During the 1960s, the townspeople of Titusville had two local theater groups called The Mask and Hammer Players and the Titusville Little Theatre. In August of 1965, the two groups decided to pool their resources together and become one large theater organization. The two groups didn’t have a penny to spare between them but resolved to put a show on all the same.
All that they could afford was to lease a makeshift garage on Blanton Street. Using the dirt floor, and chairs they borrowed from the neighbors, the group put on their first performance. The show was a huge success.
It didn’t take long before the garage was condemned, and the group was forced to acquire new property. Using borrowed money, the organization purchased and renovated an old public theater in May of 1972. Nine years later, the group moved a final time.
After massive fundraising the group purchased a very old theater in Titusville in 1981. Named after the mother of a wealthy donor, the Emma Parrish Theater opened its doors to the public on September 21, 1984. During and after renovations, the troupe began to notice strange happenings within the building—around the attic in particular.
Some of the troupe members began to comment that they could hear things being moved around above their heads. Many members suspected it was nothing but a harmless animal, but a few became convinced that the Emma Parrish Theater was haunted. Mary (Named have all been changed) had a good friend who was a part of the group during the late ‘80s.
She would often stop by the theater to pick her friend up in the evenings and she would hear her chilling tales about the building. “It seemed like there was always something going wrong at Emma Parrish,” Mary recalled, shaking her head. “Of course, my friend did have a flare for the dramatic, but I think what she told me stemmed from the truth.
Paranoia in Titusville—Or Something Else?
“It got to the point where I hated going looking for my friend in the theater by myself. One day I was wandering around backstage looking for my friend when I realized that I was suddenly all alone,” Mary said quietly. “I was about to call out when I was distracted by this sudden smell that came out of nowhere.
“It was really gross, like the smell of rotten meat,” she said with a grimace. “I started to hear this bizarre shuffling sound above my head, and it sent a series of chills running down my spine. I started calling out for my friend over and over again, desperate for anyone in the troupe to answer me…I just didn’t want to be alone there.
“I turned toward the storage area and saw a young girl standing by the door. ‘Oh, thank goodness,’ I remember telling her. ‘Do you know where everyone else is?’ I asked.
“The girl suddenly turned on her heels and ran down the darkened hallway backstage. I followed her, but she just…. seemed to disappear,” Mary said, with a sigh. “I know a lot of people in Titusville would argue that that doesn’t necessarily mean I saw a ghost.
“But I’m pretty sure I know what I saw.”