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Friday
Oct212011

Capitol Theater Paranormal Investigation


Through all of the paranormal investigations and reportedly haunted locations spread throughout Central New York one of the most interesting and stylish hauntings in the Mohawk Valley is the depression era 
Capitol Theater in Rome, NY.
Conceived by Michael and Joseph Kallet in 1926, the property at 216-224 West Dominick Street was purchased and the new theater was announced in December of 1926 but the theater was not confirmed until March of 1927 when construction began.

In 1939 the theater received its Art Deco facelift but in 1974 the theater was closed as a ‘first-run’ movie house and shifted to theatrical productions and classic movies.

Originally planned for a Thanksgiving opening in 1928, a Pennsylvania steel strike delayed construction and prevented the theater from opening until December. Completed, the theater was designed as the premiere movie house in Rome with seating for 2,500, a Möller theater organ in the orchestra pit and two projectors designed for ‘talking pictures.”

 

While there have been few tragic events over the last 83 years of operation, there have been a number of paranormal occurrences reported. The first reports date back more than thirty years to accounts of a ghostly figure in the balcony and phantom organ music despite the lack of a working organ until its repair in 2003.
Witnesses report the shadow figure of a man, which is believed to be a former projectionist. Others feel that it is the spirit of a performer that haunts the balcony and stage. There are also reports of a ghostly cat that stalks the theater. Organ music, whispered conversations, opening doors and even the sounds of plays have been experienced by those at the theater late at night.




In the spring of 2010, the Shadow Chasers investigated the Rome Capitol Theater to document accounts of the hauntings at the site. The investigation started as the theater was closing up after the Saturday night movie. 


The team divided into two teams to investigate the main auditorium sweeping for any anomalies. The primary anomalies were revealed as high EM from the aisle lighting from the seats. One peculiarity was a heightened EM field in the air above the ground floor seats. 


Phil and Josh proceeded to investigate the dressing rooms under the stage while Kate and Courtinie moved to the concessions area to the second floor offices behind the balcony. While in the dressing room area Phil and Josh heard voices that they were able to record on camera. At the same time Kate and Courtinie heard voices coming from the stage area without any personnel visible.  


 

Continuing the investigation into the maintenance tunnels Josh and Phil encountered a high energy field that drained all of the power from all of their electronics. As they started out of the tunnels to retrieve additional equipment they witnessed a ghostly cat that vanished into the prop-shop. 


Kate and Courtinie were able to communicate with a spirit in the balcony through the use of a PX. The investigation concluded with the capture of a number of anomalous photos and EVPs.


A Ghostly Figure on the Left Stairs 

In the spring of 2011 the team was requested back to conduct a ghost hunting training session for a number of individuals. This time the team divided into four separate teams of trainees. Kate and Courtinie led their teams to the balcony and the second floor offices while Josh led his team into the dressing room Phil was on the stage demonstrating the Full Spectrum(Para-Spectrum) Camera to his team when he snapped a burst series of the main auditorium. A phantom figure appeared on the left staircase in one of the three shots while there were no individuals on the stairs at the time. 


One of the trainees had the vivitar nightvision camera and was consistently taking pictures. Approximately a few moments after the Full Spectrum camera captured the phantom figure the trainee captured another phantom figure on the stairs to the balcony with no people in the frame.


The most startling event of the evening was actually at the conclusion to the night. Phil and his team were talking with the administrator of the Theatre on the second floor when everyone glimpsed a figure go into the front offices and slam the door. The administrator responded "Did you just see someone shut that door?" The nods from everyone in the group sent the administrator racing downstairs to come in through the front entrance to the second floor offices. When the administrator returned he had to unlock the door that everyone had witnessed a figure open and close. The administrator informed us that there was no plausible way for someone to open and close the door let-alone get out of the building without anyone noticing.

 

 

The hauntings of the Rome Capitol Theatre have proven that they are more than legends and rumors from the history of the location. Even with a large number of people on-site, the paranormal activity 

 

 

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