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(Back to Rhode Island Index)

Firehouse Theater
HauntedHouses.com

Haunted Dwelling — Firehouse

ADDRESS:

4 Equality Park Place
Newport, Rhode Island
02840

Website * 401-849-FIRE(3473) * MAP

LOCATION:

The Firehouse Theater can be found directly across from a small, triangular park, Called Equality Park.
Equality Park Place is a short street, named for the park, and connects Broadway to Dr. Marcus Wheatland Blvd.

DESCRIPTION/HISTORY:

The Firehouse Theater, home to a very funny, award winning, improvisational theatrical troop, The Bit Players, is actually in the old Newport Steam Fire Engine Station #4 building, that long served the people in Newport, since 1885. The building is a beautiful 1885 large rectangular, 2 story stone and brick structure, with a tower that is 25 ft shorter than it was originally built. It shares this short block, located just in front of the park, with a large, rectangular building that houses a bike shop among other things.

This firehouse was specifically built for Newport's first paid city firemen, many of whom I'm sure were on the old volunteer force. This firehouse covered the north area of Newport, around Broadway Street. The first floor housed the fire engines, the horses, the common area for the men, and probably some sort of headquarters. The second floor was the sleeping area for the firemen, who slept at the station while on duty, ready to jump out of bed to quickly go to any fire, in a city full of wooden structures. Because of the way most homes and buildings were constructed; (sharing a wall), the people and government of Newport knew from experience that one spark in a building could cause the whole block to go up in flames, if the fire wasn't quickly snuffed out. Newport had a volunteer fire department since 1790!

Owners of The Firehouse Theater bought the building in 2000, and have renovated the inside of this old firehouse into a simple intimate, 49 seat, improvisational theatre, that offers the city of Newport a community theatre for local actors and thespian enthusiasts. They offer classes in improvisation for those who are 16 years and older. I laughed myself silly, watching some of their YouTube performances!

HISTORY OF MANIFESTATIONS:

People who fully enjoyed their work in a serving others, sometimes choose to visit or live in their old place of work, perhaps to be guardians / helpers of the living, while remembering their own good times here as well.

( Fire Station * Presidio Chapel & Rectory * Morovian College * Brewery Arts Center )

Men who serve together for a common purpose, often enjoy a deep bonding that can last into the spirit world. Sometimes they can amuse themselves by playing jokes on the living, or interacting in some way.

( Gettysburg Battlefield-Devil's Den * General Wayne Inn * Dayton Airforce Museum * Old Masonic Temple Building )

Live theatre often attracts spirits, especially if it is high energy, entertaining, enthusiastic and funny, causing more positive energy to flow from the audience

(National Pastime Theatre * Ciro's and the Comedy Store * Mantorville Opera House * Thalian Hall)

MANIFESTATIONS:

Several male spirits still enjoy spending time in their old firehouse, keeping a fatherly eye on the living.
A variety of people have reported some unusual paranormal activity, since the playhouse opened.

One of these male spirits does a routine water flow check in the bathrooms. Witnesses see the cold water faucet turn on by itself and then immediately turn off.

It is hinted that some apparitions have been seen, but no details were revealed.

Perhaps they enjoy watching the shows or rehearsals as well.

During one rehearsal of the humorous play, Cemetery Club, a strange banging was heard, coming from inside the stone wall in front of the building; sounds of banging a pipe against the stone wall. Perhaps one of the entities got into the spirit of the play and added some sound effects for chuckles!

PARANORMAL FINDINGS:

A variety of people have witnessed the same paranormal activity. Only two examples were given in my source, written by John T. Brennan, and both can be plausible examples of paranormal incidents. It would be helpful to find out what else has happened.

No paranormal investigations that may have been done are made public.

STILL HAUNTED?

Perhaps so. The activity that has been reported leaves the possibility open that spirits of former firemen are visiting/ spending some time at one of their favorite places in this world. The people who perform and spend time there are convinced of this, but accept the spirits as part of the building, and hope the spirits enjoy the comedy shows. What a fun after-life! Spending time with old friends, keeping an eye on their water flow, etc., and watching funny improv performances!

SOURCES INCLUDE:

Ghosts of Newport: Spirits, Scoundrels, Legends and Lore
by John T. Brennan
HAUNTED AMERICA, 2007

Website * The Bit Players * Trip Advisor