Monday, 25 July 2011


THERE have been ghostly goings-on at Cheltenham's Everyman Theatre.

Builder Walter Charnock was busy working on the theatre's restoration project when he felt a shadowy presence behind him.

On spinning around, he was amazed to see a dark figure leaning against the banister, less than 20 yards away.

As he looked closer, he saw it was a portly man dressed in a 1940s suit and tie.

The spectre stared at him for a full 30 seconds – then vanished as quickly as he had come.

Walter says he is 100 per cent certain he saw a ghost.

And he is calling on anyone who might know the story behind the eerie apparition to come forward.

"I know what I saw," he said. "You couldn't miss it. The figure was shrouded in darkness at first, but the longer I looked at him the more clearly defined he became. He was a big fellow – about 6ft 2in – and had a beard.

"I didn't want to upset him because he looked as if he could sort me out if he wanted to, so I stopped staring after a while and carried on with my work.

"Then, when I turned back, he had disappeared."

Built in 1891, the theatre has had more than its share of spooks over the years.

Superstitions among actors and backstage hands have often given a nod to the ghouls and phantoms inhabiting the building's dark recesses.

Walter, who lives in Gloucester, added: "There is obviously a lot of history in those walls. I'm not sure whether an accident took place in the past and one of the theatre workers fell to his death, but I would be interested to know.

"He wasn't in any way threatening. He was just watching me go about my business.

"It didn't scare me at all as I have seen ghosts before. But this is one I will never forget. It was amazing."

The £3 million refurbishment is entering its final weeks ahead of a grand reopening in September.

And whoever it was that startled Walter, he is sure to approve of the revamp, which will reflect architect Frank Matcham's original design.

Roger Hendry, who has run ghost tours at the theatre, said the building was home to countless spirits. Speaking to the Echo earlier this year, he said: "Theatre ghosts are always friendly and it's a pleasure to have them around."

Source: Gloucestershire Echo

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