Explore the 9 Most Haunted Places in Iowa

The Midwest, which includes Iowa, has a rich history. There were early settlers, military, aboriginal tribes, and railroad activity. However, part of that history may not have been preserved. The state is filled with stories about hauntings, paranormal manifestations, and local legends. Are you prepared for a scare? Discover some of the most haunted places in Iowa that you can visit and experience.

Banwell Bridge—Fort Dodge

The actual name for this bridge is Banwell Bridge, however, locals refer to it as Terror Bridge. This place has had its fair share of deaths since its inception in the 1800s. One railroad worker was murdered while driving piles.

Some claim you can still hear pile drivers when no one is present. Another local tradition is that a woman slaughtered her children on the tracks, however, exactly what happened is debatable. Railroad personnel frequently talk about a phantom train that still goes through the area at night. Take a late-night sail across this bridge if you dare.

Cresco Theatre and Opera House – Cresco

The Cresco Theatre and Opera House has been hosting live theatrical performances since 1915 and now screens film pictures. However, when you visit this historic place, you are in for more than just one show. Rumor has it that a lone figure sits in the theater. However, when someone approaches, the figure vanishes.

Explore the 9 Most Haunted Places in Iowa

Others have witnessed phantom figures performing on stage. The weird incidents, however, take place in the basement. There are accounts concerning flickering lights, voices, and strange noises when no one is around.

Visit: 115 2nd Ave W, Cresco, Iowa 52136.

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Edinburgh Manor—Scotch Grove

Edinburgh Manor is rumored to be haunted. The region previously housed a farm for the crippled, indigent, and mad. From 1850 to 1910, it was deemed a “poor farm” by locals. However, following more than 150 deaths, Edinburgh Manor replaced the existing structures. It started hosting the same group in 1910 and stayed open until 2010. Because all of the patient’s things remain, the location exudes an ominous atmosphere.

The current owners have documented a significant quantity of paranormal activity, which draws tourists from all over. They now give tours, and many people claim to have witnessed two unique apparitions. One is a woman dressed in white, and the other is a small girl who adores playing. Others have reported experiencing a peculiar presence while wandering the area.

Visit: 13241 E23 County Home Rd, Monticello, Iowa 52310.

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Farrar Schoolhouse—Maxwell

Explore the 9 Most Haunted Places in Iowa

This community schoolhouse was established in the early 1900s and has been operating for 80 years. After it closed in 2001, a couple bought it and began to detect unusual things. There have been stories of voices drifting through the air and lockers slamming shut when no one is around. But do not take our word for it. Visit the Farrar Schoolhouse for a tour or overnight stay (if you dare).

Visit: 11125 NE 134th Ave, Maxwell, Iowa 50161.

Franklin Hotel – Strawberry Point

The Franklin Hotel opened in the early 1900s and continues to welcome guests today. It underwent a series of repairs in the 1990s, but the activity proved insufficient to scare away any potential ghosts.

Visitors report seeing and hearing two distinct apparitions. One is a man named Leo. According to rumors, he rings the bell system nightly. The other is a “lady” named Lily. Many say she was a prostitute in the 1920s. There have been accounts of her ghostly singing and wandering at night. Furthermore, several guests have observed furniture moving on their own.

Visit: 102 Elkader Street, Strawberry Point, Iowa 52076.

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Hotel Ottumwa – Ottumwa

Explore the 9 Most Haunted Places in Iowa

Working or staying at the Hotel Ottumwa is not for the faint-hearted. This ancient hotel, built in 1915, has hosted several haunting events. Staff report seeing a woman in white in the basement and a suited gentleman in the upstairs halls. Book a stay at this historic lodge if you want a chance at a frightening encounter in one of Iowa’s most haunted locations.

Independence Mental Hospital – Independence

While Independence Mental Hospital is still open, a few wings remain vacant for an unusual reason. The personnel reported hearing screams and voices echoing across the empty portions. Other visitors to the building have experienced sharp cold drafts and heard eerie voices.

Rumors circulate that ghosts of former patients and personnel still roam the premises. Sometimes lights flicker on and off, and footsteps reverberate in the distance. Unsurprisingly, many people are concerned about the possibly haunted hospital. It started in 1873 as an asylum. For years, it housed mentally ill people and addicts of all types.

Visit: 2277 Iowa Avenue, Independence, IA 50644.

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Mason House Inn – Keosauqua

Explore the 9 Most Haunted Places in Iowa

The Mason House Inn has a colorful history. It was built in 1846 and served as an Underground Railroad station, a hospital for injured Civil War troops, and a tuberculosis treatment facility.

Visitors to the inn (together with the owners) claim various unexplained ghostly activities. There’s random music, footsteps, doors that open and close, and ghostly chatter. The inn also purportedly has a few distinct ghosts that you may encounter during your overnight visit.

Visit: 21982 Hawk Dr., Keosauqua, Iowa 52565.

Oakland Cemetery – Iowa City

This small cemetery, created in 1843, holds the Black Angel. While the angel marks the grave of a local couple, many believe it is not innocent. Rumors abound about this statue, which became black mysteriously. Some claim the artist was engaged with the dark arts. Others don’t know why it became black. However, almost everyone believes that interacting with the statue will result in tragedy.

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Explore the haunted history of Iowa with chilling tales from Banwell Bridge to the Oakland Cemetery’s mysterious Black Angel. From ghostly apparitions to unexplained phenomena, these sites offer a spine-tingling adventure. Brave the paranormal and uncover Iowa’s haunted past at these eerie locations—if you dare.

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