The Royal Hippodrome Theatre was suggested to me by another team that had investigated it a few times before and like many locations it’s always good to have a few different teams investigate. It gives for different perspectives and possibly helps to corroborate anything captured previously. I was also excited to investigate another theatre as I think they very interesting locations. This particular theatre had been visited by Harry Houdini in the past and with its reports of ghostly apparitions I knew it had to be one of My Top Ten Most Haunted Locations in the UK .
Ghost’s on Stage at the Hippodrome
The Royal Hippodrome Theatre in Eastbourne dates back to 1883. It was designed and built for the theatre manager George Beaumont Loveday, with the architect being the famous CJ Phipps.
Throughout the years the theatre has attracted some big names including the amazing Harry Houdini, Marie Lloyd, Albert Chevalier, Little Titch, Charlie Chaplin, Gracie Fields, Harry Lauder, George Robey, Flanagen & Allen and Max Miller.
With such a long and colourful past it’s not really surprising that the theatre has reports of ghostly performances. In particular is the sighting of a lady in a black Victorian style dress around the top left tier of seats in the theatre. There have also been reports of shadowy figures around the wings during live shows, plus numerous ghostly sightings around the building. Are these the same ghost or numerous ghosts returning to their favourite theatre? The theatre also has many reports of ghostly sounds around the building from footsteps to voices heard throughout the building.
A Most Haunted Performance
On this occasion we decided to begin our investigation with a walk around of the whole location by the entire team. So, we started off under the stage where two members of the team had heard some strange noises during the setup. We attempted a little calling out, but with no response so we moved onto a more logical approach. After a little investigation we managed to trace one of the noises down to an iron support beam, which was connected to pipes. Turns out that at least one sound that had been heard may have simply been the building settling. Whilst we were all up in the Gods seating area we once again heard some noises and following on from our experiences under the stage decided to attempt to chase these down to. We believed that a ‘tapping’ type noise was being produced by one of the doors, but something didn’t quite add up and the sound wasn’t consistent enough to fit. We continued to chase the sound for a little while, but remained slightly out of our grasp. Could this have been a ghost attempting to communicate?
The team then split into two smaller groups for the next Vigil, with one group under the stage and one above it what happened next was slightly annoying. Two of the group under the stage heard three or four loud stomps followed by a drag or shuffle sound, but at this point we are pretty sure the team on the stage were not moving. However as they were there you can’t entirely rule them out, hence annoying. In fact at that time the team on the stage were attempting to call out and conduct a little EVP work. Whilst they did this, on two occasions the radio’s appeared to feedback static almost like a response and there was also a slight drop in temperature too. At point the team also believed they heard a noise from the auditorium that sounded exactly like a chair being sat on and then released.
The whole team gathered together for the final part of the investigation where we headed up to the Gods seating area first. Knowing how much sound can travel around a theatre we wanted to fully understand where some of these noises may have come from. There were a couple of good sources too, like the fire door which may have been moving slightly due to the outside wind and then the sound of its knocking amplified through the theatre. We also found another door which was moving ever so slightly, but hitting its frame and causing a slight vibration. We had some answers that covered off some of the noises, but not all.
However the theatre was to have the last laugh, almost teasing with our logic that night. As we headed back down towards the stage we heard a loud ‘bang’ sound from the stage area. It was unmistakable and certainly not one we had just located. We investigated for a little while, but could find no real source or understand why such a loud noise may have occurred. It was a sound that you may associate with something heavy falling onto the stage, but there was no such object. It’s these little mysteries that keep me coming back to overnight investigations.
Ghostly Sounds in the Auditorium
The Royal Hippodrome Theatre is a spooky and interesting place that’s for sure. It’s a location I will have to return to one day for another more detailed and in-depth investigation, as those unexplained noises are still bugging me I think. For the amazing history and strange night I spent there that makes The Royal Hippodrome Theatre one of My Top Ten Most Haunted Locations in the UK.
Also, if you’ve ever visited or investigated The Royal Hippodrome Theatre in Eastbourne, then I would like to hear about it too? Have you ever experienced similar activity as I did with my team?
Have You Ever Been To One Of My Top Ten Most Haunted Locations In The UK? Would love to hear your comments below.
I will be posting the ghost stories, and how our investigations went in future articles on this site. So, make sure you follow me on Twitter, or like my Facebook Page to hear the latest. Better still, so you don’t miss out on any spooky haunting stories, you can sign up for me free newsletter here:
I’m always on the lookout for new locations, if you have one that you feel may make it on to next year’s list of my favourite most haunted locations in the UK, please let me know.
Also, if you run paranormal events I am interested in checking out the experience and event that you deliver to your customers. Invite me along and perhaps your event will make my top five paranormal events for 2016.