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Theater 20

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The movie theater can act as a great memory for both children and adults. From going on the typical “dinner and a movie” date that teens and adults do, to having the bright smiles of children shine when the new Disney movie comes out. However, have you ever heard that there are some theaters that have some paranormal activity type of stuff happen when everyone is gone? Well, I experienced it first-hand one night.

I work at a movie theater right here in Illinois (I’m not going to say which one because I don’t want to run the risk of getting fired.) and overall I actually like it here. The management is really great and my coworkers are pretty cool as well. However, when a story goes around practically everyone will eventually hear it. Most of it though is just nonsensical rumors such as who was a favorite to a manager, who always comes into work drunk or high, and the hundreds of threats that there is going to be a huge layoff that’s going to happen. (I’m still waiting for that to happen.) But, there was one story that caught my attention. To keep his identity safe this guy’s name will be Tyler for the remainder of this. Tyler would always start a lot of these rumors and stories that went around and he would be proud of it. Ever since like his second story I knew that it was just a lot of rumors and stuff that he made up, but there was one story that caught my attention.

This story involved one of our auditoriums (We call them theaters.) in which movies are shown. This was the story of theater 20. Apparently, in the mid 90’s, we had a manager that basically hit rock bottom. He lost his job, his house, and family, basically lost everything. So one night around 12:30 at night he went into the closest theater that had no one in it and committed suicide. How he did it though was really confusing. Apparently, he had some rope (I don’t know how he got it because we have NOTHING that needs rope) tied it to the bottom of a chair (again I don’t know how) and jumped off the ledge and hung himself. The ledge looked like the picture right below.

Photo (5)

This really confused me because unless he had this planned, how did he find a stray rope around here? And also, where on the chair did he tie this rope on? Yes we have seats that are by ledges, but there are very little possibilities that he got a perfect knot at the chair. (Unless he tied it on an armrest) I thought long and hard about this story, actually I kind of believed it at first, but I just brushed it off and just believed that it was just another story that Tyler wanted to go around telling to frighten the rookie employees that we were getting at that time.

As time went on, the thought of an apparent suicide that happened in one of our theaters was really fading in my mind and I was very skeptical about it too. But, whenever I would clean that theater with Tyler he would make me think about it again. Whenever he and I would be cleaning a theater we would take our time and actually have fun at our jobs, but whenever he and I were in theater 20, everything would be different. Tyler would not smile or even talk at times, but would keep his head down and try and finish cleaning this theater as quickly as possible. This made me think, was he truly scarred of this theater? Was he just messing around with me? Or was something following him at that theater? I didn’t know until one night when I realized why he was always like that in theater 20.

It was a Tuesday night in April of 2013 and I was the closing usher (which meant that I wasn’t able to leave until the last show ends which on average is around 12:30 in the morning) so I was practically going to be there all night. My shift started at 6:00 which meant that I had to clean some theaters in the beginning which wasn’t a big deal because we usually had very little people come into the theater so it was a breeze cleaning them.

Throughout most of the night, everything was going good. Even going into theater 20 was normal too. All of the lights were on and the Screenvision Music was going on too (basically it's music that the theater plays to motivate the ushers to clean the theater) so I could tell that this was going to be a great and easy night, boy was I wrong!

It had to have been around 12:15 and I was closing theaters (which means that I have to keep the lights on and do a quick walk through the theater to make sure that no one lost anything and the theater is closed off for our cleaning crew to come in) I was at theater 20 and I turned the lights on and right away I knew something was off. There was no music which didn’t bother me too much because some theaters have the music work when it feels like it. So I was almost about to the top of the theater right by the projector when all of a sudden there was this CLICK! All of the light shut off. Yes ALL of the nights, the overhead lights, stairway lights, and lights that we had to guide guests back out into the lobby. I was a little startled when that happened, but it didn’t bother me. I instantly thought that it was just someone having fun with me since at this time practically everyone knew about this myth (Thanks to Tyler.) so again I just brushed it off and all I had to do was pull out my phone and use the light as a flashlight.

I quickly found the stairs to head back down. But, what I saw after that I couldn’t believe. When I was heading back downstairs I saw out of the corner of my eye was something that was on the armrest of a chair. I instantly thought that it was either a popcorn bucket or a soda so I went over to it and I couldn’t believe it. What I saw… was… a rope! Yes that’s right a rope that was attached to the arm of the chair. At this point I thought that someone was definitely messing around with me. “Whoever you are this is not funny!” I screamed out. I was borderline pissed at this point, but that was just the beginning. After I found the rope, all of a sudden heard I some kind of noise. It wasn’t your typical air conditioner or random bang that you would hear, it sounded like something was creaking, like, like someone was hanging. I still had my phone and I darted right downstairs and right there right in front of me, right at the place that Tyler said. There was… a… hanging body!

My body turned to jelly, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. The myth was true and at this time I knew that no one was messing around with me at this point. This is because I would have heard someone running upstairs and all that. I tried to take pictures on my phone, but all of the pictures came out very pixelated and even I couldn’t make out the picture. The light on my phone was right on the body and I was trying to think of what I could do to show people that this was real. But then, something truly sinister happened. The body lifted its head up and it looked right at me. It probably noticed that my light was right on him for about a good minute and it looked right at the light and right… at… me… I will always remember that face that this body had. It was a half-bone, half-flesh face from decomposing and its eyes. There were none! All that I saw were two dark circles for eyes.

I instantly dropped my phone and darted for the other entrance into the theater. I could barely see but I saw some light so I knew that I was close. Before I knew it, I was back in the lobby and I saw my manager. I tried to talk to him and let him know what happened. I was so panicked however so I wasn’t even able to say proper English. So I just tried and murmured out the words, “Th-th-th-theater... tw-tw-twenty.” He went over there and I even couldn’t believe it, everything looked normal. All the lights were on and the body wasn’t there anymore. At this point, my manager thought that I was either crazy or hallucinating from the lack of sleep that I hadn't had. “You’ve been working too much, you can go if you want,” my manager said. So I went to pick up my phone, clocked out and I was still really freaked out at what I saw.

The next three days, I could barely function. I was barely sleeping because of that image of the body looking right at me with those blank eyes and that rotting flesh that was on him. I was always on my laptop trying to find answers to this and I found nothing. No news stories any death reports, nothing. It left me with this question. Why does no one know about this? A man committed suicide for crying out loud! And I have nothing to see if this was provable to anyone.

I worked again on that Friday and I looked like a mess. I probably got about five hours of sleep in three days because of my nightmares of that body. Tyler noticed me and he knew I wasn’t myself. “Dude, you don’t look too good,” he said. I just played it off just to show him that there was nothing wrong with me. “You know I just have a lot of work to do for college, I’ll be fine.” I said. Before he was about to go somewhere else I had to ask him. “Hey Tyler!” I yelled out. “What’s up?” he said. “Were you here on Tuesday?” I said. And he looked at me and just said “No, why?” I contemplated on telling him because I thought that he would have for sure have thought that I was weird or something, but I decided to tell him. “There was some weird stuff that happened here.” He came closer to me and he said in a soft voice. “You were the closing usher that night, I knew there was something different about you, and he saw you didn’t he?”

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