Cleveland August 31, 2017
by Nikki Rhoades 9 Haunted Places In Greater Cleveland That May Surprise You
Cleveland, it seems, is always hiding at least one secret or two. While the city is welcoming for the most part, a few of its spectral residents do not always feel quite so warm. Yes, I’m talking about our ghosts. Cleveland is full of them, according to believers, and their presence can be felt at some rather remarkable local places. In fact, some of Cleveland’s most haunted places are hiding in plain sight, disguised as familiar destinations. Don’t go into these creepy haunted spaces alone, or you just might regret it.
1. The Agora Theater, 5000 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland
Dating back to 1910, The Agora has enjoyed a long history entertaining the Cleveland community. It began its life as an elegant movie theater, eventually evolving into the AHK radio auditorium. Nobody is quite sure who the apparition of the man in the yellow raincoat is or what era he could possibly hail from, but his ghostly figure has been spotted throughout the venue's labyrinthine halls.
2. The Old Tavern, Route 84, Unionville
Ohio's first tavern has a story that reaches back to 1798, when it was two separate log cabins operating as an inn known as the Webster House. By 1818, when the tavern was a stagecoach stop, it was expanded into the current two story building that exists today. Many visitors stopped in, including runaway slaves, as the tavern was an active Underground Railroad Station. Harriet Beecher Stowe once lodged at the tavern and heard the story of Milton Clarke, a runaway slave that was beaten during a Lake County abolitionist rally that prompted residents to declare that no fugitives would be captured and returned to captivity in their county. Many believe her character, George Harris, is based off of Clarke. Many believe that the site is haunted by the ghosts of former slaves that wander the grounds and tunnels of this historic tavern.
3. Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, 1455 East 6th Street, Cleveland
This majestic edifice was constructed in 1923, which perhaps explains the ghost of a young flapper woman. Employees report weird occurrences in the building, and some point to Maltida Rose Brennan as the ghostly culprit.
4. Rider's Inn, 792 Mentor Avenue, Painesville
Located northeast of Cleveland is a historic building dating back to 1812. It opened as a hospitality stop, but it also served as a stop along the Underground Railroad. Today, it continues a tradition of welcoming guests as a pub and bed and breakfast. Some say you can even be greeted by the original hostess! Suzanne Rider, wife of founder Joe Rider, waits by the location of the former front door to greet guests into her lovely home.
5. Cleveland Grays Armory Museum, 1234 Bolivar Road, Cleveland
The Cleveland Grays Armory is one of the oldest buildings in the city. Its construction was completed in 1894 for the Cleveland Grays, a volunteer militia that provided assistance to local authorities as well as service in times of war. The organization stretches back to 1837, a time when local militias were the norm. The Cleveland Grays were the first local group to leave to fight in the Civil War, and they proudly fought in many battles through World War I. Today, their building is considered to be America's oldest independent armory, and workers and guests report that the destination is actually kind of creepy. Disembodied footsteps and occasional Civil War-era apparitions make an appearance.
6. The Old Fairport Harbor Lighthouse, 129 2nd St., Fairport Harbor
In 1871, Head Keeper Captain Joseph Babcock began gifting cats to his bedridden wife. They lived on the second story of the current museum, and the wife and her favorite gray cat were often found together. When she died, most of the cats disappeared, but gray kitty Sentinel stuck around. In fact, he's still around. To this day, guests report catching glimpses and hearing the skittering of the feline. The story gained credence when Sentinel's mummified remains were discovered in a basement crawl space. Sentinel now holds the title of Greater Cleveland's Cutest Ghost.
7. Playhouse Square, 1501 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland
The Cleveland Performing Arts District has been providing entertainment to the area since the 1920s. Over the years, performances and shows captivated crowds. Perhaps that is why several specters still show up for modern-day performances.
8. Flat Iron Cafe, 1114 Center Street, Cleveland
As Cleveland's oldest Irish pub, Flat Iron Cafe has some stories to tell. The cafe first opened its doors in 1910, primarily serving the Irish community that had grown along the Cuyahoga River. Guests have often heard a bloodcurdling scream, a sound let out by a woman that purportedly started a fire in the building. Employees also report that objects seem to move as if they were carelessly thrown about the room.
9. Punderson Manor, 11755 Kinsman Road, Newbury Township
The land on which Punderson Manor is built was originally settled by Lemuel Punderson and his wife Sybal. After Lemuel drowned, the property was sold to millionaire Karl Long. He began constructing a 29-room house, but he lost his fortune in the Great Depression and died before it could be completed. The property would change hands a few times before the State of Ohio acquired it and finished the mansion in 1956. Today, employees report strange occurrences, such as fires going out, disembodied laughter echoing off the walls, doors opening and closing, and the very scary apparition of a lumberjack with a rope around his neck. Who are the ghosts that haunt this location? Nobody seems to know, and the spirits aren't giving up their secrets.
While Cleveland is nowhere near as creepy as Savannah or New Orleans, we certainly have our fair share of haunted history. Many of our hauntings are in surprising places! Have you ever had a ghostly encounter in Cleveland?
To meet more of Cleveland’s phantoms, check out these
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