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The Colonial Theaters in the 1960s

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The Haunting History of Downtown Idaho Falls

Experience the Eerie Side of Idaho Falls on this Must-See Ghost Walk

Article by Sarah Larson

Photography by Provided

Originally published in Boise Lifestyle

Downtown Idaho Falls is a rich tapestry of history and heritage, woven with tales of times gone by. With each step through its charming streets, you’ll discover fascinating glimpses into the past, revealing a vibrant and captivating community. From its humble beginnings to its transformative growth, this bustling area is steeped in stories waiting to be uncovered.

One of the most unique ways to delve into the history of downtown Idaho Falls is by taking a stroll on the Idaho Falls Ghost Walk. This guided tour shines a light on the eerie and mysterious side of the neighborhood, highlighting some of its most haunted hotspots and the stories that go along with them. Whether you’re a history buff, a paranormal enthusiast, or just looking for an interesting and unique experience, the Idaho Falls Ghost Walk is sure to be a memorable one.

Kathy Nave, a self-ascribed psychic medium, is the tour guide and owner of the Ghost Walk. Having dedicated years of research to uncovering the area’s past, she possesses a wealth of knowledge about the history of downtown Idaho Falls — bringing a unique and engaging perspective to the tour experience. Over the course of 90 minutes, participants are taken on a journey throughout the neighborhood and will hear the unsettling stories behind each location.

A well-known legend in the town’s history is the story of the Lady in Green, a haunting tale steeped in tragedy and heartbreak. It took place within the historic walls of the Colonial Theater — a venue of grandeur and glamor since its foundation in 1919.

It was a mid-1960s evening, and a young woman was filled with anticipation and excitement as she made her way to the theater with her boyfriend. She had donned the most beautiful green dress, a symbol of her hopes and dreams for the future, and was convinced that the night would end with a proposal of marriage.

However, her dreams were swiftly shattered when her boyfriend cruelly broke up with her in the middle of the movie. The couple was consumed by a heated argument during intermission, which ended in the woman running from the theater in tears, seeking refuge on a sofa in the lady’s lounge. It was there, in the quiet seclusion of the lounge, that the woman found herself in a moment of unspeakable despair. 

The claim is that the young lady tragically took her own life and the Lady in Green now haunts the theater, her sorrowful spirit forever trapped within its walls. The claim is that her presence is naturally strongest in the lady's lounge, of which Nave herself states, “You go in there, sit down — I’ve heard her cry on the sofa.” Many have also seen the ghostly apparition of the Lady in Green, her beautiful green dress floating through the windows of the theater at night like a fleeting memory of a tragedy long past.

Whether you believe in the paranormal or not, there’s no denying the wealth of history and mystery that enshrouds this fascinating community. From the legendary Bulletproof Woman who was mistakenly shot dead at the Centre Theatre, to the pioneering performers of the Villa Coffeehouse, to the mysterious cowboy at Ford’s Bar who forbids others from occupying his barstool, the town is a veritable treasure trove of tales from another time.

“I think the reason why downtown there’s so much unrest is because there’s that underground tunnel system that was so active for so many years, and there’s so much that happened. It just left all these broken souls that never healed and never moved on,” Nave mused.

For a spine-tingling adventure, join the Idaho Falls Ghost Walk and delve into the chilling history of this mysterious town. From June to October, the tour offers an eerie journey into the past, with the chance to encounter a ghost or two along the way. This wheelchair-friendly tour is accessible for all, making it an unforgettable experience for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of the town’s fascinating stories. If you’d like to learn more, visit

  • One of the Ghost Walk tour groups
  • Kathy Nave leading the Ghost Walk
  • Ghost Alley
  • Ghost Alley
  • Can you spot the two ghostly figures in the background?
  • The Colonial Theater and its beloved neon swan
  • The Colonial Theaters in the 1960s
  • The Colonial Theater within the last few decades

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