What Lurks in the Shadows of the Dickson Auditorium


katie longnecker, reporter

Whether you believe in the paranormal or not, you have to admit that the lore surrounding certain places is fascinating. Here at Woodland Park High School, something may or may not be hiding in the cat walks of the Dickson Auditorium. Multiple people have come forward with their experiences and why they believe in the ghost in the auditorium. It is said that the identity of the ghost might be the previous theatre teacher from many years ago, but the ghost’s identity is still in the dark. Additionally, the ghost has never been malicious in any way, so don’t worry, the only thing you need to worry about is the creep factor!


Like I said before, there have been a handful of people who have come forward about the creepy things that have happened to them while they were in the auditorium. Although these might just be sounds of the building settling or just the wind, you have to admit that some of the stories are unsettling. Jake Patterson, a senior, recounts the time when he thought he was alone in the theatre. “So over the summer I was working with JWP (Junior Woodland Players) to give them lights and stuff like that. I was in the auditorium after everyone left so I could work on [lighting] cues and I was about to power off the board and go unplug lights in the cat walks and I heard someone stomp around in the catwalks, from the booth. It wasn’t quiet, it was someone up there stomping around and I’m the only one in the auditorium…” he said. But this isn’t the only chilling story, sophomore Esther Burcea shared her story about feeling on edge while in the auditorium. “One time I went into the auditorium with one of my friends to get the measurements of the stage and the lights were off and we decide to open the curtain first before we turned all the lights on, and there was this sudden drop in temperature and we thought we heard people walking around on the catwalks. Usually I’m not scared of the dark and we would have screwed around on the stage unsupervised, but instead we quickly closed the curtain and rushed out of there.” Yet another student, who will remain anonymous, came forward about their experience with the ghost, “I was in the [tech] booth alone once and all the lights in the auditorium turned off at once.” Call me crazy all you like, but even I have experienced some pretty strange things that have happened while I was in the auditorium alone. I was the first to go in there to turn the lights on and open the curtain, and a few moments after I turned the backstage lights on and was walking over the the main curtain to open it, I heard a strange knocking sound above me. Thinking it was just the wind on the roof, I looked up but noticed something odd; a cord from one of the lights was swinging back and forth as if it had just been unplugged. Of course I thought nothing of it at the time, but since I’ve learned about the supposed ghost, I have become more aware of the odd things that happen in there. This in no way justifies the truth of paranormal activity going on in our school, like I said it might just be the wind or the building settling, but it is enough to put someone on edge.


In a poll asking if the some of the student body believed in the auditorium ghost, 51% votes “yes” while only 49% voted “no”, which tells me that there is a possibility that either more people have had an encounter or they just want to believe in the phantom for the fun of it. Either way, there is no way to be 100% sure that there is in fact a ghost haunting the Dickson Auditorium, even if we do actual paranormal experiments, which I’d rather not encourage (Take, for instance, what happened in “Paranormal Activity” when people provoke spirits!). So, even if you don’t believe in the paranormal, I hope you at least enjoyed the spooky tales about our auditorium, and that it may have encouraged some good ol’ Halloween spirit!