Cleveland Haunted Houses & Ghost Tours
Did you know that Ohio is the state with the most haunted places in the entire United States? Well, Cleveland OH certainly has its share of murder, mystery, and mayhem, and luckily there are some fun and spooky ghost tours so that we can learn about some of them.
The Torso Murder Tour
One of the tours, The Torso Murder Tour, is a 2 hour guided bus tour of the landmark sites of the Kingsbury Run murders, where 13 headless, mostly unidentified bodies terrified a city and shocked a nation. Guests will learn about the gruesome discovery two young men found on a warm afternoon in September of 1935, and listen to the story of the howling dog that awoke an entire neighborhood, and their chilling discovery of a basket full of body parts.
The Lakefront Ghost Tour
Another tour, The Lakefront Ghost Tour, is held in July when you will visit the haunted places around the shores of Lake Erie, hear tales of monsters on the lake, and visit two haunted castles. Among the stops is a home cursed by the exorcism of a possessed woman whose terrifying ordeal inspired her to become a nun later in life. This tour is about 4 hours, and like most of the tours from Haunted Cleveland Ghost Tours, it is best to buy a ticket in advance to ensure a space because tours do sell out.
A new tour is scheduled for the fall, and more will be put on the schedule as we get closer to the haunting season, but even in the summer, there are lots of spooky things to see.
Top Haunted Houses
Franklin Castle, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, was once a grand old home located on Franklin Boulevard, in Cleveland’s near west side Ohio City neighborhood. The neighborhood is one of the older neighborhood’s in Cleveland and has been seeing a revival and restoration of many of the lovely older homes in the area for the last several years.
Many professionals currently are moving into Ohio City, as the area improves and regains its former splendor. The houses are extremely large with 3 or more complete stories in height.
Franklin Castle has 4 stories and over 20 rooms and was originally built in 1865 for Hannes Tiedemann, a German immigrant to Cleveland.
Original Occupants: Tiedemann’s
The original occupants of Franklin Castle actually had the house built for them. Hannes Tiedemann and his wife Luise lived in the house from 1965 until Luise’s death in 1895. However, during their tenure, several deaths occurred which was the beginning of the notion that the house was haunted.
In 1881, the Tiedemann’s daughter, Emma, died of diabetes, and soon after, Hannes’ mother, Wiebeka, died. Both of these deaths were natural and perfectly normal for that day and age, but during the time the Tiedemann’s lived on Franklin, they also lost 3 more children.
To help raise Luise’s spirits after so many deaths, Hannes continued to add to the construction of the house, including a full-sized ballroom and added to the facade as well. This is when the house took on the castle-like appearance with turrets, and gargoyles added.
After Luise’s death of liver disease, Hannes Tiedemann sold the house to the Mullhauser family.
Rumors of Strange Goings-On
During the time the Tiedemann’s lived in Franklin Castle, there were rumors of crimes and sexual indiscretions going on in the house, as well as the mysterious deaths of the children. However, no proof has come to light to substantiate any of these rumors.
For many years, the Franklin Castle house lay empty, without residents except for brief periods. The next most interesting period began with the tenancy of the Romano family starting in 1968. James Romano and his wife and children moved in, and claimed to have several ghost encounters, and even tried to have the house exorcised to remove the ghosts.
The Romanos moved out in 1974, after which the house went through several owners’ hands until in 1984 Michael DeVinko bought and completely renovated Franklin Castle, spending close to one million dollars to do so. He sold the house in 1994, and since then, the house has gone through many more ownerships.
In more recent history, there were two fires that damaged both the house and the carriage house.
Franklin Castle Club: A Complete Sham and Hoax
One of the oddest happenings regarding Franklin Castle just happened recently. In 2004, there were rumors of a Franklin Castle Club being formed, memberships sold, and a website put up. The club was supposedly going to completely restore Franklin Castle, then run an upscale club on its property.
This turned out to be a complete and utter sham, a hoax that was determined to never have happened at all. There was no restoration, no club, and no memberships sold. The website still exists to this day.
Franklin Castle Today
When the former owner went bankrupt and was not able to pay back taxes for the property, the house was put up for sale once again, and a sale is pending. Franklin Castle has been rezoned to allow it to become a 3 family dwelling. The buyer, who has remained unnamed, wants to renovate the building into a home with two additional rental spaces.
You can still go on ghost tours of Cleveland, and look for haunts at this lovely and spooky old mansion.