Haunted Ohio: The Cortland Opera House

Posted Jun 25, 2007 by Samantha A. Torrence

A small suburban town tucked away in the hills and valleys of Trumbull County Ohio is the host to a quant little Opera House with an interesting History. This little Opera House is haunted!
The Cortland Opera House is a 160 year old structure in the small town of Cortland Ohio. It was originally built as a Methodist church, but its placement did not lend itself to easy access for the church goers of the time. It was eventually moved across a creek to a lot on High Street. After the Civil War in 1882 a new church was built and the smaller building was put up for sale. Solomon Kline purchased the small church, removed the belfry, and added a stage. Kline's House was opened to the public as the newest cultural center of Cortland, Ohio. Although it was named Kline's House, the local newspaper called it the Opera House. The name stuck even though no Opera was ever performed there, unless you count the Aria sung by one of its ethereal inhabitants.
In the late 1980's the Opera House became a site of paranormal activity. Stu Klein and his wife Dorothy both members of the Cortland-Bazetta Historical Society had experiences. Stu heard a group of chairs fall over, but nothing had happened. Dorothy heard footsteps, but found no one there but her. Later another society member, Cathy Cline, shared that she heard a mans voice while she was alone. The third experience was had by a lady with the last name of small ( Klein in German). While attending a local piano recital she heard a woman singing a lovely aria.
Since then there have been no new reports of ghostly activity, but the locals of Cortland like to think Solomon Kline still checks up on his investment and only reveals himself to those with the last name, or variant, of Kline.
If you are going to Cortland and wish to have the historical tour, which includes the Opera House, call Anne Hoover at (330) 638-6680.
The Opera House can also be booked for parties and gatherings.
As a personal note I used to clean the Cortland Opera House with my mother, and I have never experienced any paranormal activity. Of course I used to sing Opera songs while I swept. Perhaps it made Solomon happy.
Of course the other explanation is that it is all a hoax. It is interesting to point out that the sightings happened near its Centennial. The people who have a variation of the name Kline are not necessarily related to the owner Solomon Kline. Was this a hoax to promote the opera house? Or an ethereal celebration of its 100 year existence as a theatre? Perhaps we will never know.