Academy Award-winning actor Jack Lemmon had two strange encounters with the paranormal. Lemmon first sprang to international stardom in the 1959 movie Some Like It Hot, which also starred Marilyn Munroe and Tony Curtis. In that same year, whilst working on the occult thriller Bell, Book and Candle, he had an experience of ESP.
Lemmon was just 15 at the time of this experience, and he was attending the Andover Press School in Massachusetts. He was playing tennis with his classmate Jerry. Right at the moment when he was about to hit a serve, Jerry suddenly doubled up as if he was in pain and fell to the ground. Lemmon immediately ran round the court and asked him what was wrong. Jerry didn’t know. But what he did know, however, was that something terrible had happened.
Lemmon said that the two boys finished their game, but his friend’s mind was clearly on something else. When they returned to their room, their minds cogitated deeply on what had happened. Jerry described the sudden pain as an almost physical one, an overwhelming realization so intense that he could virtually feel it, that something terrible had happened to somebody he loved. Just an hour later he was summoned to the principal’s office. When he got there, he was told some very bad news: his mother had died – almost exactly one hour earlier.
Fifty years later, Lemmon encountered another paranormal experience whilst appearing on stage in London at the Haymarket Theatre, where he was starring in the anti-war play, Veteran’s Day, with Michael Gambon. In July 1989, he claimed to have seen a spirit three times in less than a week! Not surprisingly, these three ghostly visitations shook Lemmon up quite considerably. He said that he’d been alone in his dressing room, with all the windows shut, and that the door had mysteriously opened and slammed, even though there was nobody outside. His initial reaction was that maybe somebody was playing a practical joke on him, but then he doubted the wisdom of anybody venturing to play such a prank on a guy of his age. With this in mind, Lemmon came to the conclusion that it was the work of a ghost. Lemmon expressed how terrified he felt at the thought of some supernatural entity watching him.
The theatre staff had little doubt that the ghost that Lemmon had encountered was that of a former stage manager, George Buxton, who had died on the premises some fifty years earlier. The ghost had been reported on a number of occasions over the last century. Buxton had a reputation for always making sure that the theatre was clean and tidy, and he always kept the doors shut.