Princess Theatre in Victoria, Melbourne, Australia is reportedly haunted by Frederick Baker‘s ghost.
Built in 1854 by Charles Coppin, the Theatre was one of two theatres owned by Coppin in Melbourne. Although the Princess Theatre is often seen as one of Melbourne's first theatres, the site it is built on was once the location of 'Astley's Aphitheatre', a smaller theatre. Coppin bought Astley's and grandly rebuilt and redesigned it into the Princess Theatre, which officially opened in 1857.
In 1885 the Theatre was bought by J.C Williamson, who renovated the theatre into what is now seen today. They theatre was redesigned in 'Second Empire' style and became much more widely known. The Theatre also became the first theatre to have a retractable roof. The Princess Theatre was proclaimed to be equal to the Paris Opera in France.
Today the Princess Theatre is owned by David Marriner, the theatre was the first place in Australia in which the play 'Phantom of the Opera' was shown. Phantom of the Opera proved so successful it became the longest running play ever shown in Victoria.
in 1888, Frederick Baker was a British/Italian actor born in Florence Italy. Baker was nicknamed 'Frederici' and that was his stage name. He travelled the world with the acting company, "D". Along with the rest of the cast, Baker preformed in the first showing of the play 'The Mikado' in the USA, Baker playing the main part. "D" toured showing 'The Mikado' and other plays throughout the USA and then continental Europe for four year's, earning the company and especially Frederick Baker himself a lot of fame.
In 1887, Baker decided to move to Australia and preformed in the first showing of the play 'Princess Ida' in Australia, in Princess Theatre. A year later he decided to preform in an opera named 'Faust'. In this opera, Dr. Faustus feels that he has wasted his life and so sells his soul to a devil named Mephistopheles in order to make him young again. Baker was to play the part of Mephistopheles, it is said that before he went onto stage he said "I will give a fine performance tonight, but it will kill me".
During the finale of the opera in which Mephistopheles descends back into hell, taking with him the unlucky Dr. Faustus. Baker would lowered down through the stage via a trapdoor into a basement below the stage. As this happened, it is presumed that Frederick Baker was overwhelmed by the play and suffered a heart attack, he was dead by the time he was at the bottom of the cellar. After the play had finished, the director told the rest of the cast what had happened, the cast was confused by this since they had just seen Frederici bow toh the audience along with the rest of them.
The ghost of Frederick Baker has often reportedly seen in Princess Theatre, especially when a play is taking place. He can also be seen in the dressing rooms, wearing more than one outfit. He may even stare at the stage as if he is about to preform himself.