•The ghost behind the curtain•
Many people know the legend of the Haunted Opera House in Abbeville. It is one that has been told many times. Today I went to see what truths I might find in this 109-year-old site.
The floorboards creaked loudly as I stepped inside the bustling entrance of the Opera House building. People buzzed all about and took little notice as I walked right by and climbed the staircase. It was strange not being seen, as though I was the ghost I had come to find. Many visitors must be interested in this historic place, for no one seemed to mind.
Reaching the second floor I stopped briefly. Something felt wrong and I couldn’t place what. As I stared at a sunlit room off to my right it came to me, no one was using the entire second floor. The serenity was a stark contrast to the bustle below my feet and every step I took groaned louder than the last. I found that every room was unused. No one was here with me.
I was uncertain if I should continue. Didn’t they care that I was up here? Do they just let anyone walk around in this place? Against these concerns, I tentatively opened the door to the second-floor balcony and found immeasurable darkness. Not a single light was on inside as I stumbled around looking for a switch.
It is a strange sensation to stand on stage in an empty theater. In the same place where famous people once stood and look out on all those empty seats. In its heyday, a variety of shows played here. Everything from Minstrel to Vaudeville and even Burlesque was performed right where I was standing. I could just imagine the roaring ovations and gave a mock bow to my imaginary fans.
Every opera house has its ghost and I had come hoping to find one. Today the third story balcony is restricted. With only one exit it was deemed a fire hazard and is no longer in use. Still, it is common for performers to claim to see a young woman sitting all alone way up there. She is often seen and so I waited for her to appear. Though I did my best dance and sang a song or two, no one came out to applaud.
When I was ready to leave, as so often the case, it was from behind the curtain that I heard snickering barely audible. Thinking someone had found my small production amusing, I stepped behind to see who was laughing. No one was there. Nothing. Just darkness all around.
#69 on the Adventure Map
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