For most people, the bright lights, compelling stories, and beautiful theater are enough to make the Guyer Opera House a destination but the stories we heard behind the glamor made it our next paranormal investigation event location. The tragic accidents, ghostly apparitions, and unexplainable theater guests have built up in this historic theater and today it’s said the spirits make their presence known. Do you have what it takes to pull back the curtain and investigate one of the most haunted theaters in the Midwest?
The Guyer Opera House has one audience member who doesn’t realize the show is over. Performers and those who work in the Guyer Opera House all tell a similar story of a man in a tall stove top hat sitting in the audience when the house is closed to the public. Many people have caught sight of this man, but no one knows who he is or where he came from. Some say it’s the spirit of O.K. Guyer looking after the opera house, while others claim the spirit is there for more sinister reasons.
When O.K. Guyer proposed building an opera house in Lewisville, he was met with some push back from the community. It was a huge undertaking for the small town, but Guyer was determined to see it through. He poured his heart and life into building the opera house, but unfortunately never got to see it operate. A few months before the Guyer Opera House was set to open, Guyer himself passed at the age of 49. His ceremony was held in the opera house, and many people report still seeing him watch over the opera house to this day.
Theaters and opera houses of the time used gas lights to illuminate the stage for the audience. Unfortunately, these gas lamps were extremely dangerous and prone to explosions. One night, William Hickman was operating the plant after hours when an acetylene lighting plant exploded. The blast shook the building blowing out almost all of the windows in the theater and the windows of the building next door. Hackman was thrown through the door from the blast. When the building settled it was deemed that the Guyer Opera House was not safe for operation, and was closed. No one knows exactly why or how the lighting plant exploded. Are there mischievous spirits keeping a watchful eye on the shows at the Guyer?
The community grew to love the Guyer theater and many community events took place within its walls. During a Boy Scouts rifle demonstration in 1923, the gun accidentally went off in a room full of people. The bullet flew across the room and hit Newell Calpha, at the time just six years old, in the head and killed him almost instantly. Actors and actresses working in the theater report seeing the image of a small child wandering through the opera house. Could it be the spirit of little Newell?
Guyer knew that there were opportunities to make more money off of the Guyer Opera House through storefront retail space next door to the opera house. One of the businesses to take residence next to the Guyer was a funeral home. Although many businesses came and went from the space, stories tell of many active spirits said to be those of the people who lost their lives while the funeral home was there.
Growing concerns over the safety of the opera house caused the Guyer to close in 1949. It sat empty for 20 years before it was rediscovered by the city. Some locals think the time the opera house was closed made it the best place for spirits to rest. No more bright lights or crowds of spectators. The opera house was left uninhabited for years, with the only activity coming from the spirits who still resided there. As time went on, the house was mostly forgotten, destined to be another unused building from a period long ago forgotten.
Today the bright lights are back and the theater sees community shows throughout the year. The staff and performers often talk about seeing a man in a stove pipe hat wandering around in the audience only to disappear before the show concludes. Others report hearing growling sounds, disembodied voices, and the owners of the opera house get a strange feeling in one of the rooms.
We dare you to come experience the haunted Guyer Opera House…if you’re brave enough. Join us for a paranormal investigation in one of the last gas light theaters in the Midwest. Get to know the spirits who can’t seem to move on from the historic theater.