Once again a suicide didn’t resolve anything…
Reported to work until the theater was torn down.
This spirit may be haunting the structures built on this land.
DESCRIPTION / HISTORY
The Tyrone Guthrie Theatre was described as being “intriguing and Elegant modernist,” designed by Ralph Rapson. It was like a small indoor amphitheater, which had superb acoustics and “close-in sight lines.” From 1963-2006, audiences enjoyed plays, concert and other cultural events.
As what often happens, The Guthrie Theatre Company outgrew this theatre, another brand new theatre was built along the waterfront in downtown Minneapolis. However, instead of finding another use for this fine, smaller Tyrone Guthrie Theatre, which other cities have done with their older theatre buildings, the powers in control decided to tear down the theatre. The land is too valuable, it seems.
HISTORY OF MANIFESTATIONS
The famous Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis has a long history of this haunting by the ghostly usher.
Richard Miller, born in 1951, was a shy guy from Manhattan, Kansas. His family moved to Minneapolis. At age 16 he got a job as an usher at the Guthrie Theater. After graduating from high school, he attended the University of Minnesota, while continuing to work as an usher. He was always perceived as being odd by others, and didn’t have many friends.
Following a ski accident, and after receiving bad grades, Miller killed himself. On February 5, 1967, he bought a Mauser rifle at the local Sears store. He went back to his car and shot himself in the head. He was buried wearing his Guthrie Theater blazer, at Fort Snelling National Cemetery.
Spirit of Richard Miller Experience
A few weeks after the death of the young usher, a young woman came up to the usher in charge and asked him to stop the other usher from walking up and down during the play. The usher in charge was shocked, since he had been at the top of the aisle and had seen no one walk up and down. All the other ushers were busy in their respective aisles. The young lady insisted she had seen the usher walking up and down, as did other patrons in her section. Asked to describe the usher, she described Richard Miller accurately, including the mole on his cheek.
Walking the Theater Spaces
Dozens of people, from employees to performers to patrons have spotted Miller’s apparition walking his beat up and down the aisle of row 18, in the catwalks, or in the exclusive patron section of seats called the Queen’s Box. While the apparition would follow the living with his eyes or his head, he never said anything.
A Musical Appearance
Several years later, two ushers had to spend the night in the Guthrie Theater working on the air conditioning. At 1 A.M. they heard a piano play by itself. They then saw a cloud-like form floating through the lounge door and hovering in the center of the room.
Has Richard Miller finally gone completely to the other side?
Unknown. In 1994, an exorcism ritual was performed and supposedly calmed down this restless ghost. His spirit may have been quieted, but it is hard for disturbed ghosts like this one to leave completely and go to the other side.
Since the building has been torn down, this spirit may have finally gone to the other side. However, entities who loose their buildings have sometimes stuck around and haunted whatever building is built on the original site. Time will tell.
725 Vineland Place
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55403
The Tyrone Guthrie Theater used to be across from the Sculpture Garden in the Loring Park section of southwest Minneapolis. It has since been torn down. Imagine our disappointment when we arrived at what was 725 Vineland Place, looking forward to get a photo of this theater building, now gone forever!
- Photo from: mnhs.org
- HAUNTED PLACES: The National Directory
By Dennis William Hauck
Penguin Books, 2002
Our Haunted Paranormal Stories are Written by Julie Carr