The Ghost Light at the Apollo

A ‘ghost light’ is an electric light that is left lit on the stage of a theatre when the theatre is unoccupied and would otherwise be completely dark.   It typically consists of an exposed incandescent bulb, CFL lamp, or LED lamp mounted in a wire cage on a portable light stand and is usually placed near centre stage.

The superstitious have various justifications for the ‘ghost light’. A popular theatrical superstition holds that every theatre has a ghost, and some theatres have traditions to appease ghosts that reach far back into their history. For example, the Palace Theatre, London keeps two seats in their balcony permanently bolted open to provide seating for the theatre ghosts. Similar superstitions hold that ghost lights provide opportunities for ghosts to perform on stage, thus appeasing them and preventing them from cursing the theatre or sabotaging the set or production. Some superstitions claim that the ghost light is in place to scare away ghosts, not to appease them.  As far as we’re concerned at the Apollo, we have no known ghosts but we do believe in keeping our options open – just in case …

One of our members has written a song about the ‘ghost light’ – it’s rather lovely and we think you’ll like it.  Click here to hear it.

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