Springfield Paranormal Research Group
The one most often seen is that of a janitor who died during a fire
in the theatre in the early twentieth century. On December 17,
1920, the Landers Theatre suffered a major fire, taking the life of the
janitor and effectively closing the theatre for some time. Only an
asbestos curtain and other fireproofing precautions kept the theater
from being a total loss. According to reports, the old janitor is often
seen up in the balcony by actors on the stage.
There is another story of a baby that was accidentally dropped from
the upper balcony on a night long ago. Today, when actors are
practicing on stage they often say that the baby repeats its fall over
and over again. Others have heard the baby crying, followed by
comforting words from its ghostly mother.
Another apparition, only seen from outside the theatre, is said to peek
from a fourth floor window at passersby along the street. Described
as tall with long blonde hair and wearing Elizabethan clothing, this
spirit has never been seen inside the theatre.
Strange occurrences at the theatre include unplugged spotlights that
seemingly turn on and off of their own accord, people who sense that
they are being followed, taps felt on people’s shoulders by unknown
entities, and apparitions glimpsed throughout the building.
Reader Update: The beautiful Lander Theater in Springfield, Missouri
has two more ghosts to report. Having personally seen or heard all but
the actor on the fourth floor, I'd like to see the other two added to your
piece about the theater. One is called the Green Orb -- it is about five
feet tall and very bright. I have seen it on the landing of the west stairs
between the first and second balcony. The second addition is the
scariest thing I've ever seen. It is called the Black Void. As with
the Green Orb, the Black Void can be seen anywhere in the building.
One night as I was going into work backstage, I passed though the
very tight alley on the west side to the backstage door. Suddenly, I felt
a little uneasy and stopped to look around, but didn't see anything.
However, when I looked up to the fire escapes, I saw the Black Void
between the first and second balcony exits. It looked like a big black
hole and the red brick of the building was just gone! The Void had
replaced it with a BIG jet black spot that looked as if you could walk
right though it. Needless to say I quickly ran inside!!
- R. Vestal, October, 2004.