The mystery of the ghost in the Davis Theater


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By: Bella Love, Staff Editor

Backstage during every play, Sugarcane performance, and MHS theater production, a dark force lurks, haunting the student body of Manatee High School. For years, Manatee High students have been telling tales of the infamous ghost in the Davis Theater. Accounts vary, from weird noises to strange happenings, but whenever things go amiss, the Davis Theater ghost is blamed.

The Sugarcanes spend a lot of time practicing and performing in the Davis Theater, which means they have had quite a few run-ins with the alleged ghost. One Sugarcane, Lilah Bowers, claims she had an encounter with the ghost during seventh period one day. She and a few other Sugarcanes went into the Davis Theater when it was pitch black with flashlights and heard creepy whispers coming from seemingly no one. Another student claims that her socks were stolen from her dance locker by the ghost. One former Manatee student and Sugarcane says that sometimes the Sugarcanes could “hear” the ghost and she sometimes felt like she could see someone in the center of the theater.

“I was in the Davis Theater backstage grabbing something, there was no one else in there and it was super dark. Out of nowhere a mannequin fell on top of me. It was totally insane and I’m pretty sure it was the ghost,” claims Andrew Carrillo, a junior at Manatee High.

The Davis theater here at Manatee High School that is rumored to be haunted. Photo Credit: Florida Educational Facilities Planners’ Association.

Of course, there are also nonbelievers. Many students believe the ghost is simply a myth and people are just hearing normal things and claiming it is a ghost. One of these students is Haley Cardillo, who says that there is no ghost in the Davis building, because the building was not built until 2007.

“I don’t believe in ghosts, but if I were ever to see something abnormal I would. But as of right now, I have no evidence that ghosts exist,” says Manatee High sophomore Emily Brannan.

There are many examples of “hauntings” in theaters throughout history, not just in Manatee High. On Broadway, there is a theater called The Palace that is thought to be haunted by the ghost of an acrobat who once preformed there. Allegedly, he attempted to walk across a tightrope and fell to his death. People claim that they can still hear his shrieks echoing throughout the theater. The Paris Opera in France inspired the classic musical “The Phantom of the Opera,” and according to legend, a mysterious apartment with a male body was found hidden inside the theater.

MHS may never know if the Davis Theater is actually haunted or not. There is always a chance though that there is some sort of freaky paranormal activity happening behind the scenes in the theater, so watch out for ghosts at the next performance.

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