The image of castles bring up supremely dark, tall, and gothic stone structures that are firmly entrenched in the mountainsides of an Eastern European area like the ever chilling horror staple of Transylvania. A powerful and foreboding sign of the dark power held inside, a castle is always considered a structure of many secrets. For those not inclined to make the trip to a faraway Eastern Europe, the Franklin Castle in Cleveland, Ohio has enough scares to send a shiver down most spines.
Is the Franklin Castle Haunted?
Sometimes referred to by locals as the Hannes Tiedemann House, the Franklin Castle is a Victorian styled stone house that many say is quite haunted. Sitting in the heart of Franklin Boulevard, this real-life four-story castle boasts over twenty-eight rooms that host an estimated eighty windows throughout. The home was built in 1882 at the behest of a wealthy German immigrant and banker named Hannes Tiedemann. Hannes and his wife Louise had three children that all died within the home, including Hannes’s elderly mother. Death of course inside the castle had a way of extending itself outside the home, as the Tiedemann’s had three other children all die as well. As a way to grieve, Hannes took to constantly remodeling the home, adding more windows to the inside and menacing gargoyles to the outside.
Rumors by the locals began to spiral out of control, where it was believed that not only were hidden rooms built underground by Hannes but also that grisly murders (other than the deaths of the children) were carried out in the castle as well. Louise died in 1895, and shortly thereafter, Hannes ended up selling the home to another family before he himself passed away in 1908, thus an entire family dead within the castle. The castle and its accompanying property began to change many hands over the years. But with all of the different changes in ownership, along with them came ghost stories that were steeped in madness itself.
The Ghosts of Franklin Castle
One of the most disturbing accounts of the Franklin Castle is that Hannes Tiedemann was in fact a murderer. In fact, there was a long-standing belief that he purposefully hanged one of his own daughters up in the attic of the castle. Was Tiedemann under the influence of something inside the castle? One of the Tiedemman’s older children, Carl, was regarded as a normal young man before coming to live at the castle. When he was grown up and had left, it was noticed that he was suffering from particular maddening bouts of nervous tension so much so that he ended up committing suicide by jumping off a bridge.
A lot of paranormal theorists muse that there’s some sort of dark energy within the castle that can change the mental state of someone similar to what Ronald DeFeo experienced inside the notorious Amityville House. Not just the people like the Tiedemann’s who lived inside the house felt the need to express this possible diabolical energy from within. In 1970 the Cleveland Police and Cleveland Fire Department responded to a fire at the castle. Once there, they found a man who had seemingly wandered off the street and began setting small fires inside each of the rooms. When asked why he would possibly do such as thing as he had no connection to the house, he merely stated that he had to burn down the castle because “it was pure evil.”
Helen Mirceta was once a former resident of the Franklin Castle during the early1980s and she is still personally shaken by the haunted castle to this day. Among the more terrifying paranormal encounters, physical attacks seemed to be fairly routine. Being pushed down flights of stairs and overwhelming bouts of depression were common for Helen. However, one of the more disturbing things to occur at the castle happened to her husband who would routinely hear the sound of babies crying….from within the walls!
So distraught by what they would hear, the Mirceta’s had taken to putting a tape recorder in a room and locking the door, thinking that perhaps someone was playing tricks on them. When they would play back the audio cassettes they would hear babies screaming, children crying, and the muffled sounds of a man’s voice yelling into the recorder. After having a child, Mircetas eventually moved out of the castle. During a renovation of the castle sometime in 2004, construction workers found bones within the walls. Pathological testing on the bones revealed them to be not only human bones but were incredibly brittle and roughly placed them to be over one hundred years old which would have had them put there sometime during the Tiedemman’s tenure in the castle.
Sometime during the late 1980s, a psychic medium had actually taken up staying at the castle. She caused an incredible amount of controversy among the local historians who had actually been able to have it added to the National Register of Historic Places by claiming that there was a curse on the property. Even more disturbing was the fact that she claimed Hannes visited her dreams and confessed to committing murders in the castle. Today, the Franklin Castle is currently the home of Norton Records Record Company but is still known as the most haunted property in all of Ohio.