Spooky Stark | A look at the haunted side of the Palace Theatre

This is the time of year when the thoughts of many turn to other-worldly things. Every community, it seems, has those places which have earned the reputation for being haunted, be it a cemetery, an old hospital, an empty school house or a Victorian mansion.

Here a ghost, there a ghost

This is the time of year when the thoughts of many turn to other-worldly things.

Every community, it seems, has those places which have earned the reputation for being haunted, be it a cemetery, an old hospital, an empty school house or a Victorian mansion.

For years, locals have made the trek to the former Molly Stark Hospital in search of ghosts. The sanitarium, which served patients with tuberculosis, has been frequented by thrill-seekers and ghost hunters.

In Minerva, the mystery of an alleged sighting of a Bigfoot-like creature known as “The Minerva Monster,” has been the subject of a documentary and has spawned a yearly festival.

For nearly 100 years, the Palace Theatre at 605 Market Avenue N has been downtown Canton’s crown jewel. Since its opening in 1926, the Palace has hosted literally thousands of feature films, plays, live musical entertainment and more.

There are some who believe that not everyone who has passed through its portals has left.

One of the theater’s most popular events is its “Ghost Tours.”

Before the pandemic struck, tours were conducted monthly, said Georgia Paxos, the theater’s executive director.

“They’re extremely popular, especially in October and November,” she said.

Paxos said each tour is limited to 30 people, which are broken into smaller groups. Each group has it own professional investigator. Tours begin around 10:30 p.m. and end around 2:30 a.m.

The tours are conducted by Team Spectre of Akron.

“We’re working with them to come up with COVID policies, once we’re allowed to reopen for other kinds of events,” Paxos said. “Right now, we’re only open as a movie theater.”

Paxos said there are “a lot of stories” about sightings and encounters in the theater.

“Some are the original people, like the organist, Kennedy,” she said. “Some of the previous managers of the facility seem to come around checking in on things. There’s also a story of a little girl that hangs out in the balcony.”

Paxos said the Palace Theatre also participates in “World Ghost Hunt Day” on the last Saturday in September.

“This year, we’re working on a virtual participation in light of everything.”

Paxos said she hasn’t had any personal encounters with a ghost.

“I happily coexist,” she said, laughing. “They say the mark of great theater is a patron that never left.”

Where to buy

The Repository
Select Rite Aid Stores
Spee-D Foods
Buehler's Fresh Foods
Fishers Foods, including 44th Street NW, Tuscarawas St. W, Fulton Drive, Lincoln Way E. and Cleveland Ave. NW locations
Aultman Hospital Gift Shop
Mercy Medical Center Gift Shop
Gervasi Vineyard Marketplace
Carpe Diem Coffee Shop, downtown Canton and Belden Village Mall locations
News Depot
Avenue Arts Marketplace
Yum Yum Tree Alliance
Grapes in a Glass