Category: cuyahoga-county

The Haunted Cellar

As told by Beth Scott and Michael Norman in the Haunted Heartland [affiliate link]

In the November of 1957 a young music student Thomas Todd and his wife moved into apartment in Cleveland. It wasn’t the greatest of places, but affordable. The young couple’s stay would be a short one. They would flee the apartment in the March of 1958 never to return.

It seems that from the very start they were awakened at night by strange screams, and erie moans which seemed to emanate from the cellar of the apartment. Finally after months of this Thomas’s young eighteen year old wife Geraldine was home by herself one afternoon, and decided to investigate what was making the sounds. Descending into the basement she found the old furnace surrounded by rubbish, and pieces of broken furniture. Then to her horror she saw a twisted and bloody human hand sticking up out of the pile of refuse. Geraldine stampeded back up the stairs, and collapsed into a chair where she spent most of the day crying until her husband returned home. After he had calmed his wife down she began to prepare their evening supper. While she was standing on the trap door which lead to the cellar, it heaved up and threw the poor woman on to the floor. Mr. Todd charged down the steps to confront the intruder to their home. He found nothing but the huge rubbish pile his wife had described. Returning upstairs, he nailed down the door to the cellar. The next day Mr. and Mrs. Todd moved out of the apartment to a local hotel.

Several of the couple’s friends and neighbors were skeptical of their story. On March 31st they returned to the apartment with their friends in tow. This group of people gathered in the kitchen and stood around waiting for something to happen. They did not have to wait long as the trap door to the cellar heaved up with such force the wood bent from the blows, and the nails were loosened and bent. Everyone at this time rushed to safety into the living room. Several were horrified to see bloody fingers squirming from the cracks just made in the trap door. That was it for everyone and they all made a hasty retreat from the structure. The Todd’s called the police who made a search of the building and found nothing out of order, except for the forced trap door. One officer later said he heard what sounded like someone shoveling dirt in the cellar, but wasn’t sure. The police tried to assure Mr. Todd and his wife that everything was fine, and that they could return home. They flatly refused, and moved to better quarters.

Years later Thomas returned to the old neighborhood and spoke with a former neighbor about the place. She confided in him that it was the right thing for him to have moved out of the place. She related to him that in the years before he had occupied the apartment, it had been rented out to a couple who would have the most terrible quarrels. Rumor had it that the husband had killed his wife, and then buried her in the cellar. But after all this was only rumor, and the police had never been called to investigate the allegations.

In 1963 the famous ghost hunter Hans Holzer came to investigate the place. Entering into the abandoned building in the company of a local reporter the smell of decay, rot, and urine exploded on to their senses. Moving though the house some movement attracted the men’s attention. Swinging a flashlight into the vacant room they discover a duo of winos who were sleeping of some of the local rot gut who promptly vacated the structure. Mr. Holzer insisted that the place was haunted by the ghost of a murdered woman named Edna, and that she was indeed buried in the basement of the house. No one ever bother to enter the structure for the purpose of investigating if Mr. Holzer was correct.


The location of this haunting is recorded as 4207 Mason Court S.E. in Cleveland, Ohio. It is suppose to be in a more run down part of town. I am not even sure if the building is still standing. If anyone out there has this information, or a photo of the place, please contact me at the following e-mail address. jas1746@greenapple.com [Editor’s note: That email is long defunct. Email me at wintermute@nitemarecafe.com instead of the original author.]


This post, including photos and commentary, originally appeared on James A. Sheets’ site.