• Megann Horstead

Investigators look for paranormal activity at Sandwich Opera House

Updated: Jun 8


The panic meter struck just shy of 10 p.m. Saturday for Des Plaines resident Rachelle Bugjasky.

“They said look for shadows, so I did,” Rachelle Bugajsky said. “In the back row [of the theater,] I saw something walk right by. When it got past the pillar, I didn’t see it anymore.”

Bugajsky was among several seated in the green room at the Sandwich Opera House during an adult paranormal event led by the Midwest Ghost Society.

Candy Gocken, a case manager and lead investigator for Midwest Ghost Society, said people tend to get into the experience.

The tour consisted of interactive breakout sessions throughout the Sandwich Opera House shared over bits of history and bites of snacks.

Founded in 2010, the Midwest Ghost Society leads tours giving people an opportunity to try their hand at locating paranormal activity.

During the event, investigators said several entities are believed to preside over the Sandwich Opera House. Those taking part in the tour were encouraged to interact with and ask questions of any unannounced visitors in hopes of conjuring paranormal activity.

The not-for-profit organization, Association to Restore City Hall, is currently in charge of maintaining the Sandwich Opera House, but this hasn’t always been the case. Attendees were asked by the investigators during the event to be respectful as the property was believed to belong to another entity years ago.

Investigators came equipped with an assortment of devices to help unearth the presence of paranormal activity occupying the Sandwich Opera House.

Between clouds of smoke and shadows, attendees noted some phenomenon during the tour.

Bugajsky said the sight of the shadows scared her.

“I grabbed his leg really hard,” she said, referring to another attendee.

Bugajsky said she believes the paranormal activity at the Sandwich Opera House is real.

“It’s not my first ghost,” she said.

Gocken said the tour can be deemed a success because of “the activity that we got in the basement.”

“We won’t know, for sure, until we review all of the audio,” she said. “Because if you hear a voice, it’s a disembodied voice. Most of ours are EVPs—Electronic Voice Phenomenon.”

The same phenomenon holds true of the video footage captured during the event.

“We’ll watch all the camera footage,” Gocken said. “That’s where we get our evidence. We always have a camera on our equipment.”

The Midwest Ghost Society hosts paranormal events at the Sandwich Opera House once a year around Halloween.

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