Catawba County News
Haunted Catawba: Hickory Community Theatre
Published: October 07, 2022
30 3rd St NW
Hickory, NC 28601
[Row BB, the Girl in Yellow, and the Woman in White]
The Hickory Community Theatre is a popular place for the living so it is unsurprising that it has more than a few people that wanted to stick around after their show was over. Over the life of the building it has been the home of city municipal offices, a storage space for the city of Hickory’s financial information, and a speak-easy. The building even contains a room that has been walled off for years and no one knows what is behind the brick and mortar that blocks the doorway.
To the staff and crew, one of the most well-known spirits is the man in the balcony that seems to have a preference for a particular seat in Row BB. The man is a bit of a prankster as people have reported hair pulling, ear tugging, and laughter at their expense. A few have seen the man leaning over the balcony laughing at them while they work on stage. He also likes to leave the seat down as no matter how many times his seat is put up the staff will always find it in the down position the next time they walk through the balcony.
The second most popular ghost is the little girl in yellow that has a penchant for thievery. There are stories of the little girl making an appearance in a 1900 rendition of “State Fair” that drew interest from play goers wanting to know the name of the little actress. She is also slated as being responsible for the disappearance of jewelry from the costume and prop room during the theatre’s run of “Patsy” that would later show up in odd places.
By far the most famous ghost at the theater is the woman in white, a spirit that has been seen by staff, audience members, and children attending theatre summer camps. In an issue of Valley Living from 2004, the theatre’s Director of Education was working with camp students when the woman in white made an appearance and began dancing on the stage. A few brave students went onto the stage with the woman while the rest of the group watched from the balcony. Those on stage said they could no longer see the woman but those on the balcony watched as the woman ceased dancing and began to reach toward the children. The woman in white has also been seen waiting off stage during productions and walking across the stage during off-hours.
Staff have also stated that there can simply be a general sense of unease, of being watched, and of someone standing behind them when they are working that have never been attributed to any specific spirit.
*Sources are located in the collection of the Rhodes Room at the Main Library in Newton*