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News October 26, 2000

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Hauntings happen at Mather Mansion

Moaning and shadows, creaking stairs, and the presence of a ghost, yes a ghost. Do they exist?

According to staff members whose offices are located in Mather Mansion on the Cleveland State University campus, the building may be haunted.

The Samuel Mather house was completed in 1910 for approximately $1 million. Located at 2605 Euclid Ave., the 45-room house was designed by Charles Schweinfurth, an architect who took pride in his work especially in the interior woodwork where the carvings are of fine detail.

Gwen Baker, the housekeeper for the mansion, has had many cases where she has felt the presence of someone or something, she said. At approximately 5 a.m. one morning, Baker was walking into the building.

“Something made me look up to the third floor window,” she said. Upon looking up she saw an image peering out, watching her as she walked in the building. It was the face of Samuel Mather. “I always look up at the window when I enter the building now,” she said.

“You can feel the presence of someone always in the building,” Baker added, “even when there is no one else in the building.”

There was once an incident in the basement where Baker and another member of the cleaning staff were cleaning downstairs. Baker was in another room. The next thing she knew, the other housekeeper came flying through the door of the room he was cleaning.
His vacuum cleaner came flying in behind him.

In addition to Mather himself, sightings of Mather’s daughter Connie have also been seen. “He walks the hallways and she walks the stairs,” said Mary Kobulsky, a clerical specialist in advancement services.

John McCreery of the alumni office has had some ghostly experiences. One night he was down in the basement making sure the doors were locked. In one of the rooms after the door was secured, he heard a thumping noise on the other side, even though he knew no one could be there. McCreery also said he has heard the moaning of a man’s voice when he was the only one in the mansion.

Another worker in Mather Mansion have said that in Room 213 she has heard footsteps in the room when she was the only one there. One day when she was in the room looking at the chalkboard, an eraser flew off, she said.

Debbie Mcdermitt, also a clerical specialist in advancement services, has also had some spooky experiences. She has seen out of the corner of her eye something or someone walk or move by when she was the only one in the room. One day while in the first floor women’s restroom, she saw a person walk in wearing a light blue dress. She proceeded to investigate, to find that she was in the restroom alone.

Dennis Jackson, a housekeeping manager for the university, worked overtime one night. Instead of driving home and coming back the next morning, he decided to spend the night on a couch in the basement of the mansion.

“It was about 3 a.m. in the morning and all of a sudden I heard footsteps above me and the noise of the elevator going up and down,” he said. “I got scared and called the police. They told me that the security system showed that there was no one in the mansion but me, needless to say, I am never staying overnight in there again,” he added.

Peggy Harp, who has worked in alumni affairs for 13 1/2 years, was sitting at her desk busy at work when her adding machine started to go off. “ I looked at it and quickly unplugged it. I it didn’t stop though, it just kept on adding. I threw it out and bought a new one,” she said with a smile on her face.

It is still a mystery if Mather Mansion is haunted, but all 11 people who gathered there last Friday to share their stories, said that there is a special energy that fills the building.

“ Sometimes when walking by the third floor, I am pulled into the ballroom as if there was an orchestra playing in the pit,” said John McCreery, which was greeted with a chorus of “me too’s” from other staff members.

No one really knows whether the mansion is really haunted, but they do know that there is something unique and special about the mansion. CC Sloan, director of alumni affairs who organized the meeting, said, “There was once life living here, and we (all who work in Mather Mansion) are able to experience a part of it. I think that is a good thing.”

Editors note: The office staff of Mather Mansion would like to extend an invitation to the CSU community to stop by on Halloween for some treats and a look at the haunted mansion.

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