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AMC Hampton Theatres

Rochester Hills, Michigan

Three theatres were built in 1971, and in 1979 a fourth one was added. During the process of building, a worker was killed. Soon after construction was completed, many strange happenings were witnessed on the premises. Seats in the front row have rocked on their own, garbage cans rolled up the aisle, cans knocked over by themselves, lights flicker on their own, toilets have randomly flushed, and many others. These strange events have been witnessed by numerous patrons and employees. Over time, the employees nicknamed the ghost “Johnny”. The theatres closed on January 17, 1999 due to a lease expiration. In March of 1999, a group of former employees visited theatre four, said, “Hi.” to Johnny, and the lights mysteriously turned on.

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in wonderland says:

December 6, 2008, 3:32 pm

did this happen in real life

Laya285 says:

March 14, 2009, 12:43 pm

Midland Cinimas (idk bout spelling) is not haunted. this place is. ive been here too. i felt out of place. i herd someone in the bathroom, the grls bathroom. it sounded like a guy. me and my family went in there to tell himt o get loss, but no1 was there. we all told the clerk and they said the theater was haunted. we watched out movie and left as soon as possible

me says:

March 21, 2009, 9:19 am

the thuter is now gone but my sis and here friend were worning me that a figur was behind me

JimL3222 says:

April 28, 2009, 2:07 pm

The theater in question was part of Hampton Mall, southeast corner of Hamlin and Rochester Roads. Name came from the adjacent apparetment and townhouse development behind it known as Hampton Village. (Winchester Mall was a mile north on Rochester at Avon Road, but it had a theater as well.) Both have undergone major reconstruction.

I first attended shows at that theater in 1981 or 1982. The strip mall and theater seemed kind of old and beat up even then. I never noticed anything strange.

I moved into the adjacent neighborhood in 1990 and by then the mall was really beat. There was a ACE Hardware, a gourmet market called Papa Joes, an Italian restaurant and a number of other shops near the theater. I got to know the merchants. All complained of the upkeep of the mall and the lack or repairs to the roof, A/C systems, electrical systems, etc. That may explain the flickering lights. Papa Joes took some serious hits because of failures of electrical power and the air conditioners/chillers needed in their market. I can recall several times when they had to throw out a lot of the meats and seafood due to the poor maintnance and response of the landlords.

The Hampton theater was running second-run and dollar movies at that point. I do recall that they closed two of the four theaters for a few years before ultimately closing up entirely. The two that closed included the one built after they took over an adjacent store space (#4).

The landlord apparently wanted to do a major renovation for years. The theaters closed after some mergers by the big movie companies and the new Star Theaters were built in the nearby Target shopping center. There was a Perry Drug Store next to Papa Joes at the north end of the mall that kept pressing the landlord to push Papa Joes out and let them have the end store so they could enlarge and have a drive through service. Papa Joes was offered the space where the theaters were, but was so disgusted with the landlord at that point they started looking for land to build. When their lease came up the owners were shocked to hear that theiy were not going to get a renewal. The landlord was going to do a huge renovation, and a Toys R Us would be the new anchor store. They essentailly gave Papa Joes and the other tennants only a few months to vaccate. Papa Joes built their own store north of Rochester. The mall was torn down one half at a time, the theater being raised first. It is now a Bed Bath and Beyond. Toys R Us never came in. The middle stood idle for some time. A california-based orgaanic food market opened then closed 6 months later. That space has since been idled. CVS opened in the new space replacing Papa Joes on the end.

Joe says:

May 13, 2009, 1:24 pm

This is too stupid. Leave this site and get a life people.

JimL3222 says:

May 13, 2009, 2:17 pm

Joe – sorry you think this is too stupid. One guy’s opinion. Try another post. For the rest of us…

Since I still live in the area I went over to Bed, Bath and Beyond. I first asked the manager at the front. He looked a but surprised and then said he had heard stories over the years but that’s all they were. No ghosts in the store. I then walked to the back ofthe store where a worker was stocking some tablecloths. She said that she had worked at the store since soon after it opened there. Yes – strange stuff occured. The strange stuff always was reported in the stock area back room and the area of the store towards the very south end of the building. Nothing apparently was ever reported in the north end by the kitchen stuff. I asked what had happened. She described workers stocking boxes vertically, like soldiers, onto multiple shelves. they would walk away only to hear a shuffling noise. When they looked back the items were re-arranged laying flat, now one on top of the other, allighned, on the various shelves. Some items would fly off shelves from time to time a distance that would not account for them simply falling off. Workers said that they heard a voice in the stock room after closing time or before opening when they were the only person working in the room.

The person I spoke to reported that she was working stock before opening along with the manager. She was in the stock room and heard items moving about on a shelf opposite where she was working, as if a coworker was also there. She came around the shelf to see who else was also working in the stock room. there was no one there. She then called the only other employee within the locked store – the manager – on her radio. He was in his office still at the front of the store.

The employees know of Johnny, but management denies it when asked.

Bobo says:

August 8, 2009, 8:44 pm

Joe, why are YOU here if you think this is stupid? You must have some belief somewhere or you would ignore this site.

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Chris says:

December 28, 2009, 1:21 pm

I recently moved behind Bed Bath and Beyond where the old movie theatre used to be with my daughter. We have been hearing multiple things going on in our townhouse….(footsteps, banging, and something kicked our bed one evening) Yes my daughter sleeps next to me…she is too scared to sleep alone, and we can’t afford to move. I came accross this website to see if there were any stories of hauntings or strange stuff going on in the area. I did notice on the north side of Hamlin road there is a grave yard as well. If anyone living in these townhouses has experienced similar things happening could you please reply and let us know we are not crazy? Thanks.

JimL3222 says:

January 1, 2010, 9:47 pm

Chris, I have not heard of any problems within the various Hampton Village Apartment and Townhouses themselves. It is obviouly that the complex has been around for quite a while – these are far from “new”. Although they charge market rates the management company does not do the best of jobs keeping up with the maintenace. They were also built to 1970’s building standards. My girlfriend lives in one of the townhouses, and I’ve spent a fair amount of time in her place. Her townhouse has its share of creaks and other associated building noises. The insulation between her place and the units next door is not the best, so we can occasionally hear sounds from next door. She has not reported anything like her unit being haunted. no clue how many peopl have been renting your unit over the years – there may have been something that happened there? You didn’t mention your daughter’s age….. I am not trying to minimize what’s happening in your townhouse. We all have from time to time those nerve or muscle releases just as we are going to sleep, which can cause a “bounce” to occur and the bed to move slightly. That could be the “bed kick” you spoke about. If you’ve previously lived in a detached house and now live in an apartment the sounds of others in nearby units or in the parling lots can be tough on a youngster. If your daughter is very young (an age where monsters are in her closet or under her bed) you might try what I did for my kids. Go to the store and buy an empty spray bottle, fill it with water, and label it with something appropriate “Monster Away” or whatever. Squirt water mist under her bed and in the closet, and loudly proclaim that this stuff is guaranteed to work by experts. My kids slept soundly after that! (Go to the dollar store or Meijers for the squirt bottle, just not BB&B!!!! LOL) Yes, there is a cemetary down Hamlin Road. Bordines Nursery is across the street, and beyond that but before the cemetary is one of the original homes and some small migrant farmer houses for the seed nursery that once was there.

Detroit Area Paranormal Society says:

January 4, 2010, 9:39 pm

Chris….I have heard a few stories from ur neck of the woods. If u would like our team to come out & do an investigation just email us at daps2008@aol.com. We will b more than happy to assist u free of charge.

Dan B says:

January 20, 2010, 12:03 pm

It amazes me how people who were not there believe they can just debunk someones experiences. There is a point to which you have to question the stories, but anyone can down play and make excuses for almost anything that happens. The fact is that just because you or your friends did not see for yourselves does not make it fake. Almost every person asked “what would make you believe in a haunting?” said seeing it with my own eyes. The trouble with this is that if it happened on cue when ever we wanted it to it would not be paranormal, but rather normal! Ghost researchers for years have spoken of and photographed ectoplasma fog and ectoplasma orbs (seperate from dust or bugs on IR cameras) and it turns out that ectoplasma carries thoughts between neurons in the brain. Now doctors are catching photographs of these same ectoplasmic orbs leaving the brains of the dead. If this sounds like garbage, than do the research. Parallel Universe Theory and Quantum Physics are beging to prove that the science of ghosts is more real than the average person wants to hear. Think about it, almost every religion believes in the supernatural, life after death, some sort of holy ghost, if you will. Most people will follow religious stories written at a time when most people were uneducated, but mention a haunting and your insane!!! Before you try to debunk and talk down to those who have ghostly experiences, stop and think how you would feel if someone told you that what you thought, felt, smelt, touched, and believed in your life experiences were all wrong and only in your head!!!!!!!!

Joe Harman says:

February 7, 2010, 8:48 pm

This story has a ring of truth. I grew up in the area, and saw many films at this site from the 1970’s to the late 1990’s. Sadly, the complex was completely torn down roughly 10 years ago, and was replaced by a “Bed, Bath and Beyond” store. I find the demolition very puzzling.

I do not recall any stories, however, regarding any construction worker falling to his death. That being said, within the last couple of years, I have spoken with BBB staff. They have confirmed ghostly activities at this store, but, do not expand on their remarks. Perhaps they are fearful of repercussions from management ?

I hope this helps someone. Also, I may have heard one tale of the property being constructed on “old Indian burial grounds”, but I tend not to believe that, because that is such a common construction site story.

Joe Harman says:

February 7, 2010, 8:54 pm

PS ………. I was puzzled about the demolition of the old movie complex, because the parking lot was jammed beyond belief. They still had the retro outdoor box office, and the lines were just outrageously long. Makes me wonder why they would tear down a movie complex that was bringing in so much money

Lottie says:

February 9, 2010, 9:23 pm

I work at the Bed Bath & Beyond that is located on the same property as the AMC Theater was. Yes the strange events are still happening. The ghost is named Johnny and stays mostly in the bedding dept. and shipping and receiving. One employee has seem him and us Johnny wears a blue shirt.

chantel says:

February 28, 2010, 12:55 am

i used to live in michigan i know every thing about it is very scary

kris says:

March 8, 2010, 5:53 am

dumb

PLP says:

May 19, 2010, 2:50 am

I remember when they built the theatre. Went there many times. Grew up in Rochester Hills. I remember something about an accident, but it was kept hush,hush. Now,by curiosity, have to check out BBB.

Picard says:

August 3, 2010, 12:01 am

but then who was phone?

Jim says:

September 23, 2010, 2:14 pm

It’s not a theater now, it’s a Bed Bath & Beyond and the building was rebuilt for that. However, a current or past manager at BBB claims things like that still happen. He’s not the type to be suggestible. Despite the failed memory of that other contributor, the Hampton was NOT in the Winchester Mall. Umm, it was the Winchester Cinemas, but maybe that person’s brain cells are empty or they got stoned too often behind the Winchester out in the woods. That theater also does not exist. The Hampton was in the (still-extant) Hampton Plaza, Rochester & Hamlin. It did show $1 movies, vintage stuff, toward the end. They were losing money at that point, not thriving, so an employee told then me they were getting rentals of things like The Wizard Of Oz for only $50 per week, bargain basement prices, and that kept them afloat for awhile longer. Why don’t more MI theaters do this???

Jim says:

September 23, 2010, 2:21 pm

I know of no “old Indian burial grounds” anywhere around the former theater site. That story sounds like someone has seen Poltergeist a bit too much and has lost touch with reality. In more recent, real-life, real-world history, the site was a section of the former Ferry seed farm that raised plants for resale of seed lines (vegetable, fruits, etc.) earlier in the 20th century. Not a very sinister past there.

Jim, too says:

September 23, 2010, 2:32 pm

I’m inclined to laugh about the disbelievers at the same times as I make fun of the gullible–I prefer actual experience to twice-told tales–and each point of view can be heavily flawed, as we see in these postings. Claiming something ‘does not exist’ is complete ignorance. Everyone regards things differently, and how can anyone dismiss something that someone else experienced? It’s irrational to do that, and it shows off the low IQ of the pseudo-skeptic. Similarly, having a belief about things that you did not experience yourself can be problematic. It took me (once having been slightly skeptical, but no longer) getting MP3 recordings of voice of people who were not there, to convince me strongly that odd things occur in this world and that the paranormal is an aspect of reality.

Nikki says:

September 29, 2010, 12:23 am

I have worked at the Rochester Hills Bed Bath & Beyond for several years. I have experienced a lot of strange things happened. People still hear voices and noises that cannot be explained. I personally have worked overnight and heard the ladders in the center stockroom move. The whole team heard it and check the ladders. All the ladders were locked down. We just looked at each other and blamed the ghost.
Another manager and I were closing down the store when we heard voices. I left her in the office while I checked for where it was coming from. When I was in the office, it sounded like they were by the registers. When I got to the service desk, it sounded like they were back in Housewares. I followed it around the entire store till it disappeared when I made it back up front again. The music and display tvs were already turned off. By all rights, we should not have been able to hear anything but ourselves. We left quite quickly after that.
The last is the most recent of events. I had just gotten transferred back to the Rochester Hills store. I was closing up the store and looked down by the emergency exit on the front of the building. I saw movement while I was locking the front door. A shadow person walk through the wall. It was about halfway down the wall. All I could think of was “wow, that’s a new one.”
While I have gotten creeped out a few times, I have never felt threatened by anything at the store. It has made working there interesting.

jfgdkjhfkds says:

November 29, 2010, 6:51 pm

sounds cool

jfgdkjhfkds says:

November 29, 2010, 6:54 pm

cool

jfgdkjhfkds says:

November 29, 2010, 6:56 pm

weres the bed bath& beond

Morgan says:

April 14, 2011, 4:33 pm

HAS ANY1 EVER BEEN TO THAT MOVIE THEATER BEFORE IT WAS TORN DOWN THAT IS STILL ALIVE TODAY??? PLZ COMMENT BACK IF U R ONE O THE PEOPLE!!! I’m 10 years old and LOVE to hear about haunted places!!! Im hoping someday to be able to go to an actual haunted place!!!!!!!!

Ericka says:

June 14, 2011, 9:53 pm

I am 28 years old and i spent alot of time at the theater when i was a teen. My friends and I walked to the theater and used it as a hang out. until now i never heard of “johnny” and never experienced anything weird. However i dont doubt it either, Rochester is a old town with creepy stories. Anyways, i was super sad to see it shut down…good memories….

Jim L says:

February 19, 2012, 1:30 pm

The portion of the Hampton Mall that housed Bed Bath and Beyond is now vacant. Bed Bath and Beyond moved from their leased space there to the former Linens and Things retail space in the old Winchester Mall, 1/2 mile north on Rochester Road in December 2011. It will be interesting to see who are the next occupants of that retail space, and if they too experience things or see Johnny.

theghostwatcher says:

March 27, 2012, 10:51 am

we should go and ask if people could investigate beds baths and beyond to see if there are any ghost sitings still happening after it was torn down.

theghostwatcher says:

March 27, 2012, 10:55 am

I’m 16 years old and have always been interested in any paranormal phenomenon.

Elizabeth says:

August 26, 2013, 4:49 pm

Hey guys, I’m trying to find the location but I’m a bit confused. Anyone know where this place used to be located and if there is a new store their now? I’m really interested in checking it out!

Amanda says:

September 6, 2013, 11:21 pm

It’s now a vacant building on the corner of Rochester rd. and Hamlin. There’s a Jo Ann fabric and CVS, its the vacant building on the end. It’s right down the road from my house, I used to go all the time when I was little, does anyone know how the guy died? I used to get this terrifying feeling that something was going to fall on me, and I never knew why.

me says:

October 19, 2013, 10:49 pm

The location is on the southeast corner of hamlin and rochester road. It is usually vacant since bed bath and beyond moved out. It is temporarily being used as a Halloween USA.

me says:

October 19, 2013, 10:52 pm

The location is on the southeast corner of hamlin and rochester road. It is usually vacant since bed bath and beyond moved out. It is temporarily being used as a Halloween USA.: )

Dr. Ronald Kuntze says:

June 25, 2014, 4:00 am

I hate to burst all your bubbles– I worked at the Hampton Theatre from December 1976 thru 1985 (longer than any other human)– usher, assistant manager, then manager— NO-ONE, I repeat NO-ONE ever died there (a man had a minor heart attack in 1980 before his movie started– I gave his wife a pass and they were back the following week to see Private Benjamin, as I recall. When we added on theatre 4 in 1979 (which is one of the only true things in this report)– it was uneventful…quick and cheap as I recall. I spent close to 600 overnights there over the years– sometimes alone (we always cleaned overnight, had parties all the time) often with friends, sometimes sober, sometimes not, even lost my virginity there (thank you CV), overnight after the Christmas party….
Anyway– never saw anything– still friends with employees who were there after me, until the very close (Stacey took over after her mother Susan)–in fact we’ve had get-togethers as recently as 2012– we all think this is hilarious because it’s so stupid! That’s reality folks– dogs chase tails…people chase ghost stories (and apparently make them up out of whole cloth)

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