This Hurst-based theater, formerly known as the Belaire theater, first opened its doors in March of 2003. It’s first ever production was the cult classic Steel Magnolias. Originally located in North Richland Hills, the theater was relocated to Hurst when its former home in the mall closed.
Artisan: A Cultural Center in Hurst
Today, the Artisan Center Theater has two stages, one for larger productions, and a slightly smaller stage used for light comedies, musicals and the Artisan children’s theater program. The theater produces plays and musicals year round and typically puts on about twenty or so in that time frame. Despite the center’s fun and family-friendly atmosphere, some members of the Hurst community refuse to step foot inside the theater.
Why? Because they believe is it haunted by several spirits…and not all of them are friendly. Some believe that a spirit, which has been named Neil, meanders throughout the theater and enjoys frightening patrons whenever possible. Other, more gentle ghosts, allegedly include a little girl, who is seen walking in and out of walls, and a former employee who died of a heart attack while working one of the projectors.
When these spirits do not appear as full bodied apparitions, they make their presences known in other ways, such as messing with the lights and turning water faucets on. Cheryl, a medium who lives just outside of Hurst, had heard about the paranormal activity going on at Artisan and decided she would investigate the site for herself. She hoped she would be able to sense these entities and understand why each of the ghosts continued to haunt the theater.
Reading Energies and Auras
“I am not the sort of medium who can walk into a place and list off facts about a dead person as though they are standing beside me whispering in my ear,” Cheryl admitted with a calm smile. “However, I am extremely sensitive to energies that both the living and the dead give off in any given location. I can sense spirits, and work with them through this medium in order to communicate.
“It is quite uncommon to have multiple spirits routinely haunt a location that has not been the site of a mass accident, such as a fire. This, and the fact that the paranormal activity only seemed to get strong, drew me to the Artisan. I arrived between two productions, and slowly began to explore the place,” she said.
“As I walked around, I felt very different personalities coming through the veil. One was vibrant, playful, and seemed layered in such innocence, I could immediately tell it was the spirit of a young child,” Cheryl said, fiddling with her earrings. “The next one I encountered was towards the back of the main stage. This spirit was sad, but good natured, and he made it a point to let himself be easy to gauge by me.
“This spirit was no doubt the spirit of the employee who passed away a few years ago. As I read his energy, I immediately knew why he haunted the Artisan too: it was simply because he loved the place and wasn’t ready to leave it for good. As I continued to interact with this man, I was immediately bombarded by a dark, and overpowering force,” she said, frowning at the ground.
“This spirit was at once intense and very heavy, as if someone was trying to run through water. When I demanded to know why the spirit continued to lurk around the Artisan, I felt a very mild, yet eerily noticeable, tightening sensation around my neck. It wasn’t choking me, but it certainly wasn’t comfortable, and I couldn’t help but interpret it as a threat,” Cheryl said in a whisper.
“Being so close to that evil entity…I could tell that it had never been human. I contacted a local church group in Hurst and recommended that an exorcism be performed on the building.”
418 E. Pipeline Rd