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Episode Recap: Capitol Theater Haunting


Subject Names: Officer Dave Murphy, Officer Morgan Mathews, Blair Fuller, Greg Gittins, Officer Josh Thomas, Doug Morgan
Subject Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Paranormal Experience: The spirit of a trapped young hero

How to Watch

Catch up on Paranormal Witness on Peacock or the SYFY app.

When Dave Murphy came in for his first training shift as a protective services officer in the historic Capitol Theatre, his training officer Morgan Mathews seemed reluctant to tell him more than his duties. Murphy knew Mathews was holding something back, but what?

Murphy was taking a solo sweep through the theatre, checking out the rehearsal rooms, when the door to the men's room down the hall slams shut. He radioed Mathews to check the cameras. Mathews found nothing, but came up to help check. As the door had a hydraulic hinge, it was a very difficult door to slam. Weapon drawn, Murphy went in to investigate. He couldn't shake the feeling something was waiting for him on the other side. He got goosebumps walking into that room. The only description he could find was a feeling of evil. When Mathews arrived, they finished the check, only to discover the room completely empty. Murphy was a bit shaken, but without a doubt, he was scared. They continued to investigate to rule out someone hiding in the building. When they reached the second floor, Murphy was shocked to discover lights he had turned out were back on, and doors he had locked stood open.Murphy's suspicions had been absolutely correct. Mathews had been holding back.

On another night, Mathews had been sitting at the desk monitoring the theatre's cameras when he heard voices behind him. These weren't normal speaking voices. These were whispers, the kind heard when people are trying to hide something. When Mathews turned around, there was nobody there. Mathews headed into the theatre to investigate. When he reached the basement, there was an odd smell of smoke, as though the building were on fire. Yet, there was no sign of fire anywhere in the building. Something was playing tricks on him.

A few weeks later, Murphy was walking through the theatre's office during business hours. He overheard a man talking to two women about ghosts. Introducing himself, Murphy met Blair Fuller, an accountant for the theatre. Mr. Fuller had had some interesting experiences of his own, and told Murphy about one night when he'd been working late. The elevator motor had suddenly engaged, a loud sound that got Mr. Fuller's attention. He was sure he was alone in the building, so who was using the elevator? When the car arrived at his floor, Mr. Fuller watched as the door opened. Nobody got off. The elevator door stood open long enough to trigger the sysem's alarm. Still, nobody got off of the elevator. When Mr. Fuller walked over to investigate, nothing was blocking the door. He stepped into the elevator, finding still more nothing. Just as he was about to step out of the elevator car, though, the basement button lit and the door closed. Upon reaching the basement, Mr. Fuller stepped into the corridor. Not a soul was in sight. When he returned to his desk on the third floor, Mr. Fuller was once again pulled away. This time, it was by the file cabinet drawers opening and clanging shut on their own.

Near the end of Murphy's training period, he and Mathews asked Murphy's friend Greg Gittins to pay a visit. Greg had an ability to "see things" that Murphy believed might let them figure out what was going on. Greg came into the theatre cold. Neither officer had told him why he was there, they had just offered him a tour of the place. Greg looked around the auditorium, and saw many people standing about. Greg commented that they hadn't told him the place was haunted.As they were walking through the basement, they spotted an open door. The trio walked closer, and the door slammed shut. Drawing their weapons, the officers approached the door. The handle began to violently rattle. They pushed open the door, to discover an empty room. The three proceeded down the hall, disturbed to find it getting warmer. Greg approached the area where Mathews had smelled the smoke. Greg smelled it as well, and asked if there had been a fire. Greg turned, and saw a young man in the corner of that room. Neither of the officers saw him. 

Once Greg left, things began to get crazier. One night, Mathews was using a new infrared monitor when it picked up a figure sitting in the audience as though they were watching a show. Just as suddenly as it had appeared, the figure shot across the screen, snarling as it moved. Mathews chose not to work in the theatre after that point.As Murphy was guarding the theatre alone, he began to hear ragtime music. He followed the sound into the lower levels of the theatre, where he found the piano with its lid snapped down. It wasn't a player piano. Murphy walked out, threatening to quit if he was ever assigned to the theatre again.Officer Josh Thomas replaced Murphy at the theatre.

On his first night, while he's on the phone to Murphy, Thomas reported that the elevator was suddenly moving on its own. Murphy raced over to assist, and the duo searched the building, weapons drawn. Thomas heard whispers in his ear, while Murphy stood across the stage. Thomas saw a black head staring right at him from behind Murphy.Murphy decided to find out what had happened in the theatre. He sought out Doug Morgan, an old stagehand. Doug told him that one day he was running errands, and when he came back, the theatre was surrounded by fire trucks. The building was on fire. Six hundred people had to be evacuated. A boy named Richard Duffin had gone back into the flames to help those who were still lost. Richard had been trapped in the basement and died helping others get out.