Grand Opera House

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Built in 1883, the Victorian Grand Opera House is still in operation and has a few haunts in residence. One is believed to be Percy Keene, a longtime employee here (from 1895 to 1967). He has shown up as a smiling ghost wearing shiny round glasses. Mysterious footsteps have been heard around the building, and apparitions have turned up in theater seats right next to living theatergoers. A ghost dog is said to call the place home as well.

If you've had a paranormal experience here, or have any additional information about this location, please let us know!

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    Geographic Information

    100 High Ave
    Oshkosh, WI 54901
    United States

    Get Directions »
    44.0174353, -88.53899849999999
    Winnebago County, Wisconsin
    Nearest Towns:
    Oshkosh, WI (0.5 mi.)
    Butte des Morts, WI (8.0 mi.)
    Van Dyne, WI (9.1 mi.)
    Omro, WI (10.3 mi.)
    Winneconne, WI (10.8 mi.)
    Waukau, WI (11.7 mi.)
    Neenah, WI (12.2 mi.)
    Stockbridge, WI (12.5 mi.)
    Menasha, WI (13.6 mi.)
    Winchester, WI (14.0 mi.)

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    Comments (7)

    1. Michelle Gauthier  |  

      When I was in high school in 1995 -1998 I performed at the Grand Opera House in school musicals for 3 yrs and during one year while there for a rehearsal, me and some other students where in the lower seats while others where in the basement area with our music teacher. About 5 of us saw a man with a dog, both see through forms, walk across the stage from left to right. He was wearing a hat but I can’t remember what type. All of us look twice, then to each other, then back to the stage. They were gone. And silently but quickly we ran to the basement.

    2. I was part of a team investigation at the Grand back in 2007. We had been invited in by the Grand as part of a radio promotion being done there on Halloween morning, so we came in at around 4:30AM and went until 9AM, when the radio broadcast started. Some investigators thought they saw an unexplained mist in the auditorium at one point, while I experienced what seemed to be extra footsteps echoing mine as I descended to the balcony. Among our recordings was that of a dog barking, which matches the stories of a ghost dog being present. You can hear this dog barking–it sounds just like my pomeranian.

      I also recorded the voice of what seemed to a boy in the balcony, asking us a question. You can actually hear this voice at about 9 seconds into this recording.

      One of our investigators also recorded a woman singing when no one present was singing either in the dressing rooms or in the auditorium/balcony. Despite the reactions of investigators, they did not hear this voice at the time.

      Overall, I believe the ghosts of the Grand to be pretty friendly and would love to go back there some day to investigate again.

    3. For most of my life, my family has celebrated Christmas there! We rent out the Opera House and celebrate Christmas. We also always take a tour. While on the tour my sister saw the ghost dog, my cousin and his uncle saw a couple of mannequins move on their own. There is also a reported ghost light. The light is off all of the time unless a human mass is near it. It turns on a lot while no one is in the auditorium. We stopped renting the place out due to most of the family moving away.

    4. I grew up around the Grand when it was a movie theater.. I frequently stayed in the upstairs apartment with the then manager, Mary Vetter. My brother worked at the Grand for years prior and Mary was like family. Mary would let me ‘play’ on stage where I would sing and dance. The rest of the time I could explore. My time at the Grand was from about 1957 till 1967.
      I worked behind the candy counter from about the age 9 till 15.
      Growing up there I knew Percy Keene. He was a very nice man and we would frequently share a soda when he would be sitting at the back stage door on a folding wooden chair. He worked when the theater would host local plays. I would love to try and see him again with his baseball cap and silver glasses. He always had a smile and twinkling eyes!
      In one of the basement dressing rooms there was always a very ominous feeling, and several times I saw a dark shadow figure in that room. I would always run by that room. I had full run of the theater and never sensed or saw a dog; wondering if the construction brought the dog back.
      It was a wonderful place to play as a young girl.
      There used to be a secret door from the upstairs apartment to the balcony which I thought was really cool. So you could go from Mary’s office to the balcony right next to the projection booth.
      You could also go through the apartment and exit on the balcony landing. There was a door in the basement in the woman’s rest room where you could walk below the entire auditorium and enter the backstage area. Loved my time at the Grand!!

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