Thursday, April 15, 2010

Full-Bodied Apparition Makes Curtain Calls To Theater Staff - The Schonell Theatre at the University of Queensland has been a part of the 100-year-old institution since 1970, but some supernatural elements of the theatre may be even older.

The Centenary celebrations of the University of Queensland are being held at the St Lucia campus this weekend, and those who undertake a 'Behind the Curtain' tour of the Schonell may catch a glimpse of the Schonell's resident spirit, Sophea.

Debbie Haddleton, Schonell Theatre Cinema and Venue Promoter, heard numerous stories about the ghost when she started asking around about the history of the theatre.

"The story of a spirit in the Schonell came up over and over again," she says to 612 ABC Brisbane's Anne O'Keeffe.

"The cleaning supervisor, the manager, some builders, the maintenance man all told me stories about having encounters with this ghost."

There have been six sightings of the ghost, who wears an old-fashioned long dress and appears as a real 'flesh-and-blood' human.

Ross Martin, the Schonell's manager, has had an especially spooky experience with Sophea, Deb reports.

"Where we are right now, quite a few years ago," she says, standing in the Schonell's Theatre One,"the manager - who I would say definitely doesn't believe in spirits - was standing here with another gentleman after the show (they were just waiting for everyone to leave) and a woman walked past just over here and walked behind them and into that dressing room over there, so they waited for her to come back out again and she didn't.

"That dressing room doesn't have any other exits," Debbie finishes pointedly.

Cleaning staff have also felt the presence of a ghost.

"Verna the cleaner sees her as a very cheeky and good sort of presence," Debbie says.

"Verna will be cleaning up in Theatre Two downstairs, and she'll clean up a piece of paper and then five minutes later it will be back there again, and she'll clean it up again and it'll be back.

"She said [to the spirit], 'Just stop it!' and it did, it stopped."

The good news for fearful movie-goers is that they're unlikely to run into Sophea anytime soon.

"We want to assure our patrons that this only happens after everybody's gone home," Debbie laughs.

Schonell Theatre: Behind the Curtain Tour

See how 35mm films are screened, enter the production box to see where all the action happens, have your own moment on stage and explore the orchestra pit when Schonell manager/projectionist and technician Ross Martin (who has worked at the theatre for 20 years) takes you on a backstage tour. And.....keep an eye out to see if our resident ghost Sophear provides an encore.

Full-Bodied Apparition Makes Curtain Calls To Theater Staff


Chicago Phantom / Owlman / Mothman / Man-Bat - Chicago Metro Area - Witness Sightings Map


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