Opera House was one of the larger venues BHPI has investigated. With
claims of activity taking place on each floor, we had to determine the
best placement of our equipment. We decided to concentrate our efforts
on those locations within the Opera House where witnesses reported the
majority of the activity.
The theater being one of those locations was covered with two static IR (Infrared) cameras along with several digital audio recorders. We also placed digital audio recorders in the dressing room area below the stage. We placed a standalone IR camera and digital audio recorders in the pool area. Any additional audio recorders were carried by the individual investigators who also carried digital cameras. A hand held digital video camera with IR was used as well. After placing our equipment, we conducted a safety briefing and began the investigation.
Three investigators headed to the stage area while three other investigators headed to the pool area in the basement. The investigators on the stage reported they were experiencing strange activity toward the back of the stage and the dressing room area. As they investigated, they were able to debunk some of the sounds as creaking floors. One investigator thought he might have heard the sound of something moving in the dressing room, but when investigated, nothing could be located. However, when we analyzed the audio from the dressing, we distinctly hear what sounds like a piece of furniture being moved.
Meanwhile, the investigators in the pool area were experiencing some strange activity that they could not debunk. One of the investigators was using a thermal camera and captured what could best be described as a cold spot moving away from an investigator then disappearing. We tried debunking this video by recreating the conditions with flashlights and IR cameras, but nothing we did could recreate the anomaly that was captured.
The investigators on the stage realized that some of the activity reported came while people were on stage entertaining. Lucky for us, Sarah Carlson, Executive Director of the Historic Homestake Opera House was with us and she volunteered to stand on stage and sing. As Sarah sang, investigators noted several strange sounds and shadow figures at the back of the stage.
During this time, investigators in the pool area captured on video and audio a significant paranormal event. One investigator decided to sit farther up in what was once the shallow end of the pool. As he sat there we all heard a rock hit the floor. The investigator sitting told us that the rock had in fact landed very close to where he sat. As we looked for possibilities, another rock hit the investigator on the hand. Another investigator sat down next to this investigator and picked up a larger rock and tossed it into the shallow end of the pool and asked for whoever was throwing rocks to throw it back. Within minutes, a much larger rock was thrown back in their direction. In a period of less than ten minutes, we had three rocks thrown at our investigators.
The investigators at first thought the stones might be falling from the ceiling, but the ceiling of the pool is made of metal. We searched, but could not find a reasonable explanation for this incident.
Once the investigation came to a close we took our evidence and began analyzing our audio and video. We were surprised that we did uncover some interesting EVPs and video evidence.
We revealed our findings to the board of directors of the Historic Homestake Opera House. We did find that some of the experiences their staff has had can be explained by old flooring, however, we did have to concede that some of the claims were unexplainable. Based on this and our audio and video evidence, we believe the Opera House does experience a certain amount of paranormal activity.