This is a first hand investigation by Lynda Quirino...

Following a lead on a possible haunting at The Stephen Leacock Theatre in Keswick, I contacted a former employee of the theatre and a library employee (the library is adjacent to the theatre itself).

The theatre, it seems, is quite active in certain ways; the library, however, is not.

According to my source, the former employee, there are many "feelings" one has upon entering the theatre confines, none of which are malevolent at all. Actually, they are quite warming and welcoming. "On more than one occasion," she remembers, "I have felt someone watching me -- especially in the women's dressing room and in the very back of the theatre where the props are stored."

"It's the feeling that I'm definitely not alone, and that everything we are doing there in terms of creativity and furthering the cultural standards of the community is being applauded and approved of. It's nice."

As to the gender of the entity, the former employee feels that it is "most definitely male, probably 40ish, perhaps early 50s." With regards to the rumour that the "ghost" is a former janitor or caretaker, she wouldn't be surprised.

"Since it likes to hang around backstage and in the wings, I would agree with its being some kind of caretaker or helper."

Where, especially, does this feeling of being watched and approved of happen? "There's this really rough, really ratty brownish-red couch in the women's makeup/changing room. That's where it usually happens."

"You feel really warm and welcome. We've had some writers and performers do their best creative work on that couch. The pens flow across the page the inspiration is so great!"

Has anyone seen anything or is it just a feeling? The former employee claims shadows have been seen ("I've seen something like a shadow, very fleeting, out of the corner of my eye. Then it disappears."), but it's its playful quality that apparently commands attention.

"I had a pair of earrings on the counter in the dressing room. I turned around for a few seconds to say something to a friend, turned around, and they were gone. I thought for sure that someone had been playing a practical joke on me. No such luck. A few hours later, I found them up on a high shelf in the costume room. Go figure. Had to have been the resident ghost!"

Apparently, things do go missing and end up being found in unlikely places.

Another contact who has appeared in numerous performances in the theatre has corroborated on this story. He claims that it visits the men's dressing room on occasion and hides things there as well.

"Sometimes it's towels. There's a shower available there, and it seems that whoever it is that's haunting the theatre doesn't really want anyone to take one. Maybe it's too messy to clean up or something."

The library employee is skeptical. "Sometimes I have had to go in and turn off lights or something when there's no one there. I haven't felt anything, nor have I seen anything. Of course, I don't spend too much time in there, so who knows?" As to whether it wanders, the employee is adamant that it does not. "Nope. The library is very clear!"

If anyone else has experienced something at the Stephen Leacock Theatre in Keswick, please let us know. The questions continue...

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