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Lincoln Theater, Decatur Illinois

Lincoln Theater, April 20th, 2012

The Lanphier Paranormal Club was fortunate enough to get the opportunity to investigate the Lincoln Theater in Decatur on April 20th.  Twenty-five students along with the entire Capital Area Paranormal Society team of Mr. Roberts, Trish Austin, Vicki DuMontelle, Zach Roberts and Brittany Barfield investigated from 8 pm to midnight.  They were joined by a friend of CAPS and fellow investigator Dan Wahl.  John Winterbauer of the Haunted Decatur Tours set it up for us and he was joined by Tour members Adam White and Jake Bonnet as hosts for the evening.  Once settling in John took us into the huge and stunning auditorium where he gave a history of the theater that dates to 1916, and talked of the hotel that was on the property prior to the Lincoln being built.  The hotel had burned down the previous year taking several lives with it.  This link has a good history of the Lincoln Theater. 

The students then broke into 5 separate groups where they did 20 minute rotations in five locations:  The stage, the auditorium and balcony, two groups in the basement and dressing rooms, and a group in the upper mezzanine areas.  Students took cameras, audio recorders, EMF detectors, video cameras and were off!!  
The group of Jennifer, Faith, Violet, Ashlee and Kyle reported activity immediately in the mezzanine.  Jennifer in particular seemed to be an attraction this night.  She stated she saw what appeared to be a little boy peaking his head out; basically it seemed to be playing peek-a-boo.  When students from below inadvertently flashed their lights in the area he disappeared.  Faith, a purported empath, said she started feeling vey sad, as if the child was sad to leave.  The group then talked to the child and asked him to come back and he made another appearance.  Some group members also say they saw what looked like people sitting in some of the seats in the Mezzanine.

The basement, which may be the most active place in the theater, had some interesting events throughout the night.  At least two people report having been touched in the dressing room on the right side when you walk into the basement hallway.  Katie said she had her leg grabbed while with Audrey and Damon, and towards the end of the evening Daniel said his bracelet was grabbed on his right hand, while investigating with Zach and Brittany.  Mr. Roberts, Vicki, Dan, and Trish all heard a very loud voice in the far end of the basement and recordings confirm this.  It perhaps said “Dan".  This is the same room that Dakota’s video camera kept shutting off even though it had a full battery.  It happened on at least two occasions in this room but never happened the rest of the night.  Clarissa and Ashley saw a shadow while sitting in this room and looking towards the dressing rooms. It looked like it was coming from the dressing rooms at the opposite end of the basement.  There was a roll of masking tape in this particular room sitting near some boxes which the girls also moved on its own volition.

Violet later said she felt like she walked into a wall of energy while on the stage, and one group of students have captured some evps so far from the stage area.  There are still hours of evidence to review and hopefully club members will continue to find evidence of the haunting of the Lincoln Theater. John did report a full body apparition was seen a few days after the club’s investigation.  It reportedly walked down the isle in the auditorium, following an individual. 

Special thanks again to John, Adam, Jake, and the Lincoln Theater for giving the students such a rare opportunity to investigate a remarkable sight!


This EVP was captured on the stage...Who could have imagined?

This one captured by Courtney sounds like a little kid and was quite loud as well.


This was captured in the Women's bathroom...  Doesn't sound like a woman...

We never could quite figure this one out, but it certainly was strange.