The Redford Theatre is considered to have spirits within its walls.

Visiting "Detroit's most unique suburban theatre," is like "sitting in a Japanese garden." That was how the Redford Theatre was being promoted when it opened on January 27, 1928.

A Japanese garden? The inside of the theatre featured Japanese (and Chinese)-themed instruments, decorations, and atmosphere. But a little over a decade later, World War II was in full heat and thanks to the sentiment, many of the original decorations and fixtures were either removed or covered from sight. The marquee was also taken down and used for the war effort…..however, the huge organ that had been there since 1928 remained.

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Beginning an effort to buy the theater in 1977, the Motor City Theatre Organ Society finally achieved that goal in 1985. Now it was time to get to work and restore it to its original 1928 atmosphere.

Work began that year to restore the Redford to its original 1928 appearance. Upon opening in ’28, the theater seated two thousand patrons…but with new restoration, the number went down to 1610.

Okay, so what about the hauntings?

According to, those who have been in after hours claim to experience chills that “walk by them”. It’s believed a ghost “lives” on the second and third dressing room floors, and even pets refuse to go there. Pacing has been heard thru the halls, walking from one dressing room to another…not to mention activity in the basement and tunnels that run under the seats.

So what’s the answer? Whose spirit is supposed to be responsible for this?

Popular consensus says it’s Ethel O’Leary, a cleaning lady who passed away in 2007 at the age of 100. Those who have been alone in the bathroom have heard toilets flush, feet moving across the floor, and the sound of toilet paper rustling…..and could smell cleaning bleach.

Those are the reports. If you want to brave it after hours, make sure you get permission before you explore. The theater is still operating, so don't expect to find it deserted. The address is 17360 Lahser Rd, Detroit.

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