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Ghosts Perform Nightly At The Akron Civic Theatre

In the 1920s, the theatre business was booming. But with so many of them literally popping up overnight, it was quickly realized that for a theatre to stay in business and remain successful, it would need to have that certain elusive sometimes. That's why in late 1928 when theater mogul Marcus Loew found himself standing in downtown Akron, Ohio, contemplating the creation of a new theatre, only one name came to his mind; John Eberson.

Eberson, an architect by trade, had been thrust into the spotlight ever since several years ago in 1923 when he designed the Houston Majestic in Texas, the first theatre to be designed in a style that Eberson dubbed Atmospheric. Drawing heavily on Eberson's European heritage, Atmospheric theatres were designed to literally overwhelm the senses. Even fountains, grottoes, and the occasional stuffed bird were incorporated into the building's interior. The most amazing aspect of some Atmospheric theatres was that the ceilings would be designed to look like the evening sky, complete with twinkling stars and the occasional cloud rolling by.

For his design of the Akron Civic Theatre, then referred to as the Loews Theatre, Eberson turned to the architecture of Moorish castles for inspiration. When he was completed, Eberson's masterpiece included medieval carvings, numerous sculptures and antiques of every shape and size. Today, it remains one of only a handful of theatres in the world to still have a moving ceiling in operation.
During the years that it has been in operation, and even a few years before that, the Akron Civic Theatre has managed to acquire a few ghosts:Fred the Janitor

If asked politely, Theatre personnel will sometimes relate the tale of Fred the janitor, a long-time employee of the Theatre back in the days when it was still known as Loews Theatre. Fred supposedly died during one of his shifts at the Theatre, which may be the reason why his ghost still shows up from time to time to complete his final shift. Fred's ghost has been seen all over the Theatre and in one instance, standing just outside the main entranceway. Fred also apparently has no tolerance for people who disrespect his beloved theatre, especially the bathrooms. In fact, Fred's ghost is said to get so angry over people messing up his bathrooms that he will sometimes chase or attack you if he catches you doing anything other than answering the call of nature in the restrooms.


The Well-Dressed Man

A second ghostly legend floating around the Theatre is the story of the well-dressed man. Although to be honest, there's not much story to go with the ghost other than he has impeccable taste when it comes to his clothes. But he is usually seen sitting up in the balcony, which lead many to believe he is the ghost of a former patron. Others, though, think the ghost belongs to a former actor who just couldn't bear to leave the theatre for good.

Suicide Girl

The final ghost that haunts the Theatre had chosen to haunt the outside of the building rather than the inside. Specifically, this ghost is often seen wandering along beside the old canal that runs behind the Theatre. This female specter is thought to belong to that of a girl who lived nearby prior to the theatre's construction, during Akron's canal days. The girl apparently committed suicide by jumping into, and subsequently drowning in, the canal. Her ghost is sometimes heard to be crying and sobbing softly as she walks along the canal before disappearing into the drain tunnel that runs under the Theatre.

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