Extra research for Season 3 – Episode 9 – The Green Room
Theatres seem to be hotspots for paranormal activity and the Empress Theatre in Fort Macleod, Alberta is no exception. There is story after story about paranormal activity in the theatre, and other investigations have taken place there. Coincidentally, it’s not the only haunted Empress Theatre; there is also the Empress Theater in Magna, Utah, which is home to various ghosts, as well as the haunted Empress Theater in Vallejo, California.
There are different theories about who the ghost in the Empress Theatre in Fort Macleod might be. Following Jeff, Michaella and Tom’s investigation, The Other Side did a little more research to see if we could find out just who “Ed” was. While the popular belief is that he was a janitor in the theatre, it’s also possible that he was the ghost of another man named Ed…
To find out more we got in touch with Rosemary Dunne, the granddaughter of Dan Boyle, who bought the Empress in 1937. Rosemary wrote about the Empress Theatre on its 100th anniversary for the Calgary Herald and sure enough, she was familiar with the ghost stories.
When we spoke to her, she said that one theory was that the ghost was actually her grandfather and that for a while, people at the theatre wanted to call the ghost Dan. But Rosemary’s mother, Maryvonne Dunne, who grew up hanging out at the theatre, dismissed that idea.
“I remember going on one tour of the theatre and the tour guide said, ‘The ghost of Dan Boyle…’ My mom poo-pooed it and said he wouldn’t waste his time haunting the theatre,” Rosemary recalled.
Nor did Maryvonne or Rosemary think that the ghost was Dan’s wife, Edna, even though her name was similar to Ed and she worked in the theatre almost every night selling tickets. (Rosemary knew her grandma Edna very well and remembered her fondly. “She was an elegant, beautiful woman, classy beyond description. Intelligent, funny, artistic, a wonderful companion to my grandfather. A gentle, loving person,” she said.)
So the ghost probably isn’t Dan or Edna, but it’s possible that it’s someone else Maryvonne, now 82, remembers from the theatre’s past. According to her, there was a ticket taker named Edward Burke who worked at the theatre when the Boyles owned it. According to her, Ed always wore a suit to work and was very dedicated to his job and the theatre, a place that he really loved.
Whether the ghost that communicated with Jeff, Michaella, Kristopher and Erin was Edward Burke or a janitor named Ed we may never know, but if you’re ever at the Empress Theatre, be sure to say hello to Ed, the music-and-movie-loving ghost.
— Sarah MacDonald