Playhouse Square: Cleveland’s Historic and Haunted Theater District

  • By: Gareth Popovic
  • Date: 19 January 2024
  • Time to read: 6 min.


Welcome to Playhouse Square, the crown jewel of Cleveland’s theater district, where the magic of live performances meets the allure of the unknown. Amidst the dazzling lights and captivating acts, haunting tales of paranormal encounters add an extra layer of intrigue to this iconic venue.

As the largest performing arts center outside of New York City, Playhouse Square offers an unparalleled cultural experience that leaves audiences spellbound.


Embark on a journey through time as we unravel the fascinating history of Playhouse Square. In the early 1920s, this bustling entertainment district was born from the vision of Joseph Laronge and Ray Shepardson, who aimed to transform the area into a hub of theatrical grandeur. Once known as Cleveland’s “Millionaire’s Row,” the neighborhood faced decline as theaters closed their doors.

The 1970s marked a renaissance for Playhouse Square, as a massive restoration effort breathed new life into the once-neglected theaters. The historic Allen, Hanna, and Ohio Theatres, along with the State Theatre, were meticulously restored to their former glory, each exuding a unique charm that captivates audiences to this day. The reinvigorated Playhouse Square soon became the largest performing arts center outside of New York City, hosting a diverse array of performances that continue to dazzle and inspire.

Playhouse Square
Playhouse Square | Credit: margaret_lute

Playhouse Square’s significance goes beyond its grand theaters. In 2014, the district received the prestigious designation of being a National Historic Landmark, recognizing its architectural and cultural significance in American history.

Today, Playhouse Square stands as a cultural gem, a vibrant destination where the past and present seamlessly intertwine, offering a mesmerizing theatrical experience that echoes the legacy of Cleveland’s golden era.

Haunting Legends and Supernatural Phenomena

Welcome to Playhouse Square, where the magic of live performances intertwines with the mystique of the unknown.

Amidst the dazzling lights and captivating acts, whispers of paranormal activities add an eerie allure to this iconic theater district.

Ghost in the Green Suit

Among the grandeur of Playhouse Square theaters, a chilling legend weaves its way through the halls. Countless guests have shared spine-tingling encounters – from mysterious apparitions appearing in photographs to the unsettling sensation of being watched. But it is the infamous man in the green suit that steals the spotlight.

Within the bustling energy of the theaters, spirits are drawn, finding their earthly visit. The theater becomes a hotbed for ghost activity, where the past intertwines with the present. The man in the green suit haunts the minds of those who have glimpsed him, leaving an enigmatic mark on Playhouse Square. Whether a wandering soul or a theatrical devotee, his mysterious presence continues to captivate and mystify.

Read Also: Spring Grove Cemetery

The Lady in White – Hanna Theater

Amidst the enchantment of Playhouse Square’s Hanna Theater, a haunting tale unfolds. Guests have whispered of eerie encounters, particularly with The Lady in White who prefers this hallowed stage.

As the lights dim and the curtains rise, an enigmatic figure cloaked in white is said to grace the theater. She glides silently through the rows of seats, her ethereal form captivating and elusive. Legend has it that The Lady in White seeks something lost in the sands of time, her soul forever tied to the theater she adored. Her presence invokes both awe and trepidation, a ghostly reminder of a bygone era.

Witnesses describe her wistful presence, lingering even after the final curtain falls. It’s as if The Lady in White finds solace in the performances, her yearning soul intertwined with the passion and artistry on stage.

Playhouse Square
Playhouse Square | Credit: mari_smokahontas

Haunting Curtain Call

Behind the grandeur of Playhouse Square’s stage, an eerie tale emerges. Backstage workers recount chilling experiences, as an unseen force tugs at curtains and props during rehearsals. Some believe it to be the spirit of a dedicated stagehand or a devoted actor from long ago, forever entwined in the productions they loved. Step into the enigmatic world of Playhouse Square, where the haunting curtain call echoes through time, leaving an indelible mark on the theater’s legacy.

As the final act concludes and the curtain falls, the enigmatic presence of the paranormal lingers within the walls of Playhouse Square. Haunting encounters and ghostly tales weave through the rich tapestry of performances, leaving an unforgettable and ethereal mark on this legendary theatrical hub.

Popular Culture and Media Coverage

Step into a world of enigmatic allure as PlayHouse Square takes the spotlight in thrilling shows and documentaries exploring the realm of the paranormal. Just like Hollywood Forever Cemetery, this iconic district has captivated investigators in riveting series, unraveling its ghostly tales and chilling encounters.

PlayHouse Square etches its legacy in books like “Haunted Ohio: Ghostly Tales from the Buckeye State” by Chris Woodyards and “Haunted Ohio: Ghosts and Strange Phenomena of the Buckeye State” by Charles A. Stansfield Jr. These captivating narratives reveal the supernatural stories surrounding the district, inviting history aficionados and paranormal enthusiasts on an immersive journey.

Today, PlayHouse Square remains a must-visit destination, alluring visitors with its enigmatic presence in popular culture and media. This historic hub exudes an aura of intrigue and the otherworldly, inviting all who seek a captivating and spectral ambiance. Dare to explore the haunting legacy of PlayHouse Square and immerse yourself in its chilling secrets.


As the final curtain falls and the applause echoes through the halls, Playhouse Square’s legacy takes on a haunting allure. Beyond the brilliance of the performances, the whispers of ghostly encounters and enigmatic spirits linger in the air, adding an intriguing dimension to this iconic theater district.

With its rich history, top-notch productions, and chilling tales, Playhouse Square continues to captivate and inspire both theater enthusiasts and ghostly aficionados alike.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Where is Playhouse Square located?
A: Playhouse Square is located in Cleveland, Ohio, United States. The address is 1501 Euclid Ave Suite 200, Cleveland, OH 44115.

Q. What is the history behind the theaters in this entertainment district?
A1: The theaters in this district have a fascinating history, dating back to the 1920s when visionaries transformed the area into a hub of theatrical grandeur.

Q. How were the theaters saved from demolition?
A2: In the 1970s, passionate citizens rallied together to save the theaters from demolition, spearheading a massive restoration effort that breathed new life into these historic venues.

Q. Who is the man in the green suit at Playhouse Square theaters?
A. The man in the green suit is an infamous ghostly figure that is said to haunt Playhouse Square theaters. Countless guests have reported encounters with him, from seeing mysterious apparitions in photographs to feeling an unsettling presence watching them.

Q. What is the legend of The Lady in White at Hanna Theater in Playhouse Square?
A. The Lady in White is an enigmatic ghostly figure that is said to prefer haunting Hanna Theater in Playhouse Square. She glides silently through the rows of seats, and witnesses believe she is seeking something lost in time, forever tied to the theater she loved.

Q. What are some of the haunting experiences reported backstage at Playhouse Square?
A. Backstage workers have recounted chilling experiences, such as an unseen force tugging at curtains and props during rehearsals. Some believe it could be the spirit of a dedicated stagehand or actor from the past, still connected to the theater and its productions.

Q. How has the presence of these ghosts impacted Playhouse Square’s legacy?
A. The presence of these ghosts and their haunting encounters have added to the mystique and allure of Playhouse Square. Their legends and stories have become part of the theater’s rich tapestry of history, leaving an indelible mark on its legacy as a legendary theatrical hub.

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