The Drury Mansion

Cleveland's Drury Mansion has been the site of ghostly happenings almost from the time it was built in 1912, a vast, 52-room building with a broad main staircase, mazelike corridors, and even a tunnel that runs under Euclid Avenue to the Drury Theater. It was built by local businessman Francis Drury for his family. Later it was donated to the Ohio Adult Parole Authority as a halfway house for convicts.

Doors and windows open and close mysteriously in the Drury House; people claim to have felt the presence of other people, but of course no one is ever there. In 1978 a counselor actually saw a ghost, a woman in old-fashioned dress with her hair in a knot, standing at the top of the house. Another, younger woman with long dark hair makes appearances in a flowing gown, only to disappear in a burst of flame.

A possible explanation for the hauntings at the Drury Mansion lies in the May 15, 1929 fire at the Cleveland Clinic. A steam leak led to several explosions (one of which blew the roof off) and killed 123 patients and hospital staff members. A large percentage of the deaths came from a weird yellowish smoke which enveloped the building--the result of burning nitrocellulose x-ray film. The tragedy led to reforms in the way x-rays are processed, and has caused ghost stories to be told up and down the block ever since, and the Drury house can be found in close proximity to the Cleveland Clinic.

At any rate, the specters continue to plague this massive building. Tradition has it that, when the building was first abandoned, two cops were stationed there to deter trespassers. They spent the night back-to-back with their guns drawn, terrified of the things they saw and heard.



Petkovic, John. "Ghosts, Haunts, and Urban Legends." Cleveland Plain Dealer. October 31, 2000 pp. 1A.