2017-01-13 / Front Page

Ghost of Eva Gray returns to City Theater

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Deceased songstress appears in new paranormal image
By ALAN BENNETT
Staff Writer

BIDDEFORD — If you’re from Biddeford, you’ve likely heard the story of Eva Gray, and now a group of paranormal investigators believe they’ve captured a photo of the City Theater’s “resident ghost” on camera.

The story is almost too perfect: On Halloween night 1904, singer Eva Gray collapsed backstage after performing her third encore of the night — to the tune, “Goodbye, Little Girl, Goodbye” — while the crowd continued calling her name from the stands.

Gray, a soprano with the Dot Karroll repertoire company, was allegedly seen clutching her chest backstage before dying in her dressing room about an hour later.

Her 3-year-old daughter was in the audience.

“I thought it wasn’t true. I thought it was this really cool kind of pre-packaged story,” said Caroline Mezoian, co-founder of EVP Paranormal of Maine, a team of five women who travel the state tracking paranormal activity. “But then when I realized there were family members, I reached out to them.”

Two of Gray’s descendants were given the opportunity to visit the City Theater in July — Gray’s granddaughter Patricia Saltzman, 77, and great-granddaughter Laura Hopkins-Day, 59 — as the Journal Tribune reported at the time, and Mezoian said she reached out to Hopkins-Day for more information.

EVP completed its 2 1/2 hour investigation on Dec. 19, setting up audio and video equipment with the hopes of catching a glimpse of Gray. Mezoian said she was in charge of setting up a digital video recorder to film activity in the empty theater, and captured the alleged image of Gray almost instantly.

“A lot of things happen when we’re setting up,” she said. “When we went on our investigation and got the crazy photo, it happened right away.

“They kind of start off like an orb  — in the paranormal world nobody likes the word ‘orbs' — but she shot off from the theater where we were standing and she landed on the back stairs. She was definitely on the stairs,” Mezoian said, upon reviewing the video footage. “I literally fell out of my chair when I found her.”

Mezoian admittedly said she cannot confirm if the image she captured is definitely Gray, but the group strongly believes it is. Mezoian also posted a video featuring the image on the group’s Facebook page on Thursday.

“I would never put my word on it that it’s 100 percent accurate. This is an abnormal science,” she said. “Can I say it’s definitely Eva Gray? I can’t say it’s definitely Eva Gray, but she looks gosh darn like it.”

But Gray wassn’t the only visitor the group saw that day. Mezoian said the group also spotted a man watching them set up from the theater’s balcony.The figure of a man believed to be a ghost is pictured at Biddeford’s City Theater on Dec. 19.  SUBMITTED PHOTO/Courtesy of EVP Paranormal of MaineThe figure of a man believed to be a ghost is pictured at Biddeford’s City Theater on Dec. 19. SUBMITTED PHOTO/Courtesy of EVP Paranormal of Maine

“A full-body apparition? That was the best Christmas gift I could get ever,” she said. “This is probably one of the coolest places we’ve ever been to.”

Mezoian said the group plans to return to City Theater in the near future to attempt talking with Gray, and to see if she’ll answer any questions. The group plans to use technology to record electronic voice phenomena, sounds that can be interpreted as spirits’ voices.

“I’m so excited to get in there just because of the way it happened,” she said. “I almost feel like with the relatives coming, maybe she wanted to speak to the relatives. We want to try to get Gray to answer questions.” 

For Mezoian, it's just part of the research process. 

“I’m not ‘out there.’ I’m not a medium. I’m not gifted in any way. I’m very much a fact-finder,” she said. “It’s an expensive hobby but we like doing it. We mostly go to people’s homes when they have paranormal activity."

“People most likely want to hear that they’re not crazy,” she added. 

— Staff Writer Alan Bennett can be contacted at 282-1535, ext. 329 or abennett@journaltribune.com. 


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