Iowa haunted houses and locations
Welcome to the haunted hovels section of Iowa haunted houses and locations. Please select a link below to view information on that location.
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Please note that this section is new and new locations will be added when time permits, so please check back if you don't find what your looking for. Alternatively, if you know of a haunted location that isn't in the list, then feel free to send me a message in the contact section and I'll will make it a priority to cover it for you. But for now, please enjoy what information has been provided.
Brief History of the state and it's hauntings
Iowa became a state on December 28, 1846 and was the 29th state. Although it has not seen as much bloodshed as many other states Native Americans have occupied what is now Iowa for 13,000 years and the land is littered in burial grounds and areas of Indian history.
Featured Haunted places in Iowa
Cedar falls, Blackhawk Hotel
Council Bluffs, General Dodge House
Farrar, The school house
Marengo, Old Hollis Inn
Sioux city, Morningside college
Stratford, Vegors cemetery
Other Haunted places in Iowa
Ames - Iowa State University - Memorial Union Hall
The hall pays tribute to graduates of Iowa State that died in various wars. There is a low, eerie moan that can constantly be heard in this hall. No one can figure out any logical reasons for this moan (and the college is flooded with engineering and architectural majors). Rumour has it that the moan is the voice of the only woman to graduate from ISU and die in world war 1.
Boone - The Boone News
Working at night in the old newspaper office you can hear footsteps running up or down six or so steps to and from the production area. No one is there. Also, once in a while you might here your name called and people walking upstairs. Again the place is empty.
Burlington - National Guard Armoury
Reportedly there are doors that won't stay shut and that slam shut and open again by themselves. People working there late at night have heard sounds of Horses and footsteps when there is no one there. A witness saw a reflection of a face of a man with a handle bar mustache in a computer screen and turned around to find no one there.
Cedar Falls - University of Northern Iowa
The Strayer-Wood Theatre is haunted by a ghost known affectionately by the theatre students as "Zelda", who apparently haunted the old theatre building before moving with the department into the new structure. Many theatre students have reported strange noises, including mysterious piano music when no one else was in the building, and equipment has mysteriously operated by itself.
Cedar Rapids - Coe college
There have been reports that a ghost named "Helen" haunts the place. She died of influenza in the epidemic of 1918 and her parents donated a grandfather clock, which used to be in her dorm. Students say sometimes at night her spirit leaves the clock, plays the piano in the parlour and stands by kids beds and pulls covers off them.
Cedar Rapids - Oak Hill Cemetery
It is said that Tillie, a small Czech girl, can be seen at night caring a flickering candle, and has said to have tried to pull people into a nearby Mausoleum.
Cedar Rapids - Westdale Mall
A young girl was working a late night shift, when she was about to close and turn all the lights off. The freezer door, which was shut and locked, Flung open for no apartment reason. The young girl ran and has never been alone again. It is said it is a ghost of a man whom died while building the mall.
Cedar Rapids - wildwood apartments
It is said that about 20 years ago, there was a convicted child molester living in one of the buildings. Years later one of the victim’s parents confronted the man and beat him to death. His body was found 3 days later. It is rumoured that you can still hear the innocent cries of his victims echoing in the halls late at night in wildwood apartments.
Cherokee - American Theatre - East Main St.
It has been said by the employees that work in this old movie theatre that the former owner, Mr. Goldie, haunts it. A previous theatre manager related a story about an incident that occurred to him, when he was all-alone in the theatre. Apparently one day as he was walking across the stage he looked out at the seats where the customers would sit, and he saw one seat about 3-4 rows from the front and 2 seats in rocking slowly all by itself. There are other stories to be told of the Haunting’s there, but all you need to do is come and visit.
Clarinda - Clarinda Academy
There are a lot of tunnels under the town and the Academy. They used these tunnels a long time ago for the mentally ill. They starved them down there for years. It is said that five boys have disappeared when walking through the tunnels. Many people have seen and heard footsteps and screams.
Davenport - Palmer College of Chiropractic
One of the lecture halls which were built in the middle 1800's is residence to several ghosts which have been known to fly around the ceiling, causing the hanging lamps to swing back and forth. There are neither air vents nor fans even near the ceiling. The occurrence happens on a regular basis and has been witnessed by many classes of soon to be chiropractors.
Davenport - police station - Bell Tower
When the station was first built the guards used to hang prisoners in the bell tower so no one could hear or see what they were doing. If you go east behind the police station at night and look up to the bell tower you can see the apparition of a man still hanging in the first window.
Davenport - St. Ambrose University - Ambrose Hall
When there are only a few professors left in the building late at night, they have heard strange noises. They have heard foot steps and seen lights flickering on and off. It's said that it is an old priest that died many, many years ago on the grounds the university is built on.
Des Moines - Air Lanes
Behind the bowling alley lanes there is an upstairs that is rumoured to have been used for illegal gambling in the 1920's. If you go up stairs, down the hallway, and into this room up there and wait a few minutes you can hear noises. Some of them are a lot of people talking, or you can hear dice rolling.
Des Moines - Drake University Observatory
The Drake University Observatory is said to be haunted by Dr. Robert Morehouse. He was the first Chairman of the Astronomy and Physics Department and his claim to fame was discovering a comet in the 1920's. His remains, along with those of his wife, are interred in the wall of the entryway. Students have reported many strange things happening in the basement, such as a feeling of being watched and an unknown force correcting the calculations in their observation logs.
Dubuque - Clarke College - Mary Frances Hall
Mary Frances Hall on the Clarke Campus was built in 1924. The top floor of the dormitory and the chapel is said to be haunted by the ghost of the school's founder Mary Frances Clarke. Students have accounted for unexplained footsteps in the hallway, the feeling of being watched and a shrouded figure near the chapel. Mary Benedict Hall, built in 1965, is also haunted by spirits of past students and the founding sister's of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Student's have reported seeing books and tickets being tossed from the shelving units, a shrouded figure in the hallway on the 3rd floor (west wing), water running in a bath on the 3rd floor west wing restroom in middle of night, and unexplained footsteps in the tunnel connecting Mary Benedict and Mary Josita halls.
Dubuque - The Ham House
This building is said to be one of the most haunted places in Dubuque. It was once a large private residence, but is now a museum. People have experienced classic encounters such as cold breezes, strange voices and chills running down people's spines. Several of the caretakers have reported objects mysteriously out of place and lights flickering. There have even been reports of eerie cries coming from the servant's house, the master bedroom, and the nursery.
Emmetsburg - Vacant lot behind Nauss Oil on Highway 18
There once was a motel on this sight. The people that ran the motel lived in a house across the road for a while, then the motel was demolished but the drive way is still there. Sometimes an old man in a plaid shirt and chino slacks walks along the old drive way and stops 5 or 6 times like he is checking doors.
Fort Dodge - Phillips Middle School
The school is supposedly haunted by a young boy who drowned in the pool. The boy has been sited peeking around corners and playing jokes on people. Also at night you can see a red glow and the smell of fire because of the alleged grease fire that happened in the home economics room several years ago.
Fort Madison - Iowa State Penitentiary
Built in the 1800's. In the solitary confinement area, Guards refuse to go to the end of the corridor at night. Inmates have experienced cold spots, heard unexplainable moaning and chains clanking, seen apparitions and have been choked or physically attacked while alone in their 8x5(or smaller) locked cell.
Glenwood - Nuckolls Street
Located a block down the hill from the former Iowa Institution for Feeble Minded Children along the original banks of Keg Creek. Mostly it’s been the typical kitchen cabinets opening and shutting for no reason along with cold spots and the feeling of an unseen presence. It’s an old small house I bought a few years ago that was built before 1880. If I tell whatever-it-is to knock it off and go away things seem to calm down for awhile.
Grinnell - Grinnell College
According to an article in the Des Moines Register, there is an old wheelchair on the stage of the performing arts building. It belonged to the director of the theatre dept, who retired by dying. Its said to roll out on stage during rehearsals or performances for no reason. The students think its the friendly spirit of the theatre director.
Hamburg - Catholic Cemetery
Occasional sightings of a female apparition have been seen kneeling at the feet of the three Virgin Mary statues. Some have reported hearing wailing from the statues themselves.
Independence - Buchanan County Court House
A man was hung sometime in the late 1800's to the early 1900's there, but when they hung him his neck didn’t snap, so he died slowly. Now he is supposed to haunt the building at night, walking around the premises. A man, who spent the night in one of the cells, said he saw it, but that it was a man hanging from a rope that went up into the ceiling.
Indianola - Simpson College
In the late 1800s, a woman fell down the staircase of College Hall. She was apparently walking from the third floor when she tripped, broke her neck during the fall, and died instantly. On every Friday the 13th, it is said you can see her reflection or "shadow" in the third floor window while stepping on the college seal exactly at midnight.
Iowa City - Black Angel & Little Girl Statues
Reports of a glowing shape walking through the cemetery, believed to be the spirit of the Black Angel. She is also said to watch people and strange lights have appeared in connection with this statue. In there with the Black Angel is a small statue of a girl that is set up on a column. If you walk under her and around her she will pick out someone in your group and stare at them until they leave. Also the closer you get to the little girl statue the warmer it gets. The farther you get the colder it gets. This however, sounds a little far fetched to me.
Iowa City - University of Iowa - Currier Hall
According to rumour, a triple suicide occurred on the fourth floor when three dorm mates found themselves to be in love with the same man. They reappear to bickering roommates in order to promote friendship and harmony. There has also been a sighting of an older man on the E300's section of the building. This stern-faced man is the father of a former tenant of Currier Hall.
Iowa City - Slater Hall - Floor One
Legend has it that a young student jumped to his death from the ninth floor. Ever since, footsteps can be heard, screams, and many residents have seen the young man's ghost walking late at night carrying an axe.
Iowa Falls - Thompson Hall Dormitory
This dorm and Union Cemetery across the road are both haunted. One resident advisor was spending the Christmas holiday in the dorm alone, and reported hearing footsteps and voices from the unoccupied basement floor, which was locked up, and no one could get into. There have also been sightings of Mr. Ellsworth (a town benefactor) and other ghosts in the cemetery, and strange noises can be heard in both places.
Johnson County - North Liberty - Green castles Cemetery
This is a very old cemetery, No one has been buried there in years. When you go there at night the dirt seems freshly dug by many of the stones, as if someone was buried there that day. Tombstones supposedly move around all by themselves. Many people have seen a witch in black with long dark hair who she talks to young children. She looks like she is between 16 and 18 yrs. old.
Madrid - Mt Hope Cemetery
Toward the back of the cemetery there are five graves of children from the same family. One of them is Sara. Her apparition likes to follow visitors around and several have said they hear a child's voice asking for someone called Ree. If she is not answered she will tug at clothes and touch people.
Marion - Group home for disabled adults
Many unexplainable things have happened here. Doors opening and slamming shut by themselves, cooking utensils flying out of their holder for no reason, knobs turned on the oven and coffee maker while no one is in the room and fluorescent light bulb bursting even though it wasn't turned on.
Marshalltown - Riverside Cemetery
There is a chair made from concrete that looks like it is made of wood, that supposedly if you sit in it you will die within one year. There are rumours that some people, who died very normal deaths (like car accidents), sat in the chair a month or two before their deaths.
Missouri Valley - Roberts House
In the Winter months, at night you can hear, vividly, footfalls on the basement steps then a very loud crash, as if someone on the steps fell and hit the walls very hard. On the top floor sounds of doors closing, and water turning on and off. Outside, usually around midnight, A Very loud boom sound, as if an entire wall was knocked in, is CLEARLY, heard. Smells of flowers and items being misplaced are reported.
Mitchellville - Iowa Correctional Institute For Women
Two little girls are repeatedly spotted wandering around these grounds, and another can be heard singing in the basement of one of the oldest buildings there, who they are remains a mystery.
Muscatine - Greenwood Cemetery
If you walk down the centre of the cemetery you will hear the sound of footsteps running at you but when you turn to look at the direction the noise is coming from you will see nothing. A strong feeling of being watched and followed is felt. Even reports of a strange scream that seems to come from the other side of the cemetery but can hurt your ears at the same time.
Muscatine - Old Hershey Street Hospital
Some times you will be walking past the old hospital and the curtains will flutter or you might catch a glimpse of movement through the balcony. It was present during the civil war times and the owner says that sometimes he hears a stumble or a person limping at night.
Newton - Children's Forest
It is known that a neighbouring resident found an antique glass jar in the woods of Children's Forest. A week later, when the jar was kept inside the resident's garage, a group of teenagers saw a depressed Indian walking through a table. The next day they busted the jar against a tree inside the Forest, and now they say you can hear Indian calls from within the woods.
North Liberty - Green Pond
By the trailer park, across the rail road tracks is a narrow path leading to an unexpected pond called Green Pond in a small area of trees. The area was previously used for witchcraft and worship and the legend now says that if you go before the pond a woman will rise from it. Years ago 2 children went missing and there bikes were found in the bottom of the pond.
Pacific Junction - Ghost Town
It is said that on the other side of the train tracks, on some private property, there are some haunted houses. There have been sightings of orbs and also at least 3 entities. It is located just outside of town in between it and Glenwood.
Polk - Pleasant Hill - El Azteca Restaurant
When this restaurant was called Clay's, one evening while dining a butter knife forged it's way up between two tables that were pushed together (teeth side up) and fell suddenly on the floor. Witnessed by two people there was no possible reasoning behind this action - very bizarre!
Oakdale - Iowa Medical and Classification Centre
At night on certain units, especially segregation, you can sometimes see the shadowy figure of a man walking along the cells. You can only see the head and shoulders. Eerie feelings and cold sensations are also very common. More than a few guards and inmates have reported experiencing this.
Oskaloosa - Youngberg house
Faint, deep moans can be heard on the second story. Feet have appeared to be dangling down from the attic door. Right when you get up on the second story, an overwhelming feeling of fear and pain is reported by the owners. The house has had many owners and has been around for nearly 100 years.
Ottumwa - Good Samaritan center
The following statement was submitted by "Kak":
My grandma and my aunt were at Good Sam doing some paper work. My grandma had told my aunt to sit in the living room. So my aunt goes into the living room. Then, she come running and crying. Well my grandma looked up and my aunt said "Scary man in the living room!" So my grandma checks it out. Nothing was there. 2 years later my grandma saw the same thing, she claims it was the Grim ripper!!! There has also been similar reports like this.
Another story about this goes as follows:
A lady was screaming one night that she would not go to sleep until the lady left the room, the people on duty that night tried to explain that there was nobody in the room. The lady replied that "yes there is, she's sitting at the end of my bed". Sure enough there was an area on the bed that was pushed down that looked like there was somebody there, but there wasn’t. The people noticed this and talked to the "invisible ghost" saying that "your scaring this poor lady and she cant go to sleep, could you please leave the room for tonight so she can get to sleep." sure enough right after they said that the spot on the bed went back to its normal stage where it didn’t look like anybody was sitting there, the lady calmed down and went to sleep, but there have been more reports of the same thing at good Sam’s since then.
Ottumwa - house of ghosts
In 1856 there was a man who had to go to war. His wife had died when his daughter was two. He had died the third week of war. His daughter and their servants were very sad. Three years after he had died she was 13 and she got sick. She died in 1870. In 1996 Brad Leedom was taking a shower in the house. Then he heard something up stairs. He walked up the stairs and saw writing on the window it said "Are You My Father". It is said on calm nights you can hear her singing and playing.
Ottumwa - Mars Hill
There are many legends about Mars Hill, a church and cemetery outside of Ottawa. There is said to be a "suffocating force" upon the place. Thumping against the side of your car along with dirty little hand prints have been experienced by several people.
Sioux city - Airport
Reports of orbs showing up on photos, moans and screams on the runway. United Flight 232 crashed there on July 19, 1989, and 112 of the 376 on board died.
Sioux City - Cavalry Cemetery
Many visitors report two things after walking through the grounds: Their ears ring persistently, and they feel the sensation of fingertips or cobwebs drifting over their face. Some report that both sensations get stronger as they approach a gravestone with a tree growing out of it. Half of the tree is dead and half of it still produces green leaves every year.
Sioux City - KD Station
Update - this locaton has been torn down
The building was originally built around 1915 as a state-of-the-art meat packing plant. However, shortly after it was built the company went bankrupt. It was later purchased by Swift and Co. who operated a packing operation in it for many years. In 1949, however, a gas leak caused an explosion that killed a number of people. Later after Swift moved out it was purchased and made into a shopping centre that included store shops, a bowling alley and a miniature golf course. Many employees and customers alike have reported strange happenings here. There at one time was a terrace that had lights that required them to be unscrewed to turn off. One night a guard turned them off and proceeded to close the two doors that were required to be entered to get back into the building. He reported that something made him get the urge to turn around and he saw that all the lights were back on. In the time it took him to go back inside there was no way someone would have time to screw back in all the lights and there was no on/off switch for these lights. He also reported times when it seemed the elevators were moving when they really were not. This happened to other patrons also. For many years, the owners of the building used to print on their brochure "Paul Pulaski, our in house ghost welcomes you”.
Sioux City - pre school
Orbs have been seen on the first floor where children sleep. It also seems that there has been a sighting of a young male there as well. All the activities seem to only be done there in the lower level. The ghost maybe that of a young man who was gunned down on the Morningside loop during the mid 1990's. It used to be Lutheran Social Services at one time.
Sioux City - Sioux City Auditorium
A former worker for 10 years reports: The building was constructed in a period of 10 years during the 1940's and the date of completion was possibly 1950. Upon starting the older employees would always talk of "Rodriguez". He was one of 2 resident ghosts in the building. There was actually a building electrician that died in the late 50's by the name of Rodriguez. In those days they had to manually lubricate high-powered electrical connections before they would have a show. Rodriguez as the building electrician was responsible for this. One day before a show he turned off the power to the electrical junction so he could perform his duty. He told another employee that he would be done in 10 minutes and that the other employee could then turn the power back one. Well the other employee waited the 10 minutes and turned on the power. 2 hours later Rodriguez wife showed up with a new suit for him because it was his birthday. They searched the building and found him dead by the electrical box electrocuted. He haunts the building to this day with flickering lights and lights turning on when they’re not supposed to be, as well as just a general coldness in the area of his death. The other ghost is that of a 12-year-old boy. He and his friend in the early 60's climbed up on the roof of the building to hunt pigeons. He became separated from his friend and his friend left thinking he was gone already. The missing child was not found for 2 weeks until a foul smell was detected at the bottom of a roof exhaust that was meant for a boiler that was never installed. The total fall was over 150 feet, and the shaft was hastily completed with many sharp edges and exposed rebar jutting into it. It was not a pretty sight. He frequents the roof doors and the bottom of the shaft. When you enter the roof you can hear screams as you get closer to the area of the fall. The bottom of the shaft is gone now but still it is very cold in the general area and even through the banter of the HVAC system you can hear faint crying.
Stockport - Silos
Stockport is an old run down town and on the outskirts of it there are two silos where a little boy once jumped across and fell to his death, its said can still see his figure jumping back and forth.
Storm Lake - Swope Hall 305
The ghosts name is supposedly Mary. She died of lead poisoning causing her to go crazy and jump out of the third floor window of her house that used to be located in the same location as Swope Hall Room 305. She likes to open and close doors, even when locked, and will open and close the closet doors of that room. Also will venture into other rooms and play pranks, especially with electrical equipment.
Villisca - Villisca Axe Murder House
Believed to be haunted by the family that was murdered there. Doors slam, and ghosts can be heard talking. Also the apparitions of the family members have been witnessed in the area by several witnesses.
Webster City - Hamilton County Hospital
Years ago a med student killed himself in the old surgery room. It was on the 3rd floor along with obstetrics. The large heavy doors have been heard opening and slamming, but no one is there. On the 3rd shift and in the evenings is when this always happens. Also many patients and nurses have reported seeing a nurse in a white uniform in the dark halls and in the rooms. Call lights going off in empty rooms.
West Union - Hardee's
The old cemetery used to be located there, and when the highways came through, it was built over. Employees have had things misplaced, heard their name being called when no one is there, and have very cold spots in the building year round. There was one incident with an Ouija board, where a ghost claimed to be embodied in a moth flying around. When one of the players taunted it to fly at her, it flew over several persons to land on her face.
Williamsburg - Leisure Bench
A private memorial built by the Leisure family who's cemetery plots are together in front of this cement bench which is constantly warm all year round, a figure has been seen sitting in this bench but then suddenly disappear. Its identity is unknown.
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