News and information – The Ghosts of St James Theatre – Wellington City Council

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However, other St James ghosts are thought to be in not-so-good spirits, or rather not so good spirits themselves. ‘The Wailing Woman’ is believed to be an old vaudeville actress, who ended her life in the St James after getting booed off stage whilst trying to revive her career.

The jealous spirit is said to cause accidents for successful women in the theatre, most notably supposedly causing Anna Veitch to break her foot during The Sound of Music and spraining Barbara Windsor’s ankle on the last night of Carry On Barbara.

Some say you can hear the woman wailing from the dressing rooms or catch a sight of her in and around the theatre.

It was reported that director Sir Peter Jackson claimed to have once seen the Wailing Woman in an apartment across the road from the theatre. 

“I woke up one morning and there was a figure in the room, she was very scary, she had a screaming face, very accusatory, she was a lady about 50 years old,” Jackson recounted for Britain’s Channel 4 TV. 

“It was terrifying actually… she was at the end of the bed… she glided across the room and disappeared into the wall.”

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