Hannes Tiedemann House
|Location||4308 Franklin Boulevard
|Architect||Cudell & Richardson|
|Architectural style||Queen Anne|
|NRHP Reference #||
|Added to NRHP||March 15, 1982|
Franklin Castle (also known as the Hannes Tiedemann House) is a historical house located at 4308 Franklin Boulevard in Cleveland's Ohio City neighborhood. The building has four stories and more than twenty rooms. It is purported to be the most haunted house in Ohio.
The house was built in 1881 by architects Cudell & Richardson for Hannes Tiedemann, a German immigrant. On January 15, 1891, Tiedemann's fifteen-year-old daughter Emma succumbed to diabetes. The house saw its second death not long afterwards when Tiedemann's elderly mother, Wiebeka, died. During the next three years the Tiedemanns would bury three more children, giving rise to speculation that there was more to the deaths than met the eye.
To distract his wife, Luise, from these tragedies, Tiedemann began extensive construction on the home, adding a ballroom which runs the length of the house in the fourth floor of the manor. Also during this building, turrets and gargoyles were added to the edifice's facade, giving the house an even more pronounced "castle" appearance.
It is rumored that there were hidden rooms and passageways that were used for bootlegging during Prohibition. Though rumored, none of these rooms or passageways exist other than a small stairway used by servants from the kitchen to the front door.
Luise Tiedemann died from a liver disease on March 24, 1895, at the age of fifty-seven. Hannes sold the house to the Mullhauser family, and by 1908 he and the entire Tiedemann family were dead, leaving no one to inherit his considerable personal wealth.
Rumors of crimes committed in the house by Tiedemann (including sexual indiscretions and murder) have contributed to Franklin Castle's reputation as a haunted house.
The house remained largely unoccupied until January 1968, when James Romano, his wife, and six children settled in the long abandoned building. The Romano family reported several encounters with ghosts in their new home, and attempted exorcisms and even had a now defunct ghost-hunting group (the Northeast Ohio Psychical Research Society) investigate the castle. By 1974, the Romanos decided to leave the house, and sold it to Sam Muscatello, who planned to turn the castle into a church. To raise money for the church, tours and overnight stays at the castle were offered.
In early 1984, Michael DeVinko purchased Franklin Castle and almost immediately started making major renovations to the house. Over the next ten years, DeVinko spent close to one million dollars renovating the Castle, even going so far as to track down some of the original furnishings for the Castle. Despite all this, DeVinko still decided to move out and put the house up for sale in 1994.
In 2004 there were rumors that the Franklin Castle was going to be completely renovated and turned into the Franklin Castle Club. As of 2006, the entire club was proven to be a complete sham, no repairs had ever been made, and the pictures on the website were all either close-up shots of individual architecture, or pictures stolen from other websites. No work had ever been done, no memberships had ever been sold, and there is also some evidence that the Castle had been used to shoot some pornography.
Franklin Castle will be on the market again as of September 2010. The city gave a 30-day condemnation window for repairs to be done or to make a request for more time. Charles Milsaps has one last chance to buy the property after his promises of renovation. Construction and lumber companies have filed liens for bills Mr. Milsaps didn't pay, as well as back taxes.
Mr. Milsaps has been ordered by the current owner's lawyer to stop giving tours of the property.
It was announced in July 2011 that the Franklin Castle had been rezoned to allow it to become a 3 family dwelling, and that a sale was pending.
The Franklin Castle was purchased in 2011 for $260,000 by a European tapestry artist. A permit for residential exterior alterations was issued by the city in February, 2012. Local new sources have reported that the buyer intends to convert the building into three family home and dwelling two of the spaces.
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2008-04-15.
- Willis, James A. (2005). Weird Ohio: Your Travel Guide to Ohio's Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets. Sterling Publishing. p. 56. ISBN 1-4027-3382-8.
- Belanger, Jeff (2005). Encyclopedia Of Haunted Places: Ghostly Locales From Around The World. Career Press. p. 128. ISBN 1-56414-799-1.
- Mueller, Werner Diebolt (1993). To Cleveland and Away: Of Muellers, Reids, and Others. W.D. Mueller. p. 156.
- Kercheval, Nancy. "Church to Occupy Haunted Castle". Retrieved 2007-08-28.
- Vishnevsky, Zina. "Franklin Castle Risks Demolition". Retrieved 2007-08-28.
- Kortan, Ted (March 22, 2011). "Franklin Castle property catches fire again". WEWS-TV. Retrieved April 1, 2011.
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- Mazzolini, Joan (June 20, 2006). "New Strange Doings at Franklin Castle". The Plain Dealer (Cleveland, Ohio). Retrieved August 8, 2011.
- Livingston, Sandra (September 13, 2010). "Franklin Castle and the Youth Development Center in Hudson: Whatever happened to ...?". The Plain Dealer (Cleveland, Ohio). Retrieved October 25, 2010.
- Kortan, Ted (July 20, 2011). "Haunted Franklin Castle: Sale Pending, Renovation Planned". WEWS Newsnet5 (Cleveland, Ohio). Retrieved August 8, 2011.
- Franklin Castle: The Most Haunted House In Ohio?
- Franklin Castle
- Haunted Cleveland
- Encyclopedia of Cleveland History
- Franklin Castle Club