Cleveland, Ohio

The Drury Mansion was once home to a Cleveland millionaire named Francis Drury but changes in fortune, and numerous misfortunes, have placed the house in the hands of law enforcement officials.
What walks in this gothic mansion? What lingers here that can make both police officers and hardened criminals tremble in fear?

The Drury Mansion was constructed in 1912 as a half-timbered, fifty-two room mansion that was decorated in opulence by it's owner, Francis Drury. The wealthy industrialist had made his fortune in cast-iron stoves and had built the house for his family. The house was a strange and ominous structure from the very beginning with a wide center staircase, carved woodwork and twisting corridors that opened into oddly placed rooms. There was even a secret tunnel on the lower floor that led beneath Euclid Avenue to the Drury Theater, which was built across the street from the mansion in 1914.

The house eventually fell into decline and became a boarding house and then a home for unwed mothers. In 1972, it was leased to the Ohio Adult Parole Authority and became a halfway house for paroled convicts.

Since that time, both officials and criminals have been terrified by the ghosts. Strange reports have filtered out of the house about groaning sounds, doors that won't stay closed, windows that open by themselves and footsteps that have been reported in empty hallways by staff members and inmates alike.

Since the beginning of the halfway house's residency, the tales of ghosts have been told over and over again. In fact, one night in 1972, when the building was still empty, two special duty police officers were assigned to guard the mansion overnight. They spent the night back to back, clutching their shotguns and scared to death.

In 1978, one of the staff members finally came face-to-face with a ghost on the main stairway. He described her as a woman with long, brown hair and with it swept up on her head in a knot. She wore a long skirt and appeared to be dressed in clothing from the turn-of-the-century. He would later see the woman again, at the same time of night, outside the door to the kitchen.

Who is this woman? Perhaps a member of the Drury family, or a resident from some time in the declining years of the house? No one knows for sure.

The Drury Mansion is still located at 8625 Euclid Avenue in Cleveland. It is now owned by the Cleveland Clinic Foundation and operated as a private metting facility. (Thanks to Stu Koblentz, Trustee of the Ohio Preservation Alliance for this information)

Copyright 1998 by Troy Taylor

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