SHARON – The owner of Ghoul Mansion, which is set to come back to Sharon in 2020, said if he is required to make substantial changes to his building downtown, he would have to move out of Sharon.
Cornel Bogdan attended the city council meeting Tuesday after his building at 66 N. Main St. was inspected by a city code inspector who decided it needed a sprinkler system.
“To put in a sprinkler system there would be an astronomical cost. I couldn’t even imagine, but we have never needed it in the past,” Bogdan said. “We’ve had the fire department go through to make sure we’re passing all codes. You can walk through with a lighted torch and nothing would catch on fire because everything is flame retardant in there. We run a really, really tight ship.”
Bogdan purchased the building from Ivor J. Lee in the mid-1990s for $125,000. The mortgage is paid off and the taxes are up to date, Bogdan said.
“It’s been a really, really profitable attraction for us here in Sharon,” Bogdan said. “We want to scare people. That’s our main thing. But that’s number two on the list. Number one is safety. We’ve never had a single issue in the whole time I’ve owned the place.”
About four years ago, Ghoul Mansion was approached by the Cafaro Company in Niles, Ohio, at the Eastwood Mall, the Mahoning Valley Scrappers and the Cleveland Indians. They asked the establishment to bring their operation to Eastwood Field in Niles.
So, for the last three years, their absence from Sharon has been because they took over the baseball field at Eastwood Field, calling themselves, “The Experience.”
Now, Ghoul Mansion is set to return to scare the people of Sharon in 2020 because their three-year contract with the Cafaro Company is expired.
“What we’ve found is that we have to assemble a complete haunted house by the time that baseball season ends with the Scrappers,” Bogdan said. “Then we have to tear down an entire house in November.”
The enterprise still operates out of the downtown Sharon location. The building is full of props and the company owns five tractor trailers packed with props, Bogdan said.
Ghoul Mansion would be open from mid-September through the end of October – what Bogdan calls “haunt season.” They also open on Fridays and Saturdays when the 13th falls on a Friday.
“I want to bring Ghoul Mansion back to Sharon, where I think it should be,” Bogdan said. “We’ve had offers from New Castle and also Hermitage to come back in 2020, but I wanted to see whether or not council would figure out a way that we could be welcomed back and we could get going again.”
City Manager Bob Fiscus said this was the first time he has heard of the request.
“What we had in the past is we contracted with Richardson Inspection Services because he had the expertise to inspect the place. It was probably the biggest risk or hazard when we looked at the occupancy of it, how many people were inside of it,” Fiscus said. “It was a high risk building so we looked at it seriously. We had the expert come in. As this is pretty fresh with me, I’d like to review it with him.”
City councilman Bob Lucas said if it were up to him, they would give Ghoul Mansion the latitude they need.
“If we can find some latitude, as far as I’m concerned, I’m OK with it,” Lucas said. “If the law says, the law says, our hands get tied at some point.”
Council members agreed that Fiscus would look into the matter and come back to the next meeting with answers.
“I’m just looking for a little bit of latitude on what we’re doing there until we can come back and bring this event back to Sharon,” Bogdan said. “It brought thousands of people here every year. I’m sure some of you have been through it or your families have been through it.”
The next Sharon City Council regular meeting is scheduled for Wednesday.