The house was built in 1881 by architects Cudell & Richardson for Hannes Tiedemann, a German immigrant. On January 15th, 1891, Tiedemann’s fifteen-year-old daughter Emma succumbed to diabetes. The house saw its second death not long afterward 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 on 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.
Ownership of the castle has changed hands frequently in the past thirty years. In 1999, Michelle Heimberger bought the castle and carriage house for $350,000.
In 1999, a vagrant set a fire which badly damaged the castle. The carriage house was damaged in a March 2011 fire.
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.
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.Franklin Castle was purchased in 2011 for $260,000 by a European tapestry artist named Chiara Dona dalle Rose.
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