Franklin Castle: The Most Haunted House in Ohio

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For decades this Ohio haunted house, with over 21 rooms, has held a dark history within its walls; tragic death, secret passageways, and Nazi underground operations.

franklin castle

Built by Hannes Tiedmann this mansion never did fit in with millionaire row, not with its gargoyles, secret passageways and cold stone walls.  Hannes was a German immigrant who made his fortune from his barrel-making business and banking endeavors.  Shortly after he moved his family in to this home, tragedy struck.  In 1881 his mother, Wiebeka, died In the home, followed by Tiedmann’s 15 year old daughter.  In the following years three infants died in the castle.  As a result of so many deaths in the house rumors began to swirl around that Tiedmann was an evil controlling man and he may have something to do with so many deaths.  It is even rumored the he murdered his niece, a servant girl whom did not accept his advances, and that he may have ended the infants lives himself.  While those rumors have not been proven, interesting things have been found on the premises.

The house was sold shortly after his wife’s death, which is also rumored to happen at his hands.  Tiedmann remarried very soon after.  When he died, he was the last in his family, having outlived his children and even grandsons.  So, much of what we know from his time in the house is what has been found, and rumors of how it came to be here.

The secret passageways have stories of their own.  Some believe they were used by Hannes to hide his misdeeds.  Others say they were built by his wife so she could escape this control.  Whatever their use, they make for an excellent beginning of fascinating ghost stories.  Speaking of ghosts, that is what has put this house on the map as the most haunted house in Ohio.  As the home as changed hands those that have lived in it have shared seeing various ghosts and paranormal activity.   Some share stories of seeing Emma, his daughter that died at 15, others speak of incessant crying of babies from within the walls.  There is a strange phenomena of a room that despite efforts to heat it, the room remains 10 degrees colder than the rest of the house, it is in this room people speak of seeing Emma.  One set of owners, the Romano’s, had children that often spoke of a new-found friend in the ballroom and take the friend cookies.

Where the ghost stories really took off is when a pile of human bones was found behind a wall, it was confirmed that they were human remains, whose they are or how they came to be there is still a mystery.

The Franklin Castle was still shrouded in darkness for years after Tiedmann’s death.  It was purchased by the German Socialist Party and rumors began to fly about them using it as headquarters to spy and use the passageways as a place for executions.  It was also said this building was used for bootlegging during prohibition.  Really this place has seen it all.

Hannes Tiedemann House in Cleveland, Ohio


The building stood still, silent, empty for years until it was again purchased in 2011 and is currently undergoing renovation.