The Haunted Landers Theater

Hey, Readers. We’ve had a few weeks of mysteries, so I couldn’t let a month go by without posting at least one legend. This week, we’ll travel to the Show Me State of Missouri.

The Landers Theater is a four-story brick and terra cotta building in Springfield, Missouri. It was built in 1909 and has been in use since then. It once hosted such notable artists such as Lillian Russell, John Philip Sousa, and Lon Chaney. It later became a motion picture house and was one of the first to acquire talking films. The Landers has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1977 and underwent renovations to restore it to its 1900s elegance in 1980.

Rob Kinney, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

But it’s reported the theater also has another type of history. It seems it’s the home of several restless spirits. On December 17, 1920, a major fire took the life of a janitor. It’s said that actors on stage can see the janitor’s ghost sitting in the balcony seats watching them as they rehearse.

Another story claims someone accidentally dropped a baby from the balcony. Actors often say the baby repeats its fall over and over. Others say they often hear a baby crying followed by comforting words from its mother.

There is another apparition that peers down from a fourth-story window at passersby on the street. This spirit is tall with long blonde hair and wears Elizabethan clothing. She’s never seen inside, but it’s also reported the spirit of a six-foot-tall man can be seen throughout the theater.

Many guests feel they are being followed, followed by a tap on the shoulder. When they turn around, there’s no one there. Other occurrences include unplugged spotlights that turn on and off of their own accord and other apparitions glimpsed throughout the building.

Is it any wonder The Landers Theater may be one of the most haunted places in Springfield?