Regina Patillo was in the concession area of the Orange Community Playhouse during a performance of “Dearly Beloved,”
when she saw the front door open about a foot, but no one came in.
As soon as she said, “Look at the door,” to her husband and cast member Jeff Hattman, “ … it slowly began to close.” It was the first time anyone had seen that happen, but was not the first occurrence of something strange.

John Hall, president of the OCP board said there have been many instances when talking could be heard, or the sound of footsteps running across the stage, yet there was no one there.

As she was locking up the theater for the night after a performance, Brook Doss heard music and thought she had locked someone in the building, but upon investigation, it was empty.

Activity picked after both Hurricanes Rita and Ike when the playhouse needed extensive repairs.

Patillo says that some of the actors feel a presence at times, “Bridgett (her daughter) was in the wings and thought John was behind her, but when she turned around, no one was there.”

Codie Vasquez asked the OCP board if they should get the Texas Society of Paranormal Investigators (TSPI) in to check things out.

According to Patillo, OCP member Kevin Doss said, “You need to do that, because that door opened twice.” Apparently, the front door had also opened the following week after Patillo witnessed it. Patillo nor Doss knew about the other seeing it until that board meeting.

It couldn’t have been the wind because the door opens to the outside.

Saturday night, TSPI arrived armed with video and voice recorders, EMF meters, K-2s, and other equipment including new and experimental items the Ovulis and Paranormal Puck.

Hall gave them a tour of the theater and showed the amateur ghost hunters where most of the activity had been.

Video cameras were placed in strategic areas, along with other equipment to measure electromagnetic fields and voice recorders to capture electronic voice phenomenon (EVPs). Then the dark comes – the wait – and the questions.

Some noises were heard in the lobby, but no one was in there.

Those waiting in the wings investigated noises knocking around in the back. Some of it could be accounted for as the wind, but some couldn’t.

A male voice was heard by one investigator, but no one else. There were only two men in the building and neither was in that area of the theater.

The video recorder in the wings that was near the voices stopped recording for some reason 19 minutes after a fresh tape was installed and wasn’t discovered until later. There was also a voice recorder next to it that hopefully may have picked something up.

No one heard any running on the stage or music.

Now it will take time to go through all the video footage and audio to see if any evidence was collected.

Tracking ghosts can be characterized as long periods (hours, days and even months) of waiting with moments of wow! Why do they do it? One husband of a TSPI member recently said, “Everyone’s got to have their hobbies.”

Stay tuned, if something is found, you’ll see it here in The Record.

About Penny LeLeux

Penny has worked at The Record Newspapers since 2006. A member of the editorial staff, she has "done everything but print it." Most frequently she writes entertainment reviews and human interest stories, with a little paranormal thrown in from time to time.She has been a lifelong member of the Orangefield community.