Tucked in Browne’s Addition just across from Coeur D’ Alene Park sits one of Spokane’s most elaborate mansions. Built in 1897 by famous architect Kirtland Cutter for the Clark family, this mansion was built in a Moorish style and is filled with Tiffany glass and wood carved accents.
The family included the two parents and 6 children. As the parent’s Patsy and Mary Clark passed the home became a boarding house, a restaurant and even an attorney’s practice over the years. What folks didn’t realize was that it also became a bit haunted. Not by just one ghost but by something sinister that lurks in the basement as well.
This mansion has made such a splash in the paranormal world that the owners of the mansion have been contacted by the Discovery Channel, Ghost Hunters and various other thrill seekers looking to discover the mysteries of the mansion.
Mary Clark is said to haunt the house. Mary’s apparition can be seen on the mezzanine of the stairs just above the front entry of the home. While most apparitions may be a bit shy to be seen by the living, Mary has been anything but. Mrs. Clark doesn’t just haunt the stairs but the second floor of the mansion as well. The descendants of the Clarks have confirmed that it is in fact Mary that haunts this famous landmark.
One popular story that stems from a great Mary sighting was during the stint of the mansion being a restaurant. Patsy Clark’s was THE place for fine dining. So much so that they even had their own fine china featuring the mansion.
One evening a busboy was ferrying plates from the second floor to the kitchen when he felt something following him down the stairs. Upon turning to see his pursuer he saw a woman dressed in all white. The young man immediately realized that this wasn’t a guest, he then dropped the china and ran out the building. The staff rushed to see what caused the commotion only to see broken dishes and an open door. The manager called the young man the next day only to get stonewalled when they asked what he had seen. After some pressing the busboy finally confessed and said that he saw what he thought was a ghost and ran for his life. The manager then told him that it was only Mary, and everyone knew that she haunted the building.
After hearing this the worker said that he wouldn’t enter the facility again and that any wages due be sent to him in the mail as there was no way he’d ever return.
As you explore this amazing building you may catch a pause when you enter the kitchen…I did for sure. I wasn’t sure why, but I felt that there was a line drawn in the sand that I shouldn’t go into the basement.
My family has always been sensitive to the paranormal and while a skeptic myself, I’ve seen and felt many things that defy explanation. This was one of those. While touring the home, I wasn’t allowed access to the basement and I later found out what may have been the cause. The basement holds more than dust and mildew. A poltergeist by definition may have taken residence. During the heyday of the restaurant the wine cellar was where they stored their grand selection of wines. As expected, the staff would retrieve wines as regular practice. That was until the bottles began flying at them and targeting their heads. Over time the wine cellar was moved and the original wine cellar was locked and abandoned. I didn’t know this when I had my experience, but it sure didn’t surprise me.
The mansion is now used as an event venue, if Mary decides to bless your event, the pictures could be epic. Whether you have an event or not, the mansion surely shouldn’t be missed when sightseeing the lilac city. There are several public events in the park just across the street so taking a quick glance at a window might reveal your own sighting of Mary. If you try to look through the window near the basement, you’ll notice that the glass has been covered and that security bars are there to keep people out…or maybe something in.