Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Music Hall Ghosts and the Holiday Food Drive Blogfest

This week I decided to share a post I wrote for the 2012 A-Z in April Challenge about a haunted landmark here in my home town of Cincinnati instead of a new ghost story. So these ghosts are much closer to home for me! 

Music Hall (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Cincinnati's Music Hall was built in 1878 and is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. It is the home of the Cincinnati Pops and Symphony Orchestras and, according to legend, it is also the home of many ghosts.

Music Hall was built on land that held an Orphanage Asylum in 1844 and, prior to that, the Commercial Hospital and Lunatic Asylum, which included a "pest house" for the indigent who were stricken with contagious diseases. When these indigent patients died, they were buried in mass graves, making the land under the present-day Music Hall a potter's field

With that kind of history, it's not hard to imagine there could be some restless souls wandering around Music Hall. While the venue is undoubtedly beautiful, it's not a big stretch for me to believe that there could be ghosts there, as I've always thought the place had a bit of a "Phantom of the Opera" vibe. When I've been there for shows, I could easily imagine the huge chandelier crashing down into the crowd.

Music Hall's Springer Auditorium (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Throughout the years, employees of Music Hall have reported strange sounds, such as footsteps, slamming doors, and music playing when no musicians were in the building. One employee reported what sounded like a music box playing for hours in the elevator shaft. In addition, workers have seen apparitions and ghostly forms, such as an extra unknown "cast member" in a production, men and women dressed in 19th century clothing, and, most notably, a "girl in white" who frequents the auditorium. Chairs in the auditorium have reportedly been moved, and elevators set in motion when no one has pressed their buttons.

Music Hall has been renovated several times over the years and, each time, construction workers have unearthed bones. Its reputation for ghostly inhabitants has spread so far that Music Hall was featured on The Travel Channel's Most Terrifying Places in America.

Now, The Cincinnati Arts Association gives guided ghost tours of Music Hall one night a month. I've never attended a tour but, after the reading I did for this post, I can't deny I'm a little curious.

Today is the last day for the Holiday Food Drive Blogfest, hosted by M.J. Joachim and Tina Downey. The purpose of the fest is to raise awareness about hunger by spotlighting local food pantries in the hopes of helping to stock their shelves for the upcoming holidays and beyond.

I am spotlighting the Anderson Ferry Food pantry here in Cincinnati. This pantry is run out of a local church and is actually only about 5 minutes from where I live. I drive past the pantry regularly, and I've written before about what a sobering sight it is to see people lined up outside the door for food during the pantry's distribution hours. The pantry is a small operation that only serves people in our immediate area and the first time I saw the line it was a shock to realize how many people in our neighborhood are in need.

I've donated to this pantry before but this blogfest was a great reminder to do it again. Thanks to M.J. and Tina for hosting the fest!


  1. You should take that tour! It would be cool.

  2. The music hall sounds creepy. Not sure I would take the tour, but you should do it :).

  3. Oooh, I'd love to go on one of those tours.

  4. Music Hall is gorgeous, inside and out! And an Orphanage Asylum was there before?

    I've seen the food drive and it is a great idea. Good luck and have fun with that.

    M.L. Swift, Writer

  5. Ok, this might be one of the most disturbing of the ghost stories you've posted here. "Pest house"??? Yikes. I agree -no wonder there are restless spirits there!

    I love this food drive, and will be making a donation to my local one in honor of it. It's great stuff, and my gratitude goes out to you and MJ and Tina!

  6. What a neat history. Does sound kind of like a creepy place. You're a much braver person that I if you take on of those tours, lol. Thanks again for signing up for The Labyrinth Challenge :)

  7. Awesome. I totally used to get into stuff like that. Now I just laugh--because a huge portion of it is built off people's own jumpiness or imagination. Not saying ghosts don't happen, they do, but we love to scare ourselves as much as be scared. =)

  8. Wow, I never thought of haunted music hall tours. I wanna sign right up to that! Doubt there any in Dubai though :(

  9. Wow, I never thought of haunted music hall tours. I wanna sign right up to that! Doubt there any in Dubai though :(

  10. Now, who's brilliant idea was that! Reminds me of Poltergeist, among other movies. If you go, be sure you give us detailed info on your experience! Writer’s Mark

  11. I'm with Alex - you should take the tour! If I was going to see a ghost, that's how I'd want to - with a whole group of people around me, hopefully ones I could outrun. :)

  12. @Alex, when I resurrected this post I thought, I never did take that tour! Now maybe I will LOL.

    @Isis, I really do think it would be fun.

    @Vanessa, I need to actually do it this time LOL.

    @Michael, isn't just the name orphanage asylum awful?? I can't imagine.

    @Liz, I agree, it's no surprise at all LOL.

    @Emilyann, I don't know if I'll actually be brave enough to do it LOL. And you're welcome, it's my pleasure!

    @Crystal, LOL, I agree even though I do love ghosties LOL.

    @Shah, I wish you could come and take this one with me!

    @Nancy, I definitely will. And I agree, it's a lot like Poltergeist!

    @Madeline, LOL LOL, definitely, that's the best plan. :D

  13. Yeah, with all those bones down there you gotta imagine there could be a few disembodied spirits to go with them. I always find theaters a little creepy anyway, especially in the backstage areas with all those dark rafters and storage rooms full of old stage sets and props.

    You keep giving me shivers with these posts. :P

  14. Oh, I so want to go to a haunted "Phantom of the Opera" vibe sort of place. I've seen that show 5 times and own the movie.
    Thanks so much participating and supporting our food drive. it is indeed a sobering thing to see so many people in need. It feels good to be able to make a difference.
    Tina @ Life is Good

  15. Gosh, that music hall sounds so incredibly eerie. No wonder you felt like sharing that post again!

  16. The architecture of the Music Hall is quite stunning and extraordinary. Beautiful buildings are simply a joy for the eyes. Not too fond of the ghosts and what not - sort of gives me the creeps, but the building is beautiful!

    Thanks for spotlighting your local food bank today. It's sad to see how many people line up, and it's nice to have the opportunity to help them any way we can.

  17. I hope the beautiful music and surroundings soothes any souls wandering. Maybe they finally feel surrounded by elegance and beauty!

  18. It is so creepy that people would put buildings over cemeteries. But I know there are several places in NYC that are the same. Eww! Great post and good for you for sharing the news about the charity! :-)

  19. I've seen that place on Ghost Hunters. Lots of great history there.

  20. I'd love to take the tour! That'd also be cool to see and extra person in the cast, I think!

  21. So many ghosts! I'd love to take that tour. The building alone looks like worth a visit, beautiful.

  22. @LG, yeah, I agree, theaters are perfect places for ghosts.

    @Tina, I love Phantom too! Thanks again for hosting the hop.

    @Heather, it really is!

    @MJ, thanks again for hosting this hop, it was a great idea!

    @Julie, that's a good thought, I hope so too.

    @Lexa, I agree, I don't know why they ever did it!

    @Christine, oh, I didn't know it was on Ghost Hunters, I'd like to see that!

    @Cathy, I think so too.

    @Annalisa, it is a gorgeous building, a real treasure for the city.

  23. Hi Julie .. you definitely want to take that tour .. sounds interesting to say the least. I didn't know what a potter's field is/was - now I do .. having checked it out.

    I'm glad you're supporting the Anderson Food Pantry - your local food charity .. and it must be sobering to see so many lined up.

    We need to help our local communities so much more .. good for you - Hilary

  24. Sounds like the place you'd die in a horror movie. Beautiful though.

  25. @Hilary, I definitely need to see about signing up for the tour, I always forget about it though LOL. Thanks!

    @Sheena-kay, definitely, it would be a great setting for a movie!

  26. Haunted music hall - that's a really creepy story. 0_0

    Many people are only a few paychecks away from being homeless. It's scarey when you think about it.

  27. I went on a ghost tour once in Miami and didn't see anything.

    I'd love to visit this place. I haven't been to Cincinnati before.

  28. I'd love to go on a tour, if I were with people who wouldn't think me weird! LOL
    Love the Phantom of the Opera, would love to see the real thing, or maybe I wouldn't.
    Do they know where to bones came from? That's scary!

  29. I loved the video. Relics of workhouses always give me the creeps. I do have a soft spot for haunted castles though.

  30. What an absolutely beautiful and interesting place to house some ghosts!

  31. The Springer auditorium is beautiful! I'd love to attend a concert there...

  32. @Melissa, it really is scary to think about. Seeing these people lined up here was a real shock for me. Such a sad situation.

    @Medeia, oh, that's too bad you didn't see anything. Or maybe not LOL.

    @Yolanda, I wouldn't think you were weird. We could go together LOL.

    @Fanny, I totally agree. Glad you enjoyed the video!

    @Rebecca, isn't it?

    @Michelle, it is a great place, a real gem for the city.


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