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A Collection Of Bizarre Solved & Unsolved Mysteries

Associated With The University Of Arizona - UArizona - UofA

 Located In Tucson, Arizona U.S.A. From 1885 To The Present Day

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Secrets Of Centennial Hall Theatre


Cenntinel Hall Theatre University of Arizona Photo


Centennial Hall at the UArizona is home to two ghosts; one a young Spanish man from the Colonial Period of Tucson's very colorful history who is usually dressed entirely or mostly in black, also appearing  at times is a female ghost from a later era that prefers the classic long billowing dresses of the 1890's.

The sounds from a piano can often be heard very late at night as well as frequent seemingly muffled conversations taking place often in many of the  unused and empty rooms of the haunted theare that have not been used since the 1920's.


Tucson Arizona Spanish Colonial Young male photo


"Yes, there are reports of two ghostly entities inhabiting Centennial Hall Theatre (the original structure here was called the Main Campus Auditorium) at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona," said Jonathan Holden with U A Presents at the University of Arizona [UArizona].

 "There has been a building here where Centennial Hall is now located for over seventy years, they just built the new theatre over the top of the university's original main auditorium, and it seems the ghost stories go back even farther than that to the time of the Spanish Colonial Period in Tucson.


It seems many years ago exactly on the current site of the Centennial Hall Theatre two dashing headstrong young men visiting from Spain had settled a disagreement over a young girls affections, after one challenged the other to a duel while they were both visiting Tucson. 

As was the custom at that time, the other man was allowed the choice of weapon, and much to the surprise of the other he chose lances on horseback much like a medieval joust except that no one else but themselves knew that this challenge was clearly meant to be to the death.


Spanish jousting in Tucson 1700's drawing


Sadly, the very young and emotional girl ran out trying to stop them as they were in full stride on their horses and she was trampled to death under the hooves of the charging horses. Some of the townspeople's dogs began barking at the sounds of her ear piercing screams and wailing as she lay dying also causing one of the young duelers to get thrown down to the hard ground from his horse slamming his body right onto the desert floor.

Tragically, the young man landed on the ground right on the side of his head  snapping his neck and killing him right there almost instantly. The dazed citizens of the Presidio San Augustine del Tucson were so upset at the turn of events that they all then completely ignored the surviving young man.

That man soon left Tucson in complete dishonor and was not long after tortured then killed by a band of Apache Indians on his journey riding on horseback heading back southward through Sonora, Mexico to book passage for boarding a Spanish Galleon sailing ship back to Spain at the then very busy Port of Veracruz. "



One of the ghostly entities reported at Centennial Hall Theatre on various occasions is a woman completely dressed in her 1890's Victorian era dark floor length clothing who pushes theatre customers on stairways and in some open areas as if she is trying to quickly pass them. The lady ghost is always seen wearing a late 1800's blouse with a very high collar that was the style of that era; with a Cameo Pendant up at the area of the neck also  the style of that time period; along with her hair pinned up as was the fashion for women during most of the 1800's.


1890's woman photo long black dress

It is often reported that she is always seen exclusively at classical performances of music or stage productions at the Centenial Hall Theatre. Holden noted that both visiting, student, and local actors have also often reported hearing noises directly overhead somewhere above them while they were performing or rehearsing on the stage.


"A Spanish male spirit entity dressed entirely in dark or black clothing of another era, in his 20's has also often been reported lurking and moving around backstage and he is frequently been seen high up above walking along in the catwalks overhead. He has been heard to be making horse like whining noises."

Holden added, "There is a very old adage that says in every good theatre that has live performances it has almost always sightings and experiences with ghosts."


Cenntinel Theatre Ghosts Mystery Inside Photo

That just seems to be true when a few months ago at the theatre, an employee at the UArizona had the most recent of the many various reported ghostly encounters there in the Centinial Hall Theatre building both during the daytime as well as at night time. Herb Stratford, a student employee of the theater related that the employee, who was a movie projectionist, had noticed some balled up pieces of used masking tape that suddenly started to move on top of one of the work counters right near him.


Cenntinel Hall Theatre Ghosts Photo

"All of a sudden the masking  tape pieces started to crinkle, with the eerie sound like somebody was grabbing it. He (the employee) said out loud, 'If you're going to play with it, then play with it.' The employee then saw [the ball of tape] roll across the table and then back again," said Stratford.


That's not all; something was manipulating equipment in the seventy seven year old theatre.


Stratford said, "We'd come in the next day and the lens would be all the way screwed out; something that requires a tool to do it, there is just no other possible way it could come out. Yet there were no marks on the lens whatsoever" he said.


UofA projector photo


University of Arizona investigators also examined the lens but were unable to find any marks on it anywhere, nor could there even be found a single fingerprint or even a partial fingerprint on it. After being unofficially but thoroughly examined in the crime lab in Phoenix by a technician, the lens mysteriously did not reveal any shred of human DNA either. 


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