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Frankies Castle

Vancouver, Canada
April 2002

Franklin Castle is a brooding stone mansion which sits in the Ohio City area of Cleveland. Not the best part of town certainly, and the Castle looks out of place there. It LOOKS like it ought to be haunted, and the few times I've stood outside it gazing up at the turret, I got the sense it was 'waiting' for something. Its not a friendly place, but I would love to get inside there and look around.

It was built in the mid-nineteenth century by one Hannes Tiedemann. Tiedemann was an immigrant from Germany, who worked first as a tradesman, and then went into banking where he made his fortune. There is still a Tiedemann road in Cleveland, in fact. Anyway, he built this Four story mansion and moved his family into it.

Every surface of the interior is said to be ornamented, and there are some twenty or more rooms. There are also secret passages (no, really! ) that run throughout the house. They may not have even found all of these passages yet. Some of these passages remind me of the descriptions of the Winchester Mystery house. There is one which you get to through a trapdoor, and it runs between the floor and the ceiling, and stops suddenly. No outlet.

The family was wracked with tragedy, Several children died very young. One of the older daughters did as well. The Matriarch of the family passed on. Tiedemann's died after a long fall into alcoholism.

Anyhow... the hauntings. Neighbors claim to occassionally see a woman in black staring down at them from a tower window. It is said that the Ballroom on the 4th floor is haunted by a young girl. Visitors have occassionally heard whispers and mutters coming from behind the walls. A Local radio personality came to do a story on the house and as he was ascending the large staircase to the upper levels, something snatched the tape recorder from his shoulder and hurled it down the stairs where it shattered. Residents of the house have also had encounters;

Once the children of a family came to their mother and asked if they could have a cookie for their little friend, a girl who was crying. THey described her as dressed "funny" in long dresses and spoke with a strange accent.

A paperboy knocked on the door and heard a voice say "Come in". He entered into the foyer and saw a woman in a flowing white gown float down the stairs and out through the closed door.

Other visitors have reported seeing faces in the stone and woodwork of the house, or feeling presences entering into them. One former owner of the house said she felt there was a secret there which the ghosts wanted the owners to keep secret. They wanted no one to find out what the secret might have been.

Secrets?? Oh yes, there are plenty of those in Franklin Castle. While I was growing up, there was a discovery made there that I still remember seeing in all the papers. They found a new secret passage which led to a hidden room. the room was filled with bones. Human bones, and very old ones. Some people say they were the bones of infants and children. I remember seeing pictures of them in the paper. Very disturbing to say the least.

There are other legends of this house. That in another secret room a still had been set up during prohibition. Yet another secret room was said to have been the site of a mass murder; 20 or so German Socialists were machine gunned in a political dispute. Some people say there was Nazi propaganda literature and a radio there as well...

All this sounds pretty fantastic, I realize. I don't know the truth of the legends. I can vouch for the fact that a secret room of human bones was found there in the 1970's. And plenty of people seem to have encountered spirits there. All is apparently quiet these days since one of the more recent owners spent millions restoring the house. But who knows. Perhaps it spirits are just waiting still... hoping that whatever secret they guard isn't accidentally discovered.

Vancouver, Canada
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