Ridgecliff: A Mayhem Cleveland Exclusive

Back in 1932, on the border or Wickliffe and Euclid, Ohio, a hospital opened up called Ridgecliff Sanitarium.  Ridgecliff was a mansion style building with beautiful gardens. With a large concrete bridge that lead from the top of Euclid’s Hillandale park to the main entrance of the building. The building had previously been Glencliff Nursing Home. 120607575Located at the top of the hill where Bishop Road, and Ridge Road met in Wickliffe. The building had a mock lighthouse near the grounds.

Many different recounts of the facility will claim that it was nothing more than a hospital for the depressed and stressed. Much like Laurelwood, which is what the hospital later became after it moved in the late 70’s. Others believe there was a darker tale to the old hospital.

Some older and former residents of the area labeled it “The Nut House”. Some say that the grounds are haunted, and others try not to think about it. Doing research on the facility is difficult, because it seems that much of the history was wiped away. Opinions and 20170103_161329personal recounts are about all you will find on the web. Some recounts have said that the Asylum was home for lobotomies.

Lobotomies came around in the 1930’s, around the time that Ridgecliff opened. The procedure consists of cutting or scraping away the connections to and from the prefrontal cortex, the anterior part of the frontal lobes of the brain. The purpose of a Lobotomy was to cure a patient of certain mental illnesses, such as Depression, Schizophrenia, as well as other off-centered “disorders” (as they were called back then) such as LGBT, overly sexual women, criminals and addicts . Research has shown that it was achieved by a reduction in spontaneity, responsiveness, self-awareness and self-control. A small price to pay, at the time, to be cured of the mental disorder.

As if that didn’t sound bad enough, some Lobotomies went horribly wrong. Take Rosemary Kennedy for example. Eldest sister to the late president John F. Kennedy, Rosemary had some mental instabilities growing up. At the age of 23, she was given a prefrontal

Rosemary Kennedy Before/After Lobotomy left her unable to walk and talk.


lobotomy. The doctors began having her sing songs and recite prayers while they operated, only stopping when she had gone quiet. They knew the operation was a failure, when the 23 year old was reduced to the state of a Two-year old. From then on, Rosemary was hidden from the public, even her family.


If it is true that Ridgecliff housed lobotomy operations, and patients, that explains much of the “Haunted” claims that float around. A recount from a man who lived on the grounds in the early 80’s as the land was being sold, said that the strange phenomena that occurred while he resided there, chased away potential roommates, friends, and eventually himself.

The building has since been torn down, but still standing are the concrete bridge, and the 120607579mock lighthouse. The bridge is in some pretty bad shape, and has been covered in years of graffiti. But we at Mayhem Cleveland don’t want to stop there. Our investigation in to the haunting past of the old Ridgecliff Sanitarium will continue (within the limits of the law), and we will fill you in on any findings.

Note: I created this site, with a main goal in mind. Entertainment. Whether it was through sports, music, actor/actresses, movies or what have you. many people find that the paranormal activities that are hard to explain are widely entertaining. Adding a new chapter to Mayhem Cleveland, we have decided that we will pursue some haunting tales as part of our repertoire. Along with our normal content, we will include some things to make your mind go “hmmm”. If you have anything you’d like us to look into, leave a comment below, or simple reach out to the author at mayhemcleveland@gmail.com. If you enjoy what you read here, please subscribe and follow.


7 thoughts on “Ridgecliff: A Mayhem Cleveland Exclusive

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  1. Rosemary’s father had the lobotomy done without her mother knowing. She never forgave him for this. He was a wealthy old tyrant, father to JFK and Robert, always had to be first, and his sons never to lose anything. Shame on him for being ashamed of his daughter. So sad


  2. I grew up in my grandparent house down the street from the original Ridge Cliff Sanitarium at 27720 Ridge Rd. on the corner of Bishop. If that is the property you are referring to, the information you’ve posted is incorrect. I do understand it had been moved at one point to Euclid Avenue at the top of 260th, before moving to Willoughby and becoming Laurelwood, however- the property is still in existence in Wickliffe. I toured it as a teen and saw the cells, more like cages in the basement, the beds bolted to the floor..years later it was renovated to become a physical therapy building, then a daycare and now listed as a driving school. I can’t imagine anyone will stay long.


  3. My mother was there when I was about 4. ALL I remember is there were a lot of white walls, and, it was definitely the epitome of any psychiatric hospital in movies (ex: one guy was arguing with himself, I asked my mother who he was fighting with, she said, “a demon, don’t worry about it.”)


  4. My grandparents lived at the bottom of the hill on Tremaine. When we were kids we would go up the hill a lot. If you go over the bridge there used to be the remnants of a house that burned down. I don’t remember the story on the house that burned down but I am sure it was not Ridgecliff because I remember Ridgecliffe also which was further East on Ridge.


    1. Ridgecliff did move. And the old facility located up that hill was converted into a house. Which is when I burnt down. The owner wasn’t able to go back to the way it was so it was left in disarray and is now in the state it’s in. Ridgecliff, after moving, later became what is known as Laurelwood Mental Health Facility. Before anything, the original plan was for a mansion to be built but the owner abandoned that plan and it was bought out by ridgecliff. Which started that series of events.


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