- September 13, 2018 at 5:07 pm #12533
The ornate Springer Opera House was built by Francis Joseph Springer, an immigrant from Alsace who moved to Columbus before the Civil War. It opened February 21, 1871, and soon became known as the finest stage between Washington and New Orelans.
There are many stories of different ghosts and haunted occurrences within the Springer Opera House. Many employees and visitors report hearing children laughing and seeing a glowing green light coming from areas in the basement, dressing rooms and on the 3rd Floor, where a hotel was once located. There have also been reports of a “scraping” sound being heard in the hallways of the 3rd Floor, followed by a foul smell the next day. A small child’s face has been photographed in the dressing rooms during a production of a play featuring many children. Some believe the child’s shadow was brought out by the excited laughter of other children.
The most famous spirit within the walls of the old Springer Opera House is Edwin Booth, the great tragic Shakespearean and the older brother of Abraham Lincoln’s assassin, John Wilkes Booth. It has been reported that Booth travels at will throughout the old theatre, especially onstage, in the box seats and the lobby where his portrait hangs to this day. It is even rumored the spirit of Edwin Booth helps out during productions by moving stage props and he has been known upon occasion to reach out and tap an unsuspecting patron on their back. Since the theatre was renovated, there have also been instances of rooms being rearranged, doors slamming and eerie music being heard when the Opera House is empty.
The Springer Opera House is located in downtown Columbus, Georgia. Guided tours of the splendid Springer Opera House are available by appointment only throughout the year, except during the months of June, July, and August (while the Springer children’s Academy is in session). Prices are $5.00 per person and the tours last around thirty minutes. These excursions take visitors through the historical areas and offer an intriguing behind-the-scenes look at the canvas and greasepaint world of a working theater. Visitors are always welcome to shop for unique theater items at the Springer Emporium which allows guests to take a bit of the Springer home with them. Please contact Amy Bishop at 706-324-5714 for more information about tours.
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