While doing our weekly in-depth research on concert business-related stories, Pollstar ran across the industry’s deepest, darkest secret: A lot of clubs, theatres – and even amphitheatres – are haunted.

According to, which compiles a list of thousands of haunted sites across the U.S., some of America’s best-known concert venues have ghosts. Pollstar gives great credibility to this, considering the Web site also lists a Hooters restaurant in California and an AutoZone in Connecticut as haunted.

Readers may want to know that the House of Blues in Anaheim has an area behind the mosh pit that is a “hot spot” where an unseen force brushes up against patrons. According to Shadownet, “It happens so casually that you don’t even realize it the first time.”


Of all of the venues mentioned on the Web site, the Orpheum Theatre in Memphis is the most publicized.

The theatre has had books written about its other-worldly resident, a ghost named Mary, who is a 12-year-old girl with long, black, braided hair who wears a white dress and runs around the theatre in black-stockinged feet.

The Orpheum, which hosted John Prine, Lyle Lovett, Carole King and others last year, has been around in one form or another since the turn of the last century. Mary is believed to have been hit by a trolley car in 1921, and either walked or was carried inside the theatre, where she died. Before she passed away, she was amused by the spectacle and live music, and Mary decided to stay to watch performances in her favorite chair, seat C-5, on the balcony nearest the loge on house right.

Former managers of the theatre reportedly kept Mary’s presence on the down-low, fearing it would be bad for business. Not so anymore. In fact, last year a documentary on Mary aired on the Discovery Channel, and the daughter of patron services director Teresa Ward played the ghost.

The venue’s Alice Donohoe told Pollstar, “People who see her the most outside of cleaning crews and construction workers are actors, and they typically see her in her seat. What they usually say is, ‘I thought that seat was off manifest,’ which means they know we don’t sell that seat, which we typically don’t due to (bad) sight lines.”

One of the most famous actors to note the problem with C-5 was allegedly Yul Brynner while performing in “The King And I.” The cast members of a 1977 production of “Fiddler On The Roof” were supposedly so disturbed by the presence that they held a seance in the balcony on opening night.

“People have seen her theoretically swinging from the chandeliers, and dancing in the lobby when the song ‘Never, Neverland’ is played on our organ,” Donohoe said.

Mary is known as a practical joker, and has hidden tools from construction workers during the theatre’s several reconstructions. Some workers grew annoyed to the point of quitting, Donohoe said.

“The most famous time she’s been known to hide something is when Brad Little was here for Phantom Of The Opera and his makeup would disappear on a regular basis. I think at the very end they found it in another area of the theatre that actors didn’t have access to.”

One of the more surprising speculative haunts is Atlanta’s HiFi Buys Amphitheatre, formerly known as Lakewood Amphitheatre. Two Internet sites claim a rock star ghost walks through the audience. A venue representative had no comment.

Macky Auditorium on the campus of University of Colorado at Boulder, which hosted Lyle Lovett and Henry Rollins last year, supposedly has a ghost that roams the hallways, and an organ can be heard playing in the building late at night when no one is inside.

Red Rocks Amphitheatre isn’t even safe, now that Shadownet has revealed an apparition of an old man can be seen on the “‘restricted’ side of the railings.”

“He looks to be an old miner,” the Web site claims. “He was about 5’5″, white, beard, dirty brownish hat with a bottle in his hand. He appears for just a few seconds then disappears.”

The Capitol Records building in Nashville had some disturbances for a spell, according to the Web site. It was allegedly built on the site of a turn-of-the-century mansion, and the two daughters who lived there haunted Capitol shortly after construction by locking doors and playing with equipment.

Just so you know we’re only being fair, Pollstar may have its own apparition. Employees who work in the back of the building claim they are greeted each morning with a bone-chilling cold. Some say it’s because of Fresno’s famous fog, but that still doesn’t explain all those weird sounds and smells coming from Brad Rogers’ office.

– Joe Reinartz