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Excerpt from Haunted Ohio: Ghostly Tales from the Buckeye State
Copyright @ 1991 Chris Woodyard
A Malicious Spirit
One of the other ghosts of the Victoria is a ghost of a trauma. At the turn of the century, a young girl named Lucille* was seated in one of the boxes at the Victoria. In those days folding screens were placed at the entrances of the boxes to keep out drafts and to hide the maid who accompanied the young woman as chaperon. Somehow the chaperon was lured away, and a violent madman dragged Lucille behind the screen and assaulted her. Other theater patrons heard her screams and rescued her before she was murdered by the lunatic. The Dayton newspapers fumed that it was an outrage when young women couldn't attend a matinee in safety.
After the incident, Lucille and her family moved east. Lucille married and lived to be an old woman and died a natural death. But something of that violent assault lingered on to haunt the box. It was said that whenever anyone of a vicious temperament, anyone with anger in their heart came into the box, the temperature would drop.
For years Hastings, who had been an actor, thought that the box, which was called "the left box" in contemporary newspaper reports was at "stage left" or the right-hand box as you faced the stage. In the late 1970s, some mediums visited the theater. They felt "angry energy" in the opposite boxthe one of the left as you faced the stage, or "house left." This turned out to be the true site of the assault.
Five years later Hastings and his friend Steve* were checking the house before leaving for the evening. Steve is a psychologist and he didn't know the story of the box. As Steve entered the box, he let out a yell.
Hastings says, "I came rushing upstairs, calling, 'What happened? What's the matter? I heard Steve exclaim, 'I feel like I've been slapped! By the time I got to him, he was sitting in the back of the theater, his face in shadow. 'Did you Lucille get into an argument? I teased him.
"He mumbled something about an insect bite. As he moved into the light, there, imprinted very clearly on his face, visible even through his beard, was the red mark of a hand print."
Why would Lucille single out Steve? I asked Hastings. Was he a violent sort of person? He smiled slightly, "He was a very angry person; one of the angriest people I've ever known."