origin of a ghost light?

Toul

Member
zac850 said:
hum, I think its that the ghosts don't like a darkened theater. However, if thats the case, wouldn't they get mad during every blackout?
I think the ghosts are happy whenever there is activity in the theatre. With a live audience living and breathing in the house, they'll be super-happy, even if all the lights go out occasionally. In rehearsals, there are performers with energy to feed off of. I think that theatrical ghosts, in general, are pretty easy to keep happy. Just don't anger them.

We don't have a ghost light per se, but we always leave the fluorescent bulb in the light lab on. This produces enough light to get to the Unison switch.

Lester said:
In some states it is actually against the law to not have a ghost light. If you don't have a ghost light, and a theif breaks in at night, falls off the stage and breaks his leg, he could actually sue you for damages.
If that's true, it's incredibly ironic.
 

zac850

Well-Known Member
Toul said:
Lester said:
In some states it is actually against the law to not have a ghost light. If you don't have a ghost light, and a theif breaks in at night, falls off the stage and breaks his leg, he could actually sue you for damages.
If that's true, it's incredibly ironic.

yea, it is true. There have been times when a crook breaks into someone's house to steal something, and ends up falling and hurting himself, sued for damages, and won.

What is this world coming to?
 

ricc0luke

Active Member
I sure wish we had a ghost light...

When you first walk in there is the switch to the BS hallway. Once you get on the stage there is one set of worklights in the back of the stage right there that you can turn on. However... during a production the trigons normaly block all of that light from the stage. In order to turn on the worklights over the stage you must walk across the stage in the dark to hit the swith. Then you must go down the steps into the house to walk to the back to hit the third and brightest set of worklights and to turn on the house lights. How is that for fun?
 

mr_sound

Member
zac850 said:
yea, it is true. There have been times when a crook breaks into someone's house to steal something, and ends up falling and hurting himself, sued for damages, and won.

What is this world coming to?

did you ever hear about the guy that shot someone trying to break into his home, paralized the guy from like the waist down, and the theif sued and actually won? now that's crazy. it just proves that, if you're gonna shoot someone for breaking into your home, you better kill him so he can't sue you.
 

3D

Member
some theaters are haunted. i worked in a haunted theater. i think it gives ghosts light to protect the theater at night.

our school uses one but we only use it after productions or before productions. it gives the actors/actresses security before they go on stage.

3D (Derek D. Deiterman)
 
the story ive always heard was that you leave a light on when you leave so the ghosts can perform their own plays...
 

Foxinabox10

Active Member
What some people had described as "ghosting" can also occur if you switch your board from manual to memory or vice versa with any faders up. All you have to do is switch it back, put the faders down and then switch it to where you want it.

As for the thief stories...A guy broke into someones house and got locked in their garage while they were on vacation, and almost starved to death, and sued the family and won.
 

lighttechie5948

Active Member
today i fell in my theater's orchestra pit after turning off the lighting dimmers back stage. All of the house lights were off and the ramp that connects the stage to the house was not connected (it folds up so the orchestra can get down to the pit).

Is it actually a law, because I am going to email the executive director to make sure a ghost light procedure is instituted.
 

willbb123

Active Member
Am I the only one that carries a maglite everytime I enter a theatre for work purposes?

Whenever I'm working i carry my LED flashlight (does both red and white light), gerber, and a no contact circuit tester.
The backlight on your cellphone can also be very useful. I've got a flashlight app on my iphone that i use alot.
 

JeffClark

Member
Am I the only one that carries a maglite everytime I enter a theatre for work purposes?

No, but it sure helps when your building is used for other purposes and a flashlight only goes so far.

People like us who carry lights with them (I always have one in my backpack, along with my pocketknife and multi-tool) aren't the ones we need to worry about. Luckily, we have light switches at every door and up in the booth to turn on the house lights, so we more often than not, are fighting with people to turn the lights OFF.
 

iLightTheStage

Active Member
Any theater that has an open pit should have a ghost light, and, if possible, a rope across the edge of the proscenium when the stage isn't in full use.

The ATD at a theater I used to work at converted an old broken costume steamer into a ghost light. It was kind of handy since it was already on wheels, and he wired it to illuminate the LED on it when power was present, and the switch controlled the light itself.


I sure wish we had a ghost light...


All it takes is $5-10 for a floor lamp without a shade, and a bulb. Nothing really stopping you from having one.
 

renegadeblack

Active Member
As for the thief stories...A guy broke into someones house and got locked in their garage while they were on vacation, and almost starved to death, and sued the family and won.

I'd like to hear what the people who owned the spaces are said to have done wrong, I also fail to see how someone can get locked in a garage, isn't there always a way to escape unless they have one of those keyed-on-both-sides locks. Ooh, that would be terrible. Even so, what's the family charged with? Keeping their home semi-secure?

As for the ghost light, we always have one around when we're doing productions, except for when we did The Crucible, which could certainly explain some of the problems we had.

As for being able to see the switch, we have them by all but one door leading into the theatre, however, that doesn't mean that they all work :S .

What I learned the ghost light was for is so that when the ghosts are wandering around, they don't bump into things and get angry.

And why not cover this bit since it seems to be the right thing to do:
I do have things occasionally ghost, only ever so slightly though, like the good old fashioned dimmer leak from analog systems, except mine's completely digital. In middle school, we used to have an old analog system that seemed to be some sort of custom build, I have no idea what it was and they've since replaced it so don't even ask :) but the back row green strip lights always leaked or ghosted a little bit, on the dimmers there was a little screw that you could adjust what seemed almost like gain and that didn't help at all.

And why not add another bit to this thread:

Do you say goodnight to your theatre before turning off the house lights at the end of the night? I've heard that some people do this, and I tend to when I've been in there all day and it's been nice to me for the day.
 

Esoteric

Well-Known Member
We always had one at the PAC.

When I do installs I always make sure there is a control panel of some kind near the main internal entrance and every usable outdoor entrance.

Mike
 
Actually from what I know, when you get "power" to a fixture even though your dimmer is off, this is called Phantom power.......the ghost light comes from superstition to ward off bad juju......as well as so someone doesn't bump into things in the dark, but mostly superstition.....and yes, durring a show, we leave on a ghost light......never hurts to have some good juju on our side :)
 

mark

Member
Before the advent of illuminated Exit signs, stair lights etc. old theaters were pretty dark and dangerous. You could fall into an open trap, orchestra pit or everyones favorite, right off the edge of the stage, usually coming from the backstage area to the house to turn the lights on and who had flashlights?
 

gafftapegreenia

CBMod
CB Mods

Dionysus

Well-Known Member
The only time I have seen this happen is when the optocoupler controlling the triac failed. As such, the channel remained illuminated despite any attempts to dim it

Ghosting is a common occurrence. There are several things that can cause it.

(many dimmers use two SCRs instead of a triac and diac arrangement)

- Improperly set dimming curve (not quite 0%, when at 0%)
- The filament is still hot after being on for a long time, takes a while for it to cool down enough to completely stop emitting a soft glow of light
- Most dimmers are never entirely off, allowing a small amount of power to always be present (to make the filament respond better, and quicker. Or to allow the dimmer to know if the circuit is actually complete) This can make ghosting more easy to occur.
 

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