Are Some Houston Music Venues Haunted?
Halloween is right around the corner, and once again it's time to talk spooky stuff... for y'all, I mean. Here at the House With One F it's always time to talk spooky stuff, but today we want to look around the city to see which music venues might actually be haunted.
Photo by Brittanie Shey Rod Argent of the Zombies at Fitzgerald's, March 17, 2013
First, let's define haunted, and to that I must defer to Poe because Haunted is one of the greatest albums ever released. By haunted I mean a state of being filled with phenomena or sensory perceptions that cause a sensation of dread or unease. Sometimes this is attributed to ghosts, and sometimes we have no idea why certain places cause heebies and/or jeebies.
It shouldn't surprise anyone that Fitzgerald's has something of a haunted reputation. It's one of the state's oldest and most recognized stages, and the greats have trod its boards both on the way up and down. Before being the venerable rock setting it is today, Fitz served as a Polish dance hall dating all the way back to 1918. It's a much more labyrinthine building than you think it is, especially if you begin wandering backstage where the sagging wooden building begins to give off a definite surreal vibe as the doors and floors no longer match completely up.
"I've had all manner of weird shit show up in pictures of many of my bands playing there over the years," says Eddie Travis, drummer of The Freakouts and Scum of the Earth via email. Considering that Travis has also played at Club 219, the Milwaukee club where Jeffrey Dahmer picked up some of his victims, you can bet that he knows creepy.
Photo by Abrahan Garza Girl in a Coma at Fitzgerald's, February 2013
Existence of a ghost upstairs at Fitz's was easy talk among the staff when I staged a month-long run of Hedwig and the Angry Inch there in 2004. Reminiscing with my producer and lead actor Dave Gill, he recalled, "We had a few incidents where the power on the mixing board would turn on and off by itself, or with things being moved when no one was looking. I recall the staff there all telling us, 'Oh yeah, that's the ghost,' like it was just a fact of everyday existence."
Bunny Dast of Skeleton Dick, who worked at Fitz for six years, also remarked that creepy, inexplicable things were a regular occurrence. The identity of the Fitzgerald's ghost, if there is one, is unknown.
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