Status: Former Freemason Lodge; Theatre and Arts Building
By <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:HJKeats" class="extiw" title="en:User:HJKeats">User:HJKeats</a> - <span class="int-own-work" lang="">Own work by the original uploader</span>, Public Domain, Link
This Victorian brick building was built in 1894 with insurance gained from the first Masonic Temple in St John’s that – due to it’s wooden frame – burned in the Great Fire of 1892. Sir William Whiteway – who was both a Freemason and the Prime Minister of Newfoundland (Newfoundland was it’s own Country until it joined Canada in 1949) – laid the cornerstone on August 23, 1894.
The Freemasons held their first official meeting in the building on November 1, 1896 but did not consecrate the structure until April 23, 1897.
The last Masonic meeting was held in June of 2007. In 2018 the Freemasons opened the Grand Lodge of Newfoundland and Labrador in Mt Pearl; the former lodge in St John’s no longer has any ties to the Freemasons.
In 2008 the building was bought and turned into theatre for a local theatre company.
In 2020 it was put up for sale again after the Covid pandemic left the theatre strapped for cash. In 2022 it was purchased, and the theatre company became the tenants.
The building is currently undergoing restoration.
There are no ghost stories from the time the building was a Masonic Lodge. Of course, the Freemasons are a very secretive society, so that is to be expected. No Freemason would be spreading stories about ghosts in the lodge.
There is only one story of anything possibly paranormal happening and that took place in 1999 at a wedding.
Weddings were not something that happened very often at a Masonic Lodge but, in this case, the groom’s grandfather had been a long standing and well respected member. He passed away before his grandson got married.
When the presiding judge came out to start the ceremony, he lit a candle before getting to the bride and groom. Midway to them the candle suddenly went out for no apparent reason; the judge returned and lit the candle again and again it went out as he started toward the couple soon to be married.
After the ceremony it was noticed there were 2 photos of the groom’s grandfather at either ends of the room. The judge had been standing right between the 2 pictures each time the candle had mysteriously went out.
The theatre company inhabiting the building now is very open to the paranormal activity and the haunting.
Since the theatre company took over there have been reports of paranormal activity.
One delivery person bringing boxes of files upstairs met a man on the stairs who he asked where to put a box only to have the man ignore him. When he turned to ask the man again the “man” simply faded away into nothing right before the startled guy’s eyes.
He left the building immediately and refused to enter it again.
The disappearing man has actually been seen by many people since 2008 indicating he’s probably not a new haunting.
The disappearing man is usually reported in work boots and a rain coat.
The pipe organ in the building has been reported as playing on it’s own.
Disembodied voices and other unexplained noises are often heard in the building. This phenomena is most often reported by people in empty rooms.
The caretaker of the building has reported that doors will lock on their own and windows will close on their own.