The longest occurring manifestation has been happening since 1932, after a female patron died in the mezzanine of the theater during a stage performance of a popular musical. Soon after her death, the sound of a woman singing in the theater could be heard when the theater was dark and quiet sometimes during the day or at night as well. It is theorized that this woman was hoping to become a singer, and her dream was to perform on stage someday. In 1994, she became bolder and her singing was picked up by a microphone and heard during a live performance. She was singing along with the cast!
Manifestations in the theater, especially on the second floor greatly increased after a 1990 break-in by vandals who damaged the upper balcony area. This incident greatly upset the ghosts who call The Pantages Theater their home, as they were people who when alive dearly loved this glorious place, and had experienced many happy times there.
The presence that haunts the second floor is believed to be Howard Hughes. An executive assistant, who started to work for the Nederlander offices on the second floor in 1992, had some interesting experiences. Mainly in the company's remodeled conference room, which used to be Howard's office, she felt a presence, which sometimes took the form of cold spots, and a passing wind, when no air conditioning was on. Twice, she also saw a very tall man apparition, always rounding the corner into where his office used to be. In the area of his old office, she would often hear the sounds of the desk drawers being bumped, opened, closed, and the brass handles being clicked and rattled. She knew that it was just Howard, going about his business.
This passing cold wind was also felt in the executive suite, along with the scent of cigarette smoke.
While Howard Hughes keeps an eye on the second floor, there is another guardian presence on the main floor. In 1994, long after a performance, a wardrobe lady was the last to leave the already darkened theater. As she made her way to the side exit, the lights along the aisles went out, leaving her in total darkness. She fell over something, became disoriented and couldn't get to her feet, let alone find her way out. As she started to feel a little panicky, someone took her by her elbow and gently helped her to her feet, and then proceeded to firmly guide her to the exit. Relieved, the flustered woman opened up the exit door to let in some light. She immediately turned to thank her rescuer, but no one was there. It was too short a time for a living person to take off, and she heard no foot steps. It is theorized that perhaps this ghostly rescuer was Alexander Pantages himself, who was an all around gentleman in real life.
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The Pantages Theater –