Savoy Ghost | Stories

The following are true accounts of unexplained happenings reported by Savoy Theatre’s employees, board members, volunteers and visitors. Some story contributors have requested their names be withheld.

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Contact us. With your permission, we’ll print it here.

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The grey haired lady

When I was about 7 or 8 my mom and I were at the box office buying tickets for a concert when i told my mom I had to go to the bathroom, she told me she would meet me in there. after I was done, I came out of the stall and my mom was there waiting for me by the sink, there was an old lady i saw, she had short grey hair and was wearing a baby blue sweater. i asked my mom who she was and i pointed to the wall where I saw her, and my mom
said, what lady, i kept pointing to her, but my mom didn’t see anything. About a year later, when I was visiting my uncle in Ontario, the day I was supposed to come home, we stopped at the bank for some money while my cousin and I stayed in the car and i saw an old lady, with short grey hair and a baby blue sweater on, staring right at me. after all, they do say that the things that can see ghosts the most are infants, animals, and children.

Thanks for listening to my story
~ Alanah Head, 12

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Don’t blink, or you might miss it!

Hello – My name is Andrew Warner. I happened to be on the Savoy’s website where I read the ghost story section. I’d like to submit my own ghostly experience to the website.

It’s been a few years since this has happened.

I was involved in the Glace Bay School Band all the years I was able to be in it. I don’t remember what year this was, or how old I was at the time. I was down at the Savoy with members of the band setting up for a concert. There were quite a few of us there that day, but when I ran into the ghost I was alone.

I was downstairs where the dressing rooms are located. Someone yelled that we were done and that everyone was leaving. By the time I made my way up the stairs to backstage, and around the stage curtain, I found that the seating and stage area were deserted. I could hear murmurs of my band mates from the lobby area, so I walked down the steps in front of the stage. (Facing the seats, the stairs would be on the right-hand side).

When I reached the bottom of the stairs, I suddenly had the feeling I was being watched. I looked to my left, and to my surprise, there was a strange figure standing by the wall in the seating area. It looked like a man to me, but I could not really tell. I just continued walking and watching the figure.

When I got to the middle of the seating area the figure just seemed to vanish. It was like there was nothing there.

At that time I did not tell anyone about what I saw. It was a years later when I heard my father mention something about a ghost at the Savoy. At that point, I told him what happened.

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A Chill in the Air

Late one night, after the last fire had struck in 1991, former Board Member Wendie Muise was at the Savoy Theatre taking inventory of salvageable items. “I was heading to the dressing rooms, and was making my way down the left aisle of the theatre when all of a sudden I was overwhelmed by an extremely cold sensation. It was almost as if there was a concentrated pocket of cold air in one spot.”

Wendie continued to the dressing rooms, but on her return, she walked up the opposite aisle to get out of the Theatre. “It didn’t really scare me, but it was eerie to have that happen in the big dark theatre, especially since I was alone. It’s hard to explain unless you’ve had it happen, but it’s as if you go from feeling alone, to suddenly feeling like someone else has entered the room.”

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Late Night Visitor

In 2002, Savoy box office manager Patricia Pace was working late one night selling the Savoy’s popular Dream Vacation Draw tickets. “I was alone in the building because I had come in after hours to call patrons.” After making all her phone calls for the evening, Patricia began the process of locking up the box office. She then made a quick trip to the washroom located in the Savoy’s inner lobby. “I was walking out of the washroom, drying my hands on a paper towel, so my head was down. Someone walked right in front of me and I had to literally stop to let them pass. It was an automatic reaction, a reflex. I think I may have even muttered the words ‘excuse me’.”

It was at that moment that fear set in. “It dawned on me that I had just stopped for someone when I was supposed to be alone. I looked all around, and there was no one in sight. But I know someone walked in front of me. The presence was so strong that it stopped me in my tracks. So I didn’t waste any time grabbing my purse and running out the door.”

The following day, as Trish recalled her story for other staff members, she pointed out that she wasn’t really afraid of whoever it was. “It didn’t give me a scary feeling when it walked by me, but it was something I couldn’t explain and so I guess THAT’S the scary part. If there are spirits dwelling here, that’s fine by me. Just as long as they keep to themselves!”

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Bathroom Mischief

Early one morning, while setting up for a private function, a Savoy Theatre employee (who wishes to remain nameless) was startled to find there was someone else using the facilities, even though the worker was supposed to be the only one in the building at the time. “It was about 5:30am, it was still grey and dark outside. I was making my way out of the washroom when one of the stall doors slammed itself shut behind me and then the toilet flushed. I went back to check it out, but I didn’t see anything.”

The employee continued to set up for the function and didn’t want to mention anything to anyone for fear of being laughed at, until a few days later. “We were showing movies for March break and one of the kids came out of the women’s bathroom and told us that while she was standing next to the sink, the water was turning itself off and on. It was then that I told the manager about the flushing toilet.”

The Savoy worker still comes to work alone. “Whatever it was seemed friendly enough, so it’s not something I worry about.”

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Media Shy Ghost?

Savoy Theatre employee Jennifer Crocker was working on a show called Cape Breton Book of the Night, when she experienced some playful teasing by an unseen visitor. “The show was based around true ghost stories reported in Cape Breton. Whenever I was working on anything to do with the production, my computer would shut down. And this didn’t happen just a couple of times. It happened at least seven or eight times over the span of a week. I was ready to throw the computer out the window.”

But it seems there was more going on than just a buggy computer program. “The first time it happened, I tried everything to get the computer to come back on, that’s when I discovered it hadn’t just crashed the program, it was turned off from the back of the computer. To get at that button on the back of my computer tower, you have to crawl under my desk and pull the tower out. Something or someone kept turning the entire computer off, forcing me to do a complete system reboot.”

Jennifer says that it was more annoying than scary. “It was really frustrating, but I think that was the whole point. I started making other employees come with me when it would happen, just to prove I wasn’t crazy. People kept saying that I must have hit it myself or bumped into it and shut it off.”

To make sure that wasn’t what was happening, Jennifer tried to recreate the situation, by pushing the computer with her feet to try and shut it off. “No matter what I did, I couldn’t get that button to turn off on its own. I’m convinced that something or someone didn’t care for me drawing so much attention to Cape Breton spirits. Point taken.”

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There’s No Such Thing as Ghosts!

Savoy Theatre technician Dave Bailey says there is no Savoy ghost. “I’m here alone more than anyone in this building, and no ghost has ever tapped me on the shoulder.” Dave refers to the Savoy Theatre ghost sightings, reported on and off since the 1970’s, as silly stories. “It’s an old building. The radiators creak, the plumbing makes noise, the lights flicker. But there are no spirits from the other side involved. People just get carried away when they’re alone and they hear noises.”

Dave has faithfully maintained that if there was someone from the other side haunting the building, he’d know who they were. “I’m sure I’d know them. So why wouldn’t they make themselves known to me? If there is a ghost, I wish he’d give me the lotto numbers or tell me something useful.”

But other staff at the Savoy aren’t so sure Dave really believes there’s nothing lurking in dark corners at the Theatre. “Dave has been here a long time. Maybe he had one of the first run-ins with the entity, and maybe he does know who they are. If that’s the case, it seems logical to me that Dave would want to protect the ghost,” comments Savoy Theatre manager Donald Ferguson. “Sort of a ‘you leave me alone and I’ll leave you alone’ type of deal.”

“Too many things happen here that nobody can make any sense of,” comments Jennifer Crocker. “I’ve had so many things happen to me that I don’t even bother telling anyone anymore. Noisy radiators don’t open and close doors.”

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A Smelly Ghost

On the way down to the box office from her office upstairs one day, Jennifer Crocker noticed a strong scent of perfume in the stairwell. So strong in fact, that she wrinkled up her nose and said aloud, ” Holy perfume!” It was at that moment that she bumped into a man coming up the stairwell. “I was a little embarrassed, because I had assumed that whoever it was might have been with him. And I knew he must have heard what I said. I expected to see an angry woman behind him on the stairwell.”

Once she arrived downstairs to the box office Jennifer asked who had been upstairs lately that would have left the perfume trail. Patricia said she hadn’t seen any patrons go upstairs all day, except for the one man. “Once I told Patricia about it, we started laughing, because then we thought maybe it was the man I had smelled and I was mistaking his cologne for perfume.”

Jennifer and Patricia waited for the stranger to come back down stairs. “He didn’t leave any trace of cologne or perfume when he walked out of the building. And of course we didn’t want to ask him. He’d think we were crazy. But something or someone in that stairwell was wearing an immense amount of a flowery perfume.”

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Everybody Saw It!

During a performance of the Soda Shoppe Gang in late June 2002, a balloon, which had floated to the ceiling during a children’s concert days earlier, began to descend during the performance. At first, this wasn’t considered unusual as helium does eventually escape from balloons causing them to lose their buoyancy and float back to earth. But this balloon dropped to the centre of the theatre, just out of arm’s reach, then appeared to hover. It didn’t move with the flow of air from the air-conditioning, but it seemed to purposefully glide over the tops of heads in the audience, from one side of the theatre to the other, always out of reach from waiting hands. Then it gently floated back to the ceiling where it stayed for the rest of the concert. Many in attendance that night said they thought someone must have been deliberately moving the balloon, as its pattern of flight was not normal, and did have an air of peculiarity to it.

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Best Seats in the House

Colleen MacIsaac, a part-time worker at the Savoy, thinks that the ghost of the Savoy appreciates good entertainment. “I was rehearsing for a show here in the summer, and while standing on stage, I could see that one of the seats -which were all empty- was turned down the way it is when someone is sitting in it. That in itself means nothing since it could have been a loose seat that fell down when someone got out of it. But I left the stage to grab a prop, and when I came back, a different seat was turned down and the previous one was back up in the regular folded position.” Colleen laughs as she recounts the story with co-workers. “I mean it’s not a really big deal, but it’s kind of freaky just the same. Nobody was near the seats. We were all on the stage. So who moved it?”

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Did you See That?

Darlene Melnick can’t say she’s ever actually seen anything that looks like a ghost at the Savoy, but she won’t say she hasn’t either. “Well, there are times when you just don’t feel like you’re alone when you’re here, and I have had supplies go missing, or turn up in odd places. I don’t know if that means there’s a ghost here or not. Maybe I’ve been here so long, it ignores me.” Darlene has been cleaning the Savoy for over 25 years. “When I’m here, the vacuum cleaner is always on, so maybe I’m missing out on the action.”

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Can I Help You?

A part-time box office worker was scared out of her wits when she thought someone walked behind her one night while working. “I had just hung up from a customer and out of the corner of my eye, I could see someone behind me. Just someone standing there, but it was behind me, and I was supposed to be alone. I jumped right out of the chair! When I looked again, the figure was gone. I was jittery for the rest of the night. I’m just glad nobody heard me scream. I felt silly after the fact, so I didn’t tell anyone about it.” The worker still prefers to remain anonymous.

“That feeling you get when someone walks into a room…even without seeing them, you know they’re there. That’s what it felt like. But I have no explanation for it. Maybe I had one too many coffees that day!”

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Hair Raising!

“I can honestly say, I’ve never seen anything resembling a ghost here at the Theatre. But that doesn’t mean I don’t believe there’s a lost soul hanging around.” Savoy Theatre manager Donald Ferguson spends a lot of late nights at the venue, long after others have gone home for the evening. “There’s been more than a few occasions where I’ve chased unexplained noises through the theatre, expecting to find that someone wandered in from outside. ”

On more than a few occasions, those unexplained noises have sent Donald Ferguson home early too. “I’ve had situations where I’ve exhausted myself by roving through the theatre like a madman looking for the person whose footsteps I just heard, or whoever was just using the paper towel dispenser in the washroom, or whoever opened the administration door coming into my office. Sometimes, I get an eerie ‘someone is standing behind me’ sensation where all the hairs on the back of my neck are at attention and I almost feel sick. All of a sudden, you don’t feel alone anymore. It’s during those moments when I just pack it in for the night because I can’t concentrate on anything else.”

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Do you have a Savoy Theatre ghost story? Contact us.
With your permission, we’ll print it here.