker in the Playhouse when no one is in there. Props disappear and reappear in a completely different part of the theater. Doors lock and unlock by themselves. Disembodied footsteps can be heard throughout the theater. The list of claims continue to grow.
There are more claims of paranormal activity besides Gilmor Brown roaming around the playhouse. Aside the playhouse, is the Carrie Hamilton Theater. The workers feel that this is the creepiest part of the playhouse. We investigated the whole place back in July, and it definitely has some unexplained things going on. We were getting some high EMF readings in the loft next to the Carrie Hamilton, and caught an amazing photo. It was done a slow shutter speed, and you can see us moving around in the picture. However, we have no explanation for this particular shot. There’s what appears to be an eye in the shot. A musician that was performing in the Carrie Hamilton, had seen a woman in a yellow dress, and heard her crying. When he entered the room, the crying stopped and no one was there. In this photo, the eye looks reddish, just like when a person cries. It’s possible that this is the woman in the yellow dress crying that we heard about. We also caught an EVP in the theater. It’s a little difficult to make out, but the voice is definitely there. It sounds like it’s saying “Jess.” The rest is hard to hear.
On the third floor, is the library/VIP Room. This use to be Gilmor Brown’s office. The rumor is he doesn’t like it when people are at his desk. In addition to this, there’s a “Haunted trash can.” It sounds silly, but a couple of paranormal groups have seen this trash can move by itself. Also, there’s a ghost of a cat that is said to be in there. Probably Brown’s cat, when he use to have his pet with him while watching rehearsals.
On the Main Stage, activity seems to amp up whenever any kind of performance is happening. One of the groups had someone singing a variety of different musicals, and had a lot of their paranormal investigation equipment go off. When we were being given a tour, I had a feeling that if I left my recorder on the entire time, I’d get something. We got a voice on the main stage. Two of the theater workers, Kristen and Brandon, were giving us the tour and noticed something was out of place. When that happened, a voice of a little boy comes in on our digital recorder and says “Get us out.”
Pasadena Playhouse EVP Main Stage
Pasadena Playhouse EVP Main Stage
The prop loft is behind the stage. Kristen had an experience at this location. She claims that she’s the first one their at 9:00 a.m. Everyone else that works at the playhouse doesn’t get there until 10:00 a.m. At 9:00 a.m. when she arrived, she heard a woman in heels in the prop loft walking around. She then added in, that the current prop mistress never wears heels. We didn’t pick up on anything, but it does have a spooky vibe, with somewhat uncomfortable energy. There’s a good amount of dark areas in this part of theater.
Down in the Green Room, it’s reported that rooms number 4 and 6 are haunted. Actors have complained the most about these rooms, and say they have been touched when no one else is in there. The lights also turn on by themselves in these rooms. Down the hall in the shower rooms, one performer claimed that someone was touching his hair in the shower. Down the hall in the wardrobe room, which use to be the costume room, people have said they’ve seen spirits of women making costumes.
The Pasadena Playhouse is definitely a grand stage in the theater industry. It also looks like it’s a grand stage in the paranormal field as well. Unexplained things continue to accumulate at the location. What’s next for the Playhouse?