Former Residents of a torn-down, historic mansion
are now enthusiastic patrons in spirit form!
The former master is a kind, helpful spirit and gets his chuckles in fun ways.
HISTORY & DESCRIPTION
Like many theatres of the time, there is an entrance area, a stage, a screen for films when needed, an orchestra pit, a large auditorium for seats, a back stage area and a balcony area.
This lovely turn of the century grand old Theatre was built between 1909 – 1914, where plays and cultural events entertained the people of Charleston, West Virginia. It continued to offer the best in the cultural arts (perhaps films as well?) through the depression, through WWII, all the way through the ’50s, ’60s ’70s. This impressive theatre was honored to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
It was closed for a while because of needed repair and restoration. This theater was sold to the state to be used by the West Virginia State University’s drama, film, music programs for their students and for the cultural arts needs of the community at large.
The Capitol Plaza Theatre was restored to its former beauty, and was renamed The Capitol Center.
Besides student productions, such artists as Tori Amos, R.E.M. and other well-known musicians perform here. Various film and music festivals hold their annual events at this theatre as well.
HISTORY OF MANIFESTATIONS
While theatres have the habit of attracting ghostly admirers of the cultural arts, some entities tragically die in the theatre or nearby in the immediate neighborhood, or some entities are hangers-on from the building or place that was torn down to make way for the theatre in question to be built.
The family of ghosts who make the Capitol Plaza Theatre (The Capitol Center) their home originated from the grand 1798 mansion that was torn down to make the land available to build this theatre. A wealthy Welch businessman built the mansion which would be the family home for 110 years!
His son, John Welch raised his own family in this mansion during the 1830 – 1860 time period. His 8 year old daughter, the youngest child in the family, died of pneumonia in 1840. Not much is known what happened to the Welch family during the Civil War, but they managed to keep the mansion until for some reason they sold it to developers around 1908, who tore it down to make room for the theatre.
John Welch and his youngest daughter, and perhaps some of the other Welch family members have made the Capitol-Plaza Theatre their home. None of the material I’ve read say when the Welch clan made their appearance known.
John Welch is the most active entity felt and seen at the theatre.
John Welch doesn’t hold a grudge and is protective of the theatre and looks after the performers as well. As one enters the theatre itself, there is sometimes a chilling cold spot, which could be John Welch checking out the patrons.
For chuckles, John Welch likes to play tricks on the living, sometimes being sneaky and covert to mess with people’s view of reality. He is a jokester but not mean in temperament.
Molly Welch – 8 year old, youngest of the Welch children.
She is described as being shy, but she loves the theatre. When an actor or actress is on stage, the apparition of Molly can be seen sitting in the front row of the balcony.
123 Summers Street
Charleston, West Virginia 25301
This Historical Landmark, Capitol Plaza Theatre is located in downtown Charleston, in the older section of town.
Directions to the Capitol Center From I-77 & I-79 South: – Exit at the Civic Center Exit (58C). This puts you on Penn. Avenue Turn left onto Lee Street. Turn right on Summers Street. Theater is just beyond the intersection of Summer and Quarrier Streets.
Our Haunted Paranormal Stories are Written by Julie Carr