15 West Main Street, Mcconnelsville, OH

(740) 962-3030

Status: Famous Haunted Venue for Movies and Live Performances; Paranormal Investigations Available



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Photo Courtesy of BreezeBabyBrie


Opened in 1892 this building dates back to the mid-19th century when the town and surrounding countryside was more populated and busy than it is now.

In the 1880’s it was decided that a Town Hall and Opera House needed to be built. In 1889 the section of town called the “burned district” – after an out of control kitchen fire burned half a block – was chosen for the building site.

The first floor would become the auditorium, the second floor the town’s offices and the third floor a ballroom. There was supposed to be a clock in the tower but the project was already over budget so the State Government refused to release any more funds.

The formal opening took place on Saturday, May 28, 1893 with a playing of “The Mikado”. Although the building was one of the first to have electricity in the area the local generating station failed making the grand opening not so grand at all. Electricity proved so unreliable that gas lamps had to be installed soon after the opening.

There are still scars of a fire in the early 1900’s when the ash pit under the stage – used for heating the theater – ignited and burned a hole in the stage before the fire department arrived.

In 1913 the theater was converted to allow the showing of silent films for as little as 5 cents a show. In 1930 the first sound pictures were shown although back then the soundtrack was separate from the video playing on a set of records.

In 1936 the Opera House was closed for the first, and only time, in it’s long history while the auditorium was updated and the building converted to add a sound system and projection booth so real “talkie” films could be shown.

First run movies are still shown at the theater – Top Gun: Maverick as this article is being written – and live performances are still given as well.


Paranormal Activity

The Opera House has been on numerous paranormal tv shows and is considered one of the most haunted locations in Ohio.

In the basement – and in the now sealed of tunnels beneath it – shadow figures resembling masses of black mist are seen and photographed. These entities are known to growl and cause the room temperature to suddenly plunge.

Also in the basement is the ghost of Gloria who is said to be very possessive of her favorite chair.

A ghost named Charlie has also been identified in the basement; many believe him to be a dark entity.

The ghost of Marshal Horace Porter is seen as a shadow figure who comes in the through the alley door. On September 7, 1905 he was shot 4 times in the back by a man referred to as “the town mental”.

Red Wine Robert is known for interacting with the living and for often answering questions. He’s also known for being recorded saying “I’ve got red wine”. Robert has also lowered the surrounding temperature at the request of investigators.

The ghost of 10 year old Elizabeth – who died of a fever in the theater - and her friend Sara are known for their phantom giggles and peeking at people from under the catwalk. Her mother, Victoria, is known for eternally performing and singing on the stage.

Everett Miller – an usher for 30 years – eternally watches over the theater and is frequently seen.

Another ghost, John Leezer, who roams the building was stabbed to death in the ballroom in the early 20th century.