Dead Club House

Dead Club House
Haunted House in Cambridge

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Haunted Cable

From Dredging the Choptank:
I was working tech theatre at Essex Community College in Baltimore and standing at the fly rail backstage during a performance of Camelot. A thick, black, lighting cable had slipped and hung in a long heavy loop, blocking the offstage exit of one of the castle units. The tech crew waited in the wings to roll the castle units offstage in a complicated scene change, and Beck, our beloved production manager, stood beside me.
“Go tell Eric that we’re going to have dress that cable before we can clear the castle,” he said. Then he slowly put his hand on my arm. ”No, wait, you don’t have to.”
Rumor in the tech staff was that Beck was a warlock; maybe because he sported a long ponytail and could rip through lumber like butter. I don’t know about his religious leanings, but he saw the darkness coming before I did, a moving darkness darker than offstage, gathering around the cable, not really lifting it, but pushing it up, up over the edge of the castle. All the crew techs saw it, and shook their heads, as if their eyes would work better after the shaking.

“There could be a logical explanation,” said Joe.
“Maybe, but what?” I asked. “No one was up in the fly area. We all saw the darkness lift the cable up. What could that be?”
“Precisely,” he said finally. “I said could.”
“Maybe we want to believe the illogical because we want to believe the illogical,” I rambled. “But all of us together, having a group halluncination?”
“Isn’t there a hospital right next to Essex?” Joe asked.

Essex Community College is adjacent to Franklin Square Hospital, and some of its theatre department folklore recounts the recently hospitalized dead visiting the stage. A good percentage of the theatrical family believes in ghosts. We’re open to that sort of thing. In one theory, that belief is the reason that ghosts reveal themselves to us.

Gustave Dore's illustration of Lord Alfred Tennyson's Idylls of the King, 1868

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