Purportedly one of the most haunted houses in the region, the Tiedemann House, built in 1865, has latterly come to be known as the Franklin Avenue Castle, its original builder Hannes Tiedemann having died in 1908. It served as headquarters for the German Socialist Party until 1968, when it became a residence again. Beginning in 1976, the house changed hands a number of times, selling initially for $34,000. Its current owner purchased it in 1999 for $350,000. A fire in 2000, reportedly started by a homeless person, set in motion a number of actions against its latest owner, centering on the house's dangerously dilapidated condition.
Since then, the mansion has been the center of shady activity, but not of the ectoplasmic variety. Plans were announced in 2003 to create the Franklin Castle Club, and a hyperbolic website created that promised fabulous amenities for its prospective members. The "what-to-do-where-to-go" website Plugged In Cleveland went so far as to create a listing for the club and its restaurant, which is still online today, despite the fact that there is no Franklin Castle Club.
What does go on at the Castle is laid out in detail in a 2006 Plain Dealer article by Michael O'Malley and Joan Mazzolini. It's clear that the announced renovation is, to put it mildly, a little behind schedule, though it appears that someone apparently associated with the house is still spinning tales about its imminent transformation from ruined pile to historic showcase.
The Plain Dealer uncovered a connection between the current property owner and manager and something called Voodoo Media Group, a northeast Ohio producer of what might be delicately called video erotica, but is probably more accurately dubbed porn. One can only wonder why video producers of dubious material are so attracted to historic homes (see "Not Haunted" below). It would be in the interest of the neighborhood and the city for City Hall to move to repossess the Tiedemann House, perhaps under eminent domain, and make it an asset to Cleveland.
Photos taken in 2006 with Mamiya C330S, 80mm lens.