Tuscaloosa, Alabama is known as the “Druid City” as it has many water oaks planted in the downtown streets of the city since the 1840s. The city is also known for their success in football because of the University of Alabama.
Downtown Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuscaloosa,_Alabama)
It is also known for the Dr. John R. Drish House or simply the Drish House. This plantation is reportedly haunted.
History of Drish House
The Drish House was constructed by Dr. John R. Drish in the year 1837. He was originally from Virginia and transferred to Tuscaloosa, Alabama in the year 1822. He was a widower and married a widow named Sarah in the year 1835. He became a very successful physician and later worked as a building contractor. Drish designed their home to be a brick mansion and it was constructed on the edge of the town. The Drish House was considered as a very distinct building because it was a mix of Greek Revival and Italianate styles in Alabama.
Drish died in 1867. Allegedly, he died after he fell from the upstairs balcony of the Drish House. He was reportedly an alcoholic and when he was sobering up from a night of drinking, he started hallucinating. He then ran across the hallway and threw himself from the balcony leading to his death.
His wife, on the other hand, died in the year 1884. After Sarah died, the mansion belonged to different owners over time. It later fell into the hands of the Tuscaloosa Board of Education. They used the house to open the Jemison School in 1906. It continued to be used as the site for the school in the year 1925.
The Drish House in 1907. (Link: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/448178600393813512/)
The Drish House was later purchased by Tuscaloosa Wrecking Company to be used as a parts warehouse.
The Drish House when it was used as a warehouse. (Link: https://alarchitecture.ua.edu/the-john-r-drish-house-tuscaloosa-al/)
By the year 1940, the Drish House was purchased by the Southside Baptist Church. They maintained ownership over the home until the 20th century.
In the year 1994, the Drish House was supposed to be demolished but it was leased to the Heritage Commission of Tuscaloosa County. In the year 2006, the Drish House was already very deteriorated and was even added to the “Places in Peril” list by the Alabama Historical Commission and Alabama Trust For Historic Preservation.
By the year 2009, the renovations on the Drish House started. The renovations ended in 2016 and was finally opened again as an event venue.
The Ghosts of the Drish House
The Drish House is a very popular site visited by paranormal experts. It was even featured through Kathryn Tucker Windham and Margaret Gillis Figh’s book called “13 Alabama Ghosts and Jeffrey.”
Some of the paranormal activities at the Drish House include seeing the third-story tower of the home on fire even if no fire is taking place. Ghostly lights are also reportedly seen coming out of the house. Experts who spent some time at the Drish House also claimed that they heard piano keys being struck even if no one was in the room, objects being moved, and fuzzy figures appearing out of nowhere.
A photo showing a part of the Drish House inside. (Link: https://alarchitecture.ua.edu/the-john-r-drish-house-tuscaloosa-al/)
More on the fire in the tower, many reported that this was the most common paranormal occurrence at the Drish House. Some believe that the flames came from the candles used during the funeral of Sarah. Accordingly, Sarah became very obsessed over the death of her husband. Drish had very specific instructions and requests after he died and Sarah followed all of them. She kept the candles that were used during the funeral of her husband and she wanted the same candles to be lit when the time came that she died. However, reports claim that she hid these candles so well that it was not used during her funeral. Perhaps, the reason why there is some sort of fire-like light in the tower is because Sarah still wants to light the same candles used during Drish’s funeral.
The tower at the Drish House. (Link: https://www.pinterest.ph/pin/391320655099019487/)
One group of paranormal experts said that when they spent some time at the Drish House and asked if anyone else was there, they heard a couple of footsteps. They also heard a quick, deep breath. They also heard whistling and voices as well as doors slamming.
The Drish House at night. (Link: https://alabamanewscenter.com/2016/08/25/spending-night-search-ghosts-tuscaloosas-drish-house/)
The Daughter of John and Sarah
John and Sarah had one child named Katherine. She was mentally ill and had two children. Sarah took care of Katherine and her sons until her last breath. Accordingly, Katherine was not allowed to go out that much but whenever she had the chance to, she went gardening. So whenever people smell the sudden scent of flowers, they associate it with Katherine.
If you want to possibly experience these paranormal activities, check out how you can go to the Drish House today.
The Drish House today. (Link: https://wtug.com/spooky-alabama-tuscaloosas-drish-house/)