The Little Girl
many stories concerning the ghostly residents that seem to have
made their home at the old Mounds Theatre. In all, there are three
known entities: a young girl who on occasion skips gleefully across
the stage, bouncing a small rubber ball; a middle aged man, who
moves around the projection booth, seemingly distraught over long
forgotten events; and an usher, dressed in a red uniform, who
continues to direct people to their designated seats in the auditorium.
I'm about to tell is an actual account of my encounter with two
of them. However there are many more experiences that are now
etched permanently in my mind. Take note, it is immaterial to
me whether you do or do not believe in ghosts, as I know in my
mind that they DO exist. In reading the following account you
have to judge for yourself. After opening the door I walked cautiously
into the darkness over to the light switch on the wall in the
ticket office. The overhead lights sprang on and I stood in the
eerie glow of days gone by. I had just entered the Mounds Theatre,
a 1920's silent movie house forgotten in time since the 1960s.
the rubble on the lobby floor I made my way to the entrance of
the main auditorium. As my hand touched the door�s cold metal
handle, the hairs on my neck stood up. What was waiting for me
through this small single door? I was about to find out. Slowly
the door creaked open revealing the piles of debris that had accumulated
over the last 40 years, all of which was piled high on the tattered,
dusty theater seats. After my eyes became accustomed to the dim
lighting, I made my way down the aisle of the main auditorium.
Suddenly I was keenly aware of my surroundings. There were empty
popcorn boxes on the floor along with various candy boxes strewn
throughout the seats, sitting as they did when the doors of the
theater were hurriedly closed in the late 1960s. I had to wonder:
why did the last owner slam the doors shut and leave in such a
hurry? It was all very curious.
As I stood
in the small theater aisle my breathing suddenly became labored.
The air rushing into my lungs was now thick and musty and I found
myself choking. As I became accustomed to the stale air, I began
surveying the mounds of "treasures" piled high by the present
owner who had been using the theater as a warehouse for the last
40 years. I forced myself to walk and proceeded down the aisle,
making mental notes of the theatre's contents. There were old
organ parts - hundreds of them, piled high, one on top of the
other. Old boxes were strewn about spilling out their contents
onto the seats... invoices, time sheets and personal information
that dated back to the 1920s. My curiosity now aroused, I began
sifting through the papers only to have them turn to dust in my
hands, trickle through my fingers and then merge with the ancient
layer of dust already accumulated on the cold cement floors. My
gaze now fell on the stage. The old, yellowing projection screen
hung tattered and torn from its riggings in the ceiling. Small
pieces of the black masking appeared to be moving through some
With my gaze
transfixed on the movie screen I could see the vague outline of
a person, but I'm sure it was only my eyes playing tricks on me...
or was it? My eyes moved to the stage below the screen where I
surveyed the mountains of old computers staring back at me in
the dimly lit room, the silver mass of the computer cases with
all of their small black knobs appeared to be watching me. Even
though I knew that these were but inanimate objects, they seemed
to possess a certain knowledge of the events that might have and
still are taking place within the decaying brick walls of the
theater. It was then I heard it. Something or someone appeared
to be skipping across the back of the stage behind the rows of
computers. I stood frozen, my eyes straining to see if there was
someone else in the building. Logic however told me that this
wasn't possible as there was really only one main entrance to
the building. The skipping finally stopped abruptly and I heard
a ball bouncing down the back stairs connected to the stage.
step and then two and then total silence. I looked down and at
my feet was a small rubber ball. My instincts told me to bolt
but I was unable to move, my feet feeling like lead weights attached
to my legs, which were now starting to tremble. The skipping sound
brought me back to reality and my gaze again was transfixed back
to the stage. There I saw a young girl, possibly six or seven,
dressed in a pink gauze dress that seemed to float around her
as if a slight, unseen breeze was moving the transparent material
slowly around her body. It appeared as a pale pink mist. Her hair
hung in golden ringlets, bobbing up and down as she moved, making
her way to the door at the opposite end of the stage. She then
stopped suddenly, turning to look at me. Her crystal blue eyes
locked on mine and it appeared that she was trying to tell me
something, as the ache in her eyes was truly evident. She then
vanished from sight as if swallowed up in the black abyss waiting
to engulf her at the opposite end of the stage.
my composure I stood for a while in the darkness, not wanting
to believe what I had just seen and heard. Who was this young
lady and why had she chosen to reveal herself to me? I then looked
down at my watch, knowing full well that I had only been standing
there for a short amount of time. But I was wrong.... I had been
transfixed in time for a good two hours and knew I had to leave.
I took one more glance over my shoulder to the stage area, hoping
to again catch a glimpse of the little girl whose eyes had beseeched
me to stay. This was not to be, at least not on this particular
visit. Turning on my heels, I walked slowly towards the dimly
lit exit sign guiding me back to the theater lobby. Again I turned,
not being able to shake off the image of the girl, but the only
thing staring back at me was the old contents of the theater.
I jerked open the lobby door and walked through, listening for
the door to close behind me. It closed with a thud. Walking over
to the box office I switched the lights off and set the ancient
alarm system that had been watching over the theater for many
years. It was the silent sentry on duty that called in an alarm
at the hint of any unwanted intruders. The button flashed green.
It was time to go.
total darkness now, I made my way to the front door. It opened
slightly and it was then that I felt two cold hands push down
on my shoulders and begin pulling me back into the building. I
lurched forward, propelling myself out the door into the sunlight.
I whirled to lock the door and with one desperate movement the
lock finally went through the hole in the old metal clasp. My
day�s ordeal had finally ended but I knew in my mind that it was
only for the present. In a daze, I walked slowly to my car, turned
on the ignition and began driving away. In passing the theater
I looked up at the window in the projection booth. There I saw
a man looking straight at me. I blinked my eyes but the apparition
continued to stare down at me. A thin smile appeared on his gray,
transparent face and then he was gone.