The Phantom of the Chevalier
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Stories about buildings having a "spirit" abound in human culture. Are they true? Are there such things as ghosts? Do buildings contain the spirits of those who once dwelled within them or have a significant attachment to them?
The Disappearing Pen • The Shadow Man
Disclaimer: Medford Civic Auditorium and Convention Center Commission (The Chevalier Theatre) makes no claims about the possible existence of a "ghost" or "spirit" in the Chevalier Theatre. We provide this page for entertainment purposes only. The story reported by the Web designer are views of the designer and not necessarily the views held by the Medford Civic Auditorium and Convention Center Commission, who neither supports nor refutes the claims made about the experience cited. We just thought it was interesting.
The Disappearing Pen...
"We needed to take some special photographs of the Theatre for the Web site. We had hired a photographer and made arrangements with the stage manager to come down on a bright sunny day and get the images. Everyone was on a tight schedule, so we had to work quickly and efficiently.
I had printed a list of shots we needed so we could just go through the building, take them and be done.
We entered the Theatre from the Loading Dock stage door. The photographer and I put down our equipment (auxiliary lighting, extension cords, etc.) on a table on the stage. I got out my printout and pen and quickly reviewed my plan with the photographer and stage manager. We proceeded to the lobby to begin the "shoot". We'd work our way back to the stage to finish up. I made sure I had my printout and pen so I could check off the images as they were photographed.
When we got to the lobby, after the first shot, I discovered that my pen was missing. I looked all over the lobby for the pen, but could not find it. The stage manager suggested it was in one of my pockets, but it wasn't. The photographer suggested that I must have left it on stage, yet I clearly remembered capping it and clipping it to my shirt pocket.
I made a joke: "It must be Godfrey. He's playing with us. Godfrey-- I need my pen!" I shouted to the walls. We had a little chuckle over that, and the stage manager gave me his pencil to use. We continued the shoot with no further incidents.
The last group of shots were to be taken on stage. When we got to the stage, I looked for my pen among the things on the table. The pen wasn't there. Since I had the pencil, I shrugged and we continued to take the shots.
We finished the shoot on schedule and packed our things to leave. The table on the stage was clear. The stage manager went into the house to secure the doors, the photographer had gone to the car, and I was about to leave when I saw that I had forgotten to replace the cloth cover on the piano in the orchestra pit. So I jumped into the pit and covered the piano.
As I climbed out of the pit, I stood facing the house and said: "Godfrey, we're leaving! I want my pen back!" Of course, nothing happened, nor had I expected it to. Until I got on stage.
There, lying on the empty table was my uncapped pen!"
Coincidence? A ghost? Absent mindedness? A joke by the stage manager or photographer? Who knows!
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The Shadow Man...
"When the film was developed, there were two shots of the back of the stage curtain. The loading dock doors were open to bring light into the place, which was coming from behind the photographer. The stage manager was up in the rigging loft, and I was in the audience side of the house (on the other side of the curtain) setting up the next shot. The photographer wanted to get shots of the curtain from the back to set off the stage lights.
When we saw the images (which were developed onto photo CD, so we did not have to scan them) it was obvious that the images were improperly exposed. I used my image editing software (Photoshop) to automatically compensate. What came out surprised us.
As you can see in the images below, there is the clear shadow of a man! Where might that have come from?"
||Auto corrected images:
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A final comment from the designer:
"From the moment I first walked into the Chevalier Theatre, I felt that it was a special and wonderful place. Call it intuition, call it impression. It was just a feeling, something beyond words or expression. The feeling I get from the building is one of admiration, nobility, yet sadness -- the feeling that it needs to be brought forward in time, restored to the glory of its potential, that people need to see the wonderful design and construction, that there is a feeling of real honor there for the great man to whom it is dedicated. It is a warm feeling, an inviting feeling. One that seems to say, "welcome".
If there is a "ghost" or spirit inside the building, it is a playful and gentle one, some spirit that guards the place, protects it, and wants to see it restored as well. A phantom? Perhaps."
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The restoration of the Chevalier Theatre takes time, money and a great deal of work. The volunteer commission does the work gladly, knowing that they are helping in the noble rescue of a magnificent building that will inspire generations to come. If YOU would like to help, please click here for a donation/information form. We'd love to hear from you... and Thanks!