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Tue, March 31

Letters to the editor

Resident shares ghost stories

To the editor:

After reading the article in the April 26 Williams News about the haunted Red Garter, that rang a bell in my mind! When I was little back in the '40s my first job was delivering and selling the Williams News. One interesting customer was upstairs next to the present Red Garter.

Talking about ghosts, every time I got to the top of the stairs, there was a lady sticking her arm out with a dollar bill or four quarters for four newspapers. In those days the paper cost five cents each. After a few weeks, I made it a point to go first to the long stairs. One dollar was lots of money then!

The only funny part I couldn't figure out, was how that lady knew I was coming? But I soon found out that it was a red light district, or house. They had a bell that would ring on the fourth step to let them know that a customer was coming. No, they didn't sell donuts downstairs, they were upstairs!

Well the rest of the story Š the Sultana Theater. Well I happened to work for Harry L. Nace out of Phoenix. He owned most of the theaters in the southern and northland including Holbrook, Winslow, Prescott, Flagstaff, Williams, even Ash Fork and more.

I started in 1946 working as a janitor for the Sultana then as projectionist, and later as a manager. In the early '70s I bought the theatre part from Nace. In '73 I went broke! Television took over. All the years wasted in the movie business, I thought they were going to put me in movies and make a movie star out of me!

Well, back to the ghost stories, let me tell you that place was creepy. I always thought of it as the TV program, "Theatre After Dark." I would sweep either after closing time or early morning hours before I went to school.

One night I had shown the movie, "The Thing." If you remember the part where the arm of The Thing got caught on the door, well I went out to dump the trash and it was a windy night. As I came in the door, it slammed and caught my arm. I hollered, "The Thing!" I think I ran home all the way! Also sometime when I was sweeping downstairs I would hear noises upstairs in the projector room, or a chair would flip up as if someone had just got out of it. Sometimes it would happen the other way. I would be upstairs, and the chairs downstairs would do the same, or the stairs would squeak as if someone was coming up. Boy, I was on guard with my broom! And I have more that I will never forget, ask me next time you see me. I guess I should write a book?

By the way, I also ran movies on Halloween night at midnight. It would be a spooky one. I will never forget one on Halloween night. This was a real ghost. Ask Theresa Johnson, she still lives here in Williams!

Perico Avila


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