EARLVILLE — The Earlville Opera House (EOH) is on their fourth year of hosting paranormal tours at the historic 1892 facility, and there is still space available for those interested in getting up close and personal with the paranormal from 10 p.m. to midnight on Friday, October 28.
Tickets are $20 per person, and can be purchased by visiting EarlvilleOperaHouse.com. Proof of COVID vaccination is no longer required at EOH, however masks must be worn at all times, except when eating or drinking.
The paranormal tours at EOH are led by Paranormal Investigator Kenny Harris, who has years of experience searching for ghosts on the hit TV show "Ghost Adventures" and by leading his own investigations.
Harris utilizes a wide variety of ghost hunting equipment such as a spirit box, cameras, ghost balls, REM pods, and more to catch a glimpse of the spirits of people who may have once graced the stage at the Opera House. Visitors will get to learn about all of Harris' equipment and what each device does before heading into the main stage theater to seek contact with the other side.
Earlville Opera House Executive Director Michelle Connelly said because the EOH has always been a music facility, they bring musicians in to perform during the paranormal tours in an attempt to elicit paranormal activity. This year's performer is singer-songwriter Reyna Stagnaro.
"She’s one of the Opera House's favorite local musicians. She’s got a lot of heart and soul, so it comes through in her music," said Connelly. "They say that the spirits can communicate more when they have energy, and that’s kind of what they use electricity for, and the music. They love the music. It’s vibrant, it’s energy, good energy."
Connelly said she's had her own ghostly experiences at the 130-year-old facility, many of which were with the spirit of a drummer named Daniel, who lived in the 1940s.
"I talked to a drummer named Daniel from 1940 through the spirit box, and we were having an intelligent, back and forth conversation," said Connelly. "It’s pretty wild because when I sit in the back of the theater during shows I take a few video clips, and a lot of times, not to the naked eye but through my camera, there is an orb that is always above the drums. And it makes me feel like it was Daniel."
Daniel has also made his presence known by manipulating electricity and lighting in the theater. Connelly said after a previous investigation, the lights in the theater began flickering before going out completely.
"The light switch is on the outside of the theater, and it just started to flicker, and it went off. And I was like, Daniel is that you? Can you turn it back on? And it came on," she said. "And I was like, Daniel if that’s you can you turn the light off again? And he turned it off again. And then I was like, okay, one more time, can you turn it back on? And it didn't come back on."
"Kenny reminded me, in a theater performance when you’re at intermission to get people to go back into the theater you flick the lights, and then you go in because you know it’s time to go back for the second act," she continued. "But at the end of the show, you just turn the lights off and go. Show’s over, night’s done. He’s like, that’s what Daniel’s saying to us. He’s like, night’s done, show’s over, you know? But it was just so strange how it responded to us directly with what we were asking for it, back and forth a few times. It was too many times for it to be coincidental."
Connelly even went so far as to have an electrician come in after this experience to make sure it wasn't just a case of faulty wiring. However, she said he couldn't find anything wrong that would have caused the lights to flicker or turn on and off on their own.
Other experiences during EOH paranormal tours include "ghost balls" lighting up repeatedly during musical performances, which indicates a spirit is in close proximity to the ball; voices coming through the spirit box; disembodied sounds, such as piano playing that was heard by attendees without the use of any equipment; and all their cameras turning off at the same time.
Although it may seem a little spooky, Connelly emphasized that there is nothing to fear of the spirits at EOH.
"We have people that run from our haunted house. Literally like last time we had it we had 13 grown adults run out of here screaming and wouldn’t finish it," she explained. "Those people would not come to the haunted house, but they will come to this because it’s actually kind of heartwarming. You know there’s nothing bad in here, and it’s just interesting and fun. You can feel the history in here."
More information on the Earlville Opera House and their upcoming events can be found at EarlvilleOperaHouse.com or on the Earlville Opera House Arts Center Facebook page.