Long before the Paramount Center for the Performing Arts opened in downtown Bristol in 1931; the property had originally been home to the Thomas House Hotel in the late 19th century.
In 1863 two local men, Colonel Prentice and Robert Droke got into a heated argument in the street in front of the hotel. Tempers boiled over and eventually Prentice pulled out his gun and fired two shots into Droke’s chest. Covered in blood, Droke managed to get inside the lobby of the hotel with the help of his friends. After writing out a detailed testimony of Prentice’s attack, Droke bled out and drew his last breath.
Today the theatre a few hundred feet away from the Virginia state line is said to be haunted by the spirit of Robert Droke. People who work and perform in the building often hear loud thundering footsteps through the building at night as well as the sounds of someone angrily slamming doors from time to time.