Landers Theater – Springfield Mo


Built in 1909, this four-story brick and terra cotta building has been in continuous use since it’s inception. In 1977 it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. In the 1980’s, the theater underwent major renovations to return it to its early 1900’s elegance. In addition to its many visitors who come for the entertainment, this old “playhouse” is also called home to several restless spirits. The one most often seen is that of a janitor who died during a fire in the theater. On December 17th, 1920, the Landers suffered a major fire, taking the life of the janitor and effectively closing the theater for some time. According to the reports, the janitor is often seen up in the balcony by actors on the stage. There is another story of a baby that was dropped from the upper balcony on a night long ago. Today when actors are practicing on stage, they often say that the baby repeats its fall over and over again. Others have heard the baby crying followed by comforting words from its ghostly mother. Another apparition, only seen from outside the theater, is said to peek from a fourth floor window at passerbys along the street. Described as tall with long blond hair and wearing Elizabethan clothing, this spirit has never been seen inside the building. The room in which he is seen from used to be apartments for the actors and is now a costume room.  A middle-aged male apparition appeared as a solid form in the middle of the auditorium before the lighting and technical director as he returned from the basement, to make the security system work, as the theater was closed. Thinking that this apparition was a living man, the director asked the entity if he could help him. This apparition went behind a pillar and disappeared. The director described this entity as being nearly 6 ft tall, with long hair and a black and gray-peppered beard, has a big nose, full lips, bushy eyebrows. Before this entity appeared before the lighting and technical director, a group of people, playing with a Ouija board in the balcony (which can be very dangerous) said that the entity’s name was “Ned”, and described him the same way as the lighting and technical director. Other strange occurrences include unplugged spotlights that turn on and off by themselves, people who sense  they are being followed and other apparitions glimpsed throughout the theater.

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