There are so many attractions in Concordia, Kansas like the Broadway Plaza, Best Friends Dog Park, the Cloud County Historical Museum, and many more. One of which is the Brown Grand Theatre. It is a community-based historical theatre that was built in order to enhance the cultural life in North Central Kansas.
A photo of downtown Concordia, Kansas. (Link: https://www.csjkansas.org/friday-feb-3-2012/)
Now, it hosts a lot of events and people also go here because it is reportedly haunted.
The facade of Brown Grand Theatre. (Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brown_Grand_Theatre)
The History Of Brown Grand Theatre
In November 1905, Concordia resident Colonel Napoleon Bonaparte Brown announced to the residents that they plan to build an opera house in the area. They then got Kansas City theatre architect Carl Boller to design it with the help of Brown’s son, Earl Van Dom Brown. Earl actually toured many opera houses in Kansas and Missouri so he used that experience to help with the design. The theatre was completed in 1907.
Colonel Napoleon Bonaparte Brown in an undated photo. (Link: https://www.yelp.com/biz/brown-grand-theatre-concordia)
The Brown Grand Theatre was once described as the most elegant theater between Kansas City and Denver because of its overall architecture and construction. It was sixty feet high and its length was one hundred and twenty feet. The style of the opera house was Renaissance and it definitely was a sight to behold in such a small town.
The formal opening of the theatre took place last September 17, 1907 with the production of a play called The Vanderbilt Cup. It was a comedy and it was about the auto racing trophy of the aforementioned name.
An old photo showing the inside of Brown Grand Theatre. (Link: http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/375/photos/143694)
The theatre became more and more successful for the next four years but Brown died and months later, Earl passed away, too. The theatre’s management fell into different hands. Finally, it was sold to the Concordia Amusement Company in 1925. From that year up to 1974, the Brown Grand Theatre was used to show both silent and talking pictures. Also, the theatre was remodeled a number of times to make the theater more in keeping with the developments.
By 1980, more restorations were completed in order to return the Brown Grand Theatre to its original state. Now, it serves as a tourist attraction and a community center for Concordia and North Central Kansas where many art performances take place.
The Ghost Of Earl Van Dom Brown
According to staff at the theatre and some visitors, they have experienced paranormal activities at the Brown Grand Theatre. Many believe that the resident ghost in this theatre is that of Earl. He reportedly haunts the theatre most actively during opening season.
One theater employee claimed to have seen the figure of Earl a number of times but there has been no detailed account of what took place whenever the employee saw the ghost of Earl. Some said that they saw the figure wearing period clothing along the balcony of the theatre that is why they believe the ghost is that of Earl since he died at quite a young age and he was very hands on with the theatre.
Other Paranormal Activities At The Brown Grand Theatre
During the restoration process in the 70s, nails were found pounded into the walls of the building. No one ever caught doing it so they believe the resident ghost is responsible for it.
Also, disembodied voices could be heard all over the theater although no one can really make out what they are saying.
Recently, an employee of a grocery store just across the Brown Grand Theatre spent the evening in the parking lot because of a sale. The employee had his dog with him and the dog suddenly barked non-stop. The employee looked at the area where the dog was barking at and he saw a couple wearing period clothing and were walking into the Brown Grand Theatre. The man looked like he was wearing a soldier’s uniform. It was very strange because according to the employee, the door they used to enter the building was always locked. He waited until the couple went out of the theatre but they never did.
A photo of the Brown Grand Theatre at night. (Link: https://twitter.com/browngrand1907)
A paranormal investigator named Sherrie Curry, who is with the Wichita Paranormal Research Society, once visited the Brown Grand Theatre and she claimed that there is significant paranormal activity. She shared that while she was walking along the backstage with another investigator, they saw a shadowy figure moved from the stage into another room. They also saw a figure in the balcony.
Another paranormal investigation team visited the Brown Grand Theatre and recorded EVPs. One of the most notable EVPs they heard when they replayed it was the words “It’s me.” They were reportedly discussing light sources in the theater when those words were captured.
One visitor from a group of around 20 people also shared his experience. He said that he used an app on his phone to determine whether or not there was any presence in the Brown Grand Theater. The visitor shared that when they were on stage, the app went crazy. The visitor was told that they believe the stage really has a lot of paranormal activities because of the performers who may continue to perform despite being dead already.
A photo showing the stage of Brown Grand Theatre. (Link: https://www.pinterest.ph/pin/77194581083488551/?nic_v1=1aWg2hvz8MAatyTK50%2BVCFyve07aKOd6%2B0SbPJ%2BsqUIlFSAujMMzRpZYTvJ71yGffl)