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Dark Destinations > Locations - O > Orpheum Theatre

Orpheum Theatre Other destinations within a
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Availability: Open to the Public
Filed Under: Paranormal Hot Spots > Haunted Theaters
Added By: TheCabinet
Added On: June 01, 2007 - 01:20 AM UTC
Last Modified: July 10, 2007 - 09:54 PM UTC
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203 S Main St, Memphis, TN 38103, USA (Memphis, Tennessee)
The theatre was originally built as The Grand Opera House in 1890 and changed names to the Orpheum Theatre in 1907 when it became part of the Orpheum Circuit of vaudeville shows.  A fire in 1923 completely leveled the building and the building was rebuilt, this time twice at large.  When the movie business took off, the theater switched gears and started to show first run movies, which it would do until 1976.  The owner at the time sold it off and it was being considered for demolishment when the Memphis Development Foundation stepped up and purchased the building.  They immediately brought Broadway productions and concerts back to its halls.  Ultimately it would have to close again in 1982, but this time for renovation.  It would re-open its doors in 1984 and immediately resume its place as the "south's finest theatre."

The Orpheum is also the home to the ghost of a small girl, whom people have named Mary.  No one knows exactly how she got there, but there are a couple theories.  The most popular seems to be that she was killed in front of the theatre on Beale Street in an automobile accident or run over by horse and carriage and subsequently adopted the Orpheum as her home.  The other theory is that she died in the theatre during a performance after a fall from the balcony and has never left.

Mary's favorite seat is apparently C-5 and people who sit there are said to experience cold chills.  Others have reportedly seen a young girl with brown, braided hair and white dress with black stockings, sitting in the chair.  There are also accounts of a child giggling and running up and down the aisles, doors opening and closing by themselves, and the pipe organ starts playing with no one there.  Mary is also said to offer her own critiques of the show by turning all of the chairs in her box away from the stage during shows she dislikes.  Performers have also blamed the spirit for strange technical malfunctions when her box is used to house the show's equipment or crew.

Other Ghosts
While Mary may be the best-known spirit to haunt the Orpheum; some insist that there are several other ghosts there as well.  No one seems to know who these spirits are or how they got there, but most seem to believe that one or more of them are very protective of the spirit of Mary.  Some staff members have reported experiences of a disembodied growl that seemed directed at them.

The Orpheum Today
The Theatre is still open and provides a wide assortment of entertainment to this day.  Ran by a non-profit organization and supported by contributions from the local community, the Orpheum's success has signaled the re-birth of entertainment in downtown Memphis.
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Related Sites
The Orpheum Theatre
The official site for the haunted Memphis, Tennessee theater, The Orpheum Theatre.
Prairie Ghosts: The Orpheum Theatre
Prairie Ghosts' entry for the Orpheum Theatre in Memphis, Tennessee. The Theatre is rumored to be haunted by the ghost of a little girl.
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See Also on
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Available from
Memphis' Grand Dame of entertainment: growing graceful with age.(Orpheum Theatre): An article from: Business Perspectives
Weird Hauntings: True Tales of Ghostly Places (Weird)
Haunted America
Shadows and Cypress: Southern Ghost Stories
Ghost Hunters of the South
City Ghosts: True Tales of Hauntings in America's Cities
Haunted Places in the American South
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Ghosts & Hauntings, 2nd Edition (The Complete Idiot's Guide)
Letters from Backstage: The Adventures of a Touring Stage Actor
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The Orpheum Theatre's Billboard
The billboard at the Orpheum Theatre of Memphis, Tennessee in June 2007 advertising a familiar film.
From: TheCabinet
The Orpheum Theatre
June 2007 photo of the haunted Orpheum Theatre in Memphis, Tennessee.
From: TheCabinet
Another Orpheum Theatre Photo
One final June 2007 look at the Orpheum Theatre in Memphis, Tennessee.
From: TheCabinet
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The above content is for informational purposes only. Before making any travel arrangements, it is highly recommended that you contact those in charge of the property to check for updated availability and hours of operation. While we do our best to keep this information updated, we cannot guarantee that it is completely valid and up to date. Any destination marked "Closed to the Public" is marked that for a reason and we discourage any visits or attempts to gain access to that facility. Similarly, take note of any "Travel Advisory" that may be associated with a destination. Finally, treat any location and its local residents with respect. Any vandalism and/or unruly behavior is completely despicable and only ruins the experience for future visitors.

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