Ever wonder what goes bump in the night in Cleveland? Over the years, there have been all kinds of sightings of ghostly phenomenon that frankly cannot be explained with any kind of logic. What follows are five of the most notoriously known haunted sites. Get the skinny on where Cleveland ghosts hang out; from two prominent Cleveland graveyards to a really creepy house to a failed construction of a carriage house and lastly a Cleveland rock and roll landmark.
4308 Franklin Blvd.
Cleveland, OH 44113
There is no lack of ghost stories concerning Franklin Castle (aka the Hannes Tiedemann House). Reports of a young female ghost, organ music, blood stains, voices in empty rooms and behind walls, crying children, faces materializing in the woodwork, skeletons and spinning chandeliers are common. The four-story, twenty-room home was built in 1881 for Hannes Tiedemann and his family. In just four years (1891 to 1895), at least seven family deaths happened in the house, plus others. After adding secret rooms, passages and tunnels, Tiedemann sold the house following his wife’s death. In all, the house has had 10 owners including the German Socialist Party (rumors of espionage and spying during World War II) and it may have been a speakeasy during Prohibition times. Rumors of plans for renovation have been circulating for years including turning the place into a night club or even a three-family dwelling. To be honest, just standing outside the home in broad daylight is enough to creep you out.
Old Erie Cemetery
2254 East 9th St.
Cleveland, OH 44115
Being the second oldest cemetery in Cleveland, this 8.9-acre walled site is the final resting place of many Cleveland pioneers (over 17,000) including four former mayors as well as two Indian chiefs; Chief Joc-O-Sot and Chief Thunderwater (who has been spotted haunting the cemetery as well as across the street at Progressive Field, home of the Cleveland Indians baseball team). This may explain the team’s record for the past decades.
5000 Euclid Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44103
The Agora began in 1910 as the Metropolitan Theatre (a movie house with an elegant interior). In 1949, it became the “WHK Auditorium,” showcasing some of the biggest acts of the day including Elvis Presley and The Beatles. It later became the home of WMMS and the hot spot for the 70s New Wave movement. It was returned to use as a movie theater in 1984 as “The New Hippodrome” and finally The Agora in 1985. It is currently being renovated. Sightings include “John,” a mysterious “man in the yellow raincoat” who has been seen all over the complex, as well as a cleaning crew that sits as a group in the upper seats then disappears.
12316 Euclid Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44106
Founded in 1869, this 285-acre site (with 70 acres still available) is the final resting place of over 106,000 Clevelanders with 700 being added each year. Famous graves at this cemetery include President James A. Garfield, John D. Rockefeller, Carl B. Stokes, Eliot Ness, members of President Lincoln’s cabinet, Civil War generals, Revolutionary War soldiers, 22 Cleveland mayors plus a who’s who of Cleveland’s past society. This site is also purported to be the leader in ghostly visitors at night who often appear as misty apparitions. It is also believed to be the stomping ground of President Garfield’s ghost.
Related: Clevelands Most Haunted Places
Chagrin River Road
Willoughby, OH 44094
What is known locally as “Squire’s Castle” is actually the carriage house (located on what is now part of the Cleveland Metroparks North Chagrin Reservation). It was erected by Feargus B. Squire in the late 1890s to go along with a huge mansion that was never built (remnants of the foundation of “the big house” as well as a tower can still be found on the site). As the story goes, Mr. Squire’s wife died while roaming the castle at night (because of boredom). She apparently was startled by one of his mounted animal heads on the wall and fell down the stairs breaking her neck. That story is complete hokum. It is a fact that his wife never lived there and died many years later peacefully. However, over the years, there have been numerous suicides as well as evidence of animal sacrifices, biker gangs, devil worshipers and Druids using the site. Visitors first entering the castle have had visions of what the furnished rooms once looked like (only to have those visions fade), lights in and around the castle at night, cold areas on warm summer days and other unexplained phenomena.
Mark Horning is a freelance writer covering all things Cleveland. His work can be found on Examiner.com.