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Meet the ghost that haunts the stage of King Opera House

The opera house has a lot of spooky stories surrounding a former actor who is still performing from beyond the grave.

VAN BUREN, Arkansas — Halloween is almost here and what better way to get ready than exploring some of Arkansas' haunted tales?

In Van Buren, King Opera House has a lot of spooky stories surrounding a former actor who has still been performing from beyond the grave.

The King Opera House was built in 1891 as a temporary home to acting troupes that came and went through the small town of Van Buren at the turn of the 20th century.

This was where our ghost, Charles Tolson, passed through.

"He had the Tolson Acting Company and they were doing multiple performances here," said Bill Ratcliff, the current manager of the King Opera House.

According to legend, the story said that a young woman wanted to leave the small town and saw Tolson's troupe as her ticket out. 

When she asked to join, he turned her down— but the rumors had already spread. 

When the woman's father found out about her plans, he shot Tolson three times.

"He was asked, 'What did you say to the girl that would have inflamed the father?' And he said, 'I just gave her good advice,'" said Ratcliff.

Tolson died in Van Buren and some believe that he never left, and is still haunting the opera house to this day.

Ratcliff said that he will hear sounds when no one else is in the building.

"You'll hear things fall outside my office and you'll see nothing has fallen," said Ratcliff.

Ratcliff showed us an area underneath the stage where some people have reported experiencing ghostly encounters.

While we didn't see Mr. Tolson or anyone else from beyond the grave, the building gave off an eerie feeling— with ominous handprints on mirrors and eerily creaky steps.

Ratcliff added that when he comes and goes every day, he makes sure to acknowledge those who have graced the stage before him.

"When I lock up in the evening and I get ready to turn the lights off I will say 'Charles take care of the place. I'll see you tomorrow,'" said Ratcliff.

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