Maybe. To announce “I accuse!” might be a little bit harsh. I find it distasteful to slander a person after he/she is dead. It would be better for me to say “I suspect”, then, as I have no direct evidence to support my position. It must then remain speculative. Still, “j’accuse!” has a better ring to it.

As seen on a recent episode of THE HOLZER FILES on the Travel Channel, the grand home known as the Franklin Castle in Cleveland, Ohio, regarded as the “most haunted house in Ohio”, was investigated back in the 1960s by famed ghost hunter and writer Hans Holzer; until, that is, he was asked not to return. I think, I suspect, I now know why he wasn’t asked to return.

Stories that Hannes Tiedemann, the man who built Franklin Castle, murdered his daughter in the house, or murdered some servant girl, or both, are false, historical evidence has conclusively proven. They date to the time the house was owned by the Romano family in the 1960s—the people who ordered Hans Holzer off the property. I suspect the reason they did so is that Holzer had uncovered proof that the allegations they were making against Mr. Tiedemann were lies. Why would they want to promulgate lies? Well, they were offering tours of the “haunted house” and had a vested financial motive. A good juicy story sells more tickets to haunted tours.

On the recent episode of THE HOLZER FILES, the daughter of the owners back then got pissy when the show’s hosts told her that the allegations about Mr. Tiedemann were bogus. I suspect the reason for this is, she knew already and wanted to protect her own family’s reputation.

I *SUSPECT* that the Romano family made the stories up whole cloth in order to sell more tickets. I will stop short of stating as a fact that they did so. Slandering dead folks by stating accusations as factual without any evidence is bad form, and I don’t want to be guilty of it myself. Slandering dead folks by fabricating false allegations purely for financial gain is even worse form.   Franklin Castle is haunted. But not because its builder was an evil dude who murdered people there. That his posthumous reputation has suffered is part of the tragedy attached to the place, and might be part of the reason *why* it is so haunted.

By TheCheezman

WAYNE MILLER is the owner and creative director of EVIL CHEEZ PRODUCTIONS, specializing in theatrical performances and haunted attractions. He has written, produced, and directed (and occasionally acted in) over two dozen plays, most of them in the Horror and True Crime genres. He obtained a doctorate in Occult Studies from Miskatonic University and is an active paranormal investigator. Is frequently told he resembles Anton Lavey. And Ming the Merciless.

Denn die totden reiten schnell!

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