In 1930, a large and much anticipated attraction hit El Paso, Texas.
The Plaza Theatre, which was then a movie house, opened its doors to the public and became a hotspot for the local community.
Updated 9/24/2019 – After several decades of declining business, and a near brush with a demolition crew, the Plaza Theatre still lives and is home to Broadway productions, performers, and musical concerts.
But that isn’t all it is home to.
El Paso: Where the Dead Entertain the Living
In between living El Paso residents, it’s not uncommon to see glimpses of a few ghosts, or to see the theatre lights misbehave.
Many locals speak about the shadowy apparition that sits in the back row.
They also possess a strange sense of endearment toward the dead girl who is often seen giggling in the mezzanine.
But after encountering the smoking man, few dare to speak about him.
A former employee of the theatre shared their experience, under the condition that we don’t reveal their real name (we’ll call her Ashley).
“It changed my entire perspective on the spirit world,” she said.
But let us start from the beginning.
“It was late, and I was sweeping up garbage from between the seats on the first floor,” she recalled.
“The theatre was eerily quiet—the other employees that were still around were cleaning the machines and floors in the lobby.
“I remember smelling smoke in the air,” she murmured.
“Not like a fire, but from a cigarette.
“The lights had all been dimmed, so it was hard to see beyond what was just in front of me.
“I decided to switch on the performance lights—they can be accessed by staff.
“I really wish I hadn’t done that,” she said, chewing on her lip.
The Smoking Man of The Plaza Theatre
“I made my way up the stairs and onto the creaky old stage.”
“The light switch is like a lever, so I raised it up.”
“As the stage lights grew bright, I could see all of the seats on the first floor, and about six or seven rows on the balcony.”
She took a deep breath.
“I only needed to see the first row of the balcony, though,” she added slowly.
Why? What was there?
“It was a man.
“Well, not like any man I’ve ever seen.
“He wore a fancy suit, like a tux, you know?” she gestured.
“But his skin was blurry and trails of smoke seemed to emanate from all over his body.
“And he was just sitting there, watching me from the first row!” Ashley involuntarily shuddered.
What happened next?
“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.
“Even over my screams, I could hear the sickening crunch of his bones colliding with the floor,” Ashley said, looking pale.
“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,” Ashley said, tears in her eyes.
“By the time I overcame my fear and got into the lobby, he had jumped once more.”
“That was the last night I worked there, and the last night I will ever step foot into the Plaza Theatre ever again.”
Have you visited the Plaza Theatre in El Paso, TX?
Do you have any ghostly encounters to share?
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125 Pioneer Plaza
El Paso, TX