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Sterling Opera House

Fourth and Elizabeth St, Derby, Connecticut USA

“A haunted opera house with a very creepy basement”

This place is on private property. Listing for informational purposes only. Please do not visit without express permission from the land owner. The tiny New England town of Derby, Connecticut is home to one of the most interesting abandoned buildings in America. The Sterling Opera House was built in 1889 and was designed by H.G. Ficken, the same man who designed Carnegie Hall. In it’s heydays, the building was graced by entertainers like Bing Crosby, Red Skelton, and John and Ethel Barrymore. Even Harry Houdini performed here, and left behind a parting gift: a trap door in the stage. But while the guests, architecture, and leftover decorations are an incredible reminder of the Sterling Opera House’s past, the really intriguing secret is tucked away in the building’s sub-basement… The old ticket booth still displays signs advertising shows from the early 1900s, but head into the basement where the really cool stuff is hidden away, including the former office of the mayor himself. Old tour posters from the glory days of the opera house still grace the walls, displaying the performers who once entertained guests long ago. A creepy wall full of handprints graces the basement… An abandoned safe sits in the basement, its combination unknown. Makes you wonder what treasures might sit untouched inside it. Finally, the secret hidden in the basement: a jail! The cells date back to the town’s beginning, when the opera hall actually acted as a town hall, complete with a functioning holding cell. The groundskeepers have said that they often hear the cell door rattling on its own in the evenings, leading many to believe the Sterling Opera House to be haunted by the spirits of those long dead. In fact, the building was the subject of a 2011 episode of SyFy’s Ghost Hunters. -Roadtrippers The tiny New England town of Derby, Connecticut is home to one of the most interesting abandoned buildings in America. The Sterling Opera House was built in 1889 and was designed by H.G. Ficken, the same man who designed Carnegie Hall. In it's heydays, the building was graced by entertainers like Bing Crosby, Red Skelton, and John and Ethel Barrymore. Even Harry Houdini performed here, and left behind a parting gift: a trap door in the stage. But while the guests, architecture, and leftover decorations are an incredible reminder of the Sterling Opera House's past, the really intriguing secret is tucked away in the building's sub-basement: a jail! The cells date back to the town's beginning, when the opera hall actually acted as a town hall, complete with a functioning holding cell. The groundskeepers have said that they often hear the cell door rattling on its own in the evenings, leading many to believe the Sterling Opera House to be haunted by the spirits of those long dead. In fact, the building was the subject of a 2011 episode of SyFy's Ghost Hunters.

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Reviewed by
brainwater

  • 1 Review
  • 0 Helpful
September 16, 2014

I've heard that for a fee you can get a permit to go inside the opera house, but I can't find any specifics online - do you know anything about this? Thank you. Bettye blr60@yahoo.com

1 person found this review helpful

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Sterling Opera House

Fourth and Elizabeth St
Derby, Connecticut
USA

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