Iowa Hauntings: Spooky and Creepy Places

Iowa is flooded with paranormal locations as most of them are already widely known and discussed in the paranormal field. Below are a handful of haunted hotspots in Iowa!

The Villisca Ax Murder House

Located in Villisca, Iowa, this famous house has a chilling history that leads to its modern-day hauntings. It was the location of one of the most famous and brutal ax murders of all time. The night before the murders (June 10, 1912 – June 11), the killer was believed to have resided in the attack, waiting. The following morning, six members of the Moore family were found to have been murdered with an ax.

Today, investigators and paranormal believers claim the home is haunted by the murder victims and by the murderer. Voices have been captured on multiple occasions and people feel an evil presence in the home. For more on the Villisca Ax Murder House, visit HERE.

The Cresco Opera House

Opened in 1915 in the town of Cresco, Iowa, this theatre also made the list. The first show to be presented here was a musical called High Jinks as it held other performances over its hundred years. In 1981, it was listed under the National Register of Historic Places.

Aside from strange noise, voices, and electrical disturbances, hauntings here also include the apparitions of performers and a ghost that sits in the theatre and quickly vanishes when approached. The basement is also said to be haunted by additional entities.

Independence State Mental Hospital

Built in 1873, this hospital was used to relieve some of the crowding at another hospital in Iowa (Mount Pleasant) for those who were mentally ill, drug addicts, alcoholics, etc. Under the hospital is a chain of tunnels linking the buildings.

Like almost every old mental hospital, this one also has a gruesome past that leads to the hauntings of today. Evidence of this includes the lobotomy equipment, the graveyard, and the hydrotherapy tubs. Many employees will not enter some of the locations due to paranormal activity. People sense cold drafts, hear whispering and screaming, while others see apparitions of previous patients.

Today, the hospital is still being used as a psychiatric and rehabilitation hospital as well as a training location for nurses. But although it’s still functional with patients coming and going, some of them never left…

Edinburgh Manor

Constructed from 1910-1911, Edinburgh was used to house the incurably insane, the elderly, and the poor and was in operation until 2010.

With a record of over 150 documented deaths, it’s no surprise that this location has paranormal activity. People have caught apparitions in photos and have caught a good amount of EVPs, check out the evidence HERE.

The Black Angel of Oakland Cemetery

Established in 1843, this cemetery had served as the primary cemetery for Iowa City ever since. While it’s known for its eerie black color (though simply being a case of bronze oxidizing), it is most popularly known for the black angel monument that has a legend attached to it.

It dates back to the late 19th century involving a woman named Teresa Feldevert as she traveled to Iowa City from an area now known as the Czech-Republic and Slovakia. She had her first son named Edward who died in 1891 and she had the bronze angel statue made, transported from Chicago. Later, her husband was buried in a repository at the base of the statue, then when she died, her ashes were placed beside her husband’s.

Today, the statue is visited by many locals, especially on Halloween where students push their luck by kissing or touching the statue. It is said that by doing this, you could be struck dead if you’re not a virgin. It is also said that if a pregnant woman walks under the statue, that she will miscarry. I don’t know about you but I wouldn’t take the risk.

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Disclaimer: The information above is a combination of prior knowledge and research. No works were plagiarized, only referenced as a source of information. While anyone is welcome to comment, I attempt to make this a positive and friendly community where we can share our experiences. Any derogatory or negative comment(s) will be deleted. As always, reader discretion is advised.

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