Ghost 1- The
During World War II, a Navy doctor had a special
tradition. Upon returning to the United
States (after his trips to the Pacific Theater) he would go to a nearby church
and pray for the men he treated, but could not save. One particular soldier had suffered a
gruesome chest wound. The doctor
desperately worked to save the man's life to no avail. The doctor was cupping the soldier’s heart when
he felt the heart give its final beat.
The doctor simultaneously felt some odd sensation throughout his body. He just chalked it up to the stresses of a
battle field hospital.
When the doctor returned to port in San Diego he set
out to fulfill his solemn tradition of praying for the souls of his fallen
comrades. He did this at the chapel of the
First Baptist church. He gave church
officials the following account. He
reported that he entered the sanctuary and sat down in a pew at the back
row. He knelt to pray and was suddenly
rocked backwards against the pew. As he
gazed to the ceiling with his eyes and mouth wide open, he felt that same odd
sensation that he experienced back at the field hospital on Okinawa. A church official found him slumped to the
floor and unconscious where he had been kneeling. It seems as though the spirit of the British
Lieutenant had entered the doctor's body back in that hospital and was now free
and had taken up residence at 930 10th Avenue.
Following this doctor’s visit to the chapel, the
eerie echo of a British officer’s voice has been heard throughout the
building. At times, it sounds like the officer
is barking out orders as if in battle.
Other times, the voice seems to be keeping soldiers marching in unison
with a staccato march cadence. He has
even been heard singing pub songs as if celebrating the victory in the Pacific
The Lieutenant has never been known to be frightful
or mean. He seems to be content with his
home in the building, but has known to get a little testy with those who have
been heard speaking ill of subject matter related to the United Kingdom.
When the building was occupied by the First Baptist
Church, the rooftop was used for a variety of outdoor activities. The church surrounded the roof deck with a
chain link fence and installed chicken wire over the top of the court to keep
any stray recreational equipment from falling to the streets below. The church youth took advantage of the great
downtown playground for such games as basketball, badminton, volleyball, and shuffle
board. On one particularly hot day in
October, a girl named Missy had had enough fun on the roof and wanted to go
back downstairs to get out of the heat.
The pastor supervising the handful of kids on the rooftop reassured
Missy that right after the current basketball game ended the group would be
going down to the social hall on the second floor for refreshments. Missy was a bit of a precocious child and
didn’t feel comfortable with that time frame so she bolted for the staircase.
The pastor excused himself from his referee duties
and asked one of the older kids to let the game play out and bring the kids
downstairs. The Baptist pastor ran after
Missy. In the stairwell, Missy had made
it down the first flight of stairs. When
she heard the pastor calling her name, she turned the episode into a game and
yelled out to the pastor “Catch me if you can!”
The pastor quickened his pace down the stairs and as he rounded the
landing between the third and second floor, he heard the last words of Missy’s
young life. All she was able to shout
was “Catch me…” before the pastor heard a small shriek, then a series of dull
Missy’s body was found at the bottom of the stairs
on the second floor, her head split open and leaking blood. The horror-stuck pastor scrambled down the
stairs to the twisted body of the dead girl.
He would never be the same.
Missy has been known to only roam the
stairwell. The thought is that she is
playing in that vertical playground for eternity. While traveling the
building’s stairwell, a
person might have the opportunity to catch a glimpse of the little girl
around the corner of a landing. She’s
easy to recognize. She had mid-length
dark hair with straight bangs across her forehead. She also sports a
white head band. She’s wearing a green and white striped dress
and will draw attention with her whimsical smile.
Ghost 3- The
As mentioned, the pastor who ran after Missy never
recovered from the idea that he had caused Missy’s death. After the tragic accident, he agonized over
the fact that he should not have run after Missy, rather he should have just
walked down the stairs to meet her. By
running, Missy’s playful mind turned this moment in time into a game. And the memory that really tore at the
pastor’s mind was the final utterance from Missy.
me…” echoed in the pastor’s brain, just as it had echoed off the smooth,
plaster stairwell walls. The pastor
would agonize over those two words twisting their meaning into Missy’s
desperate call for him to catch her from falling to her death. Eventually the pain and guilt reached a level
that was intolerable for the pastor.
On the morning of Monday, November 25, 1963, the
church secretary unlocked the front door to the church and proceeded up the
stairs to her mezzanine floor office.
She was still thinking about the inspirational sermon the pastor had
given the day before. He spoke
beautifully about the need to be strong after the horrible assassination of
President John F. Kennedy that had occurred on Friday. The secretary put down her purse and knocked
on the pastor’s door. There was no
response. She walked back down to the
first floor and entered the sanctuary and called out for the pastor. She noticed a dim light glowing from a cloak
room on the side of the alter. Thinking
that the pastor was organizing the choir robes from the day before, the
secretary walked down the side aisle of the large chapel and called out to
him. She entered the small room and
uttered the pastor’s name again. Suddenly
she recoiled in horror as she stared at the dead body of the pastor hanging
from a storage loft access ladder. It is
presumed that the pastor had gone to try and apologize to Missy for causing her
More research is pending on the existence of these
three spirits at The 10th. As more
information is gleaned from the building we will be posting it at our
website. Go to 10thavenuetheatre.com for
more information about the 10th Avenue Theatre and Arts Centre.