Theater Royal, Hobart
The Theater Royal is an ornate Georgian style performance house dating back to 1837. It was built by the founder of the Cascade Brewery, Peter Degraves, who sought to construct a public theater and add life to Hobart’s docks. Due to the poor standing of the neighborhood which developed around the theater, it wasn’t always used to host fabulous performances, yet became a place where cockfights, boxing and even religious meetings were used to fill stage space. Regardless of its sordid past, the Royal continues to run as the oldest continually functioning theater in Australia. However, the theater almost did not survive past 1984 when a great fire broke out within its walls. Some say that a paranormal intervention could well have saved this historic building from complete destruction.
Haunted Theater Royal
The Royal Hobart Theater is well known for having a resident ghost. Many people have claimed to sight, interact and feel the presence of this spirit, yet he isn’t thought to be overly spooky and even seen as a protector of the theater.
This ghost, who is simply known as Fred, is thought to have remained at this theater after death. While no one truly knows his origins, he is thought to have been a fighter during the theaters earlier more tumultuous days and been killed during a brawl in the basement of the building.
Fred tends to make his presence known after hours, particularly to those exiting the theater late after shows or to those working on construction tasks. His footsteps have been heard, he has poked people in the back, asked them to leave and in some cases even shown himself to visitors.
Although it seems that the Theater Royal was the place where Fred passed away, he seems to have some adoration for the place. In 1984 a great fire tore through the theater, damaging equipment, decorations and furniture. Thankfully and with a lucky twist of fate, the theater was saved from complete destruction during this blaze. A fire curtain unexplainably fell across the stage during the fire, stopping and containing the flames from spreading further. Many people believe that this freak act was actually the ghost of Fred acting to save the theater by dropping this special curtain. Regardless, the ghost of Fred was surfaced and used to market restoration efforts for the theater following this damaging fire.
Visiting the Theater Royal in Hobart, Tasmania
The Theater Royal of Hobart is a magnificent sight for anyone making their way to Tasmania. The interior of the theater is stunning and reminiscent of past times of glory. Many popular shows play at the theater, almost nightly, and tickets can be purchased online.
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