Woodland Opera Ghost Story

by Paul Dale Roberts, HPI Ghostwriter

Let's get some history of the place first. Here are the facts received from Kristen Sheley (HPI Investigator/Researcher)…as Joe Friday of Dragnet would say, "Just the facts, ma'am."

1885: Woodland Opera House is built.

1896: Opera House is rebuilt after being destroyed by fire four years earlier.

1913: More than 300 touring companies appear on the Opera House's stage during a 17-year run. Because of the growing popularity of motion pictures and an injury lawsuit, the Opera House is closed and boarded up.

1971: Yolo County Historical Society purchases the building, which that year is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

1973: Opera House becomes a California Registered Historical Landmark (No. 851).

1976: The Opera House is declared a California State Historic Park.

1980: The Opera House is donated to the state of California.

1981: A $2 million restoration begins.

1989: The Opera House reopens and, for the first time in nearly eight decades, begins to offer live entertainment year-round.

2008: A $2.2 million Opera House expansion is planned with funding from a sales tax extension. The renovation will include a new performing arts center for young people.

The date is: Saturday, September 15, 2007 and the Woodland Opera House Investigation commences.

Entering Woodland is like walking into a piece of Americana history. The town has a cozy feeling to it, with shops and businesses like The House Dresser (which sells antiques), Osaka Sushi, the 1914 R.B. Cranston Building, Ludy's Main Street BBQ and Tazzina Bistro.

Even the sign on the light post says.."Stroll Through History." I come upon the famous Woodland Opera House and the HPI team is assembling outside. Alicia Perry, Lead Investigator gives paranormal investigators Jennifer Baca, Mary Casiano, Holly DeLaughter, Brian Colbert, Cherie Vincent, Shannon McCabe, Michelle Paykel and John Wachter aka Vlawde a briefing. Of course, I'm right in the middle, listening to the briefing too.

Alicia explains that she conducted a pre-investigation on August 25, Saturday with John Wachter, Michelle Paykel, Mary Casiano, Jennifer Baca and Carol Gillis. In the pre-investigation Michelle saw a ball of light in the balcony, they picked up a slew of EVPs. The EVPs that were analyzed said: "go back," "turn around," "go," "no," "it's Black's fault, get him Pa," "I'm more powerful." One of the EVPs they captured in the balcony is believed to be an entity named William. And a lot of digital photographs captured strange and unusual orb activity.

During our investigation, Mary Casiano's EMF Reader goes off at one particular seat in the 2nd back row. Shannon sits behind the seat and tries to communicate with the entity. She pretends to massage the entity's shoulders and the EMF Reader goes off like a firetruck emergency siren for an 4 alarm fire! This took place for about 3 or 4 minutes and we luckily caught it on video. After a while the EMF Reader finally stops, while Shannon moves her wrists around, tired from massaging the air.

When I walked into one of the dressing rooms, I closed the door behind me and sat in the dressing room for about 20 minutes in the dark. I tried this with another dressing room and the temperature gauge reads 32. There is a cold chill. The temperature gauge reads 78 and everything is back to normal. Holly DeLaughter takes a photo of me and to everyone's surprise, it looks like an entity is fusing with my head, there is something projecting out of my neck and a woman's leg is imprinted into my shorts. I told Holly to definitely send me this unusual photo, this is a photo that needs to be seriously analyzed. Alicia shakes her head and says..."Paul, you attract them all!" There was even one time, I thought I heard a female's voice say "Paul." I asked Jennifer Baca if she called my name and she said "no." Of course, it could have just been my over-active imagination, but who knows? Jennifer was telling me that a ghost by the name of William Porter haunts the building and supposedly he died fighting a fire. Porter died in the back alley outside when the wall collapsed on him. Jennifer suggested I read the news clippings about this firefighter, because she didn't want to give me the wrong information.