With the Ghost Cam Facebook Live event coming up soon (10 October), we thought you’d like to get acquainted with just a few of the ghosts that have been spotted around Darlington Hippodrome… who knows, perhaps you’ll see one?
We’ll begin with the most well-known ghost, Signor Rino Pepi. Being both a showman and theatre director in life, it seems his spirit wishes to stay in the limelight and is thus the most likely ghost to be spotted in the theatre. The camera on our Ghost Cam will have a good view of his box in the auditorium, though it is said this ghost is usually seen from the corner of your eye as a shadow – defined by the shade’s distinctive top hat.
During the theatre’s refurbishment in 2016/17, a member of the construction team heard groaning from inside Pepi’s box. Worried that someone was injured, or perhaps ill, he rushed to the scene. Upon opening the door, he didn’t find a person at all, but rather a disembodied pair of legs…
One of the most terrifying places in Darlington Hippodrome is Dressing Room 12. While the name may sound unassuming, this room has been used to conduct seances with mediums and even Ouija boards and this has left a spiritual scar in the form of many hauntings. Perhaps the most unnerving of these is the crying little girl – a phenomenon experienced by countless people who’ve ventured near the dressing room at night. Alongside the unexplained sounds, the stench of urine occasionally emanates throughout the room and people have even collapsed in there.
In the past, an actress was sat in Dressing Room 12 preparing for the upcoming show when she heard the faint sound of crying outside. Straining her ears, she thought it was coming from outside in the hall, but when she checked there was nobody there. The sound continued, but thinking it was just the old building making unusual noises – or perhaps the cry carrying through from the street – she returned to preparing for the show. A chill ran up her spine as she reached for her make up bag and the ever-present sound of crying seemed to pick up in volume. As she began to apply her make up with the help of a mirror, something caught her eye – a girl in the reflection. Spinning around to see, she was met with an empty dressing room and the sound of crying fading off into the distance.
The final spirit to be shared before the Ghost Cam event is, thankfully, much less scary than the hauntings of Dressing Room 12 – in fact, some would say it is quite sweet. We are of course referring to the ghost of Signor Rino Pepi’s dog, thought to be a pug. This playful haunting hound has been known to have a fondness for children, and sometimes you’ll hear barking when alone in the theatre. The bones of a dog were found buried in the quicklime in the walls of the theatre, and while the skeleton was removed in the 1960s/70s, it doesn’t seem like the ghost has left as the current programming Director felt the dog when she was alone in the auditorium.
These are only a tiny selection of ghost stories of Darlington Hippodrome, and perhaps by the time Ghost Cam has finished, we will have a few more to add. Even if not, we will be sharing more ghost stories throughout the two hours.