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The Plaza Theatre: A Paranormal Investigation in Romsey


A Most Haunted Location?
The Plaza Theatre in Romsey

Nestled in the quaint town of Romsey, just outside Southampton, The Plaza Theatre holds stories that would seemingly transcend the boundaries of time and reality. Originally opened in 1931 as a cinema, its journey through the decades—from a cinema to a bingo hall, and eventually to a theatre—has saturated the fabric of the building with layers of history, emotion, and, as some believe, spirits from the past, and as we discovered the not-too-distant past. In this blog my aim is to take you through an enthralling night of paranormal investigation at this historic venue, where the veil between the present and the afterlife seemed thinner than ever.


Historical Echoes: The Legacy of The Plaza


Understanding the significance of The Plaza Theatre's past is crucial to grasping the depth of our paranormal experience. The theatre's transformation from a cinema in the 1930s to its current state as a home for the Romsey Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society (RAODS) is a tale of community, resilience, and passion for the arts. The meticulous preservation of its Art Deco architecture adds a tangible sense of history and elegance, setting the perfect stage for our ethereal encounters.


Arrival and First Impressions


Our investigation (Led by the DS Haunts Team) began with a warm welcome from the Theatre Team, a group of individuals dedicated to the preservation and operation of this historic venue. Their passion for The Plaza was palpable, echoing the dedication of countless volunteers and members of RAODS who have contributed to its revival and maintenance over the years. Their passion is as impressive as the building itself. My first feelings were that the ground, which the building occupied, plays a significance in the energetic presence of today, I didn’t understand why… I was told later that there used to be a railway connection with the site before the building works.


As the evening unfolded, led by Paula and Steve from the experienced DS Haunts team, we embarked on preliminary energy work. It was during these initial moments that I felt an unexplainable discomfort, coupled with the names ‘Jenkins’ and ‘Derek’ mysteriously imposing themselves into my consciousness. Little did I know, the name Jenkins would weave a thread through our investigation, linking us to The Plaza's storied past. In addition, I had an overwhelming feeling that part of my face was irregular, I was sure and certain I was channelling this person. Indeed, on my way to the auditorium I showed the name Jenkins to another team member, I had been ’pushed’ and shown this name first – a board is on display in the foyer of names of patrons, sponsoring seats in the theatre,



Was this the name I was meant to see?
Plaza Theatre Seat Sponsors

Vigil in the Auditorium


The main auditorium of The Plaza, with its continuous rake of seats and preserved Art Deco features, served as the backdrop for our first group vigil. Despite the absence of visible apparitions to my eyes, other investigators were convinced of shadowy movements in the upper rows—a place where the past seemed to linger just out of sight. Audible disturbances further heightened our anticipation, though scepticism suggested they might have originated from our own ranks.


At this point of our investigation came with the use of electronic communication devices. Initially viewed with scepticism, these tools facilitated an unexpected dialogue with two entities identifying as Dotty and Bill. The conversation was marked by eerie accuracy, with sensations of cold drafts and unexplained noises accompanying their messages, which appeared coherent with what was being seen and experienced. This interaction was later given historical context when we discovered that Dotty, a beloved figure known for her presence in the top rows, had passed away four years prior.


The discovery and revelation of Bill Jenkins' photograph in the Green Room, depicting him with a facial droop similar to the sensations I had experienced, was astonishing. Learning of his instrumental role in securing The Plaza for RAODS and possibly his continued presence in spirit form added layers of intrigue and connection to our encounter.



Ouyr group felt that there was something up here moving - at the Plaza Romsey
The Plaza Theatre - Does Dotty still sit and watch shows?

Unexplained Phenomena and Lingering Spirits


Our investigation continued in the dressing rooms and beyond, where responsive tapping and a significant, loud, and pronounced sound of footsteps overhead suggested an unseen presence. With the stage off-limits, these auditory phenomena remained unexplained, further adding to the night's mystique. Indeed, the team from The Plaza couldn’t explain and looked surprised.


Despite quieter moments in other parts of the theatre, the overall experience was anything but uneventful. Paranormal investigations challenge our perceptions and open our minds to the possibilities of the unknown. This night at The Plaza Theatre was a profound journey into the intersection of history, emotion, and the paranormal—a testament to the stories and spirits that may dwell within its walls.


Reflecting on the Investigation


The investigation at The Plaza Theatre was not merely an exploration of paranormal activity but a deep dive into the essence of a place rich in history and human endeavour. It reminded us of the thin veil between the past and present, and the possibility that those who once played a pivotal role in The Plaza's story might still linger, watching over their beloved theatre.


This experience underscores the importance of preserving such historic venues, not just as monuments to the past but as living entities with stories still unfolding. The Plaza Theatre, with its Art Deco elegance and atmospheric charm, offers a unique venue for both theatrical productions and those seeking to connect with the spectral echoes of history.


The paranormal investigation at The Plaza Theatre in Romsey was an unforgettable night that blurred the lines between history and the supernatural. It provided a rare opportunity to engage with the past in a direct and visceral way, offering insights not just into the possible presence of spirits but also into the heart of a community that has rallied around this historic venue for decades.


Link to another Paranormal Investigation of The Plaza can be found here.


Here is a YouTube video of a separate Investigation at the location for Information.




 

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