Haunted Happenings Inside El Paso’s Plaza Theatre
Built as a movie house in 1930 and almost demolished to make way for a parking lot in the late 80s, the historic Plaza Theatre is now home to concerts, Broadway shows, and other performing arts.
But many say that's not all it is home to.
The beautiful and majestic theatre has long been rumored to be haunted.
Patrons, performers, and theater staff swear it's also home to several spirits and a lot of unexplained activity. Resident apparitions include a shadow person that sits in the back row, the ghost of a little girl whose giggles can heard as she bounces a ball down the stairs in the mezzanine, and one simply referred to as the smoking man.
Phantoms of the Plaza
Orbs, lights turning off and on without any visible manipulation, footsteps and other sounds no one can trace the source to, and objects mysteriously moved from one place to another are among the baffling and inexplicable things said to happen at the Plaza Theatre.
One such incident happened to a former vice president for the El Paso Community Foundation, which produces the Plaza Classic Film Festival.
The story goes that there was a rag doll he would see every day, always in the same place. Then one day it wasn’t in its usual spot, so he went looking for it and found it in the projection booth two stories up at the very top of the theatre.
Could it have been moved by an employee, or a vagrant who made his way into the empty theatre? Perhaps. Or maybe it was the ghost of the dead little girl who had tired of the ball and chose to play with a doll as most little girls are wont to do.
Smoking Man: A Creepy Tale
The theatre balcony is the area Smoking Man is said to haunt. They call him that because his presence is always foreshadowed by the smell of cigarette smoke. Sometimes only a small orange light can be seen, like that of a lit cigarette. And sometimes, if you’re in the right place at the wrong time. you’ll encounter a wispy, some say smokey, apparition.
According to one former employee’s first-person account published on the website backpackerverse, the tuxedo-clad phantom showed himself to her. The tale she tells is of the presence watching from the front row of the balcony.
The man looked at me and said ‘we all have our time to die. Then he quickly stood up, and plunged head first over the balcony. Despite my shock, I knew I had to get help. I was steps away from descending the stage stairs when the man showed up again, sitting in the same seat as before on the balcony. ’We all have our time to die,’ he repeated, and jumped again.