“Fred”- The Ghost Of The Old PSJA Auditorium (San Juan, TX)

For generations of actors from the award winning and highly regarded theatre program of the Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent School District, there have been reports of unusual activity ruminating from the campus formerly known as PSJA High School in San Juan, TX.

Students and staff claim to have seen the ghostly apparation of “Fred”, a former janitor, roaming the theater at all hours of the day and night.  Legend has it, “Fred”, died as a result of falling nearly 40 feet from the ceiling of the theater while changing a lighting fixture.

In addition, as part of tradition, theatre  directors always made sure to leave a reserved seat for “Fred” during any production at PSJA High School.

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“The old PSJA Auditorium – It has been said that in the old auditorium years ago a janitor or tech was putting up a light on the top and he fell and died.   ill this day if you look up the light has never been replaced.

The story is if you happen to do a production there, you have to put his name in the program because if not he will do something to ruin the show.  Either drop the set, or something else horrid will happen.” – anonymous

Apparently, during a production of “Aladdin”, the stage manager forgot to add his name to the program and a fire broke out on stage during a live performance.

Check out what the former Head Director of Theatre at PSJA High School had to say about his chilling paranormal encounter at the old auditorium.

“As a former theatre director at the old Dome Auditorium, I was frequently the last man out after rehearsals ended.  One night as I was preparing to exit the building I heard footsteps on the stage. Thinking it might be a student who had not left, I jumped on stage and saw a plainly dressed man waking backstage .  I followed him and asked him to identify himself .  He did not turn around but kept walking silently.

The backstage narrows into a small hallway which leads back to the front lobby.  Before reaching the lobby, there is a small janitorial closet . I continued to follow the man who turned and walked into the closet.  By this time I was annoyed, I opened the closet door expecting to have a conversation with a janitor.

As I flung the door open I quickly realized there was no one inside. The man has vanished . Anyone who might have been looking at the theatre from the outside would have seen a side door fly open and would have seen me running out of the building to my car. I directed plays in the dome from 1990 until 1997 and I never saw “Fred” again if that’s who it was.” -Roberto Gomez Jr

How many of you attended the old PSJA High School?  Did “Fred” ever appear to you?  Leave us a comment below.

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39 thoughts on ““Fred”- The Ghost Of The Old PSJA Auditorium (San Juan, TX)”

  1. Heard of a ghost, but the auditorium was never used. The Dome. High School became San Juan middle school when i was in 7th in 2000-2001 school year. Both years I was there only used once, because of a science show that came to do a presentation.

  2. As a former theatre director at the old Dome Auditorium, I was frequently the last man out after rehearsals ended. One night as I was preparing to exit the building I heard footsteps on the stage. Thinking it might be a student who had not left, I jumped on stage and saw a plainly dressed man waking backstage . I followed him and asked him to identify himself . He did not turn around but kept walking silently. The backstage narrows into a small hallway which leads back to the front lobby. Before reaching the lobby, there is a small janitorial closet . I continued to follow the man who turned and walked into the closet. By this time I was annoyed, I opened the closet door expecting to have a conversation with a janitor. As I flung the door open I quickly realized there was no one inside. The man has vanished . Anyone who might have been looking at the theatre from the outside would have seen a side door fly open and would have seen me running out of the building to my car. I directed plays in the dome from 1990 until 1997 and I never saw “Fred” again if that’s who it was.

  3. Oh yes!!! The curtain would not open after it had closed during a major production show! The crew went back stage to check the pullie and hooks Bu nothing seemed to be obstructing it. Moments later, it opened. Fred wanted a little attention of his ow?! Ha!

  4. When I was in middle school, we were using the auditorium to practice for our one act play. We were on stage arranging the set, marking the stage for standing positions and other things of that nature…. Well, both of our drama teachers were back stage with us and one of them told us that he saw Fred back stage and quickly got the attention of our other teacher to show her. She looked over and she too saw Fred. Every time we asked about it he was dead serious about having seen him and our other teacher was as well. Now, let’s fast forward some 20+ years… I went to the auditorium to attend a graduation ceremony for one of our alternative campuses. During the ceremony the lights kept flickering… Dimming and then going bright again. Even the Superintendent had to look up while he was talking because it was that noticeable. Knowing the story of Fred, I quickly looked in the program and noticed that they FORGOT to include his name. So maybe the legend is true. As for me personally, I never saw anything.

  5. I attended PSJA and worked on productions in 1990 and 1991. I never saw Fred, but knew all about him and we were always sure to leave a seat and put his name in the program.

  6. I went there. It was then a high school and eventually a middle school, which was when i attended that school. Its now closed though. And yes, it was scary in there to be even alone.. at the begining or end of any show or type of performance the auditorium was used for, there was a “Thank you, Freddy.” I dont remember if the seat was reserved but i remember students even myself would not sit around a few seats because we were scared. There was also a building, i think it was building “C”, that was closed for the longest time. I was told it was due to a little girl found dead, and she was roaming around the classrooms, and that the lockers in hallway would open and shut close loudly.

    1. I went to San Juan middle not to long ago and my 6th grade year they opened c hall finally I was one of the first to start to start taking a class there and there was only two teachers in that hall once our teacher told us she had heard a little girl screaming for help so she ran into the hall but didn’t see anyone she just saw the other teacher as she came into the hallway too because she had also heard the call for help… Also she told us they would hear the lockers opening and closing when no one else was around. She also told us about a little boy who would appear there.

  7. I went to that school and a lot of rumors were going around about a ghost. I never saw it, but it was always in the back of my mind when I was inside that stadium!

  8. I went there in like 2002 or so, back then it was the middle school,still is i believe. I wasnt in drama or anything, butI do remember hearing the rumors about a dude falling from the top fixing a light. We did try and spook ourselves during lock-ins and what not. Never saw any ghost or spirit, but we did scare ourselves many times lol.

  9. I was assigned to this campus as a campus officer. Myself and the security guard had a call at the auditorium from the electrician working on some lights. When we arrived we found the electrician white as sheet sitting on the steps outside. He said he was switching some lights on and off on a panel backstage. When he saw a guy, apparently walk out of complete darkness in the back. Look at what he was doing then turn and walk through the curtain. The electrician dropped everything and ran outside where a teacher saw him run out scared and called me. We searched the auditorium and found the panel he was working on. But no sign of the ghostly male individual.

  10. I went to this school. It was Middle School at my time. The story actually had to be true cause out Hot drama teacher also told us the story and also the time the curtains caught on fire. It was also told that the middle seat would lean back on its own when there was a show going on. I remember we would arrive at school around 6:30am and it was still dark and we would go knocking at the auditorium calling his name then would run off.

  11. I’m a visual learner, I have to see to believe. I never believed in the whole ghost of Fred story until I actually encountered it. I was in the video production class and had a team of 4 or 5 other students that would record the school plays, graduations, and other events that went on in the auditorium.

    One day, the group of video producers and myself had to set up our station and run cables throughout the building before anyone was allowed into the auditorium to recite. I was running cables with my team on each side of the stage. As I was walking on the center of the stage, the bright stage lights lit up the stage. I thought perhaps it was someone from our team that got into the “crows nest” to turn on the stage lights to play a joke on the rest of us. Once we had regrouped, the lights were still on.

    At this point we believed it was the drama students joking with us. We all decided to go up to the crows nest since we had to set up a camera, battery packs, and other video equipment up there. For some reason, we went through the sides of the auditorium and not the through the seating area. When we got to the door that leads to the crows nest, the stage lights had turned off. Since we had went through the side of the auditorium passing the changing rooms, costume rooms, and other rooms, there were nobody else in the auditorium. Till this day, I wish I could go back and see if I could experience what I experienced setting up the auditorium that day.

  12. I think it was freshman one-act in 1995 (Tom Jones with Mr. Gomez a few comments up) where we forgot to put his thank you in the program, and so the whole cast and crew was in the classroom right before opening, hand writing it in all the programs. Someone still wound up splitting the pants of their costume that night.

  13. I went to San Juan Middle School formerly known as PSJA High School. It was from 2007-2009 heard of the infamous Story of fred, yet it was rumored. Exactly how the story above says so. But yet never came across the ghost. Not till I attended my last year of High School known as Sonia Sotomayor High when they had the small campus in Building “D” I remember going to the dome and practicing our walk for graduation when in the hallway was extremely cold and the A.C. was shutdown. Walkin threw there I got my hair pulled and it was a horrible feeling .

  14. I was the dance teacher at San Juan Middle School for nine years and would have two dance productions every year. I never saw Fred but we did experience some strange things on several occasions: flickering stage lights, a secured piñata that was hanging centered stage fell without an explanation, and music technical problems. I always thanked Fred in our program and I would also say “Hi Fred” when I entered the auditorium. I would tell my students that Fred loved me because I would always have my students clean the auditorium after our productions.

  15. I remember seeing drama shows there and performing there for middle school concert contest. As a PSJA Student, you knew the legend of “Fred.” The light that he fell from would always be moving and strange things would happen from time to time.

  16. You guys have it all wrong! It’s PSJA North that has the legend of Fred. Wow, & for those who claimed they went to San Juan middle school, you school should know better!
    Legend has it that you either list his name in the program &/or say “thank you, Freddie” @ the end of show before the cast leaves or he’ll lock you in if he’s not acknowledged.

  17. It’s been a long time I haven’t seen him but we would here things move around when the teacher took us there to see if we would see or here something

  18. Fred! I remember! I never encountered him though but heard stories. I’m curious as to who this Fred was and if anyone knows if his obituary was ever published. 🤔

    #Class97

  19. I went to PSJA high school. I was part of the tech crew for “The Wizard of Oz” , back in 86. I remember Fred, I remember how things wouldn’t be where you left it. I remember changing the light on a scaffold and leaving that one light only. Never saw him but he made sure we felt his presences.

  20. 1…2 Freddy’s coming for you.
    3…4 better lock your door.
    5…6 get a crucifix.
    7…8 better stay up late.
    9…10 never sleep again.

  21. I was in the PSJA Varsity Concert Choir and we always had our concerts & variety shows there in the PSJA auditorium. We would sometimes encounter Fred’s doings. Like noices, strange banging sounds, but one incident that I’ll never FORGET was in one of our variety shows. At that time the way it was backstage was if you were seating facing the stage the girls dressing room was on the left & the boys were on the right. The side we were situated wasn’t frequently used basically just to get ready. To get on stage everyone went on through the girls side(left side) Anyhow one time a lil towards the end of our variety show we went to do our final outfit chang of the night. The majority of the boy’s were already out of the dressing room it was just like me and 3 other boys that were finishing getting ready. There was a bathroom in there but wasn’t functional I was like close to it and while changing I had heard something in there I asked the other boy’s if they had heard anything and they said yes so I opened the door and there was NOTHING so we continued to finish getting ready when all of a sudden we hear like a piercing scream and then a huge BANG like something had fallen hard we all turned to look back & all of a sudden all the light started to flicker and boy oh boy we all screamed and ran out of there as fast as could. Besides all the other stuff we were frequently used to hearing that was the oddest and most chilling thing that had happened to us. So I totally believe in Fred and his doings 😉😁

  22. I was in the theater program from 1999-2002, and yes, we all knew about Fred. As a freshman, I was warned not to sit in his seat, which was located on the left-hand side and for whatever reason, was a completely different style of chair. I want to say my sophomore year, 3 other students and I heard banging inside the janitor’s closet on the right side backstage, only to find it empty. The only other weird thing that happened (when I was there, anyway) was that the following year, the Bearettes forgot to thank Fred in their program, and the AC went out. In May. In SOUTH TEXAS. 100° heat inside a giant dome will make you remember to thank the one and only Fred.

  23. I’ve heard the story of Fred but never encountered him…Growing up, going to plays I noticed Fred’s name in the program and or Thank You Fred…I recently asked my mom about the story of Fred in the auditorium and she recalls the story from when she was in school…My mom is a 1969 graduate from PSJA Bears…So the story has been around for decades…

  24. No Fred when I was there in high school class of 84 I was in Band and we played there so many times but no Fred. Question when did Fred die there?

  25. When I worked at a middle school I was in charge of 8th grade graduation held at the Oso Dome. I did not put Fred’s name on the program. During the ceremony with the parents and students in attendance all the lights turned off. You need a special key to turn the lights off it’s not an ordinary light switch. We had to find a janitor to come with a special key to turn them back on. After he turned them on it happened again! LEARNED my lesson after that!

  26. I never heard of the story and I was not in theater but the auditorium was used widely used for many functions but in 1986 I tried for the Misss city of Pharr it was the first and only time i tried but remembering back one of my dresses disappeared I couldn’t find it. I was so upset but then later in the week my dress was found and I was called to pick it up omg could the ghost be the one that hid it from me to try and lure me back into the changing room alone freaky.

  27. Oh yes! I was making out with an ex girlfriend of mine back in 1984. We thought we were the only ones in the place but a voice told us, ” you guys should be in class” Che Fred.

  28. I used to be the sound tech for Alamo Middle School back in ’95. One Saturday afternoon after rehearsal for our one act play, Mr. Gomez asked me to check all the doors and make sure everything was locked in the old Bears auditorium which we were using at the time. I was the last kid there since Mr. Salazar (Czar) was my ride home. As creepy as it was, and knowing full well about Fred, I checked everything out on my own while Mr. G and Czar stayed on the stage to discuss the play. To this day I am more than sure that all the doors were closed and locked, yet the moment I turned to return towards the stage through the inner lobby doors, one of the main metal exit doors opened by itself and slammed shut behind me. Mr. G already knew. He said it so casually like “Oh, that’s just Fred”. Realistically, there was no way it could have been the wind or another person. It was a weekend and no one was in the lobby. Plus those doors are pretty heavy. Still remember it like yesterday.

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