The ghost of Eva Tanguay

Music Hall.jpg

Cohoes Music Hall. Eva's haunt?

By Jessica Pasko

So apparently one of the most famous Vaudeville stars still hangs out at the Cohoes Music Hall.

The thing is, she's been dead since 1947.

Eva Tanguay.jpgEvaTanguay died in Hollywood following a long, successful career. At the height of her popularity, she was one of the highest paid stars in Vaudeville. And she made her debut at the Cohoes Music Hall where, ironically, she was booed offstage.

Eva wasn't much of a singer or actress, but somehow, she'd go on to become extremely popular for her charisma and sense of rebelliousness. She was known as "the I Don't Care Girl" after her signature song.

Eva Tanguay was the star who wasn't afraid to be a little risque ( she showed her knees) or scandalous ( there were rumors of an affair with the mayor of Cohoes.)

Tanguay made Cohoes Music Hall a regular stop on her performance tours. And if the stories from actors, producers, directors and set crews who have worked there over the years are true, Eva might have made Cohoes her final stop as well.

The theater was built in 1874, shuttered in 1909, then renovated and reopened in 1974. Since then it's housed both professional and amateur companies, many of whom have stories of Eva's ghost. The space itself is beautiful, done in what's called "showboat-style." Only nine of this kind were built in America, and just three remain today.

Tony Rivera and Jim Charles founded the C-R Productions, the theater group that currently occupies the hall, in 2002. Rivera says the first time he felt a strange presence in the theater, he was painting sets shortly after the company moved in. He'd heard rumors of a ghost, and thought he heard noises. He just brushed it off. Then he felt a cold gust of wind blow by him, followed by the distinct smell of perfume. And apparently several other members of the theater troupe had similar experiences.

Another time, a large group was working on set designs on stage when they heard the distinct sound of high heels clomping all the way across the balcony, from one side to another, followed by a girlish giggle. The sound then ran up the stairs and seemed to go out the door. The whole thing was so eerie that the stage manager's boyfriend - a 250-pound, 6'4" guy - turned white as a sheet and run out of the theater. Rivera says everyone was clearly spooked.

There have been many other weird occurrences too, he says. Things like leading ladies suddenly missing their hat at the last minute, props going missing and mysteriously reappearing, doors that appear to open by themselves, and lights that seem to turn themselves back on. There's a lot of speculation as to who or what is causing it, but the common thought is that it's the ghost of Eva.

Eva Tanguay 2.jpg "I believe whoever she is, she's an incredibly whimsical, playful spirit," says Rivera. Rivera says another weird thing is that one corner of the stage is always cooler than the rest of the room and light bulbs never last as long as they do elsewhere.

Jim Charles swears that one time he saw someone peeking through one of the opera boxes, where no is supposed to be, and watching the audience. When they went to investigate, it became clear that all of the equipment stored up there would make it nearly impossible for someone to have gotten up. Mysterious orbs that can't seem to be explained almost always show up in photographs taken of productions, usually surrounding the leading ladies. Rivera also says his dog won't enter the theater's cafe, stopping at the door to whine but refusing to go through the doorway.

Rivera says there's pretty much a consensus among the crew that they aren't alone in the theater, even if sometimes it's just the feeling of a strange presence. They even talk to her sometimes, asking "How are you doing Eva?" He says that in theater, it's kind of considered good luck to have a spiritual presence.

Find It

The Cohoes Music Hall
58 Remsen St.
Cohoes, NY 12047



Fun story. :)

Party pooper alert!

Sounds like that old building has some draft/ventilation and insulation issues. If no one had told them about a ghost I'm sure they'd think nothing of all those drafts.

Orbs in the photos? I'm sure it wasn't dust or something on the lens! And it couldn't have anything to do with all the big lights shining at (and reflecting off of) those leading ladies.

I'd love to hear the high-heel footsteps and giggle in person just to try and figure out what's causing it. (A stray cat with unkempt claws and a strangle meow, perhaps?)

I hope these stories dry up after Halloween for the next 11 months.

Radio station Fly 92 will be doing a broadcast from the music hall next week and will likely be bringing in a "paranormal investigator" of some description.

Party pooper is right.

@ Ellsass ...Quit pooping on the party. It's October, therefore The Great Pumpkin (aka Mayor Jennings) will rise, ghost stories will be told and I'll get jacked up on all the candy people in the office leave around.

muh ha ha ha ha.

I bet you hate Christmas Carols too.


I suppose there's nothing wrong with ghost stories during the month of October. "Paranormal investigators," though? Too much.

Shockingly, this atheist celebrates Christmas in all its gift-giving, tree-garlanding, goose-gorging, eggnog-guzzling glory. Carols are fine, provided there's enough variety, except for "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" which always earns the radio a sledgehammer between the dials.

This is a cool story! Makes me want to check out the music hall too.

And Miles - Haha, The Great Pumpkin! You rock.

Some years ago, an adventurous performer put on a very expressive one-woman show, with singing and dancing, about Eva Tanguay at the Cohoes Music Hall. Can't remember her name, but she was WAY into it.

Sorry Jess, but any "story" about "ghosts" will have to be appropriately linked to South Park's "There's A Wetness Coming From My Pants" clip from now on. That's the law.

I've seen a couple productions in Cohoes Music Hall. Firstly, it's a fantastic space that everyone should experience. Secondly, it's very spooky. You couldn't pay me enough to spend the night there.

I, on the other hand, would pay a reasonable fee to get to spend the night there, with the "paranormal investigators."
I'd even bring my own unlicensed nuclear accelerator.
And beer.

Northern NY Paranormal Society! Great people and do great work!!!! Don't knock til you try em!

I used to work @ the Hall when Then first reopened. I can tell you that there are Paranormal activity in that theater. I have seen shadows of a woman cross the balcony on numerous occasions. There is also a place next to the stairs at the ticket area that sounds like footsteps going back and forth, we found out through some research that there used to be an exit near where the current exit is and we feel that there is a ghost just looking for a way out.
But my best story was when my friend and I were in the offices when we heard the drum set upstairs being played. We creeped up to the stage and saw the drumsticks fall to the floor . that was enough to convince us.

I would love to see the TAPS team come to good old cohoes, or even ghost adventures spend the night, its a little late in the month to make it happen, but ill see what we could do about next year 2011, great stories guys ive gotta check out this music hall. thanks

I would love to see Taps, or even ghost adventures spend the night in good old cohoes. Its a little late in the month to make it happen, but ill see what we could do for next year 2011, thanks for all the great stories guys, I gotta check this music hall out.

I've been watching TAPS/Ghost Hunters lately and have found they can find the truth when it comes to noises, doors opening or closing by themselves as well as any noises. With recording equipment everywhere, they can often find evidence of paranormal voices, who in some cases, answer questions put forth.
A fascinating woman, Eva Tanguay, the I don't Care Girl!

A chum was a locally well known foreman, and so you know ..aged Combat Vet. from a period of straight talkers of locally top known construction outfit was working in the music hall, he'd go over the plans for next days ro upcoming work having it memorized to tell all what to do and keep all smooth ..being in upstairs office he was using he'd "pour over" the plans . He heard somebody (clearly) walking down the hall to him and the door knob turned and he automatically turned, got up to open the door [thinking he locked it], opened it ..nobody was there . I am not sure this didn't happen more than once to him .
-I'll ask him .

I am currently finishing my second book called Winners and Losers.
The subject matter concerns people or things that at one time occupied in someway a prominent position in the history of America. Each chapter features a different person.
The last chapter will feature Eva Tanguay.
Can you imagine the things I could ask if she could be brought back, and I, now in my heightened state of wisdom, which age and life’s experience's brings on, would talk not only about the things she had done, but also her feelings while in the throes of success, and in failures that occurred, and in loves she had, and people she had intimate contact with: Legendary things she could tell, now loss to the ages. I intend to visit this Theater as soon as possible. I will be looking forward to an encounter with the ghost of Eva.

I played for a summer stock series there one summer. I was at the theater practically every night and was often the last to leave. In a year, only once did I encounter anything abnormal. I turned off all the lights and locked the building. As I crossed the street I looked back at the theater and all the lights were on in the whole building. I went back in and went room to room turning off the lights. I ain't afraid of no ghost.

I recently attended a concert at The Cohoes Music Hall and we were sitting in the box seats to the right of the stage. Every now and then a cool breeze would blow by. My friend who was right next to me felt nothing, but she could see my hair moving and the curtain behind me surrounding my chair. We were told later that night by the stagehand, that Eva's box seat was the one right above ours. The show that night was amazing and you could feel the energy. I am sure Eva enjoyed it and was excited the hall has come back to life. I look forward to returning again this year.

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