Griswold Auditorium Investigation

The Griswold Auditorium was built in 1929 by money left by lumber baroness Marilla Griswold. She was one of the founding mothers of Allegan. She left almost $100,000 in her will to build this auditorium.  She married Purdy Isaac Griswold and eventually made him change his name to Isaac Purdy Griswold because the former monogram spelled PIG. She died in 1919 in an apartment now above an antique store a few blocks away from the theater.  The theater has 650 seats and is now the home of the Allegan Community Players which is Michigan’s oldest theater company.





Located at 401 Hubbard St., Allegan, MI. 49010  

Telephone: 269-673-3456  



Hauntings: Some believe that Marilla Griswold haunts the Griswold even though she died several blocks away but a prime candidate would be Abbie Smith who was very active in the Allegan Community Players and spent a lot of time at the auditorium while alive.

There has been a lot of activity on the stage and just before our investigation the sound system went out completely on a dance recital which is one reason the investigation started a little late. They could find no reasonable explanation for the outage.


Equipment setup: I specifically used hand held equipment such as the Epod, Ovilus X, Ghost Box, Melmeter, IR camcorder, digital camera, digital IR camera and digital tape recorder.


The Ghost Research Society investigated Griswold Auditorium on May 12, 2012. Team members included: Kathie Para, Marge Sucha and Dale Kaczmarek with help from Kass Hillard and Jeff Mudgett. 








Personal experiences: While conducting an EVP session in the balcony our entire group clearly heard a loud thump and we could not determine its origin.  

Evidence collected:  

Face.MPG during an EVP in the dressing room a picture was taken and if one looks to the right on the wall, a strange face appears for a brief second or two.

Hit the road.MPG during a Ghost Box session on the stage a question was asked, “If you want us to leave, you have to tell us to get out or leave.” The Ghost Box responded with, “Hit the road.”  

Male.MPG during a Ghost Box session on the stage, a question was asked, “Are you a male or a female?”  The Ghost Box responded with, “Male.”  

At the beginning of an EVP session in the dressing room, Kathie took a picture and on the wall to the right something resembling a face appears. It could be just simple matrixing but it does look interesting.  

Conclusions: Theaters are great places for investigations. With so much energy and emotions poured into these structures throughout the decades, is it no wonder that some kind of residual energy still resides and in some cases interactive spirits. We were only there for a short period of time and moved around to different locations; the stage, dressing rooms, staircases, and the balcony. More time would be needed for a more complete investigation with a smaller group and more equipment possibly a command center and cameras mounted on tripods that could monitor several different locations of the auditorium at the same time thereby vastly increasing the possibility for extracting more evidence.

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