Haunted Places: Orpheum Theatre

September 30, 2019

Hello Everyone,

The theatre we will visit this week goes back to the roaring twenties, or at least the end of the period, as we continue our journey through haunted places in Arizona. The Orpheum Theatre resides in the small very traffic friendly city of Phoenix, Arizona. Anybody who has been there will understand that.

Orpheum Theatre:

The Orpheum Theatre was built in 1929, or I should say completed. Like many large structures it takes some time to build them, in this case about two years. The original style of the theatre was for Vaudeville acts and it was built with the common Spanish architectural style that much of Southern and Central Arizona are famous for.

The theatre was renamed several times as new owners took possession of it over the years. After some years the building was falling apart and in need of repair. It was purchased in 1984 by the city of Phoenix and then restored and re-opened.

Many people seemed obliged to visit the historical theater that would not simply be flattened and turned into something else. Although maybe some people would if they knew about its possible haunted nature.


What would be more satisfying than watching an eerie or scary show/play and realizing that the real eerie story-line is playing out right next to you? Whether it’s Mattie, the 1940s-50s dressed woman, peering over the balcony or the ghostly spirits that join you for a show, you might have a fright.

Mattie has been the main attraction as far as ghostly visitors go at the Orpheum Theatre. Maybe it’s the architecture that resembles some type of mission or church that sets the place aside with its eerie appeal or maybe it’s just Mattie.

Apparently she walks around on the balcony during shows and looks at guests. This is eerie to me because you wouldn’t even know it was a ghost if the lights were right and the show was going. Maybe you would just think it was someone into their drink and wandering around. Maybe you would notice because your primal instincts would kick in and let your body know that something was amiss. Perhaps that chill going down your spine wasn’t just the air conditioning kicking on in the cool, dark theatre that would suddenly feel so lonely.

However creepy Mattie might sound at the Orpheum Theatre she has never caused any real harm or disturbances. Mainly ghostly tricks, if they are all her to begin with. Simple things like rolling unrolling paper towels and a feeling of a presence in the men’s room. If you decide to read more into it, you may find it funny that many of the haunted occurrences, whether Mattie or not, happen in the men’s room at the Orpheum Theatre.


Thanks for Reading,

Joshua Crane Dowidat







Leave a Reply