From the deep heart of the South, the land of cotton... this past week we played two shows at the beautiful Grand Theatre in Macon, Georgia. Built in the 1800's, it was a cozy, ornate old opera house gilded with gold and statues and lion's heads, hidden doors, secret halls... and a ghost.
In 1971 the old house manager disappeared for days. One day they finally noticed his car in the parking lot, and searched every nook and cranny of the old theatre. They finally found his body up in the fourth floor, attic-level rafters of the old thunder room. A bottle of alcohol, tranquilizers and a gun sat next to his body.Because he had laid there so long in the Georgia heat, his bodily fluids and fats had melted out of him into the floorboards of the room..so there is a stain of where he was, to this day. His name was Randall...and the only thing that makes him angry is if you say aloud that you don't believe.
And ducked through the little rooms and passages until I found myself in the old thunder room. In the center of the room was a string of rope light that pulsed softly - from below, it lit up a series of stars pierced in the sky-painted ceiling of the house. From where I stood, it was a tangled white coil that illuminated the scene of the suicide committed so long ago. I was going to walk in and see 'the place'...but I felt as if I couldn't move.
Whether from my own superstition or fear, I felt as if a soft wall blocked me from that room. I didn't step in. I wished Randall peace, and I went back down again.