Sioux City Orpheum Haunted?
As many of you already know, Andrew and I grew up in Sioux City, Iowa. The town, its people, history, and attractions, shaped who we are and it was also what prompted us to start investigating the paranormal. Andrew is much younger than me, his eldest sibling, but even he was able to see the glory of the Orpheum after it was restored in 1999 and reopened in 2001. The restoration, by the way, was filmed by George Lindblade who won an award for the documentary, Puttin' on the Glitz.
According to the Orpheum website, http://orpheumlive.com/, the building was the largest of its kind in Iowa, constructed in 1927, for $1.75 million. It was one of many theaters opened nationwide (and in Canada) by the Orpheum Circuit, a chain of vaudeville and movie theaters operating between 1886 and 1928.
In the 1970's and 1980's the Sioux City Orpheum became a movie theater. I recall seeing movies there off an on during my childhood, loving the plush velvet and red curtains. I felt like I was entering a turn of the century Opera each time I sauntered down the aisles. But, in 1992, the stunning building was closed.
Much speculation of specters has been shared about the Orpheum over the years. I recall hearing a story in 1994 while chatting with a group of construction workers who claimed to have been involved in converting the theater into a movie theater. One told me that the Orpheum had sub basements and that police had found a murdered woman. Another told me he was working above the stage and a man in "olden day clothes" came up to him to grab a stage rope. Another said he saw a little girl walk in front of the stage. I never did investigate their various stories, but the men went on for hours about the Orpheum, and all believed it was haunted. I have heard that the Sioux Falls Orpheum was investigated, but the Sioux City location, though spectacular, may be spook-less. Next trip home, I would love to grab Andrew to investigate it for activity, but so far I can only report stories of hearsay.
If you have a story about a ghostly encounter at the Sioux City Orpheum or anywhere in Sioux City, let us know, we would love to hear your story!