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Last Updated: Monday, 7 June, 2004, 08:05 GMT 09:05 UK
Ghostbusters called into theatre
A team of ghostbusters has been brought in to tackle a suspected haunting at a County Durham theatre.

So-called psychic investigators are studying reports of ghostly goings on at Darlington's Civic Theatre.

Staff have reported strange sounds and shadowy figures roaming the 96-year-old venue.

A small team of investigators from Yorkshire spent a night at the theatre and is preparing a full report for the venue's council owners.

It is thought the "ghost" is that of the theatre's first managing director Signor Rino Pepi.

Digital imaging

He was in charge of the theatre for 20 years, after it opened as the New Hippodrome and Palace of Varieties in September 1907.

He was originally a quick-change artist and impersonator and died in 1927.

The theatre's current duty manager Peter Tate said: "We think he's just keeping an eye on things.

"There isn't any malevolence involved."

A spokesman for Yorkshire Psychic Investigators said digital imaging equipment and specialist sound recording equipment was used during a vigil at the theatre on 4 June.

He said some "eerie elements" were picked up and a full report would be compiled for the theatre, which is owned by Darlington Borough Council.

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