In which an opera house gets an unusual gate-crasher. The "Ottawa Citizen," December 20, 1930:
LONDON (By mail) A ghost-floating over the heads of a thousand dancers at Covent Garden opera house one night recently brought the music to an abrupt stop, while Mr. Herman Darewski, the conductor, sank into a chair horrified, and the baton slipped from his fingers.
The light had been subdued for a waltz, and a rotating ball of mirrors in the center of the hall cast a thousand shimmering spots of light on the ceiling, walls, and floor.
"A ghostly figure in armor resembling Wagner's Siegfried suddenly emerged from the solid wall opposite the band," declared Mr. Darewski, "and floated just over the heads of the dancers right across the hall in the direction of the stage door, and then faded mysteriously into nothing.
"It is my custom while conducting my band to turn from side to side to watch the dancers. We had almost finished playing the waltz when I noticed my drummer had ceased to play and was staring fixedly with a look of horror across the hall.
"I glanced round and saw what for a moment I thought was a patch of light from the revolving ball. I bent forward aid saw that it was a clearly-defined figure of a man helmeted and in armor, which was moving slowly immediately over the heads of the dancers. I was so dumbfounded that I scarcely noticed that my band had stopped. The dancers stared in amazement around them; wondering what had happened. A number ran over to me, thinking that I had been taken suddenly ill, and at that moment the floating figure, which had almost reached the stage door, faded away.
"I felt weak from shock. Members of the band crowded round, and two of them told me that they, too, had seen the armored figure pass through the hall."
Mr. Darewski wiped his forehead and added, "Even now I can scarcely speak calmly about what I saw. I am still shaken and unnerved, and I am still fearful that the apparition may prove to be an omen of tragedy.
"It was lucky that the dancers were looking at me when the music stopped, and not at the back of the hall. I fear that if they had seen what 1 saw there would have been a panic."
It has been a common rumor for more than 100 years that Covent Garden theater is haunted. The ghost of Richard Brinsley Sheridan, whose "Rivals" and other famous plays were produced there, has from time to time been met with in various parts of the older portions of the structure. The appearance of Sheridan has been said to coincide with some incident of importance, and a former Duke of Bedford, who was freeholder of the theater, always dreaded to hear that Sheridan had been seen. Other London theaters which are supposed to have been haunted include Drury Lane, where the ghost of the famous Dan Leno was seen by Stanley Lupino, the comedian, many years after Leno's death; the Haymarket theater, where the ghost of the late J. C. Buckstone is stated to have been seen on more than one occasion; and the Royalty theater, which is said at times to be visited by the ghost of a "White Lady."