ST. LOUIS — Throughout the month of October, the Today in St. Louis team has been showcasing different haunted places in the area for our “Spooky Spots” series.
For our last instalment, we featured a landmark known as one of the most beautiful places in the Lou. Some might even say it's “fabulous!”
You've probably made a trip or two to the Fabulous Fox Theatre to see a show. But, we promise, you've never seen it like this.
Arlene Cerbie is the club manager at Fox Theatre. She’s worked at the theatre for over a decade and served as our guide on the haunted behind-the-scenes tour. She told 5 On Your Side she never expected to work in a place that she believes is haunted.
“Nothing could have prepared me for this,” Cerbie said. “I’ve seen one spirit, but felt countless.”
Rumor is, there are ghosts in the Fox Theatre. Some have been there before the mainstage was even built.
Remember Dr. Mark Farley? He’s the founder of the St. Louis Paranormal Research Society who guided us through the “Seven Gates of Hell” earlier in October.
He joined in on the Fox Theatre tour as well. Dr. Farley said that there’s a spirit that’s been seen sitting in the seats of the theatre.
“We captured one of the best apparitional shots I’ve ever seen right here in seat H-11. It’s a lady sitting here like she’s watching the show,” Farley said.
We’re told, there are spirits like “Anna,” sitting up high in the mezzanine.
“She was the caretaker for the church that used to be on this land: The Grand Presbyterian Church,” Cerbie said.
Seeing the theatre with the house lights on is enough to take your breath away – that’s if the spirits who live here don’t take it away first.
“Something would happen where I’d get the feeling where my breath was taken out of me or ‘You better leave this room right now,’ which I would always do. They just overcome me sometimes,” Cerbie said.
You might see the ghost of a maintenance person who walks up and down a hallway on the edge of the stage, jingling his keys.
“One of my investigators snapped a photo here and they captured his apparition and it’s pretty amazing when you see it,” Farley said.
And strange happenings have been reported in the “tunnels” under the stage.
“I’ve walked through here with mediums before. One gentleman literally kept his arm out because there’s so much traffic. He says the hallway is full with people in costumes, in overalls, who are working the show. They’re just constantly coming up and down the hallway,” Cerbie said.
Cerbie said two SLU nursing students, who used to work at the theatre, went through the halls to do homework in a dressing room during their lunch break one day. When the two tried to leave, the doors were locked shut.
They started to scream…
Cerbie showed us the door that was sealed shut.
“The master key, which works everywhere in this theater, couldn’t get these doors open. Finally, the maintenance man ripped the doorknob off this door to get the girls out. It’s never been put back on because they swore, ‘We’re never doing this again,’” she said.
Fox Theatre has brought in experts like Dr. Farley and countless mediums to find out which spirits are living there.
“We’ve been able to communicate with so many that they’ll tell us their name. We have Jeffery, who is probably our most popular one,” Cerbie said.
She told 5 On Your Side that Jeffrey wears a tux and top hat, lives in the back of the house, and loves to interact with visitors.
Another spirit isn’t as friendly. William, the poltergeist, lives up in the projection room.
“He’s super strong, he’s super powerful,” Cerbie said.
Mediums said he used to work at the theater in the 1940s, manning the spotlights for dancers on the stage.
“He was very good at his job, but he was a drinker. One day he may have had one too many drinks and he missed a spot on the stage and a young lady fell, broke her leg and never danced again. And the guilt overwhelmed him,” Cerbie said.
Up on the mezzanine level is a spirit named Anna.
“People describe her the same way all the time, ‘I just saw a lady in a green dress!’” Cerbie said.
Anna, and a few other spirits, decided to show up for our interview.
We used dowsing rods to communicate with the ghosts.
Cerbie asked the spirits, “Do you see Sydney? Will you point them at her?”
The rods began to move toward our reporter, Sydney Stallworth.
“I’m not doing this. My hands aren’t moving,” Stallworth said.
Cerbie explained how the rods work.
“They’ll cross them for ‘yes’ and they’ll do this (separates the rods) if they’re saying no to you,” she said.
“Do you like to watch the shows here at the Fox?” Stallworth asked.
The rods begin to cross to signify “yes.”
“I’m really not moving this. I’m not moving my hands at all, this is insane!” Stallworth said.
Next time you see a show at Fox Theatre, come with your eyes and mind wide open, and look beyond the lights on stage! You may just see something you can’t explain.