FROM THE BACK ROW: The Ghost Light

Posted on October 12th, 2012

Hey DSM Fans!

Ghost Light:  A single bulb that stands onstage and remains on at all times.  It’s a safety precaution for the first person entering or the last to leave a dark theater.  While it serves a practical purpose, the ghost light gets its name from a popular theatrical superstition.  Legend tells us that every theater has a ghost, and the ghost light wards off these spirits known for causing mischief in the dark.  Some say this ritual dates all the way back to the Shakespearean era, when a candle was left burning to rid the theater of spirits from a previous performance.

In honor of the 2012 State Fair musical, THE ADDAMS FAMILY, the Music Hall is currently home to an exclusive display of original props from the set of the 1960s TV series, The Addams Family!

I’m a sucker for a good ghost story, so all of the spooky décor just adds fuel to the fire of my ghostly thoughts.  It’s hard not to consider the possibility of supernatural activity here in the 87-year-old Music Hall at Fair Park…

I wanted answers.  Although my expectations were low, I asked staff members if they had any tales of a potential Music Hall Phantom.  Surprisingly, the response was better than I had anticipated!  Some employees shared word-of-mouth tales and others brought up unusual cases of moved or missing desk items. However, I received two very creepy (and very genuine) first-person accounts of paranormal encounters here at the Music Hall.

DSM President, Michael Jenkins:

[It was 1:30 in the morning, and Michael was working late.  The bathroom adjacent to his office has two doors, one in his office and one out in the hall.]  “It’s around 1:30 am and I heard this bathroom doorknob turn. …Keep in mind these are pretty heavy doors…  Since this door in my office was closed, I stepped into the hall and went around the corner to check the other bathroom door, but it was closed too.  Initially I thought, ‘Well, I can’t just open the door to check it out… there might be someone in there!’  So I walked back down the hall, into my office and I sat down at my desk.  Seconds later, I heard that heavy door SLAM shut. I immediately said to myself, ‘I’m out of here.’ And I left!”

DSM’s IT Manager, Shawn:

The servers were down, and Shawn was working on them in the wee hours of the morning.  He heard the sound of a door and thought it was an engineer.  Shawn peeked out of his office and saw a short, bald man dressed in white rounding the corner at the end of the hall.  Confused, Shawn called out to him but the man didn’t answer.  He just passed through the doorway at the end of the hall, closing the door behind him.  Shawn followed the man and tried to open the door, but it was locked.  He quickly unlocked and opened the door, only to find a dark hallway and no sign of the man in white. Shawn assured me that he was never a believer in the supernatural until this moment, and after this encounter he found himself walking a bit faster through the Music Hall’s sometimes too-quiet corridors.

At this point in time, Dallas Summer Musicals does not have a ghost light but it certainly sounds like we could use one!

Planning to attend the State Fair? Don’t forget to pay DSM a visit!  If you enter through the fair’s Front Gate, just make a sharp right and come by the Music Hall to check out our FREE display of The Addams Family props and to purchase your ADDAMS FAMILY tickets.  If you’re lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of the Music Hall Phantom!

THE ADDAMS FAMILY is on stage now through October 21st!

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-DSM Haley