Haunted Idaho – Ghost Inside the Egyptian Theater
On the corner of Capitol and Main in downtown Boise, the Egyptian Theater sits full of rich history, memorable performances and the ghost of Joe, the projectionist. Is that the same spirit that was responsible for the ceiling crumbling and crashing down on a live performance less than a year ago?
Just looking inside the theater as you're sitting in the retro-feeling chairs, you can feel the history. The Egyptian has been restored showcasing Egyptian hieroglyphs along with the proscenium, a winged scarab, a sun and a star motif. That's just the beginning of the detailed art surrounding the stage and the walls of the theater.
The History of the Egyptian Theater
In the early 1920's, a new, bigger, grander theater was in demand after Boise had become a city that offered more refined culture through films and entertainment. The hope was that Boise's image wasn't the "wild west". As King Tut's tomb was discovered, Egyptian themes were created all around the theater.
The Egyptian Theater had it's heyday but as the years passed, the theater started to deteriorate, went through several new owners and was renamed a couple of times until 1970 when downtown Boise was due for a new look and the theater looked like it was going to be completely destroyed.
Early Hardy, a successful businessman and lover of historic buildings bought the theater and started on the first phase of renovation and restoration in 1979. The theater opened up again, fully restored both inside and out, at the end of the year in 1999.
The Haunting of Two Ghosts
For 35 years, a man named Joe worked as a projectionist at the top of the stairs. One night, he was walking up the stairs to the projection room when he had a heart attack. Joe died from the heart attack inside the Egyptian Theater.
Since that day, employees have said they will smell odd aromas throughout the theater. They have heard laughter from a man who isn't there when they go to find the source of the laughter. People have also felt the touch of something that isn't seen.
After-life Joe has been described as someone who likes to mess with people - especially scaring those who appear pompous.
Most of Joe's activity will be in the projection booth or the last row of seats in the upper balcony (you checking your seats for the first event, now?). If he is motivated by the living, he will come down to the stage area.
This is where I wonder if he wasn't a fan of the music being performed on stage while I was there with a full theater of Brothers Osborne fans.
There's a woman that seems to be kindly haunting the theater. People think she was part of the managerial staff from early days of the theater. This woman is dressed in late 1920's attire and walks around areas of the theater very happy. She may be the one who is touching you - not Joe and may be the cause of odors in the theater.
The Ghost and the Falling Ceiling
On Sunday, November 27, 2016, Brothers Osborne came to Boise and put on an incredible show. The crowd was nuts and the music was loud - really loud. We were standing up singing along with the song and all of a sudden a large piece of the ceiling came crashing down narrowly missing the band and shattered on the stage into pieces. Bros played through. It happened again as if sending a message for a second time. The whole story is HERE.