The following is a list of famous haunted theaters in New York. Be sure to leave me a comment and let me know which location you think is the creepiest! To view my full list of ghost stories and haunted locations in New York, Click Here. And if you liked this list, be sure to check out my new book, The Folklore & Haunted Locations Guide: New York, available on Amazon!!
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#1 - Clayton Opera House
Coordinates: 44.242700°, -76.086835°
Location Address: 403 Riverside Drive, Clayton, New York
The Clayton Opera House in Clayton, New York was constructed during the early 1900's, and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1997. Employees at the historic opera house report witnessing apparitions and shadow figures, as well as hearing disembodied voices and footsteps. Although ghostly apparitions are encountered by many visitors, the reason for their presence is unknown.
#2 - Lancaster Opera House
Coordinates: 42.901129°, -78.669983°
Location Address: 21 Central Avenue, Lancaster, New York
Constructed in 1894 as a conjoined town hall and music hall, the Lancaster Opera House in Lancaster, New York is said to be haunted by the spirit of a man named William, who committed suicide, as well as the spirit of an unknown woman whose ghost is seen watching performances from a seat on the upper balcony. Both apparitions are described by guests as wearing 1920's-style clothing, and are often blamed for a variety of strange paranormal activity, such as cold spots, lights flickering, and objects moving by themselves. One group of employees even reported witnessing a television being thrown across the stage by an unseen entity, and those who work late at night report feeling a strange presence, as if being watched by someone or something.
#3 - Landmark Theater
Coordinates: 43.047381°, -76.152440°
Location Address: 362 S. Salina Street, Syracuse, New York
Opened in February of 1928 as Loew's State Theater, the Landmark Theater in Syracuse, New York is said to be haunted by the spirit of a woman named Clarissa, who was killed after falling from one of the theater's balconies. Her apparition is seen by employees and guests wearing a long white dress, and is often accompanied by the unexplained scent of lilac perfume. The Landmark Theater was added to the National Register of Historic Places in May of 1977.
#4 - Lucille Ball Little Theater
Coordinates: 42.095553°, -79.240109°
Location Address: 18 E. 2nd Street, Jamestown, New York
The Lucille Ball Little Theater in Jamestown, New York was founded in 1936. Guests report witnessing orbs and the apparitions of several unidentified men and women, as well as experiencing other paranormal activity, such as disembodied voices and unexplained cold spots. Unfortunately, very little additional information is currently available regarding this haunting.
#5 - New Amsterdam Theater
Coordinates: 40.756186°, -73.987888°
Location Address: 214 W. 42nd Street, New York City, New York
Constructed in 1903, the New Amsterdam Theater in New York City is said to be haunted by the spirit of a former chorus singer named Olive Thomas, who committed suicide on September 10, 1920 by drinking mercury. Her apparition is often seen by employees and audience members late at night and during performances, and many report experiencing strange paranormal activity, such as cold spots, and feeling the presence of an unseen entity. Others report experiencing unexplained feelings of sadness that subside upon leaving the location.
#6 - Rochester Broadway Theatre League's Auditorium Theater
Coordinates: 43.160741°, -77.588659°
Location Address: 885 E. Main Street, Rochester, New York
Constructed in 1928 as a Masonic Temple, the Rochester Broadway Theatre League's (RBTL) Auditorium Theater in Rochester, New York is said to be haunted by the spirit of an elderly man whose apparition is often seen by actors and actresses backstage, as well as the spirit of another man seen wearing a red coat. The Auditorium Theater is said to be one of the most haunted locations in Rochester, with actors who report hearing the sounds of disembodied voices and footsteps during rehearsals, witnessing objects being moved by an unseen entity, and experiencing feelings of being watched.
#7 - Rochester Main Street Armory
Coordinates: 43.161928°, -77.588043°
Location Address: 900 E. Main Street, Rochester, New York
The Rochester Main Street Armory in Rochester, New York was constructed in 1905 by the United States Army to train and process new soldiers. The facility remained open until 1990, and was later reopened as a venue hosting live music, sporting events, and other live performances. Guests attending concerts and other live events often report witnessing unidentified apparitions and shadow figures, as well as experiencing other paranormal phenomena, such as cold spots and objects moving by themselves. During it's years as a military facility, many fatal training accidents are said to have occurred at the Main Street Armory, which many claim is why the location is haunted.
#8 - Rome Capitol Theater
Coordinates: 43.212232°, -75.460127°
Location Address: 220 W. Dominick Street, Rome, New York
Employees at Rome Capitol Theater in Rome, New York report witnessing apparitions, as well as experiencing a variety of paranormal phenomena, such as doors opening and closing by themselves, disembodied voices, and the unexplained sounds of an organ being played late at night. Employees also report hearing the disembodied sounds of a performance being held when the building is otherwise empty. The Rome Capitol Theater originally opened in December of 1928 as a movie house.
#9 - Roycroft Pavilion
Coordinates: 42.764396°, -78.616950°
Location Address: 480 Prospect Avenue, East Aurora, New York
Built in 1903, the Roycroft Pavilion in East Aurora, New York is said to be haunted by the spirit of a middle-aged woman with dark hair, whose apparition is often seen during performances. Actors rehearsing at the pavilion late at night also report feeling an unexplained presence, as if being watched by an unseen entity. Although many guests and employees over the years have reported encountering the woman's ghost, the reason for her presence is unknown.
#10 - Shea's Buffalo Theater
Coordinates: 42.891890°, -78.872676°
Location Address: 650 Main Street, Buffalo, New York
Previously known as Shea's Performing Arts Center, Shea's Buffalo Theater in Buffalo, New York was opened in 1926. It is said to be haunted by the spirit of its original owner, Michael Shea, who passed away in 1934, and whose apparition is most often seen by guests and employees during performances. Workers performing renovations at the theater have reported being approached by a man matching Mr. Shea's description, who allegedly compliments their handiwork before vanishing into thin air. Guests also report experiencing a variety of other paranormal phenomena, such as unexplained cold spots, disembodied voices, lights flickering, and doors slamming. The theater also offers evening ghost hunting events and tours during the Halloween season.
#11 - The Stanley Theater
Coordinates: 43.099083°, -75.235472°
Location Address: 259 Genesee Street, Utica, New York
Visitors at the Stanley Theater in Utica, New York report witnessing apparitions and shadow figures, as well as smelling the unexplained scent of cigarette smoke. It's also said that during performances, employees leave one seat empty for the spirits who allegedly still attend performances. The Stanley Theater first opened in September of 1928, and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in August, 1976.
#12 - Town Ballroom
Coordinates: 42.892387°, -78.871615°
Location Address: 681 Main Street, Buffalo, New York
The Town Ballroom in Buffalo, New York was constructed during the 1940's as The Town Casino, where guests report witnessing apparitions and shadow figures, especially in the basement area which was allegedly used as a speakeasy during the American alcohol prohibition. One group of workers was allegedly working in the basement when they reported the lights repeatedly being turned off by an unseen entity, and other employees often report feeling as if being watched or followed when entering the basement. Former owners of the Town Ballroom also report capturing videos of strange flashing lights on security cameras late at night, as well as motion detectors going off without reason.
For additional information, or to see my complete list of folklore tales and haunted locations in New York, Click Here. And if you liked this list, be sure to check out my new book, The Folklore & Haunted Locations Guide: New York, available on Amazon!!
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Brian Weaver is the founder and creator of GhostQuest.net, one of the internet’s largest databases for haunted locations, urban legends, and folklore tales throughout the United States. He grew up in rural New England, where he attended college for Computer Science.