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DUBLIN UNSOLVED: Mooney Mansion Mystery

This article was written by students in the "Writing For Publication" class at Dublin Jerome High School taught by Mrs. Trisler. All views and opinions in the article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official opinions nor policies of Dublin Jerome High School.

DUBLIN UNSOLVED: Mooney Mansion Mystery

The story of the Mooney Family and their home on Walhalla Road.

by Claire McBride and JM

Mooney MansionMar 18, 2023

Mystery. Murder. Mayhem. The greater Columbus area may be the home to one of the most malicious urban legends in Ohio at Mooney’s Mansion in Clintonville. Located on Walhalla Road, the legend of the Mooney Mansion extends beyond the old walls of the house itself- it goes all the way to the Walhalla Bridge just down the path. Some locals even say that the entire forest-lined Walhalla Street itself is haunted by the atrocities of the Mooney family home.

Many versions of the Mooney Mansion murder legend exist, but the most commonly believed one begins on a summer night in the 1940s. After having been rumored to be slowly losing his mind, the father of the house, Dr. Mooney, eventually snapped. On that fateful night, something inside Dr. Mooney urged him to take the lives of his children and wife, believing that she had been having an affair and taking his anger out on everyone. Following the horrors he committed, it is believed he took his own life by hanging himself from the bridge on Walhalla Road. This story sparked a belief that once the clock rings midnight you can see a shadowy figure of Dr. Mooney hanging from the Walhalla Bridge.

Mooney’s Mansion, built in 1913, radiates a sinister ambiance as it is viewed through thick trees just above the road. Four white pillars extend from the front porch to the top of the second story, where many neighbors claim they see floating blue lights through the window. Public records show the Mooney’s had ownership over the home from around 1944 until it went “out of their possession” around 1961. Currently, the ownership lands with the Conaway family- who were unavailable for an interview.

Mist filled the small forest when we visited the infamous Mansion the other night. The moon was half full as we traveled down the small road, ironically, a symbol of life and death in many religions. A surprising amount of locals were out on the street- some shooting us worried looks as we took photos of the decrepit house. One man, who didn’t wish to give his name, provided us with a fascinating “tradition” that some of the local children used to have involving the Mooney Mansion, “Sometimes the statues would face south, and other times they would be facing west… there was this one angel statue and once a month its eyes would be open, and on that day you would have to run up and knock on the door and run before it got you.”

Mangled together with the ivy-covered walls and old window shutters were the blue/greenish lights that seemed to bleed through the top right windows- just as some of the hard-core believers of the myths had described. Despite our best efforts to not let the urban legend scare us, the ominous atmosphere and the dark sky were just enough to keep the hairs on our necks standing up. While we did not stay on Walhalla Road until midnight, we did investigate the nearby spots of water by the bridge. Many of the legends state that the figures of Mrs. Mooney and one of the children are visible in the water; however, we are not entirely sure if the light reflection we saw in the water was really them or just a figment of our imaginations…

Mooney Mansion’s real story may never be truly revealed- did Dr. Mooney really commit all of these atrocities? Or is it simply an urban legend? Almost a century since that possibly deadly night, Mooney’s Mansion continues to exude mysterious energy and several mysteries still shroud the tree-lined street of Walhalla Road.