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Last Updated: Thursday, 25 October 2007, 09:53 GMT 10:53 UK
Theatre revamp may banish 'ghost'
A sketch of 'Emily' by a Pavilion worker (Image: Bournemouth Borough Council)
Sightings of "Emily" have been investigated by a clairvoyant
A planned 13m restoration of a "haunted" 1920s theatre to its former glory may silence its ghostly sounds.

Footsteps on an empty stage and sightings of a woman in a bonnet are some of the ghostly reports by staff at Bournemouth's Pavilion.

Some say it is the spirit of Emily, an actress who died on stage in the 1930s.

But the creaking noises from the old wooden floors and stage of the listed building will soon be silenced when the theatre is renovated.

Simon Bagnall, stage manager, said: "One member of staff claimed to have been chased up the corridor, another reported seeing things thrown around on stage when no-one was there, others have heard someone walking across the empty stage."

Funny sounds

Some staff are sceptical because they say the creaking noises are normal in such old buildings.

"It's an old building so there are lots of funny noises and it's a pretty eerie place to be in the dark," Mr Bagnall added.

"Perhaps some of the activity can be put down to people's imaginations - but you never know."

The sightings were investigated by a clairvoyant whose description of a woman in period costume matched reported sightings from staff.

"If Emily does exist perhaps she can rest in peace knowing her theatre will soon be restored to its glory days of the 1930s when she was treading the boards," said councillor Bob Chapman of Bournemouth Borough Council.

SEE ALSO
Pavilion set for 600,000 revamp
24 Feb 06 |  Dorset

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