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The Atlas Theatre

Cheyenne Ghosts | Historic Atlas Theatre | US Ghost Adventures

The haunted Atlas Theatre in Cheyenne, WY, is an eerie reminder of the bygone Wild West era. This era gave birth to the “Magic City of The Plains.” Numerous spirits lurk amongst the shadows of the 19th-century theatre. Adding an element of wonder and dread to those enjoying the theatre’s countless live performances. 


Two spirits actively haunt the Atlas Theatre, with inclinations that others are alongside them. The “woman in white” stares out the top-floor windows longingly. Along with this spirit is a mischievous male entity. 


Cold spots are common, electricity turns on and off, and phantom hands pull on hair and clothing. It is one of the most haunted places in Wyoming! 


Quick Facts:


  • Built in 1882, the building turned into a theatre in 1908. 
  • In 1894, a deadly murder/suicide took place on the top floor between an enraged minister and his wife
  • 1966, after thirty years of silence, the theatre resumed its productions and plays. It later became a historical landmark in 1971. 


Theatre and Entertainment In The Wild West


We’ve all seen the films glorifying the days of the old West. Saloons, brothels, and theatres entertained countless cowboys, outlaws, and salacious ladies of the night. All the while, just outside the swinging doors, danger lurked. 


There was a real need for a distraction, with death lurking around every corner. The Atlas Theatre filled that void for the people of the newly settled Cheyenne, WY. 


The Atlas Theatre of Cheyenne, WY


The Union Pacific railroad created Cheyenne. This feat of modern technology paved its way through the American frontier, creating cities and towns wherever it went. It formed in the middle of Dakota Native American territory in July 1867. By November, the railroad had made its way to the sparsely populated town. 


Few believed it would survive for much longer than it took to build the railroad. But the next year, the “Magic City of the Plains” erupted into a city of 5,000. It became the capital of the Wyoming territory. 


Established in 1907, the Atlas Theatre eased the hardships of frontier life. Built in 1882, the building was previously owned by Wyoming’s first governor Francis Warren. Shops held business on the first floor. 


Referred to as Atlas Block, the second floor housed tenants and travelers. 


Violence at The Atlas Theatre



A series of gruesome events unfolded here during this time. In 1888 a fire broke out in the second-floor offices of the candy shop below. 


No one was hurt during this fire, as far as we know. Yet, this may explain some of the paranormal activity at the Atlas today. 


In 1894 something far more terrible occurred on the second floor of the Atlas Theatre. The wife of a local minister had recently joined the workforce of the red-light district. After finding out this sordid information, the minister fell into a rage and violently murdered his beloved on the second floor. He then committed suicide, cementing a legend that still attracts spiritual enthusiasts to the theatre to this day. 


Many believe the minister’s wife is the “Lady in White” seen staring out the window. While others claim that she was a victim of the aforementioned fire. 

The Demise and Return of The Atlas Theatre


Deemed the “prettiest show west of the Missouri River,” the Atlas Theatre officially opened in 1908. It included a penny arcade, an ice cream parlor, and a soda fountain. The magnificent theatre sat 550 and opened to a crowd of 1200 for a performance of “Madame Butterfly.”


In 1923 the theatre kept up with the happening motion picture business and converted to a movie house. After remodeling and renaming itself “The Strand” in 1929, the doors of the Atlas shut in 1931. 


Efforts to reopen the theatre failed several times, and the building briefly served as a hotel and nightclub until 1966. The Little Cheyenne Players Club began hosting live performances and plays in the theatre. They purchased it in 1971, adding it to the National Register of Historic Places. Cementing its safety and place in Wyoming history. 


The Haunted Atlas Theatre


The hauntings of the Atlas Theatre are also a part of Wyoming history. Many, including one local news reporter, report chilling cold spots, electrical issues, phantom footsteps, and apparitions. 


The woman in white is the most spotted spirit. She appears in the top floor window, staring longingly out into a world she does not understand. During renovations, a Cheyenne local saw her and thought nothing of it, until she noticed the building was closed. The woman in white soon slowly faded away and out of existence. 


The male spirit walks around on stage and often plays pranks on people.  He may have died in the fire before the building became a theatre. 


There is also a small child who haunts the buildings. She and her mother took refuge in the theatre one cold Wyoming winter. They both froze to death inside its historic confines. The child often reaches out to other children and pulls on their hair. 


Haunted Cheyenne


The hauntings of the Atlas Theatre are only the start of the spiritual excitement in Cheyenne. Next time you find yourself in Cheynne, take a ghost with US Ghost Adventures to learn them all! 


Read our blog for further information before your visit! 


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