Old theaters have a way of consuming so much energy from the actors that once adored their 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.
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 cultural life for this noble city. Dimosthenes “Dick” Vlastos had acquired the plot of land for the theater by tearing down the easternmost third of the old Fowler Hotel (no longer in existence). 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 heyday, for it was designed to be a movie palace, serving as one of only six theaters in the entire country chosen to premier Gone with the Wind! Mr. Vlastos was certainly proud of this moment.
But 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 through various owners, and, like many businesses, interest faded in the theater 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. In doing so, however, they appear to brought back the spirits of past theater enthusiasts.
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.
In fact, 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 among volunteers, visitors, and board members with such intensity that something had to be done!
In 2016, 765 Paranormal was 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 was invited to participate in their paranormal investigations of the Fowler Theatre!
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 investigation sessions, in order 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!
The Hauntings of the Fowler Theatre
Listed as one of the 10 top haunted theaters in the Midwest's Heartland, the Fowler exhibits some very impressionable paranormal activity. Volunteers who have dedicated endless hours to 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 reported seeing the apparition of a gray-haired man wearing a tan raincoat and fedora – suspected by many to be the theater's original owner, Dick Vlastos, and confirmed when newly captured images were compared to historic photographs.
Mr. Vlastos prefers to dash through the theater, disappearing quickly within the shadows. The sightings occur so frequently, it's easy to believe his continuous attempts are meant to protect his pride and joy, not permitting the theater to be being forgotten.
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 shared with us the top four spectral active areas found at the haunted Fowler Theatre!
A very active area, theater patrons can feel the attempts for the phantoms to welcome them 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 doesn't stop there – faucets will turn on by themselves.
Be prepared for a spectral performance here! Shadow figures have appeared in this spot, most notably in the third row from stage left on the east side of the building. Could this because it's near 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 and on by themselves.
Lights flicker on and off at the Fowler Theatre - Credit: My Haunted Fowler Youtube
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 theater typically has a very active projection booth – no exception here! You may hear disembodied voices and see 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.
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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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.
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