R Theater Investigation

Construction of the R Theater began in 1946 by the Mitchell family and was completed one year later. For many years, it was the largest building in town.  The name of the theater came from the first initials of the names of the Mitchell children, Ray and Reid, and their mother, Roberta. The Mitchell family also owned the R restaurant located in the theater as well. The kitchen was built in an area attached to the theater and the house they lived in which was attached just south of the theater. The building originally had seating for 500 people but after many sold out showings an extra 50 seats was added to the building. There was a large wooden stage at the end of the theater were individuals and bands performed. In the late 1970s, the theater was sold to a local businessman but he soon fell on hard times. When larger theaters were opened in the Springfield area, the theater closed.

The owner of the building continued to struggle, leasing it to a variety of different businesses, including a video arcade, a tattoo shop, as apartments and as a nightclub, which featured live entertainment. None of them lasted very long and eventually the bank foreclosed on the property and it was abandoned for nearly four years. In 2001, the theater was purchased by Robbin Terry, who began major renovations including building a home inside the theater on two levels. Windows were added and the stage eventually removed. The building now houses the Midwest Classic Insurance as well as the Auburn Haunted Theater, a haunted attraction since 2008. The last movie shown in the theater was Jaws.  No original seats remain in the building. Those attached to the slanted floor came from a church in Greenleaf, Colorado.

Located at:  110 S. Fifth St., Auburn, IL 62615

Telephone: 217-899-9978

Owner: Robbin Terry

Website: http://www.auburnhauntedtheater.com

Hauntings: The Midwest Paranormal Society began investigating the building in 2008 due to the reports of strange activity within. They believe there may be as many as three spirits inhabiting the theater including a young girl about four years of age, a middle age woman and possibly an older man that seemed to have respiratory problems. This man is believed to be Red Mitchell, who actually died in the flower garden of his home which is attached to the building.

Numerous EVPs, sounds and many have reported a strange worm-like alien being seen and encountered in the hallway just outside of the Green Room.





The GRS investigated the R Theater on August 31, 2013 and the team included: Kathie Para, Stan Suho and Dale Kaczmarek with help from Carl Jones.








Equipment setup: The Command Center was set up in the back of the building in the garage with the Ghost Microphone and GhostCam set up in the Green Room.

Experiments performed: EVP, Ghostbox and Ovilus sessions were conducted in the basement where the coffin is and the doll room, the theater area and the Green Room.

Personal experiences: The REM Epod was used in the basement near the organ and was constantly being set off by something unseen. When moved just a few feet into an adjacent room, the Epod became quiet.

While conducting an EVP session in the Green Room, I felt a distinct sensation that something or someone was touching my right arm. I got a spidery web feeling effect which continued for quite some time.

Doors of the theater area opened twice while Kathie and I were conducting an EVP session there but we later debunked this as air pressure suction from the garage area of someone opening and closing doors. We were able to recreate this event.

Kathie Para: GRS (Dale, Stan and me) investigated the Haunted R Theater in Auburn, IL on August 31, 2013.

During the setup we noticed that our Melmeters and K-II meters were pretty consistently active. In the big garage area that was our command center two Melmeters were registering 4. to 5. and we couldn’t find any reason for the high readings. The K-II meter stayed in the middle range at yellow throughout the entire building.

After completing set up Dale and I went into the basement which proved interesting. Something in the first area at the bottom of the stairs set off the Rem Pod like crazy. Moving it to the room to the left didn’t stop it from going off. We then tried putting it in the room to the right and it was silent. No activity from the Rem Pod at all there. We put it back to the bottom of the stairs and it went off again and stayed consistent for quite a while. We tried to find a reason for this but couldn’t. Personally, I haven’t seen this kind of activity from a Rem Pod before.

We moved to another room further back in the basement and were joined by Carol Jones. There is a little girl reportedly in this area.  During the EVP session we kept hearing voices in another room. We also heard what sounded like a woman laughing. We got some very interesting responses from the Ovilus. At one point when Dale made a comment about sitting in a dark basement the Ovilus responded with “you scared”. We also got “help her”; “you’re right” and I believe I may have been called a bitch. Upon listening to my audio from this room I did pick up whispering but couldn’t make out any words.

Dale and I next did a session in the theater room. We got nothing of interest there. Although we did have the double doors opening up we debunked that as suction from another door opening.

Dale and I then spent some time in the green room, with Stan joining us for a while. Turning on my Ovilus it said “worm”. That was pretty cool because we had just been talking about worms right before we went into that room. When we settled in to start our EVP session I started to get a headache. It felt as if someone had their hands on my temples and was pushing in. This was somewhat unnerving. I also felt pressure building in my ears. That’s something I seem to feel when there is paranormal activity. I mentioned my ears hurting to Dale and the Ovilus said “earache”. Again, pretty cool. Dale felt something touching his arm and his skin had reacted with goose bumps just on his arm. Twice within a couple minutes we heard a high-pitched tone for several seconds. We could not find a cause for this nor could we determine where it was coming from. Mel meter readings were a steady 2.4 to 2.8 during most of our time in this room.

I am anxious to return to this building and spend more time investigating it. It is an awesome location.


Stan Suho: This was a classic small town Movie Theater building, very old but being restored. The basement is being converted into a Halloween type horror maize and apartments are on the 2nd floor. This investigation included the usual suspects. To start we were given the cooks tour before we began our setup.

Because of the small quarters, I chose to do a minimal G.E.I.S.T. setup. The room which I chose to do the setup, which I had dubbed the Farrah room, was a short way down a hallway. This room had been reported as being very active, with several paranormal incidents occurring to people sleeping there. One was the appearance of Comic Book “worm type figure" appearing.  “Don’t know what the Hell that’s all about”. Also several EVP type voices were reported in the same area. With my Ghost Microphone I could pretty much cover the entire 1st floor, with the exception of the Stage area. The Ghost Camera and Microphone were located in the Farrah room, being monitored back at the Command Post with a 5in monitor and DVR along with a Laptop. While I was busy doing this Dale and Kathy were doing EVP sessions somewhere in the "Maize".

Toward the end of the evening we joined up for an EVP session in the Farrah room. It seemed uneventful except for when we were about to leave the room, I recorded what seemed like a small child's voice. I got it both on Ghost Camera and Microphone. I haven't had a chance yet to compare it with what Dale and Kathy recorded. Should be interesting.

Conclusions: Upon reviewing my Audio and Video except for the aforementioned voice I detected nothing else Paranormal. This is an interesting place and I think we covered it very well.

Evidence collected:

Bitch.MPG while conducting an Ovilus session in the basement a question was asked, “Can you make a noise for us?” The Ovilus responds with, “Bitch.”

High pitched sound.MPG while conducting an EVP session in the Green Room, a high-pitched sound was heard and recorded but we could not determine where it was coming from or what caused it.

Need help energy light.MPG while conducting an Ovilus session in the basement the Ovilus suddenly says, “Need help…energy light.”

Whisper R Theater.MPG while conducting an EVP session in the basement a question was asked, “Do you want us to leave you alone?” A whispery voice or response is heard in the background.

Worm.MPG while conducting an Ovilus session in the Green Room, Kathie mentions that she’s beginning to get a headache. Almost immediately the Ovilus says, “Worm.” This was very close to where the worm-like alien thing had been encountered in the past.

Yoo hoo.MPG while conducting an EVP session in the theater area, a question was asked, “Can you make a sound?” Immediately a “yoo hoo” is heard in the background.

You help her…you’re right.MPG while conducting an Ovilus session in the basement, the Ovilus says, “You help her” I immediately repeat the phrase and the Ovilus says, “You’re right.”

You scared.MPG while conducting an Ovilus session in the basement a comment was made, “I’ll tell you what’s unusual, hanging around the basement in the dark. What do you think about that?” The Ovilus responds with, “You scared.”

Conclusions: While there wasn’t much of a theater left, there were a number of interesting places within the building to investigate. I found it confusing as to why the Epod went off in only one particular room downstairs and when moved just a few feet, stopped completely. I also found it fascinating that the Ovilus spit out the word, “Worm” in conjunction with our EVP in the Green Room which was so close to where that worm-like creature or being had been seen in the past. All the Ovilus sessions and responses with the exception of “Worm” was in the phonetic mode so some interesting word combinations and sentences came out in response to questions asked.

If we would have had more people to with us to help set up additional equipment, cameras and audio I believe that we could have captured additional evidence in the R Theater. I did find it to be an interesting location to investigate.

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