Theatre Royal - Margate

To investigate paranormal activity.

Margate’s Theatre Royal is one of the oldest theatres in Britain. Originally build in 1785 and extensively rebuilt in 1874 and remains much the same today.
A detailed history of the theatre is available here Theatre Royal Margate

It is famously reported as having paranormal activity including mysterious lights on the stage area and the spirits of a male who jumped from one of the boxes to his death and that of Sarah Thorne who took great pride in her theatre during the 1800’s. The ‘fly’ is said to be built from old ship timbers and reported to have an ‘air’ about it.


Fuji Finepix 4900
Fuji Finepix S5000
Sony DCSV1
Olympus Camedia C160
Fuji Finepix S5500
Practica Digicam 3
Sony DCR- HC30E with night vision
Samsung VP-D351 with night vision
Sony DCR-HC19 with night vision
Sony DCR-HC24E with night vision
Sharp PA- VR10E
Olympus DM 20
Gauss EMF Meter
Spectral Electronics 2G EMF Meter
ElectroSensor EMF Detector
Cellsensor EMF Meter
IR Nightvision Wireless CCTV Cameras (x2)
Monitor / Receiver (x2)
VCR (x2)
Environment Meter
Data Logger EL-USB2
IR Emitter Sony HVL-IRM (x2)
Active IR Beam Doorway Sensors
Tapes (VHS/Hi-8/MiniDV)

CCTV recorded to video on the stage area.

CCTV recorded to video looking up Main Stairs from foyer

Dataloggers on stage area and stairs

Pendulum experiment in understage area.

Movement detectors in west stair door to Main Hall – not an area accessible to public as barrier prevents access as no floor on that level.

The Investigation:
The team arrived at the nearby hostelry and moved to the theatre about 2230. Due to the stage being cleared from that evenings performance the setting up of equipment and commencement of investigation did not get underway on time.

The team was divided into two groups with the plan being that both teams would swap after a set time in a certain area and after a break would investigate other areas.
The guests were divided with 2 core team members in each group.
The groups were –
Paddy, Dave, Rachel, Andy, Sharon and Ginny
Kim, Ian, Sharon, Sharon and Denzil.

Kim and Ian’s group started under the stage and then moved to the circle whilst Paddy and Dave’s group were in the circle first then under the stage.

The area under the stage is divided into two halves. A set of stairs on each side lead up to the stage area. Above one side of the stage is the ‘fly’ where all the scenery ropes are controlled.

In the same area Kim and Ian’s group experienced various taps or bangs. These are not seen to be significant. Temperature on the pendulum is noted to be 22.5 deg outside and 21.8deg inside. The stage was heard to creak during this time which is likely to be natural movement.

Paddy and Dave’s group heard some taps and bangs in this area. Some of these may be explainable by contractions of the building. Two of them however were distinctly heard to come from the area where the team were and could not be explained. Some members of the group commented on the sound of laughter coming from the stage above. This is believed to be from some video footage being watched by the security staff in a neighbouring room. At one point Dave feels very cold. He was sat near to (and recording the pendulum) which has a thermometer attached. There was no difference in temperature seen on the thermometer. Spirit were asked to indicate their presence particularly by moving the pendulum. No discernable movement was seen. Temperature is seen to be 22.1deg outside and 21.8deg inside.

The group later moved to the other side of the under stage area where to old trap door is located. Cam footage here shows a small light anomaly on cam although this cannot be identified as paranormal. This footage can be viewed on the forum (registration required).

Pendulum explained – After an experiment involving a free standing pendulum which produced movement (see Tonbridge Castle ). We have further refined this into placing a freely suspended pendulum inside an airtight clear container which also has a thermometer fitted that measures the internal and external temperature around the container. Due to the sensitive nature of the pendulum it must be placed on a solid surface and as such was placed here on a pallet on the concrete floor. We then endeavour, by invitation, to get noticeable movement recorded.

The circle offers views of the stall area and the front of the stage. The main stage was not visible as the fire curtain was down. In this area from Paddy and Dave’s group both Andy and Sharon commented that they saw shadowy figures in one area although nothing was caught on still or video footage. Various light features were investigated by believed to be reflections from the area’s lighting on picture frames and architectural features. During this time figures were seen to enter the stalls area. It is believed that these were persons still remaining in the theatre who it was believed were to have stayed back stage.

Kim and Ian’s group followed on this area – nothing was reported.

The whole group then went to the stage area and conducted an experiment with a glass. The experiment was based around the concept of four persons placing their fingers on an upturned glass on a table and asking for communication to come through the glass. Any notes were to be recorded. The rest of the group were to assist by providing their energy to the group. The whole experiment was filmed.

Initially Ian, Sharon, Ginny and Rachel use the glass. No movement is made and Ian swaps with Dave. Sharon senses being pushed away from the glass. The glass was seen and experienced to move slowly and silently across the table in small amounts. We cannot explain this movement. Despite being asked nothing conclusive came of this experiment.

The whole group then went to the upper circle which is a very steep area of bench seating where the rest of the theatre can be viewed. Nothing was reported here although again a light was seen on camera footage in this area. Again this can be viewed on our forum (registration is required). Some of the group then went to the corridor outside the upper circle. Nothing was reported.

The whole group went to the front of the stalls and attempted another glass experiment. Nothing was recorded and no movement seen. Two photographs taken here show nothing in the first yet the second shows a misty anomaly of colours up the left side of the frame. Nothing was obscuring the lens. This cannot be explained currently. Usual precautions were taken – smoking was only allowed outside the venue.

The group was then given ‘free time’ until 6am to investigate areas of their choice. No reports of anything unexplained came from this session.

The investigation concluded at 6am.


Several audible sounds were heard although the majority were explainable and found to be due to building movements or wind. Some however were not explainable when heard in close proximity to the group.

Two light anomalies was captured on camera which currently we cannot explain although may be dust particles.

A small number of orbs were captured on camera although these could well be down to dust being disturbed.

Nothing of note is believed to have been captured on the CCTV.

Some of the noises remain unexplained although are not suspected to be of a paranormal nature.

On the whole this evening was not overly productive.


We would like to thank the staff for their assistance in the evening and our guest members for joining us.



2004/2006 Ghost Connections UK