Is the James McCabe Theater Haunted? Paranormal Investigation Seeks an Answer
The spotlight is on the James McCabe Theater, from its 1915 birth as the Valrico Civic Center to its life today as a community theater. Paranormal researchers were to investigate long-held haunting claims at a June 16 fundraiser.
The leading character in the June 16 fundraiser show at the James McCabe Theater in Valrico is the structure itself, which had its birth in 1915 as the Valrico Civic Center and is believed by many community theater veterans to be haunted.
Are there ghosts at the James McCabe?
That will be asked and addressed today, June 16, at the theater, which has been deemed an historical landmark.
- Update: Check back on Monday, June 18, for a Brandon Patch report on this event.
The building is not in great shape, and over the years many attempts have been staged to raise funds to fix and mend the building, which serves today as the main venue for the Village Players of Valrico.
Today's event is another attempt in that regard and features, among other participants, Plant City Paranormal Research and Fire and ICE Paranormal, in cooperation with United Paranormal International's Historic Preservation Society, on hand to investigate with handheld equipment.
Cost is $10 and organizers say all proceeds will benefit the James McCabe Theater Restoration Project.
The event is from 3 to 9 p.m. and features food, games, raffles, and speakers as well as music by Juan R. Leon, according to the event's Facebook page. On hand will be Gary Lee Walters, founder of Fire and Ice Paranormal Investigators of Florida, who has investigated sightings in historic buildings around the state.
The James McCabe Theatre dates back to 1915 when the Valrico Improvement Association raised $3,500 to build the Valrico Civic Center.
The building, a Hillsborough County Historic Landmark, has been owned by the nonprofit Village Players of Valrico community theatre troupe since 1994 and has been the venue of thousands of community theater productions over the past 40 years. It was renamed the James McCabe Theatre following the sudden death of its namesake, a longtime Village Players director and board member.
The theater is at 506 Fifth St. in Valrico, about 1 mile north of State Road 60. Take Valrico Road and turn west just past the railroad tracks. Fifth Street will be on your right.