the bellman I want to tell you a story
Once upon a time...
the dark times
castle on fire in 1990
A lot of paranormal theorists muse that there’s some sort of dark energy within the castle that can change the mental state of someone similar to what Ronald DeFeo experienced inside the notorious Amityville House.
In 1970 the Cleveland Police and Cleveland Fire Department responded to a fire at the castle. Once there, they found a man who had seemingly wandered off the street and began setting small fires inside each of the rooms. When asked why he would possibly do such as thing as he had no connection to the house, he merely stated that he had to burn down the castle because “it was pure evil.”
human bones were found in a closet in 1975
but it’s believed they were planted by the new owner looking to gain publicity for his ghost tours of the property. In 1982, the location was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
The First House
The Wolvertons, four brothers from Canada, come to Cleveland to attend school. They build a two-story wooden house that they call Bachelor’s Hall. The Wolvertons enlist with the Union Army at the onset of the Civil War. Only two survive.
The Tiedemann Family
German immigrants Hannes and Louise Tiedemann purchase Bachelor’s Hall from Alonzo Wolverton and move in with their family. The Tiedemanns had six children in all, though only August, Emma, and Dora survived infancy.
Following the sudden death of 15-year-old Emma Tiedemann in January of 1881, Hannes Tiedemann moves his family to their summer home in Lakewood. He tears down Bachelor’s hall and replaces it with the mansion that we know today as the Franklin Castle.
Death of Louise Tiedemann
In March of 1895, Louise Tiedemann dies at the Franklin Castle at the age of 57. Hannes Tiedemann remarries the following year and in 1897 moves permanently to his summer home in Lakewood, where he dies in 1908.
The Prohibition Era
After being occupied by a widow from Virginia and a prominent local physician, the Franklin Castle is sold to a German singing society called Bildungsverein Eintracht, who use the castle for meetings and performances. It is also at this time that the house is used to produce illegal liquor. A whiskey still would be found in a hidden room two decades later.
The Romano Family
The house is purchased by the Romano family. Though being experienced for more than 50 years, reports of the haunting of the Franklin Castle are made public for the first time.
Human Bones in the Walls
While knocking down a wall in January 1975, Sam Muscatello makes the grim discovery of a partial human skeleton concealed in a void within the castle. Muscatello were using the house as a Universalist Church at the time. Some speculate that the bones were planted.
After showing a few years of interest in the property, Judy Garland’s last husband, Michael DeVinko – aka Mickey Deans), purchases the Franklin Castle. Under his ownership, the house would host wild parties.
The Castle On Fire
In the Spring of 1999, the Franklin Castle is sold to Michelle Heimburger, who begins a huge renovation project. That November, the house is broken into and is set on fire by an arsonist, causing extensive damage to the structure and destroying the fourth-floor ballroom . In 2000, a new roof is put on the building, but for the next 11 years, the Franklin Castle would sit boarded up and in an advanced state of disrepair.
Chiara Donà dalle Rose
Following years of neglect, the Franklin Castle is purchased by Chiara & Pascal. A monumental restoration of the house follows, bringing it back to much of its original glory.