Greensboro is one of the cities in North Carolina and people visit it for the activities that could get done there. One of the tourist spots there is the Greensboro Science Center, which has red pandas, sharks, and a hands-on museum. Another spot is the Guilford Courthouse National Military Park, which has displays about the American Revolution, as well as the Bog Garden, which has flowers and birds.
An aerial shot of Greensboro, North Carolina. (Link: https://matadornetwork.com/read/greensboro-north-carolinas/)
More areas in the city can be visited but one spot that attracts attention is the Carolina Theatre of Greensboro. It is reportedly haunted by a ghost named Fred.
The Carolina Theatre of Greensboro as seen from the outside. (Link: https://www.eventective.com/greensboro-nc/the-carolina-theatre-76709.html)
The History of Carolina Theatre of Greensboro
The Carolina Theatre of Greensboro is the only historic theatre left still standing in the city. It formally opened on Halloween night of the year 1927. It was then coined as “The Showplace of the Carolinas.” It was made to accommodate 2,200 people and it was built for $500,000 during that time. It was one of the first ever commercial buildings in the city to have air conditioning.
An old photo of the Carolina Theatre of Greensboro. (Link: https://greensboro.com/opinion/columns/susan-ladd-carolina-theatre-needs-our-support-once-again/article_5bf992c9-05d6-599c-ad23-a8ed4fb56bf6.html)
Some of the first performances included live presentations, the Carolina Theatre Orchestra, audience sing-alongs, silent films, and many more. In the year 1928, the first ever movie with sound was shown. It was called “Glorious Betsy.” And it attracted crowds so huge the shows were always sold-out.
People lining up outside the Carolina Theatre of Greensboro for Elvis Presley’s show. (Link: https://carolinatheatreclt.org/theatre/history/stories/)
During the first years that the Carolina Theatre of Greensboro was in operation, there was segregation between the whites and the blacks. Black moviegoers and theatre spectators were allowed only to sit in the balcony and had to enter through a separate stairway. The segregation lasted until the year 1963.
In the 1970s, the Carolina Theatre of Greensboro was set for demolition by its then-owner Jefferson Pilot Corporation. However, the United Arts Council of Greensboro raised $550,000 to purchase the building and save it from demolition. The council later revamped the Carolina Theater of Greensboro and reopened it as a community arts performing center in the year 1978. However, it was not long after a mentally ill woman burned down the theatre. Because of the burning, more improvements had to be done. It included the closing of the balcony and installing new lighting and sound systems. Because the balcony is already closed, the theatre can only seat 1,075.
Today, the theatre is the home of Greensboro Ballet as well as the Community Theatre of Greensboro.
The Ghosts Of Carolina Theatre of Greensboro
According to visitors and staff at the Carolina Theatre of Greensboro, there are three ghosts that are residents of the building.
One of them was a construction worker who reportedly died during the time that the theatre was being constructed. It is unclear when this death occurred but it was said to be before the opening in 1927. Accordingly, this worker fell to his death.
The ghost is said to belong to a man named Fred. Many workers who worked in the Carolina Theatre of Greensboro during the many times it was reconstructed and improved under different managements, claimed to lose their tools whenever they were working. Performers, on the other hand, swore that strange things happened during their rehearsals or shows. Lights would reportedly move and sometimes even malfunction. Their props would also get scattered. Some of them yelled, “Knock it off, Fred!” and allegedly, that was what made the crazy paranormal activities stop. Staff and performers also bid goodnight to Fred whenever they left the theatre as it already became a tradition.
The stage inside the Carolina Theatre of Greensboro. (Link: https://greensboro.com/blogs/gotriad_extra/historic-carolina-theatre-announces-2-5-million-fundraising-campaign/article_b163734b-a1e9-5343-9507-dcf953289f43.html)
Aside from these paranormal activities, some have seen Fred show himself as a pale white apparition on the balcony area of the Carolina Theatre of Greensboro. A former caretaker shared that he was alone at the theatre one day when he saw a man standing on the stage. In a different day and time, the caretaker was once again alone in the building and he heard something in the balcony. He reportedly checked it out and upon looking up, he saw a man standing in front of the balcony and it was staring down at him.
A photo of the inside of the Carolina Theatre of Greensboro taken from the balcony. (Link: https://www.pinterest.ph/pin/434667801514379735/)
Another worker shared, “I was coming in one morning, it was bout 7:00 in the morning. I was coming in right through this door and walked across the lobby. I was still kind of waking up. There was a man in work clothes walking across the lobby, maybe 10-15 feet in front of me. I followed him all the way across the lobby. I thought it was my co-worker. He pushed the door open to the restroom. I walked in right behind him, opened the door, and right as I opened the door, my co-worker came from the auditorium. The lights were off in the bathroom and there was nobody in there. It was a full-body apparition that physically opened the door and vanished right in front of me. That was the weirdest thing that’s ever happened to me. A steelworker fell from one of the beams when they were constructing the building. I think it was probably him because it looked like he was wearing overalls or Dickies like he was a worker.”
The other ghost is said to be the ghost of the mentally ill woman who set the Carolina Theatre of Greensboro on fire. Some claim that the woman hid inside the theatre while everyone else got out after a show. The woman is believed to have committed suicide.
During a paranormal investigation, a group was trying to see if Fred was really there. However, they encountered another presence in the balcony. The strong presence is said to belong to the woman. Many have seen the woman in the mezzanine of the Carolina Theatre of Greensboro holding a clothes basket. Others have seen her walking back and forth then later disappearing.
A little boy is reportedly the third resident ghost of the Carolina Theatre of Greensboro. A number of ghost hunters decided to spend the night at the theatre. They reported in the morning that they talked with a little boy. The boy claimed that they had their home built on the land where the theatre was subsequently built. The boy’s cause of death remains unclear but it was reportedly a tragic one.
A worker shared, “I’ve never seen the little boy, but there are definitely little childish things that go on around here. I’ve had stacks of chairs that I’ve been moving. I’ll move one and come back and one chair will be taken off the stack and sitting next to it. One day I was on stage and I just got a weird feeling so I was talking, ‘Hey, is this you?’ and a bolt came flying across the stage and rolled up and hit me in the foot. And I was the only one here.”
The Carolina Theatre of Greensboro as seen from the outside at night. (Link: https://www.billblackauto.com/blog/greensboro-arts-and-theater-more-than-513770)
Did you ever visit the Carolina Theatre of Greensboro? Did you have paranormal experiences there? Let us know in the comments below!