In the spirit of Halloween, a great horror story is needed. One dark stone walled Ohio house is everyone's curiosity. The Franklin Castle in Cleveland has been deemed Ohio's most haunted house. This house is as rich in history as in the horrendous events that have occurred within its walls.
Franklin Castle was built in 1865 by Hannes and Luise Tiedemann, a German immigrant and former barrel-maker and wholesome grocer that later went into banking. The mansion has over thirty rooms and is four stories. The roof has steep gables and turrets. In later years, gargoyles were added to make the mansion seem more like a castle and to ward off evil spirits. It is also known that the castle includes wine cellars, hidden passageways, marble fireplaces, dumbwaiters, sliding panel doors hidden in corridors. It is surrounded by a six-foot wrought iron fence.
After the Teidemann's moved into the mansion, Luise became pregnant giving birth to their son, August and later a daughter, Emma. Tragedy would strike their family in approximately 1881. Emma died in this house on January 16, 1881 of diabetes. During Emma's lingering illness, Teidemann's mother, Wiebaka moved in to help the family but shortly died after Emma, due to natural causes. Also, during this time, Luise had another child, which suspiciously died just after eleven days. Their causes of deaths were later questioned.
To take his wife's mind off the deaths, he decided to elaborate the mansion. Hidden passages were expanded, with many leading nowhere. Concealed rooms and trap doors were added and gas lighting was installed throughout the house. A large ballroom was added and ran the length of the house. This of course did not erase the misery of this house.
The Teidemanns had servants that ran the house and Mr. Teidemann was rumored to have affairs with the help. H was having an affair with one of the young servant girls, Rachel. When he learned of her agreement to be married to another young man, Mr. Teidemann became outraged and accidently killed the girl. Her ghost is seen by many and described as the "woman in black". It is thought that Mr. Teidemann choked her to death because visitors have heard sounds of choking lurking around the tower.
The Teidmanns also had family members visit on occasion. One particular family member was his 13 year old niece by the name of Karen. It was rumored that Mr. Teidmann found her in bed with his grandson and took her into one of the secluded passageways and hung her from the rafters, telling everyone he had to kill her because she was overtaken by the devil - so he had to put her out of her misery.
On March 24, 1895, Luise died at the age of 57. It was said that she died from liver disease. In 1908, Mr. Teidmann and his son died along with all heirs. There was no one left to inherit the mansion.
The house had been sold to a brewing family named Mullhauser a few years later. He then sold the castle to the German Socialist Party in 1913. It was during this time that the Nazi spies machine-gunned over twenty prisoners in one of the castle's secret rooms. They sold the house over fifty years later.
During the 1920's the castle was used as a speakeasy and warehouse for illegal liquor during the Prohibition era. It was during this time that dozens of baby skeletons were found in one of the hidden rooms and thought to be the remains of victims of botched medical experiences. Visitors of the Franklin house claim to hear babies crying through the walls. The cries are attributed to this finding.
The mansion had been sold many times and attempts to restore the architecturally sound castle have occurred over and over but never finished. Families have tried to occupy the house but eventually leave. Many individuals have tried to open up tourist attractions and even a church. The owners sell the place before the restorations have completed. Many paranormal groups have toured the place and found it very unsettling. People that live near the home will not set foot on the property. The house stood empty for years, until recently.
The house remains empty but has recently been purchased by a single woman who is currently having the house refurbished. She plans to live alone in the house of spirits. But don’t worry, she doesn’t believe in ghosts.
Currently, an overgrown vine has overtaken the back of the house and leaves an eerie haunting feel about the place.
If you would like to check it out the house is located at 4308 Franklin Blvd., Cleveland, Ohio on the corner of Franklin Blvd. and W. 44th Street.