Historical Newspaper & Haunted Testimony
The Ghosts of Town Marshal Horace Porter and County Prosecutor Frank Parsons
September 7th, 1905
Town Marshall Horace Porter was ambushed just outside the East alley door of the Opera House. The town lunatic 31 year old Wood Stuard fatally shot Marshall Porter 4 times in the back of the head with a .32 caliber revolver. Near that same door of the Opera House a large shadow man has been seen on several paranormal investigations. Could this be Town Marshal Horace Porter still on his foot beat patrolling the town? The lunatic Wood Stuard was found to be insane and was sent to a hospital for the criminally insane in Lima, Ohio. He was later moved to the Ridges “Lunatic Asylum” in Athens, Ohio where he died at the age of 78 after being locked up for 47 years. The .32 caliber revolver was locked in a safe inside the Courthouse. It is said that Porter still patrols the alley. next to the Opera House where he was killed.
A murder trial was underway at the Morgan County Courthouse across the road from the Opera House. Mrs. Francis Allen was being prosecuted by new Prosecutor Frank Parsons for murdering her Baby. The case started having some very strange things happening around it. John Smith the witness that found the baby’s grave on his property suffered a heart attack and died. Then Dr. Lucius Culver now the main witness in the trail had a stroke while on the stand and was unable to talk and relay information, he died 6 months later. The Prosecutor Frank Parsons was overwhelmed with the events of this trial. On Sunday October 3rd, 1909 he was seen entering the Courthouse. Apparently he went into his office and pulled out the .32 caliber revolver from his desk drawer that was used in the murder of Town Marshal Horace Porter which he had found in the safe at the Courthouse just weeks before. He placed the gun to his head an pulled the trigger killing himself. The gun is now part of a display at the Morgan County Historical Society in McConnelsville, Ohio. Were these just mere coincidences or was it something much more supernatural? Workers inside the Courthouse to this day claim to hear Parsons walking the hallways and seeing his shadow appear at times.
Town Marshal Horace Porter
Murdered September 7th, 1905
Death Certificate of Wood Stuard
Man who murdered the Town Marshal Horace Porter
Prosecutor Francis “Frank” Parsons / Parsons Death Certificate
The .32 Caliber Revolver used to murder Town Marshal Horace Porter
and the Suicide of County Prosecutor Frank Parsons.
Office where Frank Parsons killed himself.
Frank Parsons Memorial Marker
Having investigated the Opera House over 200 times and collecting the stories of the dozens and dozens of paranormal teams who have also investigated there has given us the opportunity to put many pieces of a giant puzzle together. Serious paranormal investigations have been going at the Opera House since 2007. One of my favorite stories that we were able to put together is one about “Red-Wine Robert Lowery”, “Elizabeth” and “Victoria”. With EVP’s, countless hours of investigating and the help of the Spirits, I will share a sad story we have come to know. Victoria a performer at the Opera House whose residence was believed to have been in West Virginia had a 10 year old little girl by the name of Elizabeth. Robert Lowery a Stage- Hand at the Opera House was an unhappily married man. Robert and Victoria sparked a romance with each other and little Elizabeth was the result of this romance. Elizabeth would watch her mother perform at the Opera House from the catwalk with her father Robert.
Victoria was in McConnelsville one weekend to perform and had to leave Elizabeth at the Kennebec Hotel as she was sick and running a very high fever. Victoria went and performed at the Opera House which is just across the road from the Hotel. When Victoria returned to the Hotel after the show she found Elizabeth’s lifeless body in the bed. Her fever became too high and she passed away.
We have captured an EVP from Victoria saying that she was so sorry and she didn’t mean to. We believe she is crying out in an apology to Elizabeth saying she didn’t mean to leave her alone to die. We have captured and EVP from Elizabeth saying “I Forgive”, which we believe she is forgiving her mother for leaving her alone. After numerous times assuring Victoria that is was not her fault that Elizabeth died we later captured another EVP from Victoria saying “I’m OK now, really”. Since this time we have been picking up more and more conversations with Victoria and Elizabeth. Robert continues to be the most active Spirit in the Opera House. He was nicknamed “Red-Wine Robert” after capturing an EVP from him saying “I’ve got Red Wine” back in 2009. Robert continues to romance woman who show up to meet him. He says that he prefers Red Headed woman with big busts. He has stated that Victoria met this physical description, however his wife did not.
There is no place quite like the Twin City Opera House in my opinion, I certainly haven’t been anywhere else with as much variety of paranormal activity or anywhere I enjoyed investigating more. I have investigated the opera house over a dozen times now and you know what, I cant wait to go there again and try setting the cameras differently and changing up where the audio digitals are going based on what I have learned there from previous investigations or trying out new theories or techniques.
I also cant wait to try talking to and communicating with the spirits that are there. We have identified two distinct spirits that are very active up in the catwalk area above the stage, Elizabeth and ten year old girl who has given us her name and age thru EVPs and disembodied voices, whispering her age into a couple investigators ears and often heard giggling up in the catwalk, she even occasionally has been sighted peaking over the rail looking down on the stage. Then there is Robert who’s first EVP to us said “I’ve got red wine” and who may have been a stage hand or actor at the Twin City Opera House, he is particularly mischievous and often interacts with pretty woman guests and investigators thru EMF and EVP sessions and has even touched a few of them when encouraged.
Footsteps and odd cold spells are other phenomena that often occur in the catwalk and many times you can actually ask the spirits to cool the catwalk area down and watch your thermometer drop as you encourage them. Then there is a white lady who has been seen by many different people walking across the stage and up the catwalk stairs. Numerous times cameras and equipment has been moved, shut off or otherwise manipulated to thwart investigators catching evidence of her passage. Recently multiple sightings of an apparition darting up the left hand stairs to the stage and around the corner near the top of the basement steps have also been reported and the shadow activity in the basement has to be seen to be believed at times. A black mass has been photographed and caught simultaneously on two IR cameras down in the deepest part of the basement near the old closed off tunnel system that used to link the opera house basement to multiple locations about town. Loud growling is also been heard and at least two sightings of shadow men have happened to our own investigators while the lights were on and setting up and tearing down cameras was in progress.
EVP sessions with long question and answer sessions and EVPs later backing up yes and no questions have been a staple in the basement at times in our earliest investigations. Almost all areas of the opera house have yielded EVPs including the basement, catwalk, auditorium, concession stand, projection booth and ballroom. Loud running footsteps have repeatedly been heard coming down from the balcony as well as walking across other sections of the second floor. Music, singing, piano notes and other old time jingles have been heard in the opera house by many different people coming from nowhere. The upper two floors of the opera house have been unavailable for investigation up until recently but even there the ballroom and clock tower have produced EVPs and moving cold spots as well as strange noises coming from no apparent source in the ballrooms corners.
Ghost sightings and paranormal activity at the opera house has been reported as far back as the 60’s when the ghost of Everett Miller an Usher there for 30 years was seen by 18 youths in the auditorium. Custodians and other employees have sometimes quit over personal experiences in the opera house and even today many of them are reluctant to go into certain areas of the opera house by themselves. One previous owner of the opera house, who lived there for a couple years actually ran out of the building after his encounter with the Lady in White on the stage, leaving the doors wide open to the night.
Several investigations of the Opera House by the Central Ohio Ghost Squad has yielded all sorts of evidence of paranormal activity including many personal experiences and even video footage of the black mass in the basement blacking out one of the still IR cameras while being recorded by a second camera across the basement. 300 startling EVPs have been discovered on audio digital recorders in a variety of locations at the opera house as well as having disembodied voices being heard by investigators and caught on camcorders and recorders, odd lights occasionally light up the stage while a little girls giggling can be heard in the catwalk. Cold spots have waltzed right thru myself and other investigators in the ballroom as well as small snippets of old time jingles and piano music being recorded where there is no music.
Several people have reported seeing shadows move in the basement including two instances of shadow men walking right past investigators while the lights were on and setup or teardown of the cameras was in progress. Loud footsteps coming across the 2nd floor balcony and occasionally coming down the balcony stairs have been heard many times around three or four in the morning while everyone is outside getting ready to lock the doors at the end of another investigation there. In short it is the most haunted place I have experienced for myself and I am always eager to experience it again as well as share it with others who have the same curiosity about things going bump in the night as I do.
On January 23rd, 2010 a paranormal group from Cleveland (Shadow Seekers) had an investigation at the Opera House that left them in total awe. A camera was smacked out of an investigators hand in the basement causing it to break when it hit the ground and at the same exact time their camcorder went dead. They also captured a photograph of the notorious Black Mass in the basement. In the catwalk they set up a table with candy for Elizabeth and a glass of Red Wine for Robert. One of their members, veteran police officer from Cleveland cleaned the glass free of any fingerprints and sprinkled powder on the table all around the candy for Elizabeth. When they later returned to the catwalk they were astonished, there were a child’s fingerprints in the powder. They were even more astonished when they seen an adult sized fingerprint on the wine glass. There was absolutely no one in the catwalk between the times when these trigger devices were set up and when they went back to check on them. The catwalk also produced an overwhelming amount of EMF sessions. The K2 meters responding to questions, pegging into the red lights. An investigator had her pant leg pulled on and a second time on command, which also videoed.
The balcony of the auditorium was also very active. Investigators were having EMF Meters that were going crazy, which is very odd for the balcony area. An Investigator was seated when he felt a severe chill come over his arm and at that very moment the seat beside him slowly went down as if someone was setting down beside him, but there was nobody there. It also appeared as Everett Miller the long time Usher of the Opera House was working overtime on this evening. Investigators felt as if someone was following them around the auditorium, up the steps to the balcony and in the balcony. They would get sudden cold spots then verified by substantial EMF readings.
Prior to their investigation, 4 COGS members were watching a preview of their new movie premiere in the auditorium, but no one was back there at all. A few minutes after that incident another Investigator had a severe cold chill go through his left arm for a very brief moment. Approximately 15 minutes after the second incident a third Investigator went to the projection room to have the volume adjusted for the movie. When he left the booth and entered the balcony he noticed an apparition of a man setting right next to him in one of the seats. When he turned to get a better look it was gone. He then looked over at the end of that isle and seen another apparition setting there for a brief moment and it suddenly vanished too.
At the end of the Shadow Seekers investigation when two Investigators were locking and closing up the Opera House they observed a large white ball of light go across the movie screen and then dissipate. They decided to set there for a few more minutes and the stage became brighter once again. To close, this was a very active evening for even “The Most Haunted Location in Ohio, The Twin City Opera House”. “The Phantoms of the Twin City Opera House”. Just a few minutes into the preview a COGS Investigator noticed the curtain to the left of the movie screen being pulled back in the corner as if someone was peeking out into the auditorium.