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Pythian Castle - Toledo

Pythian Castle - Toledo paranormal

Photo by: Marianne Donley
Location submitted by: sdonley on 06/09/2019
DBA Approved: Y

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PANICd#: 2003

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The Pythian Castle in Toledo, Ohio, is a Romanesque-style building built in 1890. Located in Toledo's Center City at the corner of Jefferson Avenue and N. Ontario Street, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972.

125-199 N Ontario St
Toledo , OH 43604
Open to the public: No

Lat: 41.651420
Lon: -83.540850

Database Summary:

Demographic Rank: 4
History: 1
Stories: 1
Claims: 1
Evidence: 0
Resources: 7
Retrievals: 7022
Vistor Rating: 0.0
Votes: 1

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History information is some background and history about the location. This is meant to be a basic summary. Below the history records you will find sources in which you can click on to find out more information. There may be multiple history records per location.

The Pythian Castle in Toledo, Ohio, is a Romanesque-style building built in 1890. Located in Toledo's Center City at the corner of Jefferson Avenue and N. Ontario Street, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972.

The 30,000-square-foot building was built in 1890 by the Knights of Pythias, a fraternal organization and secret society, to use as a meeting place. The building was designed by Norval Bacon and Thomas Huber, partners of the Toledo architectural firm of Bacon & Huber. The highest point of the Pythian Castle, the turret at the corner of Jefferson Avenue and N. Ontario Street, rises 122 ft (37 m) above the street. The height of the main roof is 79 ft (24 m).

In 1908, it was described as "the finest building to be found anywhere entirely devoted to the uses of Pythianism."

The building also had retail space. One early tenant was the J.W. Green Co., a retail and wholesale dealer in pianos and organs.

In 1951, the group sold the building to Greyhound Lines and left.

In the 1970s, the building was owned by Ed Emery, a resident of Sylvania, Ohio. He ran a youth center and rented space to a music store, an art studio, and an antiques shop. In 1972, he got the building placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

A fire in 1978 put an end to the building's active occupation, and it fell into disrepair. In 2006, then-Mayor Carty Finkbeiner put it on his 'Dirty Dozen" list of the city's worst-maintained buildings.

In the late 20th and early 21st century, the building was owned by Robert Shiffler, who died in 1997, and Brian Uram, who died in 2011. Uram said in 2004 that the two men had poured $250,000 into attempts to stabilize the decaying building, including a temporary replacement roof.

In 2013, the building was owned by Toledo's Pythian Castle LLC, an Ohio limited liability corporation.

In early 2013, the Toledo Blade wrote about the building's history. A series of photos revealed a dilapidated interior.

On July 10, 2013, the building was acquired by the Lucas County Land Bank for redevelopment.

In November 2016, the Land Bank sold the building to developer David Ball for $300. The deal also gave a $274,000 loan to Ball to cover the cost of a new roof and the stabilization of its turret. Lucas County Treasurer Wade Kapszukiewicz, the Land Bank's chairman, said the loan would be forgiven if the renovations produced "a certificate of occupancy for the building from the city saying it is a habitable building" within three years.

In February 2017, renovations were begun by Ball's company, Water Street Development LLC.

Added by: sdonley on 06/09/2019 DB#:397


Stories are just that. Stories and personal accounts that have been reported about the location.

The Pythian Castle in Toledo, Ohio is a Romanesque style building that was built in 1890. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972, built in 1890, this five floor building is the only castle in Toledo. Built by a fraternity, the origins of the building are mostly unknown. Folklore of the building cites hauntings throughout its existence and it is located in Toledos Center City at the corner of Jefferson Avenue and N. Ontario Street. Used as a space up until a fire in 1978. Continued support for the castle has kept it from being demolished, part of former Mayor Carty Finkbeiners Dirty Dozen, Pythian Castle has needed work for over 40 years. With the renaissance of Toledos core, including its downtown and UpTown neighborhoods, renewed interest in Pythian Castle has surfaced as early as 2008, there have been some roadblocks in the success of the historical building. One of the most apparent is the funding of such a renovation to make the castle up to code. The Greyhound Station in the block over has caused some impedance on the publics willingness to give the building a proper chance.

In early 2013, The Toledo Blade did an investigation of the buildings history, on July 10,2013, the Toledo Blade announced that the building was acquired by the Lucas County Land Bank for future redevelopment

Added by: sdonley on 06/09/2019 DB#:1402

Paranormal Claims

Here are the paranormal claims for this location. These have been found through Internet research, reports from members, or reports from personal interviews. To add a claim, please contact, and we will review and add your information.

Claim # Added Added By Claim
2779 06/09/2019 sdonley People of reported the sense of being watched while roaming through the building.

Paranormal Evidence

Paranormal evidence is based on claims that have been reported for this location. There can be several types of evidence; however, we have grouped them based on media type for better organization. Here you will find evidence that are logs, audio, video, or photographic.

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Additional Resources

This is a collection of Internet resources for this location. This section will house links to other websites that contain information related to history, claims, investigations, or even the location's website.

Waymarker Information
Added: 06/09/2019 By: sdonley
Information about the sign on the side of the building.
Wikipedia Entry
Added: 06/09/2019 By: sdonley
Wikipedia entry for this location.
Facebook Post
Added: 06/09/2019 By: sdonley
Facebook post on Haunted Toledo about this location.
Restoration work continues at historic Pythian Castle | Toledo Blade
Added: 06/09/2019 By: sdonley
It may not look like renovations are under way on the Pythian Castle from the outside, but inside contractors have rebuilt the five floors of the historic ...
Pythian Castle a monument to hard times | Toledo Blade
Added: 06/09/2019 By: sdonley
Developers like David Ball are visionaries and dreamers. They are occasionally guilty of excessive optimism, but Mr. Ball one of downtown Toledo's most
Pythian Castle Ghosts: Pythian Castle (Toledo, Ohio – autocars
Added: 06/09/2019 By: sdonley
Website has a close up photo of the building.
Listing of Pythian Castles
Added: 06/09/2019 By: sdonley
A listing of Pythian Castles around the country.

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