Is Dunedin's Regent Theatre Haunted?

March 18, 2018

Categories: Skepticism , Tags: Pseudoscience, Ghost

The Regent Theatre in Dunedin (opens new window) is in the news again, as it's been flooded (opens new window). This is unfortunate, as it appears that someone accidentally left a tap on that has caused damage to carpets and the ceiling. However, the staff at the theatre believe that this wasn't negligence, it was a ghost!

Apparently the room with the tap in it was locked, and there was no damage to the tap or pipework. Similar incidents have happened recently, such as another tap being left on and electrical appliances being turned on.

Back in 2015 (opens new window), when Phantom of the Opera was playing at the theatre, staff reported a couple of clocks stopping, technical problems with a prop (a chandelier) and a patron thinking the back of their seat was kicked when nobody was behind them. My conclusion back then was that the story was a good advertisement for their show.

To me the most likely explanation for the current series of "spooky" events is that a staff member has a forgetful streak, and keeps leaving taps and switches on. It certainly seems more likely than the idea that ghosts exist and are able to interact with the physical world, and are using this ability for mundane tricks like turning taps and lights on.

I wonder what the theatre's insurance company thinks of the claim that the damage is being caused by ghosts. Is it better for everyone involved that fingers aren't being pointed, and "ghosts" are a convenient scapegoat?