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. Located 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 personal 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
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 mock 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.
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