Franklin Castle, located in Cleveland is considered the most haunted house in Ohio. It was built by the German Hannes Tiedemann in 1865. He was a grocer that later became a bank president. The castle is four stories high with over thirty rooms. The gothic architecture of the mansion gave it the look and feel of a medieval castle. It contained secret passages, sliding panels, trap doors and hidden corridors.
Franklin castle was home to Hannes Tiedemann, his wife Louise, their children and his mother. But the castle was rumored to hold many secrets about the abusive behavior of Hannes Tiedemann. He was believed to be prone to fits of rage and take out his anger on his family and the servants.
Although his daughter Emma died of diabetes, it was rumored that she may have committed suicide by hanging from the rafters in the attic. Soon afterward, Hannes Tiedemann’s mother passed away. The cause of her death was unknown. It was then that Hannes began construction of the secret rooms in the mansion, and a grand ballroom to help his wife deal with the grief. Hannes Tiedemann and his wife lost three more children in the following three years. Rumors began to spread that there was something more to the deaths. In 1895 Louise Tiedemann died from liver disease. However, it was rumored Louise had been murdered by her husband. It was also rumored that Tiedemann may have murdered his 13 year old niece.
Hannes Tiedemann was believed to have several mistresses and that he fathered children with his mistresses as well as servants. It was believed that the children were the victims of experimentation and/or murder and were subsequently buried in the secret rooms. It was also believed that Hannes Tiedemann strangled a servant girl in a fit of rage. People were suspicious of all the mysterious deaths that took place at the Tiedemann mansion.
A few years after his wife’s death, Hannes Tiedemann remarried. He sold the mansion and moved away. However, his new marriage was short lived and soon ended in divorce. Shortly after, Hannes died of an apparent stroke. All of his children had preceded him in death. The house was sold and purchased several times, and though it has passed through different hands, it is still considered one of the most haunted places in Ohio.
It is believed that many ghosts linger in the rooms of Franklin castle. Most people that have been in the home have reported an eerie, depressed or heavy feeling. The castle includes paranormal activity such as swinging lights, doors flying open and electrical disturbances. There are footsteps, voices and the sound of organ music playing. The cries of a baby and other children wailing are also reported. There are also reports of a woman dressed in black looking out a window in the tower room. It is believed that she may be the ghost of the servant that was supposedly strangled by Hannes Tiedemann.
Was Hannes Tiedemann a ruthless murderer with secrets of his abusive nature buried in the secret rooms of his mansion? Was he just a man whose life was steeped in untimely illness and death? Only the ghosts of Franklin Castle know the truth.