Cleveland Ghost Tour – September 21, 2013

by: Diane Rock, NorthernOhioTourism.com

On September 21, 2013,  54 passengers, 1 photographer, 1 bus driver, Psychic Sonya and one scared tour organizer headed out to experience Cleveland’s ghostly side.   I have to admit I never went on a ghost tour so I really did not know what to expect.

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As our bus started to head out for our night of ghost stories, Psychic Sonya shared some of her past experiences she had at the places we were about to embark to.

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Our first stop on our Ghost Tour was the Cleveland’s Gray’s Armory located at 1234 Bolivar Rd., Cleveland.  The Richardson Romanesque Revival-style Armory was built in 1893 and became home to the volunteer independent militia, the Cleveland Grays who adopted the motto, “Semper Paratus” (Always Prepared).  The Gray’s were among the first to serve during the civil war.  (Click here for more fascinating history about the Gray’s.)

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Now on the National Register of Historic Places Gray’s Armory is filled with military artifacts, a basement shooting range, a paneled library  and quite possibly a few ghosts.

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Stories from staff and visitors include hearing footsteps as well as seeing a soldier in a Civil War uniform. Psychic Sonya shared with our group a picture in which a shadowy figure is seen near the steps by the bar,  I have to admit I saw no ghosts on the night we went, however a few people on our bus said they captured some shadows on their camera phones.

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Next stop was the Midwest Railway Preservation Society Historic B&O Roadhouse located at 2800 West 3rd Street, Cleveland. The roadhouse was recently featured on History Channel’s Haunted History because of the paranormal activity happening in some of the old cars, like the “Death Train” and in the “Death Car.”

At the Roadhouse we were greeted by our tour guides, Steve Karpos, society trustee, Charlie Sedgley, a volunteer  and the one eyed lab.  Not a ghost, a real lab.  Our guides and the one eyed lab toured us thru an old rail car and past the Death Train.

The death car was not there the night we toured, but according to our guide, The Lackawanna Limited was traveling fast when it sideswiped a freight train, splitting open the freight engine’s boiler causing an explosion of scalding water and steam to flood one of the passenger cars.  Dozens of people lost their lives that day.  According to workers the souls of the innocent still try to close the windows.

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The Death Train, shown above,  is actually a large old locomotive.  People used to commit suicide by throwing themselves in front of the train.  Hence, the name the death train.  It is said that the workers have seen ghosts near the train.  Below you will see the front of the train which has been taken apart for refurbishing.

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Our photographer captured this photo of hand prints on the side of the death train.  Could they be????

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Even the building is creepy.  I would like to come back during the day and really take time to look at the refurbishing efforts being done by the preservation.

Here are a few video links about the train yard you may enjoy viewing.
A Video tour of the grounds – click here.

and

WEWS Anchor Leon Bibb’s piece about the death car. Passenger train car from 1943 crash haunts Midwest Railway Preservation Society in Cleveland
Read more: http://www.newsnet5.com/dpp/news/local_news/my_ohio/Passenger-train-car-from-1943-crash-haunts-Midwest-Railway-Preservation-Society-in-Cleveland#ixzz2fp92I800

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After our time at the Railroad Roundhouse our bus took off for our next ghostly adventure.

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Franklin Castle built in the mid-1800’s this 21-room castle is located at W 43rd and Franklin in Ohio City. It is considered one of the most haunted places in Cleveland.  The sandstone scary Gothic structure has a very deep history of sadness.  The first family to occupy the home was the Tiedemann family.   The home would not be a happy place for the family.  The entire family, servants, a mistress including grandchildren all died in the home.

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Ghostly voices are said to be heard in the tower.  The most disturbing part for me was that it is said adult and baby skeletons were found in the castle and can be heard crying in the castle.

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The home is privately owned and the property is gated and marked no trespassing. The home had fire damage and the windows are now boarded up.  But make no mistake the place is creepy.  To learn more about the history of Franklin’s Castle click here.

Like Franklin Castle wasn’t scary enough, our guide took us to a local cemetery where past sightings have been.   Everyone on the bus knew that the cemetery was sacred grounds and to respect the area.  We all quietly walked among the graves pausing and looking at the dates and inscriptions.

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Before everyone exited the bus our photographer got off first and went to the right corner to grab photos of the area before anyone else.  As you will note in the picture below, it looks like our photographer captured a few orbs.  When we blew this picture up you could see that they were not lights or flash reflections.  He took numerous pictures in the cemetery and they only appear in two of his photos.

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After our cemetery stop we headed back to hear about ghost tales from local author Charles Cassady Jr.

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Charles has written three books about Cleveland’s paranormal and ghost side and he has a fourth book due out in the next few months.

He talked to us about many of the scary areas in Cleveland and gave a wonderful account of some of the area’s scary history.

I purchased my first book “Cleveland Ghosts” and so far I find it a very fascinating read.  To purchase your own copy click here.

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After our tour all ghost busters received a special gift from NorthernOhioTourism.com, their very own “ghost busting” lantern.

For my first ghost tour I have to say I really enjoyed myself.  I learned a lot about area history as well as Cleveland’s ghostly side.

Looking forward to another ghost busting tour in the future,

I would like to thank Mary Randall and Spennato’s Italian Restaurant for so graciously allowing our group the opportunity to use their party center for our after tour event.  I would also like to thank Thomas Limousine Service who helped us get to our destinations and who take such good care of my tours.   A special thank you to Charles Cassady Jr. who gave of his time to share with us some of his ghost stories and I would also like to acknowledge our photographer, Andrew Gacom (AndrewGacom.com) who willingly accepted the challenge to try to catch a ghost  on film.

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