Many, many reasons exist today for you to make a trip to Ohio, especially the various scary places in Cleveland. Though now known as a city on the rebound and not the "mistake on the lake," Cleveland's scary history definitely contributed to its negative image. But today, one can look to Cleveland ghost stories as just another reason to visit the city besides its restaurant scene and the Rock Hall. While you might have thought the whole "river catching on fire" incident was terrifying enough, the city's unsettling locations and monuments reveal it to be the perfect place for your next ghost tour.
As a former epicenter for American business, Cleveland saw many an entrepreneur and/or business stake their claims here early on, only to watch them go up in flames as the city began a downturn throughout the 20th century. The elegant remains of former glories created the perfect atmosphere for sorrow, anger, and regrets, the ingredients needed for good ghost stories. Haunted Cleveland boasts many creepy places to visit, including one of the nation's most notorious haunted houses. Draped in fear and sometimes sordid histories, Cleveland ghost stories are among one of the many reasons Ohio is scarier than you think.
Franklin CastlePhoto: Corey Balazowich/Creative Commons / Flickr
Franklin Castle, also known as the Tiedemann House, has remained one of the creepiest buildings in Cleveland for over 100 years. A German grocer and banker named Hannes Tiedemann built the house in 1883, and allegedly committed many heinous crimes within it. By 1895, the house claimed its first victim, Tiedemann's wife, Louise. People say that the "castle" is haunted by her ghost, the ghost of the Tiedemann's daughter Emma, and the negative energy surrounding Tiedemann's supposed crimes. Apparently, Louise often appears staring out one of the upper story windows. People also claimed to hear a crying baby and light fixtures and doors moving on their own. When another family, the Romanos, moved into Franklin castle in the late '60s, they reported so many paranormal activity they invited a priest to investigate it. His message: leave this house.
As if to solidify itself as a haunted landmark, the house also hosts other nefarious legends about its inhabitants. In the '30s and '40s, the building was owned by a German-American club, and rumors abound of a mass Nazi murder taking place in one of the second-floor rooms. Additionally, other rumors state that human remains have been found in the house. though no one knows for certain.
House Of WillsPhoto: Christopher Busta-Peck / Wikipedia
The House of Wills is a former funeral home-turned-restored house. The structure, built in the early 1900s, began as a social club, eventually becoming a combination funeral home and house for local undertaker, John Walker Wills. Even for a funeral home, the house hosts an unusual number of deaths, with one homeowner perishing here while another man was shot dead on the property in 2006.
Perhaps this miasma of death is what causes so many to witness strange happenings at the House of Wills. A bizarre energy vortex was sighted by one visitor, and people on the street have claimed to see figures peering down on them from the windows. Another commonly seen figure, a man in a suit, is thought to be the homeowner who died there.
The Terminal TowerPhoto: edseloh / Wikimedia Commons
The Terminal Tower is one of the most iconic buildings in Cleveland, and one of its most haunted. Construction began on the tower in the early 1920s, and several workers died during its eight-year construction due to onsite accidents. According to a building manager, a few workers were buried alive in the concrete caissons. They supposedly still haunt the offices in the building - witnesses describe hearing ghostly footsteps and laughter, seeing the apparition of a man with a cigar, and the sensation of cold spots within the structure. If you're looking for the building's paranormal hotspot, head to the third floor.
Federal Reserve Bank BuildingPhoto: Carol M. Highsmith / Wikimedia Commons
Massive and imposing, the Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank building was in existence on the infamous Black Thursday, when the stock market crashed in 1929. Many who lost all of their savings that day killed themselves, and it only seems fitting they haunt one of the places blamed for the crash: the Federal Reserve Bank. Apparently, though paranormal activity is common in the building, the staff are openly forbidden from talking about it so as to save the building's image. Most of the ghost stories surrounding this building involve a woman dressed in a 1920s flapper outfit named Matilda. She supposedly follows the bank's employees around the building, showing herself at inopportune times.