May 08, 2011

Ghosts Steal the Spotlight at the Huntington

This area probably has more weird folklore per square foot than any other part of the country. You're most likely walking past a haunted building or site of strange happenings every day without even knowing it.

Just this week I realized I had been doing this myself. I was looking through Holly Mascott Nadler's Ghosts of Boston Town when I came upon the chapter about the Huntington Theatre. I've walked by this building for years, and seen several shows there, without knowing there was a legend attached to it. In fact, multiple legends!

According to Nadler's book, there are several ghosts haunting this historic 1925 building. A misty woman in a white dress is sometimes seen hovering around dress rehearsals. Known appropriately enough as the Lady in White, it is believed she is the spirit of a wardrobe mistress. The ghost is harmless, but still can cause quite a shock when she appears to the unsuspecting.

Boston's Huntington Theatre

A second ghost is believed to be local actor Henry Jewett. The Huntington Theatre was built as a home for Jewett's theatrical troupe in the 1920s, but the timing was unfortunate. Talking motion pictures were providing cheaper entertainment for the masses by the time construction was completed, and the troupe disbanded in 1930. Jewett died that same year, and the building ironically became a movie theater. Maybe his spirit is still annoyed about thsi? A portrait of Jewett as MacBeth hangs in the Huntington's lobby today.

Other ghosts have been encountered on the catwalks above the stage, and in the building's various storage rooms and workshops. At least one actress has reported feeling hands on her neck and hips when she was completely alone in a quiet part of the building. Creepy!

The last ghost in the Huntington (for now) is a grainy, shadowy figure called the Sentry. The Sentry's footsteps are often heard in the halls outside the Green Room, and it has been seen many times. Many actors consider the Sentry a benevolent and protective spirit who watches over them.

As far as the restless dead go, the Huntington's ghosts seem like a harmless bunch. Don't let them stop you from buying a ticket! It seems like they're as devoted to the stage as their living counterparts are.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

the Lady in White ghost is most certainly the VERY famous Peg Entwistle.....Jewetts best student.