Pianist Photographs Ghost at Haunted Paramount Theatre in Austin, Texas

Earlier this month, pianist Chad Lawson inadvertently captured possible evidence of a resident ghost at the Paramount Theatre in Austin, Texas.

Lawson had been finishing up a soundcheck on Sunday, September 15, 2019, when he decided to take a few photos of the empty chairs in the theatre, as well as the stairway to the mezzanine. He quickly snapped three consecutive shots with his phone, then went about his business.

However, when he returned to his hotel room later that night, he noticed something odd in the second picture: a spectral figure lurking in that empty stairway. Only the second image contains the figure in full, while the faint wisp of something can be seen in the third.

For anyone raising an eyebrow of my previous post, these are the 3 quick-tap photos taken in quick succession. For what it’s worth.

Posted by Chad Lawson on Monday, September 16, 2019


Lawson shared his strange find on his Facebook page on September 16. “I wasn’t gonna post this because it freaked me out a good bit,” he wrote, “In the photo you can clearly see someone in the mezzanine. Noticing it, I looked at the 1st and 3rd pics and the person is absent.”

The potential sighting led him to research reports of ghosts at the Paramount Theatre, and indeed the place does have a bit of a haunted history. Reports involve a number of potential ghosts, including one of a woman wearing a white dress, and another of a “friendly” ghost who doesn’t seem to enjoy loud music.

In 2017, the Austin Area Commission for the Arts uploaded a short video about a ghost there who may have meddled with the Paramount’s audio equipment:

As for a non-supernatural explanation, the theatre says it might be possible the figure in Lawson’s photo is simply the manager, who may or may not have walked up the mezzanine that night at that time (KVUE raised the question). However, they can’t be certain.

Lawson isn’t convinced. If it were the manager, she’d likely have appeared in all three shots as she climbed the stairs, and not as a ghostly translucent mist in the final image. But, as we all know, a lot of weird things can happen with photos.

One would assume he’d have noticed someone standing there at the time, as well.

With the theatre’s history of paranormal activity, though, perhaps it’s not so unlikely Lawson really did capture a ghost on camera. Coincidentally (or perhaps not), the soundcheck he was performing was for a Lore podcast show, which coincidentally often features paranormal and other “scary” stories.


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  1. Fascinating! I live about about a half-hour’s drive from an entertainment complex whose central attraction is a restored swing-era ballroom that hosted numerous orchestras and singers.

    Several employees have reported seeing a ghostly individual sitting at the piano, playing tunes that only he can hear. The pianist with the most famous dance band to appear there said it was his favorite place to perform, so it’s not inconceivable his fondness has extended into the next life. The people who’ve seen the apparition are so convinced it’s him that the venue’s restaurant is named in his honor.