MINNESOTA: Minneapolis Guthrie Theater.
This old opera house is haunted by the ghost of one of its former ushers. Richard Miller was an awkward English boy with few friends, when he worked here in the late 1960s. He attended the University of Minnesota, but never seemed to be accepted by the other students there. Just like in high school, he gained a reputation for being something of a nerd. The taunting and loneliness slowly took its toll. On Saturday, February 5, 1967, he strolled into a Sear store, purchased a surplus Mauser rife and shells, and went back to his car in the parking lot. There, the 18-year-old boy put the gun to his head and pulled the trigger. He body was not discovered until the following Monday. He was still wearing his Guthrie Theater usher’s uniform. Within weeks of his suicide, patrons in Row 18, part of the area happyigned to Miller, began complaining of an usher constantly walking back and forth. They described Miller down to the large mole on his cheek. Since then, dozens of patrons, employees, ushers, actors, singers, and custodians at the theater have seen young Richard Miller walking slowly up and down the aisle in Row 18, in the Catwalks, or in an exclusive section of seats called the Queen’s Box. The ghost would follow witnesses with his eyes or head but never spoke or made any sound. An exorcism performed in 1994 supposedly placated his restless spirit. (Richard Miller attended Edina Morningside School in Minneapolis and lived in Territorial Hall at the university. His body was found in the parking lot of the Sears on Lake Street. He is buried at Fort Snelling National Cemetery. The theater is opposite the Sculpture Garden in the Loring Park area of southwest Minneapolis. Guthrie Theater, 725 Vineland Place, Minneapolis, MN 55403. Phone: 612-377-2224.)