The Drury Mansion in Cleveland, Ohio is the type of place that would beg for a ghost story even if one didn’t exit. The house itself was designed by architects Meade & Hamilton, and built between 1910-1912 on Euclid Avenue, in an area known as Millionaire’s Row. The mansion is a stunning example of the Tudor Revival style of architecture, with casement windows, a high pitched roof, several dormers, and a square shaped tower on one side.
Frank Drury was a local man who owned the nearby Drury Theater. During the building of the mansion, he specifically created a tunnel for access between the house and his theater. Born in Michigan, Drury made his fortune from several notable ventures, including inventing the first internal gear lawnmower. The company that purchased his patent, the Taylor & Boggis Foundry Company moved him to Cleveland, and gave him a vice-presidentship.
Drury married twice, and co-formed the Cleveland Foundry Company, before building his famous house. The Mansion features large, winding hallways and 52 rooms inside. Drury also purchased an estate directly across from the mansion as extra room to practice his landscaping skills. He would later donate part of the land for use as a theater for the city. Oddly enough the theater wasn’t built when he had his mansion created, meaning that the rumors of the secret, underground tunnels are not true. If he had built tunnels, they would have ended in an empty field. The family left the area in 1926, but had a replica mansion built in a different city.
The Drury Mansion sat empty for many years, and the city of Cleveland, fearful of trespassers and thrill seekers, posted 24 hour guards outside the house. Some claim the guards were so scared of the house that they tried anything and everything to trade shift locations with others. It would later become a boarding house, a home for unwed mothers, and in the 1970s was leased by the Ohio Adult Parole Authority Board.
Drury Mansion has a host of supernatural activity occurring inside its doors. People claim to feel someone staring at them when the building is empty, and others sense someone in the room when they were alone. The doors and windows at the house are often known to open and close on their own. There are also at least two ghosts who haunt Drury Mansion; one is a middle aged woman who wears her hair in a bun, and the other female ghost is younger with jet black hair. According to the stories told, the woman bursts into flames when looked at.
Once the Drury Mansion fell into the hands of the Ohio Adult Parole Authority Board, activity seemed to increase. Either the ghosts were unhappy at having convicted inmates in their home, or they were excited to have people in the house again. One convicted arsonist claimed he would wake in the middle of the night, feeling as if the room was on fire, and hear the voice of a young woman speaking softly. The voice would slowly grow louder, until it turned into a scream, and the room would instantly cool.
This could probably be traced to feelings of guilt or remorse by the inmate, but most believe it to be the work of one of the Drury Mansion ghosts. The inmate claimed that the body of the voice eventually began appearing to him; she had long, jet black hair, pale skin, and a Cleveland Clinic bracelet on one hand. She would appear for a few seconds before disappearing in a burst of flames.
The Cleveland Clinic was a hospital located on Euclid Avenue, seven blocks from the Drury Mansion. On May 15, 1929 a fire broke out after an x-ray film caught fire. Over 100 people died in the fire, and some claim the ghosts of that long ago fire drifted down the street to the Drury Mansion. If the ghosts of Drury Mansion are residents of the fire, it seems strange that they would wander seven blocks away to find comfort.
The Drury Mansion is now under private ownership, but does rent out the building for events. If you’re looking to get married, or throw a party in a haunted house, this might be a great choice.