Sunday, February 11, 2018

Investigation - Keith Albee Theater

Investigation Location:

The Keith Albee Theater 
Huntington, WV 

November 2007 


Historic Information:
Construction on 4th Avenue's Keith Albee Theater began in 1926 when A.B. Hyman consulted architect Thomas Lamb for plans to build a magnificent vaudeville theater for the people of Huntington. With the introduction of the the "talkie" "The Jazz Singer" in 1927, plans had to be tweaked, and the original budget of $250,000 was exhausted quickly. 
The rococo style theater named for the Keith Albee vaudeville chain opened May 7, 1928 with vocalist Rae Samuels, several vaudeville acts, and a screening of "Good Morning Judge" with Reginald Denny. Opening day admission was 50 cents a person, and all 3000 original seats were filled.
Still in private operation despite financial difficulties, the 1937 flood, and various changes in the entertainment industry, the Keith Albee has also picked up the reputation of being one of the most haunted locations in the tri-state area. There have been a few verifable deaths in the building. Down in the basement, two electricians were electrocuted, and a maintenance man died in the modern projection room. There are also rumors that a homeless man taking shelter in the basement froze to death one winter under the stage area.

In fact, the areas of the deaths ARE reported to be some of the "hot spots" in the theater. Movement and shadows are often seen in the projection room where the maintenance man has died, and the basement, and its legends of the tunnel system have long been the source of ghostlore. However, the most famous ghost in the theater is no doubt the Lady in Red. The Lady in Red is seen in the mezzanine level ladies' room. A mirrored parlour leading into the restroom is said to be her favorite locale, but she has also been seen wandering around the rest of the mezzanine. She is described as wearing a 1940's style red fancy dress and high heeled shoes. Another Keith Albee ghost tends to stay in the area of the basement level ladies' room. Visitors to this restroom often report the feelings of someone watching them, and following them down the stairs into the restroom. Unlike the Lady in Red, this resident ethereal is heard and felt, rather than seen.

Investigation Overview:
The Keith Albee Theater is a massive building located in downtown Huntington. The Theater was quite a challenge to investigate but we gave it our all. With a team of over a dozen HPIR members and guests we made every attempt to find the truth behind all of the Keith Albee's famous stories.
The haunting activity that has been reported for many years by many patrons of the Keith Albee mostly concentrate on the women's restroom areas. From its maze of catacombs underneath to quite literally the roof, we explored every inch of the building that was safe enough to enter. We concentrated most of our EVP and video efforts on locations that are reported as active. We paid special attention to the women's restrooms both basement and mezzanine locations, and focused much effort on finding an explanation for all the "creepy feelings" that surround them. Maybe it is just the feeling of walking into a restroom that reminds you of an old Victorian mansion that makes the hair stand up on the back of your neck.  

Investigation Results:
Unfortunately this investigation yielded absolutely nothing. We were very disappointed this much talked about haunted location did not turn up a single piece of evidence. Maybe we were there at the wrong time, or maybe its stories are just that. For now this palatial Theater continues to hold on tight to its secrets. 

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