Barter Theatre

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Built in 1831 as Sinking Springs Presbyterian Church, the building has also been used as a town hall and a fire hall, which meant that even when it became Barter Theatre, the fire alarm remained on the building, and when the sirens went off during a performance, the actors had to freeze and hold their positions until the alarm finished. The theater is believed to be haunted by two ghosts from its past. One is founder Robert Porterfield, whose apparition has been seen in the audience; the other is a malevolent entity known to chase actors out of their dressing rooms. Another legend here is that of a phantom Confederate soldier. So the tale goes, those to whom he shows his wound will die within 48 hours.

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Geographic Information

127 W Main St
Abingdon, VA 24210
United States

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36.7107626, -81.97512689999996
Washington County, Virginia
Nearest Towns:
Abingdon, VA (0.1 mi.)
Emory, VA (8.8 mi.)
Damascus, VA (11.9 mi.)
Glade Spring, VA (12.6 mi.)
Fairmount, TN (13.9 mi.)
Bristol, VA (14.2 mi.)
Bristol, TN (14.3 mi.)
Lebanon, VA (14.4 mi.)
Saltville, VA (16.7 mi.)
Chilhowie, VA (17.3 mi.)

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  1. Krystyn Salyers  |  

    My mom used to work cleaning the Barter before they opened for he day. My mom was downstairs cleaning the dressing rooms and I was upstairs and had just finished cleaning the bathrooms. I went into the main stage doors and was making sure there wasn’t any trash on the floors or gum on the seats and I saw an elderly man that you could see through sitting in one of the chairs, I spoke to him and he just got up and almost floated up to the stage and disappeared. I never went back to work with my mom.

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Disclaimer: The stories posted here are user-submitted and are, in the nature of "ghost stories," largely unverifiable. makes no claims that any of the statements posted here are factually accurate. The vast majority of information provided on this web site is anecdotal, and as such, should be viewed in the same light as local folklore and urban legends.