Submission: Dance Theatre of Ohio

Orig. Published 10/07/03:  Cold spots, odors, footsteps and toilets that flushed on their own accord…some of the few things Dawn recalls experiencing at a dance school in Mentor.  Creepy stuff, and a good case study on real estate disclosure for all you realtors out there!

  My mom owns the Dance Theatre of Ohio in Mentor.  When I was 10 years old she opened her school officially on Mentor Avenue where Ladies & Gentlemen / The Brown Institute is now.  We were at that location as The Children’s Theatre for awhile until we moved. 

   Anyways, why did we leave our first location?  Because it was haunted.  For real! 

  We had the whole building of what is now the Brown Institute.  We loved having such a big building for just a dance school.  My sister and I had birthday parties and slumber parties and had the run of the each room including the upstairs to play hide & seek.   One part of the front of the building was always ice cold. We used to hold drama lessons and theatre rehearsals in there, but no matter how high we turned up the heat you were always soo cold that the hair stood up on the back of your neck. 

  Also, there was a bathroom in this section.  The whole section of the building just had a bad “feeling” to it.  We singularly would try to hide in the bathroom when playing hide & seek, but would get spooked and run out.  So we then decided to start hiding in 2’s.  No one would ever look for us in that bathroom because they were too afraid to go in that part of the building.  So me and my cousin would be hiding in the bathroom.  It would just get instantly colder than it already was, the hair on the back of your neck would raise and I remember feeling like someone was standing right behind me. We were soo chicken–we were hiding with the bathroom light on and the door closed so I could see it was only my cousin and I in there.  I remember feeling really freaked, but did not want to look like a woos till my cousin said, “I don’t like it back here.  I don’t want to play anymore.”  

  There was another room upstairs where a group of us were sitting on the floor playing a board game.  All of us present the light in the room turned on and off repeatedly.  All of us just looked at each other, grabbed the game and flew downstairs.  My mom asked what was wrong and we told her and she thought we were just being silly. Then….the more weird stuff. My mom came in to work that day and smelled coffee brewing.  She was miffed at her partner for having left the coffee pot on.  She unplugged it, washed out the pot and prepared for the first class to arrive.  About a half and hour later she again smelled fresh brewed coffee.  She went into the hall which led into the front scary room and there she found the pot had been plugged in and coffee made.  There was no one else in the building.  This happened on and off through out our time there. 

  Another time, my mom and her partner were having a meeting in her partners office after classes had ended for the evening.  They were the only ones in the building.  They heard someone walk down the stairs, close the front bathroom door, urinate, flush, and go back up the stairs.  They ran into the bathroom and indeed the water was re-filling in the toilet.  They searched the building and found no one.  

  Things continued to happen more and more.  Mostly in the evening. Closet doors would open and close and it got to the point where my mom asked parents if they could wait to leave until she left too or my dad would have to come and meet her there before the last class ended so she wouldn’t have to close by herself.  My dad thought things had gotten ridiculous to stay their any longer.  They contacted Sequoia (sp?) Realty and asked if there had been any strange occupancies with the house.  They said that it had been built on Indian burial ground and that the first house on that side street also was haunted.  Thanks for mentioning that when you sold it to us!   

  A couple years ago I went to L&G for a pedicure.  I told my male pedicurist the story and he looked at me in shock.  I said, “I know it sounds unbelievable.”  He said, “No.”  That before he decided to be in the profession he is in there now he was a painter and had painted all the rooms of the Brown Institute.  He painted alone and he would hear weird sounds, doors shut by themselves.  It was the summer time, but he was always freezing in there no matter how warm he dressed.  He said it got to the point that he had to get drunk in order to go to work and paint there in the evening.  He thought he was crazy, so was very relieved when he heard my story.  

I just thought I would share this story because I was surprised not to have heard more about it over the years or about the house on the same street either. 

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