Elkheart Civic Theatre - Bristol Opera House

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The Elkhart Civic Theatre (aka Bristol Opera House), housed in an 1897 building, is said to be haunted by ghosts who send books and papers flying off shelves, levitate small objects, run sewing machines and project moving shafts of light. Shadows and an apparition of a floating dark-haired woman have been seen by both staff members and theater guests. Staff members claim to have been grabbed by a ghost when no one else is around.

Percy, aka Percival Hilbert, is the name of a ghost believed to reside here. He was a handyman who lived in the basement with his wife and two daughters after they were evicted in the Depression era. The building manager had let them live there, but they were to keep it a secret. But sometimes the little girls would come out, seemingly from nowhere, and run around or play the piano. This, some say, may be how the ghost stories started. Although Percy and his family didn’t pass away here, some say his spirit is here now, rearranging tools or playing pranks on people. It is his spirit that is said to manifest as a moving shafts of light. He is also believed to have turned up in a photo during a ghost hunt.

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Geographic Information

210 E. Vistula Street
Bristol, IN 46507
United States

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41.7216307, -85.81572080000001
Elkhart County, Indiana
Nearest Towns:
Bristol, IN (0.1 mi.)
Middlebury, IN (6.5 mi.)
Dunlap, IN (8.0 mi.)
Simonton Lake, IN (8.5 mi.)
Elkhart, IN (8.7 mi.)
Goshen, IN (9.7 mi.)
White Pigeon, MI (10.3 mi.)
Constantine, MI (11.2 mi.)
Shipshewana, IN (12.6 mi.)
Osceola, IN (14.0 mi.)

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Comments (4)

  1. There are also several other ghosts not mentioned here. A child that enjoys to peek out into the audience as shows are about to start. One woman that lives in the wardrobe room upstairs, who cries and screams in the night. I believe there is also a demonic force living in the very basement of the theatre. When I competed in pagents there, somone mentioned that down the stairs in the dressing room was a portal to the underworld,or hell. This is where the demonic entities could escape or “pass over” into our world. There have been many accidents here that are completely unexplainable. All of this I learned in the 4 years i competed here.

  2. Mary and Roberta Hilbert were those daughters. Roberta has passed on although Mary is still alive at the ripe old age of 96 and lives in Norwalk Ca.
    My husband John is the son of Mary and Percy is his grandfather.
    Their house burned down and that is how they came to live there. It was not a secret. Percy did odd jobs for their lodging.

  3. Mackenzie Hazzard  |  

    I go here to do stage crew but haven’t seen anything strange. I live close and now a little scared of what might be there. The only thing that happened was all the lights went out and nothing was happening outside. I’m terrified.

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Disclaimer: The stories posted here are user-submitted and are, in the nature of "ghost stories," largely unverifiable. HauntedPlaces.org 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.