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Theatre Royal, Drury Lane – The World’s Most Haunted Theater?

Located in London, England, the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, (also known as the Drury Lane Theatre) has been referred to as the most haunted theater in the world. Built in 1663, the theatre is one of the oldest in England and has been visited by numerous reigning monarchs throughout the years.

There have been countless ghost sightings by audience members as well as actors who have performed at the theater. Perhaps the most well-known spirit is an entity called the “Man in Grey” who is normally witnessed during the day. He has been seen in the seats past the stage, appearing as though he is watching the rehearsals before disappearing into the walls. It is actually a good sign when his ghost is spotted as it normally means that the play will become very successful. He has even told audience members to “shhh” during performances.

This “Man in Grey” has been seen wearing clothes from the 18th century that includes a grey cape, a wig, and a three-pointed tricorne hat. When the theater was renovated in the 1840s, a skeleton was found in the wall of a small room and it was determined that he was murdered by being stabbed with a knife. Interestingly, he was wearing grey clothes – just like the ghost.

Drury Lane Theatre in 1809. (Via Wikipedia)

Another spirit is the believed to be the late Irish actor Charles Macklin who “accidentally” killed another actor in 1735 during an argument over a wig during a rehearsal. Macklin’s spirit is often seen wandering around the stage and corridors.

An English actor named George Wild Galvin – more commonly known by his stage name Dan Leno – died by unknown causes in the late part of the 1800s when he was 43 years of age. While some people have seen his ghost in the corridors tapping his walking stick on the doors of the dressing rooms, they often smell lavender which is what the actor would use as his fragrance. His spirit has been blamed for pushing actors off the stage, and has been spotted dancing around in his clogs.

Another English actor named Joe Grimaldi (best known for his portrayal of a clown) who passed away in 1837 has been seen at the theater as well. He is apparently watching over the stage productions and has helped actors with their performances. His apparition has been seen by actors, staff members, and the audience.

There is also a spirit who tugs on actors’ jackets while they are bowing to the audience and who enjoys “goosing” female dancers. He apparently likes to play around with props, false moustaches, and wigs. A different entity has been seen through swinging doors wearing a beige trilby hat.

Drury Lane Theatre in 1813. (Via Wikipedia)

Additional paranormal activity includes wigs and combs floating to the ground or disappearing; unexplained wind gusts; knocking sounds; hearing a spirit call out people’s names; deep ghostly breaths; and something tugging on pant legs.

With all of that paranormal activity, it’s no wonder that the Drury Lane Theatre is considered to be the most haunted in the world.

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Jocelyne LeBlanc works full time as a writer and is also an author with two books currently published. She has written articles for several online websites, and had an article published in a Canadian magazine on the most haunted locations in Atlantic Canada. She has a fascination with the paranormal and ghost stories, especially those that included haunted houses. In her spare time, she loves reading, watching movies, making crafts, and watching hockey.