The Most Haunted Places in Cleveland, Ohio

Ralph DiMatteo History

Grays Armory in Cleveland

This time of year, it is always fun to explore the spooky haunts and tales that are unique to any locale, but in researching some of Cleveland’s, we came up with some truly unique, and probably relatively unknown, haunts and sightings.

The Most Haunted Places in Cleveland

The Federal Reserve Bank

Let's start with the Federal Reserve Bank at 1466 E. 6th Street in downtown Cleveland. 

Still operating today as the Cleveland-based U.S. Federal Reserve System’s Fourth District headquarters, this majestic building is home to one spirit in particular known as Matilda.

Matilda is believed to have killed herself on the property after losing everything in the 1929 stock market crash. Sighting descriptions are fairly consistent that she appears dressed as a flapper from that era.  

She continues to be sighted to this day by bank employees and the conventional wisdom is that she may remain on site to warn others about the financial crash.

Franklin Castle

Franklin Castle has at times been called "The Most Haunted House in Ohio" for its especially spooky history, which includes strange deaths, potential human experiments, exorcisms and more. But here's the best part: After decades of ownership changing hands, you can now book an overnight stay in Franklin Castle to see for yourself just how spooky a place it can be.

Grays Armory

Next up is Cleveland’s Grays Armory. It is said that many spirits decide to gather together in a place that brought them much joy or camaraderie in life, and that seems to be the case with the Armory.

The Cleveland Grays were formed in 1837 as a possible defense unit in case a conflict in Canada at the time became a third war with Great Britain.

Although that conflict never occurred, that didn’t stop the Grays from serving, starting with the Civil War and ending with World War I, the last time they served as a representative unit from Cleveland.

They were housed in many a building before moving to their new and continuing home today at 1234 Bolivar in downtown Cleveland. I myself have participated in several events at this magnificent building and can vouch for its breathtaking presence.

That said, it is not without its haunted history. Many believe that the group's motto - “Semper Paratus," meaning "Always ready" - is what binds most of the building's spirits to it. They remain ever ready to serve.

There are a few other deaths that account for other restless spirits, one being a worker who continues at his task, hoping for a different outcome. Another being building caretaker Lou, who died of a heart attack while on the job and delights in walking behind visitors to the building who have also reported smelling the aroma of his cherry vanilla pipe smoke.

Riverside Cemetery / Lake View Cemetery 

It probably comes as no surprise that people might find a sprawling 19th-century cemetery to be haunted, so obviously both Riverside and Lake View are worth including here. Ghost stories surrounding these places abound, and both cemeteries are must-visits in the area, for their beauty (such as Daffodil Hill) if not for the supernatural occurrences, unexplained sounds, and potential ghost sightings.

Kingsbury Run

Kingsbury Run is a stretch in Cleveland that runs From Shaker Heights east to the Cuyahoga River west that became best known as the area where the unsolved Torso Murders occurred in the 1930s.

There were at least 13 - many believe more - gruesome murders of people who had their heads separated from their bodies in the area. Even arguably the most famous lawman of the time, Cleveland’s Safety Director Eliot Ness, could not solve the murders despite getting very close on one particular suspect at the time.

Most of the victims remain nameless as they were occupants of the shantytown that existed in the area. It is also believed the spirits that wander the area are indeed these nameless souls that because of dying so violently, remain, hoping to perhaps be reunited with their body parts that were scattered throughout this tragic stretch of Cleveland.

Man in the Yellow Slicker

Perhaps one of the most interesting, and at least from our research, completely unexplained stories is the tale of the Man in the Yellow Slicker, who haunts the Cleveland Agora at 5000 Euclid to this day.

It is not hard to believe that a building that famously scored some of Marilyn Manson’s personal belongings could be haunted, but the Agora circumstances seem to be just a bit more peculiar to say the least.

Those who have performed there have reported chronic fatigue while either rehearsing or during actual performances. Electronic devices work intermittently within the building at best and there are many, many reports of photographs throughout the building having the same sort of floating orbs in the photos.

Doors opening and closing by themselves are commonplace at the Agora. Full disclosure: When I was a venue manager for a local beer distributor, I did take a building tour and actually witnessed a door being opened that we had definitely closed behind us as we made our way through the backstage area.

But most unusual of all seems to be that there have been numerous sightings of a man in a yellow rain slicker who seems to randomly appear in all parts of the building and vanishes as quickly as he appears.

We did not uncover any theories as to who this gentleman might be, but it is definitely something to stay on top of.

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