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The Dailey Dose: The Haunting Of Rohs Opera House

LEXINGTON, Ky. (8/8/2013)—As I stood outside of Rohs Opera House in Cynthiana Ky., my skin crawled with goosebumps. Growing up in this small town I had heard many stories about the haunted spirits that linger throughout the building that has been named the third most haunted place in Kentucky, but I have never had enough guts to investigate…until now.

Rohs Opera House was built in 1871, which leaves 142 years of history behind the closed wooden doors. Roger Slade, James Smith, Missy Lutz and Phillip Nickerson of Cynthiana joined together and leased the old Opera House about 7 years ago.

“We leased the building for the first four years,” said Slade. “Then we got crazy and decided to buy it three years ago.”

I followed Slade and Smith into an office, shivered with the thought of actually sitting in the presence of the unknown spirits and jumped right into the conversation, curious about the paranormal activity that has happened inside of these walls.

“A man died right in this office about nine years ago,” said Slade. “But the spirits have been around long before that.”

I kept reminding myself to stay professional, to be an adult and not get scared of a few ghosts. A part of me was interested and a part of me was cold with fear.

“The first experience that I had was right after we started leasing the place,” said Slade. “I didn’t believe in the stuff that I had heard until I actually saw it myself.”

Slade told stories of the “Lady of The Opera House.” Dressed in all white she roams the hallways of the old building searching for something, but it’s still unknown what that might be.

“I was in the production room working on a few things and saw the woman walk right past me out onto the balcony,” said Slade. “At the time the balcony was forbidden, so I followed to tell her that…and she was nowhere to be found.”

Slade admits that he questioned his sanity at first, but the description of this woman fit what everyone else had seen before.

“I had goosebumps and the classic just saw a ghost face,” admitted Slade. “That was the first of many more encounters that I would have with the Lady of The Opera House.”

Both owners warned me of the possible experiences that I may encounter while being inside of Rohs. While they both claim that these ghosts are harmless, they believe that there are about four or five spirits present in the building.

“There are children spirits who are very fond of hair,” said Smith. “We have had women feel someone touching their hair and sometimes you can even hear children laughing.”

Just last week Smith was in Rohs alone and called Slade to tell him that he had been “ran out” of the building.

“I was walking down the hallway and heard someone running up behind me,” said Smith. “I didn’t even look back, I knew that I was alone, I just took off running out the door. I don’t stay to investigate; that’s all Roger.”

Some people consider children to be more sensitive to paranormal activity and there are more kids that are able to see these young spirits right in front of them than adults.

“About a month ago I brought my 3-year-old grandson in. We were sitting in the theatre and he was on my lap when he starts to point at the curtains on stage,” said Smith. “He kept saying that he wanted to go and play with the little boy. For five minutes all I heard was how bad he wanted to go play.”

At this point I was just amazed by the things that I have heard and the longer that I sat there, the more I wanted to see. This is when I was taken on a tour of the historic Rohs.

“One of the cool things that we found is that there are still artifacts left in the building from 1940,” said Slade. “The exit sign, an old spot light, Morris code readings, and even a “crying room” are still in the spots that they were in so many years ago.”

I started taking pictures of the history that was sitting right in front of me. After reviewing the pictures that I had taken, there was one that stood out. I had taken a picture of the old spot light and in the background to the left sitting about five rows back from the stage appears to be a white blur sitting in the audience.

“She must have liked you,” said Slade after I showed him the picture that made my experience that more real.

After seeing the downstairs of Rohs we made our way upstairs. This is where the balcony is located and where originally operas and the first silent films were shown in Cynthiana.

“Now we just use this room for events, but this is where the children spirits are most active,” said Slade. “It is not uncommon to see a child leave their mother and go sit in the corner. When asked what they are doing, multiple children have replied with that they just wanted to play with the other children.”

Rohs has people all over the state and surrounding states interested in the paranormal activity visit the opera house. For only $25 a person, you can spend the night in Rohs and have the experience yourself.

“We can either stay with you or you can be alone, but a night spent in here, your bound to witness something,” said Slade. “We lend out some equipment such as electric voice phenomenon or EVP meters, but the majority of people bring in their own things.”

Slade and Smith said that they have seen people just bring in a camera and a recorder while others bring in truck loads of equipment.

“We have videos, pictures and even recordings proving that paranormal activity exists within this building,” said Slade.

The Ghost Walk, which brings hundreds of people to Cynthiana, isn’t until October. But, you don’t have to wait until then to experience the Lady Of Rohs.

“I encourage people, believers and non believers, to come and visit Rohs,” said Slade. “It’s something that you can’t describe until you experience it yourself.”

If you aren’t interested in getting up close and personal with the spirits of Rohs, there are less frightening events to attend. For more information about events that will be held at Rohs or to get your own look at the paranormal activity in the historic building contact Roger Slade at (859) 707-3852 or visit www.rohsoperahouse.com.

Check out the photos from my trip to see if you can spot any ghostly entities.

Bonnie Dailey
SurfKY News

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