This last Halloween, I dressed up as fourteen year old. I know, I know, not scary at all (Well, a little scary....Eeek! High school can be scary!!!). And actually, I dress up as a fourteen year old every day, so it was really no big deal. The reality was I had two shows the next day and I had no friends in Seattle and no Halloween parties to go to, so mostly I sat in my hotel room and ate a bunch of those mini candy bars and cried!!..."Wahhhhh!!! Last Halloween in NYC was soo fun....and scary!!" Boooooo....Now it's almost Thanksgiving and this year's scary season has passed on by.....
I decided in Toronto to make up for the lack of scariness and spookiness in my life, by going on a ghost tour
of the Elgin and Winter Garden theatres
with a few of my August
peeps on Friday the Thirteenth. I was sure that the tour would result in some scary sightings and leave my heart pounding!
So, that Friday morning, those bravest members of the cast and crew congregated outside the famous theatres. A kind and knowledgeable older gentlemen with glasses and his shorter, funnier, big nosed assistant lead us all over the seven floors of the two theatres sitting right on top of each other. It was pretty cool. The Elgin was big and beautiful and looked like it was getting ready for a production of Robin Hood! Cool!
And the Winter Garden theatre on top was very special. There's a moon on the ceiling and the whole theatre is decorated to look like you are sitting in a garden. Leaves and flowers and vines cover the ceilings and walls and little lanterns serve as lights. The leaves are real!! They've been coated with preserver and fireproofing. There have been renovations since the Winter Garden opened, but our tour guide assured us that many of the leaves had been there from the beginning. We saw everything the theatre had to offer. We saw some old dressing rooms and old show posters and displays about the types of acts that performed when the theatre first opened! Such a beautiful old building,.....but one thing was missing. Where were the ghosts?
Finally, toward the end of our hour tour, I got up the courage to ask, "Excuse me sir, but where are the ghosts? Aren't these theatres supposed to be haunted?"
"Oh yes...the ghosts...Well, I don't really believe in ghosts and I've never seen one here, but a lot of people who work here will you tell you they've seen and heard ghosts....O-Kay....Now who wants to go up to the mezzanine??"
What?!? That was the ghost portion of the tour? Not to complain, but why did we have to get the tour guide who doesn't even believe in ghosts....??
Finally the short big nosed assistant pulled a few of us aside. "I can take you on the old elevator. Sometimes the ghosts make their appearance known by stopping or starting the elevator without the help of whoever is operating the elevator." Sounded like some good fun to me, so me and my August buddies piled into the elevator and took a joy ride! Sure enough, the elevator stopped randomly between floors. "You see there! You see! There's no reason for the elevator to be stopping....It's a ghost!!"
A ghost? Really? There were no lights flashing or strange rattling and pounding noises, and as far as I could tell, nobody got chills up or their spine or were disturbed a bit by these so-called-elevator ghosts. My buddy Steve was really digging into a bag a Frito's during our elevator ride and barely looked up from his snack when we paused between floors. Sounds to me like the Mystery of the Pausing Elevator was more of a maintenance problem than a ghost problem. Borrr-Ring!!
Touring the Winter Garden and Elgin theatres was a great way to spend an afternoon in Toronto, but didn't do much to help me get my scary fix.
In Hartford, I had another chance to get spooked by signing up for a tour of and occult museum. That's a museum of objects that are possessed!! Creepy!! That was sure to do the trick!
But unfortunately, the owner of the museum had to cancel our tour because of a last minute exorcism she needed to help with in London. Bummer...Go figure...scheduling conflicts can be such a bee-yotch...
Maybe I'll find something good and scary in D.C.!!