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Theatre Royal

Thursday, May 28th, 2020

Event Showcase: Theatre Royal
History of Theatre Royal
The Theatre Royal, Margate, Kent is the oldest theatre in Kent and the second oldest theatre in England. The Theatre Royal was built in 1787, burned down in 1829 and was remodelled in 1879. The exterior is largely from the l9th century and has remained relatively untouched.
From 1885 to 1899 actor-manager Sarah Thorne ran a school for acting at the Theatre Royal which is widely regarded as Britain’s first formal drama school.
According to local reports, hauntings began in 1918 when the ghost of Sarah Thorne (an actress) was seen. Paranormal activity has been reported on the stage and backstage and it is known that one of the boxes is haunted as a man jumped from the box to his death during a performance.
Another ghost, that of an actor who committed suicide, is held responsible for creating strange lights that float around the stage area.
Ghost Hunting
We have been investigating #TheatreRoyal since 2013 and have witnessed; instrumental sounds, whispering, voices, coughs, chills, talking, footsteps, doors banging and names being called out! Plus we have had many an active séance session where people have been pushed, sometimes to the floor. Under the stage is generally a very active area, as is the stage.
Our favourite areas are; The top floor of the theatre as we often have some good tech sessions here, the stage as just about every activity we get good results here and below the stage is where we have had some great séance sessions as well as EVP’s and where guests have heard strange noises and musical sounds.
You can watch our videos at
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Theatre Royal – 9th January 2016 – Steve

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2016

Theatre Royal ghost hunt 9th January 2016
Margate, Kent


We always like returning to this theatre, lots of paranormal occurrences seem to happen to us and our guests.

All of my séance sessions we had varying degrees of spirit activity, mostly though the spirit were able to move us although it depended on the encouragement of the guests and whether they wished to be touched and moved by spirit.

We had a well-dressed gentleman, aged in his early 80s join us. He was from the 1890s and wore a top hat and tails.

There were odd noises and strange smells that the guests witnessed, some of the movements were on command, some not but all guests experienced paranormal activity during the séances, some people were pushed, pulled and swayed whilst others felt their arms move.

This was an enjoyable ghost hunt and we hope to return

Psychic Medium
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Theatre Royal ghost hunt – 15th August 2015

Tuesday, October 13th, 2015

Theatre Royal ghost hunt 15th August 2015
Margate, Kent

As a team we always look forward to investigate a theatre, it is one of those locations much like a library or hospital that is on most ghost hunter’s wish list.

Normally I investigate back stage but on this occasion I decided to use the bar area for my séances.

The first group there was some slight arm movement, this was due to the fact that no-one in that group spoke at all or asked spirit to do anything, so I finished the session early as it was pointless continuing.

The second group had lots of movement and pushed to the floor by their hands, the spirit responsible for this was called Godfrey aged in his early 60s and dressed for the Theatre in 1850s, he was also accompanied by his daughter called Laetitia.

Godfrey was also capable of pushing and swaying several of the guests.

The next two sessions I held on the top floor of the theatre. Mostly in the corridor but also in the seating area. This was a gadget and tech session. The highlight of these sessions was a spirit box session in the male toilets that proved to be very out spoken. The guests heard one of their group’s Christian names, then the age, followed by “hi” and “hello” and answered the question “how many of us in the room?” with “seven” followed by “how many men?” with “four”. I left the guests to see if the spirit would continue answering their questions. Which it did but after a while the guests became scared and returned to the base room.

Lots of guests reported seeing strange lights backstage along with shadows seen on the fly floor (the part of the backstage area used to lower the scenery and backdrops)

This was a very interesting ghost hunt and we look forward to returning in 2016

Psychic Medium
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Theatre Royal ghost hunt – 23rd May 2015

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

Theatre Royal ghost hunt 23rd May 2015
Margate, Kent

As a team we always look forward to our events at the Theatre Royal, as we can only visit a couple of times a year due to the venue being used until late at night. However whilst we don’t meet the same spirits we do usually have a good night and have plenty of things to write about.

As always all the guests were split into three smaller groups and each group headed off with a different team member. My area for the night was underneath the stage, which I have used on previous ghost hunts.

The first spirit that I encountered looked like a very serious gentleman about six foot in height and of a slim build aged in his mid to late 50s, notably sporting a well-groomed yet thin beard, wearing a grey three piece evening suit and top hat. This gentleman did not tell me his name but during the course of the evening he told me that he was a doctor who had a summer residence in Margate. This gent was from the 1900’s approximately.

All groups of guests were moved by this spirit sometimes he would be able to push and pull everyone in the group, other times it would only be a few chosen people. The first group everyone was moved and touched within the group when asked to be moved by the spirit and many times people were pushed or pulled to the floor or towards the direction of the theatre. The second and third groups the level of movement was less than the first group but it still affected everyone in the group. Many guests were pulled by their arms to the floor whilst others were lifted towards the ceiling.

There was also a female spirit who I first heard the shuffle of a dress, or more of a “swish” of a dress in the first session. This lady had some affinity with guests who were sisters or those guests who were related to each other, as we had several guests in each group who were related activity centred around them. Some of this activity became unwelcome and our séances had to be stopped to avoid the spirit from inflicting their anguish on the guests.

Many guests also smelt different aromas not associated with the building and some described it as “old perfume” or similar to a sweet tobacco. Since I didn’t smell it I cannot describe the smell.

After our three controlled sessions we allowed the guests to venture off on their own with our ghost hunting equipment to hold their own style ghost hunt or to experience parts of the theatre that the public never see or visit. Many guests reported strange sensations and feelings although a few had some unusual photographs.

This was another enjoyable ghost hunt with lots of paranormal activity felt and sensed by the guests and we look forward to returning to the Theatre Royal in August 2015.

Psychic Medium
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Theatre Royal – 6th September 2014 – Paranormal Investigator Kym

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

Theatre Royal ghost hunt 6th September 2014
Margate, Kent

Area: Third floor of auditorium
Equipment: Writing Planchette, Ouija Table, Ghost Pro, KII, Dowsing Rods, Pendulums

Group B – Kerry joined me for this session and she started with some guests on the Ouija table.  The first spirit that came through was a guests dad – and confirmed this by spelling his name – SID, but received no more.  Then the spirit of a girl came through but although receiving movement, no more information.  Meanwhile I was with guests on the writing planchette but as we were receiving no movement, we switched to using the pendulums.  The guests were very surprised by what they had.  After establishing their yes & no’s they moved around the area, especially in the back row, they were also sensing spirit around them, and some were touched and heard noises next to them.

Group C – Three guests started with the writing planchette and had movement immediately – lots of figures of 8 were drawn.  We tried showing spirit shapes/numbers under the table with our hands asking spirit to copy – the number 3 was copied very accurately when asked.  The movement of the planchette was very rapid, and deliberate, surprising the guests, especially when they took it turns to remove their fingers and it would still move with one or two.   Whilst I was kneeling next to the table I heard and felt a footstep behind me, the guest to my left heard it too, and we both looked around together thinking someone was there, but no-one.  We also heard taps on the sheet of paper that was leaning on the seat next to the guests, when asking for spirit to repeat it, the taps came again twice more.  Meanwhile on the Ouija table 5 guests were receiving a lot of movement, they had a male spirit called Taz who was an actor.  Lots of random letters, however did have the same swear word twice.  Wanting to know where the spirit was standing, the glass moved to Louise (guest).  Half joking Louise said are you sitting on my knee – the glass moved to yes.  We asked if the spirit could bounce up & down so she could feel him, and the rail she was sitting on started vibrating/moving.  Also established Louise reminded the spirit of his mum, and said they knew each other in a past life.  We did have a short time using the pendulums and again guests were extremely surprised by the movement they received.

Group D – Kerry joined me again, and they received movement almost immediately on the Ouija table.  They had a spirit of a boy age 10 – possibly Edward – he drew lots of shapes with the glass, and seemed to be drawn to Kat (guest).  As we were not receiving any movement on the writing planchette Kat suggested coming over, asking the boy to come and draw pictures.  I moved to the Ouija table to make room and the planchette started moving.  The boy was then able to draw the same shapes on the piece of paper.  Then another shape was drawn and we tried really hard to encourage the boy to draw the same shape with the glass, but only a little movement.

Group A – With my last group they knew what they were doing so was able to start with myself observing.  On the Ouija table 4 guests had a male age 64 from 1827, and was here to protect Tina (guest) who had a bad spirit next to her.  On the writing planchette they had the bad spirit talking to them.  He had murdered his wife because he loved John.  He went to prison and died there.  Both groups continued to communicate with spirit until the controlled sessions finished, then they all went off to explore with/without team.

It is fantastic to investigate a Theatre – and can’t to return!

Paranormal Investigator
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Theatre Royal ghost hunt – 18-1-2014

Friday, January 31st, 2014

Theatre Royal ghost hunt 18th January 2014
Margate, Kent

This was the second visit to the Theatre Royal for us, last year we thoroughly enjoyed the venue but didn’t investigate the place to its full extent, this year we corrected that and everyone who attended the event had a great paranormal night, with many unexplained phenomena taking place.

Even before the guests had arrived Carl, Jason and myself had a strange experience in the Green Room (Backstage). Jason was showing us yet another new torch and just as he was about to put it back in his bag he heard a voice say “Hold on to that”, he thought I said it, which I didn’t, I thought Carl had said it, which he didn’t and Carl heard the voice but didn’t know who said it. This we all found very strange!

For the duration of our controlled sessions, which there were three, I had the backstage area, both on the stage and below the stage, although the understage area was the most interesting, back stage had a creepy feel about it one reason for this may be because the stage floor isn’t level which is off putting when standing in virtual darkness.

The first group to the understage we were joined by a male spirit energy called David Askwith who was aged about 25 years old and was from the 1840s era and well dressed in a black three piece suit with a top hat. David was a strange character because whilst he had moments of being a proper gentleman he also had moments of being what we would call simple.

After asking for all our hands to be moved eventually David accomplished this feat, he also took a liking to certain people within the group and those guests received much more activity than anyone else. Shirley was one of these people and David used various guests’ hands to rub her face and tie our arms up, especially with Emma (guest). On various occasions Shirley and I were dragged by our arms towards the floor but didn’t touch the floor that often, just held us in an uncomfortable position. When asking for us to be moved in some other way the majority of the guests were swayed and pushed, some of the guests were swayed in a circular motion whilst other were just swayed forwards and backwards, much to our amusement for those of us who weren’t swayed.

The second group to the understage experienced much greater arm movement which happened before I had even asked for it. David had got the hand of moving us and very quickly this descended into and unusual game of twister! Many of the guests were being manipulated to touch other faces and stomachs and once again David had his favourites, these people were moved in ways which they neither expected nor could resist against and according to Carl (GHE Camera) it looked very odd on camera! The event video will be published before 15th February 2014. Various times half of the guests were dragged by their arms to the floor whilst the other half were lifted by their arms towards the ceiling. This strange game we all found very amusing as no-one could predict which group of people were about to be moved nor how it would affect those who were already being moved.

The third group to the understage area didn’t experience any real movements at all, just some light arm movement between a couple of guests and the same guests feeling a gentle sway. This was generally because when asking the guests to encourage spirit to move them or talk, no-one responded, very few people said anything at all which resulted in nothing much happening to them. I always tell all guests at the start of the ghost hunt that the more they talk and engage with each other the more is likely to happen, standing in virtual silence I can guarantee nothing much will occur, which is exactly what happened with this group.

After we finished our controlled sessions all guests were allowed to wander freely around the venue to hold their own ghost hunt with many guests participating in Ouija board sessions and more table tilting experiments. Some guests just quietly sat in various parts of the building to see if they could experience something paranormal on their own or to watch others participating in an activity. Many guests really enjoyed the ghost hunt and had paranormal activity happen to them that they could not explain or activity that defied logic and physics.

We also really enjoyed the Theatre Royal ghost hunt and are hoping to return to the venue again.

There will be an edited event video published of this event and there are some clips of the table tilting/spinning at:-

The Ghost Hunt Events team consisted of:-
Kym McMillan, Sue Kyle, Jo Titcombe – Paranormal Investigators
Carl Hutchinson & Jason Kyle – Paranormal Investigators and Camera
Steve Moyle – Psychic Medium

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Theatre Royal ghost hunt – 18-1-2014 (Kym)

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

Theatre Royal ghost hunt, Margate 18th January 2014

Area: Third floor of auditorium

Equipment: Writing Planchette, glass on table, table tipping, Ghost Pro, KII, Dowsing Rods & Pendulums

Was looking forward to this venue very much, had missed last years and had always wanted to do a ghost hunt in a theatre.  The amount of energies to have visited or worked here would be many, and for us tonight this proved correct, as each session Sue (GHE team) & I held, different spirits came through each time to talk to us.

With our first group we showed guests how to use the equipment, and let them choose what they wanted to try first.  Four guests who had been on ghost hunts before went to the top seats with equipment.  The remainder tried the rods & pendulums, with some trying some glass work.  The pendulums moved a little, the glass had some slight vibration.  The four at the top asked if anyone was in the room behind them as they could hear talking, but no-one was there.  Some of these guests were feeling coldness around them, with one person having a cold blow in her ear.  They had also had a lot of KII activity, and the ghost pro informed them they had a female spirit with them who was a cleaner at the theatre.  One male guest went to sit at the top on the opposite side, using the dowsing rods.  Shortly after he came down very pleased, he had been communicating with a female spirit using the rods, and had smelt perfume around him.  Sue, who had been communicating with a spirit using the ghost pro, asked spirit if they would like to try some table tipping.  With a positive response she & two guests tried this.  After several creaks from the table frame, the table started lifting very gently.  With a few lifts Sue asked spirit to answer some questions lifting the table one way for yes, and the opposite way for no.  We established the spirit was female, in her 40’s, from the 1960’s, betrayed by a lover, hurt emotionally, worked at the theatre, was married with children, but had an affair with a man.  This man was still alive and working at the theatre, and she was still looking for him.  She committed suicide by hanging herself, but not at the theatre.  She didn’t mean to die, it was a cry for help.  Sue & guest were feeling a coldness to their side, and the other guest on the table felt pins & needles all down her arm, which stopped at her wedding finger – was this connected to the female spirit.  Meanwhile other guests were continuing to use the pendulums, requesting spirit move to their request, which always surprised them, especially when the pendulum was swaying, looking like someone was tapping the chain.

With our second group, I started with the rods & pendulums and had lots of movement.  We then tried the writing planchette and had movement immediately.  Much was drawn but nothing eligible, so I removed the pen & paper, and used the planchette for spirit to move around the table, hopefully answering some questions.  We asked spirit many questions, move planchette to oldest person on the table, person with child, person(s) with pets, person with a motorbike, person who didn’t drive, person who lived nearest to this theatre – all with positive responses.  We asked spirit to draw a square – which it did, then could the spirit draw a large square all around the table, and to our surprise the planchette went off the table and moved around the edge.  We also asked spirit to lift the planchette a couple of times – which it did.  The guests then explored the top area and reported no talking in the room behind, but lots of KII activity, and pendulum moving.

Meanwhile Sue was with two female guests, using the glass on the table.  They had a male spirit age 56 years old, had a daughter aged seven who was run over & killed, he had never gotten over her death.  He had another daughter still living age 18 years old, and one of the guests reminded him of his daughter.  This gentleman was a Scaffolder & married.  He had passed within the last 10 years, and visited the theatre because it reminded him of happy times with his children.  The second spirit that joined them was also male, and had passed in the last 10 years.  He raced greyhounds at the dog track in Margate.  He was an actor at the theatre and had died of natural causes.  We asked him to draw his first initial with the glass – V.  We felt his name was Victor, and he confirmed this was correct.  We also asked him to draw his age – 83.  Then a female spirit came through, this was the same female from our first session who had been lifting the table.  She moved the table slightly, however one guest felt a similar sensation to an earlier guest, tingling down her hand to her wedding finger.  And cold spots were felt around them when the female spirit was present.

With the third group we started with the rods & pendulums, and they started moving.  Myself and two guests started using the writing planchette, it started moving almost immediately, with the letter v drawn twice – was this Victor, or one guest thought it could be a female spirit called Vera.  With nothing more being drawn we again removed the paper & pen, and used the planchette to communicate.  As it was moving without me I left the two guests using this to ask many questions.  Sue was using the glass on table, and the spirit of Victor had joined them again, he had drawn his initial V on the table, and seemed to want to just have fun by drawing lots of shapes at request.  The guests explored area with kit before ending the controlled sessions, and starting the free session.

Sue & I had enjoyed this ghost hunt immensely, feeling the many spirits that joined us wanted to tell their story, and give us all evidence of their existence.  A wonderful theatre – can’t wait to return.

Kym McMillan & Sue Kyle
Paranormal Investigators
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Theatre Royal ghost hunt – 19-1-2013

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

Theatre Royal ghost hunt 19th January 2013
Margate, Kent

It is not often that active theatres are available for ghost hunts because of their schedule of productions. So when this theatre became available we jumped at the chance. Due to the nature of a theatre we did not intend to do what we usually do at a ghost hunt. Instead of different groups being in any particular area for any length of time, we just let the guests hold their own ghost hunt in whatever area they wished. We then would join them at various intervals to assist their ghost hunt. This approach worked well because there is no way that we could have conducted different sessions because noise travels throughout the theatre.

We gave all guests some of our equipment so that they could venture off on their own.

Whilst I was in the theatre talking to guests I became aware of a male spirit energy, his name was Edward and his wearing typical Victorian theatre attire; Top hat and tails. He was 72 years old and told me that he was waiting for a performance from Margaret Stevenson. (Our researchers have yet to find any actress with this name). Carl (Ghost Hunt Events Team member) was sitting in this area and he was able to detect Edward with a MEL meter & KII meters. The guests that were in this area watched as Edward managed to affect both the MEL & KII meter.

I then went off to find other guests, some were backstage and waiting to go to the Fly Floor, this is an area above the stage where the control of the backdrops occurs.

Whilst in this area I felt severe pains in my chest, which I could imagine a heart attack would feel like. Several of the guests also felt a tightening of the chest but nothing painful, although they did feel some strange cold spots. As soon as I left this area the pain subsided.

After catching up with some more guests below the stage, they too wanted to go to the Fly Floor, so having just recovered from that session I returned hoping not to feel the same pain. Fortunately I didn’t get the same sensations. A male spirit energy in his early 20s was now present, he seemed to be from the 1960s and when we held our hands out, we could feel the warmth of his energy and many guests reported a tingling sensation in their hands. There was also an unhappy male spirit energy present and this spirit made one of the male guests cry. The same guest also felt both hot spots and some extremely cold blasts of air around his face. Whilst asking for spirit to repeat my knocks on a wooden beam, we heard a strange tapping noise back, although the noises sounded like someone tapping on concrete.

I suggested that since the majority of the guests were backstage that we hold a séance to try to get those energies to interact with us. A Scottish spirit energy joined us and a very loud and outspoken male energy, both in their 20s. After a while many guests’ arms were raised, mostly on command and the spirit energies then went on to push people and sway them. There were also lots of occasions when the spirit energies were using peoples arms to stroke shoulders and heads of other guests.

At the end of the séance I conducted an EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomena a.k.a. ghost voice) experiment. There were several responses although the majority of them we unclear, however the clearest can be heard at:-

Back in the theatre I joined a few guests sitting quietly in the upper circle and turned on my spirit box (a device that scans the FM frequencies at 100ms in reverse) and asked the spirits that I could sense; a little girl of about 9 years old eating an ice cream called Dorothy and a strict looking women from the 1950s era waiting for someone to return from the bar to speak to us via this device. We all heard “Hi”, “Hello” and “Steve” then when I asked how many of us were sitting down we all heard “Not Sure” and other various words that didn’t make sense. As we were sitting here we became aware that the door on the opposite side of the theatre was opening and closing as if someone had walked through it. (Other team members had reported this happening when they were in the area) Since we were the only people in the circles (other guests were backstage or on the ground floor) we tried to emulate the door swings and we could not. There was no breeze to speak of and when we opened the door we couldn’t get it to react in the way we had previously seen.

Whilst standing here I was aware of another male spirit standing near to Carl and a guest on the ground floor. Both could feel a coldness as they neared to the spirit, which was in front of a radiator (which was on) and a tingling sensation. Carl could also see several spikes of EMF energy on his MEL meter.

Many guests photographed strange light anomalies in the theatre, some also saw them with their own eyes. Bob (from Surrey Paranormal, a guest) reported the following:-

11.30pm: it quietened down and I managed to sit by myself and see if I could sense anything. While on the top floor (balcony), I saw a couple of shadows move across the seats beside me – nobody else was on the same floor with me and I could find no explanation for the shadows.

12.00am: I moved down to the middle floor (circle) and was sitting in the seats at one side of the auditorium. After about 10 minutes of sitting quietly, I saw some orange lights over the …stage area. They were not distinct, more a shimmer. I thought it might be from the emergency lighting but when I looked at all the emergency lighting units, they were all giving out a steady light so were not the cause, nor could I find any other light source that might have caused the phenomena.

12.30am: I went down to the ground floor and stood, leaning against the stage, looking out into the auditorium. I was hoping I might see the spirit of the former theatre manager who is supposed to come into the auditorium through the back doors, but no such luck. I did, however, get the sensation of someone or something touching my hair!

Another guest (Penny) heard her named be called out, but didn’t take any notice at the time as she thought it was her sister calling her. However at the time her sister was with me, firstly below the stage and then on the Fly Floor both of which are backstage, Penny was in the main theatre.

Many guests also reported feeling odd and strange when initialling entering the Royal Box, although they all reported that these feelings dissipated very quickly.

Theatre Royal

An unusual investigation just because of the lack of our usual controlled sessions, but nevertheless an active ghost hunt, which didn’t become apparent until all the recordings were analysed. We have shadows and other oddities recorded from our video footage as well as numerous audio recordings that are still being analysed.

The Ghost Hunt Events team were:-
Jo – Paranormal Investigator
Carl – Paranormal Investigator
Steve – Psychic Medium


Psychic Medium
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