Is The Natatorium On Route 66 Really Haunted?
I'm going to preface this by stating that I don't personally believe in ghosts. Could they exist? I mean, I guess anything is possible until it's not, it's just not something I personally believe in. However, my mind COULD be swayed with the right experience.
Could the Natatorium on Route 66 and Sixth Street be that experience? A brief history of the "Nat" shows it opened back in 1922 as a pool. In 1926, the owner sold it off and it became a dance palace. The depression hit and it was sold again in the 1930's. The person who purchased it, Harry Badger, turned it into a premier dance floor by bringing in the likes of legends such as Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong. Several years ago, the property was purchased and renovated into an antique mall...and this is where the haunting begins.
Many guests have said when they head to the upstairs portion of the mall, they felt cold spots. That's where the gambling hall was originally, and if you are a gambler like me, a cold spot usually means a place you wanna stay away from because you're about to give all your money away. Ultimately though, that could just be an air conditioning issue. Some have reported that when the mall is closed and no one was there, strange noises could be heard coming from the building. In my opinion, any old building can create some noises just due to the age of it. Some reports even say that furniture had been moved around when they arrived in the morning to open up the mall. I mean, how hard would it be for someone to go in there and move things around to give the appearance of a haunting?
The one thing that creeps me out the most though are the reports of that a couple can be seen at times dancing on the hardwood where the dance floor once resided. I don't know about you, but if I could actually see something moving across the floor and it wasn't a physical being, that could be the thing that gets me.
In 1996, the Nat did an all night ghost hunt in the building. They had difficulties conducting the search as cameras and equipment kept randomly turning off, which of course led those in the search to believe that there were spirits in there not wanting to be recorded as they roamed the building.
If you want to check it out for yourself, by all means do it. Maybe I can be talked into it, but I have a feeling I'll be there soon as my wife wants to find an antique dining table for our house. If I go, I'll report back if I see/hear anything...but something tells me my skepticism won't allow me to feel anything haunted in the building.