Old Theatres have a way of consuming so much energy from the ones that once adored these stages, becoming incubators for spirit activity as people pass on into the afterlife. But some of these entertainment halls are just "off the chart" haunted.
The Fowler Theatre is undeniably one of the most haunted playhouses in the State of Indiana. It will be easy to understand its spectral magnitude when we peer into its incredible history.
By the way, if you wish to go on a Haunted Exploration of the Fowler,
check out an incredible event in August!
(Scroll to bottom of this page)
Historic Origins of the Spooky Fowler Theatre
Historic Photo of Fowler Theatre - Credit: The Ghost of Fowler Theatre” Storytelling Arts of Indiana
The Fowler Theatre was built in 1940 in the small town of Fowler Indiana, where today it continues to be the pillar of the cultural life for its noble city. The plot of land was acquired by tearing down the eastern most third of the old Fowler Hotel (no longer in existence) by Dimosthenes “Dick” Vlastos. Dick was the manager of the Dreamland Theater just one block east and brought with him great pride and love for this beautiful, new venue.
This gem ruled in its hay-day, for it was designed to be a movie palace, serving as one of only six theaters in the country chosen to premier Gone with the Wind! Mr Vlastos was certainly proud of this moment.
But certainly he was even more honored when his daughter took her weddings vows in his incredible public stage. Could all these enduring memories keep him lurking hoping to relive them again?
Wedding at the Fowler! Credit: Clip from Journal and Courier 6/4/1938; Newspaper.com
Over the years, the theater passed ownership and like many businesses interest faded along with the structure and luster of the original venue. In 2001, a group of concerned citizens stepped in and formed a non-profit group (Prairie Preservation Guild) dedicated to saving the theater and bringing it back to life and in doing so, appear to brought back the spirits of past theater enthusiasts.
Phantoms rose to speak at the Fowler
Renovations at the Fowler released the voices from the past Credit: Fowler Theatre.com
Almost immediately, volunteers and crews began reporting strange happenings. There were reports of strange noises, shadow figures and even a phantom cat roaming the halls and inspecting the great work underway. One volunteer theorized that Dick had returned to see what was happening with his theater.
In 2010, the theater re-opened as a completely renovated and a more technically modern theater serving patrons near and far. Although the renovations were complete, the activity did not cease.
Not only did the activity continue, but it intensified much beyond what had already been experienced during the initial nine years of restoration. Reports of shadow figures and disembodied voices continued. Escalating anecdotal stories were shared within volunteers, visitors and board members with such intensity that something had to be done!
In 2016, 765 Paranormal were called in to explore the realm of the paranormal at the theater. This started the theater down its path of spectral validation. Eventually, they opened these stories and experiences to the public. Hence, the community were invited to participate in their paranormal investigations of the Fowler Theatre!
Preservation through the Haunted
Fowler Theatre: Spirits Come To Life when the skies dim their lights Credit: Fowler Theatre.com
As interest and paranormal activity grew, 765 Paranormal continued with private investigations sessions, to further understand the entities that wanted to be heard. The team was able to obtain evidence as "caught on camera" from their various investigations. Now, they wish to reach outside of their communities, and share theses amazing experiences. They wish to tell the world the story of the Fowler Theatre!
With this sentiment, they are proud to host their very first paranormal convention at the Fowler.
The Hauntings of the Fowler Theatre
Listed as one of the ten top haunted theatres in the Midwest's Heartland, the paranormal activity here is very impressionable. Volunteers that have dedicate endless hours in its preservation, have reported doors opening on their own, feelings of always being watched and even a rocking chair that sways on its own! Several have seen the apparition of a gray-haired man wearing a tan raincoat and fedora. Many suspect this is the original owner, Dick Vlastos, confirmed when comparing these captured images to his legendary photographs left behind.
Mr. Vlastos prefers to dash through the theater, disappearing quickly within the shadows. The sightings occur so frequently, it is easy to believe his continuous attempts are meant to protect his pride and joy, not permitting the theatre to be being forgotten.
Fowler Theatre’s Secret Haunted Hotspots
What awaits you through these spectral doors providing entrance to the Fowler Theatre? Credit: Indiana Landmarks
Although the entire entertainment hall is a hotspot, those most intimately familiar have share with us the top four spectral active areas found at the haunted Fowler Theatre!
Front Entrance Area:
Being a very active area, one can feel the attempts for the phantoms to welcome the theatre patrons as they come in! Here you may catch the apparition of a little girl peeking over the candy counter!
A little girl has been spotted near the candy counter! Where else? Credit: Indiana Landmarks
The original owner, Dick Vlastos, had his office right here in the front lobby. Today, the restrooms occupy this space, creating an incredible area for paranormal activity. You may witness shadow figures going into the Men’s Room and along the wall outside of the Women’s quarters. You will also hear random knocks and voices in the men’s restroom. The amazing activity does not stop here, where faucets will turn on by themselves.
Be prepared for a spectral performances here! Shadow figures have appeared most notably in the third row from stage left on the east side of the building. Could this because it is near to the first two seats that were the reserved spaces for the original owner and his wife? These shadow figures are commonly seen wearing a trench coat and a fedora hat.
Expect your hair to be tugged here. You may also witness balls of light appearing in various parts of this space, alongside unexplained cold spots. Lights may also spontaneously turn off/on by themselves.
Lights flicker on and off at the Fowler Theatre - Credit: My Haunted Fowler Youtube
Behind the Stage:
Behind the stage, you may witness shadows moving around. You may also experience getting touched when there is no one around you. Others claim to feel "uncomfortable". Recently, stick figures have surfaced through a unique SLS Camera that is programmed to film the structures of entities not seen with the naked eye.
Every good haunted theatre typically has a very active projection booth. No exception here! You may hear disembodied voices here and shadows within an empty space as seen from the auditorium. Young males are often targeted here with unexplained physical touches and voices speaking to them. Feeling uncomfortable here is the norm, especially near the closet on the east end of the room.
Projection Booth lots of entertainment on its own! Watch Haunted Fowler’s YouTube Video below.
Experience this on your own!
Working with 765 Paranormal, the Prairie Preservation Guild launches its first Paranormal Convention and overnight investigation titled “Freak-Out at The Fowler.” Scheduled to be premiered on Saturday August 17th, the convention will include a vendor area in the west lot where visitors can meet with and learn more from various groups and individuals experienced with the paranormal.
During the day, there will be fee based group presentations in the theater and tours of haunted locations around town. The daytime activities will conclude with the 765 Paranormal documentary “The Fowler Theater” which will be free and open to the public. Later that evening, individuals that have purchased tickets for the overnight investigations ($50 general and $55 VIP), will meet outside the theatre for 6 hours of investigations of the theater, the location of a former opera house and the old county jail.
Watch this video of a voice captured in the Projection Booth!
Credit: Haunted Fowler’s YouTube Video
Credit and References:
Dwight Snethen with 765 Paranormal and the Prairie Preservation Guild (Fowler Theatre)
Top 10 most haunted theaters in the Midwest (Michael Kleen) Mysterious Heartland
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Please Note and be warned:
Places that are listed in our articles or in Haunted Journeys catalog require permission to visit or investigate. Many of the places are patrolled by the owners and/or authorities. You will stand the risk of you being prosecuted for trespassing if you proceed without permission.
Rules for Public locations must be respected as posted on their properties/grounds, whether they are occupied or abandoned. On recommendations on how to conduct yourselves with abandoned properties, please visit Haunted Places Around Me.