By Thomas D’Agostino
The City Theater in Biddeford, Maine, is very easy to find as it sits in the middle of the downtown area. The opera house was built around 1860 and hosted many famous names of the times. In 1894 the building burned to the ground but was rebuilt, and by January 1896 shows were once again held in the house. Many people have come and gone over the decades but one person still graces the stage of her last performance.
Eva Gray was a member of the Dot Carol Company that was performing at the theatre in 1904. Eva was an illustrated song singer. In between set changes, she would sing onstage with the words to the songs illuminated on a screen. This also allowed the audience to sing along.
On October 31, 1904, Eva stepped onto the stage and sang her rendition of “Good-Bye Little Girl, Good-Bye,” a popular song of the times. She sang it with such power that a second call was requested and the audience sang along. Again, the audience was so immersed with the moment they yelled for a third curtain call, but Eva had become suddenly ill. She collapsed and died of heart failure before the doctor arrived.
Although the theater has changed over the years, Eva’s performances still retain their same flair. Many people over the years have sworn that a presence was ceaselessly watching them. The area they were standing in would suddenly become cold and the hairs on the necks and arms would rise. People have heard a ghostly voice, singing in the theater when no one else was around.
Eva also likes to make the heavy stage curtains sway with music that may be playing. One group stood in amazement as the long bar of lights hanging over the stage began swinging violently back and forth. Voices are often heard in the empty balcony and one time a stagehand saw a figure sitting in the seats despite the fact that all the doors were locked. The figure promptly vanished.
Eva may not be the only one haunting the theater as others have witnessed what looked like someone climbing up and down a tall ladder that sat backstage. Lights move along the walls as if ushers were showing an invisible patron to their seat.
The theater still has events throughout the year and it is assumed that Eva may still be watching and showing her approval of the performances.