The spirit of a jovial manager keeps busy, and amuses itself.
Spirits who are here for a variety of reasons saved a human life.
On their website, The Sacramento Theatre Company states their purpose: “The Sacramento Theatre Company (STC) strives to be a leader in integrating professional theatre with theatre arts education. STC produces engaging professional theatre, provides exceptional theatre training, and uses theatre as a tool for educational engagement.”
The Sacramento Theatre Company building, built in 1949, has been renovated while keeping some of its original features. It has three venues for plays and events.
The Sacramento Theatre Company’s Main Stage Theatre is in a well-constructed proscenium auditorium with outstanding acoustics, two aisles, and seating for 292 people. Each seat in the theater’s three sections offers a clear view of the stage, as if everyone present were sitting in the front row. This feature has made the theater a popular place to see shows through the years.
The 2003-2006 renovation projects remodeled this part of the theater to make it better for all concerned. The dressing rooms for the Main Stage Theatre were expanded and remodeled, and a laundry facility was also added, a much needed and appreciated addition to the building. The lobby was also expanded, to make room for a bigger and better food and beverage area, and to create another opportunity to showcase thespian and musical endeavors.
The improved refreshment area can now serve a variety of beers and wines, as well as upscale snacks, such as cheeses, and desserts, to be enjoyed before or after a show on the Main Stage, or during a show on the Cabaret Stage, where theatre-goers have the option of sitting at candle-lit tables. All enjoy these “light, upscale appetizers and sweets,” that taste so good with wines and beers!
The Cabaret Stage is used for special performances, small events and three “professionally-produced” theatrical shows per season, in January, April, and November. This 120 seat venue has an “intimate and relaxing atmosphere.” It opened in 2007, after the completion of the renovation, to great enthusiasm, as the shows performed in this space have consistently sold out.
Sacramento Theatre Company also has what is called a black box theatre, known as the Pollock Stage, a smaller space that seats eighty-five people. Because there are only three rows of seating, audience members enjoy the “feeling of complete immersion” into the mood, environment, and acting performance.
The renovations made to the STC building supports, very nicely, the educational goals of the organization, as well as its ability to offer different types of theatre and provide a more viable space for different activities and groups.
One such group, for aspiring thespians, is The Young Professionals Conservatory (YPC). On their website they describe themselves as being “a rigorous, ten month training program for students ages twelve through eighteen who are interested in pursuing careers in professional theatre. YPC includes weekly master classes with renowned theatre artists, a season of four shows, and the opportunity to audition for age-appropriate roles in STC Main Stage productions.”
Students participate in three shows performed on the Pollock Stage. They can also try out for age-appropriate roles in plays for the Main Stage and for various regional performances. Many students participate in open mic nights, and go on national tours that are scheduled through the year.
The beginning of theatre arts in Sacramento goes back to 1849, with the building of the small Eagle Theatre, a replica of which can be found now in Old Town Sacramento, near the train station. The original offered a variety of entertainment for rough and rowdy gold rush folks and pioneer settlers alike. The original building was destroyed by a flood in 1850. Jump nearly a hundred years into the future, to the year 1942 and we find an unmet need to entertain troops stationed in Sacramento and/or on their way to the South Pacific, which led to the formation of an ad hoc acting troupe that toured military bases to great acclaim!
Encouraged by their own success, they formed The Sacramento Civic Repertory Company, who made it a goal to move into their own building, and establish a non-profit community theatre. Seven years later, on October 18, 1949, they celebrated the opening of The Eaglet Theatre, in honor of the first Eagle Theatre. They enjoyed the financial support of theatre enthusiasts, including newspaper executive and heiress Eleanor McClatchy. The main stage was originally called the McClatchy Stage, in honor of her.
Supported by the generous benefactors, and drawing on a supply of talented actors from the community, like Tom Hanks, the Eaglet offered a strong theatre arts program. It isn’t surprising then that the non-profit Sacramento Civic Repertory Company evolved into a for-profit professional theatre, The Sacramento Theatre Company, in the 1980’s, while still offering opportunities for the development of aspiring performers, technicians and others gifted in writing and directing, such as playwright Richard Hellesen and director Tim Ocel.
In 2003-2006, supporters of the theatre came together to give this much-loved place a face-lift, and the building that was home to The Sacramento Theatre Company was remodeled and renovated, becoming part of the H Street Theatre Complex Project.
It has become a well-loved Sacramento establishment, not only with people in this world but apparently with spirit people, too.
HISTORY OF MANIFESTATIONS
Sometimes managers or employees of theatres enjoy their jobs so much that when they pass over into the spirit world, they aren’t quite ready to leave their beloved theatre just yet, and they wish to watch over the place and help when they can, sometimes having some chuckles along the way.
Managers/Owners still on duty: a spirit known as Pinky is thought to be a manager, either of the theatre or perhaps of one of the departments, a position of responsibility.
A Male Entity known as Louie – A stage hand who died from a fall in the theatre.
A Very tall male Entity – He is said to have been a helper around the theatre. It’s not sure what exactly he did, but he was there a lot it seems.
Sometimes people who enjoyed performing in theatre or just enjoyed watching the shows as audience members choose to spend their afterlives in the same place.
The Male and Female Entities of Hungarian Thespians – Had wonderful memories performing here, as well as fond personal feelings for the place.
Sometimes actors are frustrated at their level of achievement, or lack of it. Or perhaps they are taken out of this world before they can perform a role they had prepared for, or were planning to audition for. These folks sometimes choose to spend their afterlife in the theatre to continue to fret and be restless, because they can’t let go of their disappointment just yet. They seem to get some peace watching other actors prepare to perform, and the performance itself. Or perhaps they still enjoy singing on stage, and like to pretend to perform a little themselves by borrowing props, scripts and even like to watch rehearsals as semi-critics!
At least six Spirits call this theatre their afterlife residence.
Paranormal Activity Observed by the Living:
While getting ready for their performances in the dressing rooms, some thespians have noticed that the show has started early in the spirit world. They have seen apparitions in dressing room mirrors, besides Madam Modjeska’s image, looking with interest at them (more on her later).
Witnesses report hearing the sound of footsteps in the Main Stage Auditorium and on the stage as well. Any of the spirits could be the walkers.
Items go missing, and/or are moved. Any of the spirits could be responsible.
A Costume Shop Manager had a frightening experience in the backstage corridor – She became aware of heavy breathing and footsteps. She kept on walking and then she heard someone whisper her name.
A Technician experienced being pulled quickly away by unseen hands and was horrified to see why. Someone was trying to save his life from a falling light bar. It could’ve been any one of the spirits, or all of them together, or a team effort by a few. It would take a lot of energy to physically move a living person, and the ability to do so would have to be a developed skill. They would have to be good at taking energy from things around them and moving a real person quickly out of the way of a falling object.
Named “Pinky” by employees of the theatre – believed to be a past manager. Its presence has been felt here for a long time. Gender is unknown.
This Spirit favors the Costume Department, and has a pink glow. She or he goes all over the theatre.
Pinky entertains herself or himself by playing with electrical items. Lights have gone on and off by themselves in the Costume Room. Pinky also enjoys fiddling with the buttons on the costumes.
Pinky likes to play jokes on the living, perhaps moving items, and other pranks for chuckles.
According to one source, Pinky is credited for saving the life of a technician by pulling him out of the way of a falling light bar, though another spirit could’ve helped as well, or been the actual life-saving force. It isn’t explained why some people think it was Pinky; perhaps this happened before they knew of the other spirits who stay in the theatre.
The Male Entity Louie
A stagehand, and a wanna-be actor: he died as a result of a fall from a high place like the grid or rafters or cat walk, before he could realize his dreams. He probably makes his presence known in the typical ways of entities: with cold spots, moving items, making noises, or perhaps still going about his work in the theatre.
Perhaps he is really the one who saved the technician by pulling him out of the way of the falling light bar. However, this life-saving instance would’ve given him some peace and satisfaction because he was able to do something to save a life; something that didn’t happen for him in his own fatal circumstance.
Footsteps have been heard walking across the main stage. Perhaps it is Louie, going about his business.
Very Tall Male Entity
An employee who helped around the theatre.
Has been identified as Joe, whose favorite attire includes wearing a beret and an ascot.
His apparition is always dressed in style, not a hair out of place. Perhaps he still likes to help in his own way.
The Female Entity Opera Singer
Still yearns to perform. She likes to sing in the theatre when it is empty.
She hasn’t been seen, but her voice has been heard by many.
The Female Entity of a Polish Thespian
She is known as Madame Modjeska, who wanted to become a famous actress but didn’t reach the level of fame she was hoping for in her life. Her apparition is “sorely disappointed and sad.” Her upset reflection is often seen in one of the upstairs mirrors in one of the dressing rooms.
Perhaps she cheers herself up by watching actors and actresses preparing for their roles, and watching their performances for free, as a perk for staying in her favorite theatre. She must also relish the roles she did have here, and has fond memories of her performances.
The Male and Female Entities of Hungarian Thespians, who were lovers:
They met and fell in love while doing shows together here. After being separated, they found each other again.
Their presences are made known to the performers and staff, and they too enjoy the productions and rehearsals. They like to watch the action on stage. They have been seen all over the theatre.
Most Probably So in a big way! MANY PEOPLE have had personal experiences in this building for many years.
Personal experiences of the living have been backed up by hard evidence, though more would be nice to see to further clarify the presences there. However, people who work and perform here, who live with these spirits on a regular basis, would rate this place with a BIG YES INDEED! Nothing like having a creepy or strong personal experience to make it quite clear that they are there!
In a 1991 psychic medium investigation, three Clairvoyants confirmed what staff and performers have suspected. The clairvoyants uncovered five more spirits (mentioned above) that weren’t known at the time. Only the entity of Pinky was known of before this revelation.
In 1994, paranormal investigators recorded unexplainable footsteps crossing the Main Stage Theatre. On October 23, 2007, Haunted and Paranormal Investigations International (HPI) conducted an investigation of The Sacramento Theatre Company. They photographed numerous infrared anomalies in the Stage 2 area.
Using Electronic Sound Recorders, HPI investigators picked up a cheery “Hi” from a woman spirit. With sound enhancing equipment they also picked up: A spirit man breathing hard and making a sighing noise (in the the actor preparation room), a woman’s sigh, and a man’s humming.
While dowsing rods aren’t always accepted as true scientific tools for investigations, the results are still interesting. Their reliability depends a lot on the skill and experience of the investigator.
According to results from their dowsing rods, two HPI members got contrasting information about Pinky, in two different sessions. One investigator learned that Pinky was a woman named Joan and she worked in the Costume Room. She died in 1963. Another investigator learned that Pinky was an actress, in her 20s, and her name started with G (a soft G sound would sound like a J).
Staff and thespians alike have reported many personal experiences through the years, and so have paranormal investigators.
Janelle Cardoso, founder of Capital City Paranormal, talks about her experiences at The Sacramento Theatre Company. She recalls, “The investigation that will always stick with me, took place at the Sacramento Theatre Company. I had experienced everything from hearing noises, seeing things move, hearing a person walk behind me and follow me, to have a door shut right behind me with intense force. I have to say, it was the first time I was actually a little scared! HA HA!”
Strong personal experiences were also reported during HPI’s October 23, 2007 investigation. With their own ears, some investigators heard footsteps and some heavy breathing, and saw a quick-moving shadow form. A few saw a shadow figure peeking at them.
1419 H Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
The Sacramento Theatre Company is located on the corner lot near H Street and 15th Street, part of the H Street Theatre Complex, that includes The Wells Fargo Pavilion, home of Music Circus.
- Haunted Places: The National Directory
by Dennis William Hauck
- “History” page on Sacramento Theatre Company web site
- “Sacramento Theatre Company: Meet Pinky the Ghost!” by Paul Dale Roberts on YourGhostStories.com
- “The Pollock Stage” page on Sacramento Theatre Company website
- “Group Sales” page on Sacramento Theatre Company website
- “Sacramento Secrets” by William Hauck on Haunted-Places.com
Our Haunted Paranormal Stories are Written by Julie Carr