The Oldham Coliseum was the scene of a tragic accident involving the play that raises the hackles of superstition in many actors: Macbeth.
In January 1947, Harold Norman was an actor playing the role of Macbeth, it is said that he did not care for the usual superstitions observed by actors in ‘The Scottish Play’ referring to the play as Macbeth and rehearsing his lines outloud. During a sword fight scene Harold was accidentally stabbed with a real sword by Anthony Oakley, playing MacDuff. The wound became infected and he died in Oldham Royal infirmary on the 27th February of peritonitis caused by the sword wound.
This unfortunate death was bound to have an effect of peoples minds, the tragic event, the nature of the play, and Harold’s lack of superstition. Inevitably Harold was thought to have returned to the theatre in spirit form, and he is said to have been seen several times. His apparition appears most often on Thursdays, as this was the day that he was mortally wounded.