6 Truly Terrifying Ghost Stories That Prove Council Bluffs Is The Most Haunted City In Iowa

haunted houses in council bluffs iowa

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Council Bluffs, Iowa is home to 62,230 people, is the county seat of Pottawattamie County and is located right across the Missouri River from Omaha, Nebraska. It is also home to quite a few haunted sites that will send chills down your spine. These 6 truly terrifying ghost stories will prove to you that Council Bluffs is the most haunted city in Iowa.

haunted houses in council bluffs iowa

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haunted houses in council bluffs iowa

Have you had any supernatural encounters in Council Bluffs? For more spooky Iowa stories, These 10 Terrifying Places In Iowa Will Haunt Your Dreams Tonight .

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Research Haunted Places

The Haunted General Dodge’s House in Council Bluffs, Iowa

A haunted location: General Dodge’s House in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

Details: The Dodge House was owned by General Dodge and his family.

The community has tours go through it, to make some money off of its beauty and age…The real story is that General Dodge is still there wandering around or sitting in his rocking chair.

Around dusk everyday, you can hear 2 men arguing if you stand in the middle of the street.

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Written by: Jessica Street

Published on: September 30, 2022

haunted houses in council bluffs iowa

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haunted houses in council bluffs iowa

Table of Contents

Do You Know The Haunted History Of The General Dodge’s House?

It has been rumoured that the General Dodge’s House in Council Bluffs, Iowa is a haunted location. We’ll explain why people think this below. Do you think the rumors are true?

Why Is The General Dodge’s House Haunted?

The Dodge House was owned by General Dodge and his family.

Late at night you can see small flashes of light around the dodge house lawn, and get a very faint smell of fire.

Dodge’s wife died and in her remembrance they made a statue of her and put it in the front of the cemetery.

The statue is known as The Dark Angel.

Her eyes follow you no matter what direction you go.

Whoever is “blessed” by here is on the sickly side from then on.

Do you love haunted spots? Check out other haunted places in Iowa below

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What do you think about the haunted history of General Dodge’s House in Council Bluffs, Iowa?

Do you believe it’s true?

We’d love to hear what you think in the comments below.

DISCLAIMER: We don’t advocate that anyone goes here, this post is for informational purposes only.

Jessica Street

Meet Jessica Street, a content creator at Scary HQ, a blog that delves into the world of the eerie and unexplained. Jessica is a true crime aficionado and an avid lover of all things terrifying. From true crime podcasts to horror movies, she devours anything related to the genre. But don't let her fascination with the macabre fool you, Jessica is a kind and compassionate individual with a heart of gold. In her free time, Jessica can be found exploring abandoned buildings, investigating local crime cases, and reading the latest crime novels. She's also a member of a local book club where they exclusively read true crime books. Her love for true crime and horror is matched only by her love for her audience, and she pours her heart and soul into every post on Scary HQ. Join Jessica on her journey as she uncovers the secrets of the scariest places and shares with you the stories that will keep you on the edge of your seat. With her sharp wit and unique perspective, Jessica is sure to make your experience at Scary HQ a wild and thrilling ride.

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The Haunted Stony Hollow in Burlington, Iowa

The haunted historical museum in dakota city, iowa.

haunted houses in council bluffs iowa

Madness Haunted House

Own this Attraction?

Madness Haunted House is a Haunted Attraction located in Council Bluffs, IA.


21534 Chestnut Road, Council Bluffs, IA 51503

Special Directions: Located at Pioneer Trail Orchard

( Click for Fullscreen Map )

About This Attraction:

Haunt Types:


Min. Recommended Age: 12

Madness Haunted House Facebook Page

Promo Pics:

haunted houses in council bluffs iowa

Guest Reviews Guest Average: 9.86 out of 10

Jessica Sawyer – 10 / 10 – October 22, 2016 I know the people who put it together. I’ve gone through his other attractions and they’ve all been …show more good and this one is definitely a great haunted house to go to for Halloween. I’m definitely going back,you never know what’s next.

Scully – 10 / 10 – October 20, 2016 Amazing design, amazing actors and its for charity! What better reason to get scared??? And If you …show more bring a food or clothing donation they take a dollar off the ticket price!

Izzy – 10 / 10 – October 15, 2016 Love this place a scare in every room and knock & cranny… Definitely keeps you on your toes… …show more Loads of fun

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See anything that needs updated? Let Us Know!

Disclaimer from The Scare Factor: Our listings are usually only updated a couple of times per year. A lot can change in that amount of time, especially during Halloween season. For this reason, even though we try our best to provide the most accurate and up-to-date information possible, it is ultimately your responsibility as a customer to do your own due diligence and research the attractions directly that you would like to visit. We are not liable for any mistakenly inaccurate information that you may find on our website. We appreciate your understanding and, as always, stay scary! ~ The Scare Factor

The Scare Factor provides reviews and directory listings for Halloween haunted houses, haunted trails, haunted hayrides, scream parks, and other types of haunted attractions.

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Haunted Attraction

Council bluffs, iowa.

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11 Haunted Houses & Scary Attractions near Omaha

Find many Haunted Houses in Omaha and other Scary Halloween Attractions locally and in the surrounding area!

Please Note: Be sure to check the age restrictions as most are not recommended for children under a certain age. Parental discretion is advised.

Please Note: It is always a good idea to verify before visiting as details may change.

Haunted Houses in Omaha and Other Scary Attractions

Bloodrush: forest of terror.

233rd & W Maple Rd, Elkhorn, NE Opens for Season: Sept 29 – Nov 3rd 2023 Bloodrush features over a mile of pure fear in 4 ACRES OF forest, VIP Haunted Party Bus, FIRE PIT, and more

Camp Fear and Nightmare Theatre

Elkhorn Shores – 23301 W Maple Road, Elkhorn ,   NE   68022 Open for Season: Sept 29-30th, Oct: 6-7, 12-14, 19-21, 27-28 2023 Come watch Spooky Movies with us Under the Stars!  Doors Open at 6:30pm, Movies start at 7:30pm.  Family Friendly and Scary Movie Nights! Watch for Theme Nights all Season!

Dungeon of the Damned

1209 Jackson Street, Omaha, NE 68102 Opens for Season: Sept 29th – Oct 29th 2023 A Labyrinth of Horror, Fun and Surprises.  Descend into darkness at Omaha’s newest haunted attraction, Dungeon of the Damned. Face your fears and fuel your nightmares in this massive labyrinth of terror.

Haunted Hollow Scream Park

12501 Old Giles Rd., La Vista, NE Opens for Season: Sept 29th – Oct 31st 2023 This experience is NOT for the faint of heart…unfolding every weekend through Halloween, amidst eerie live music, spooky paranormal investigators and more murderous mayhem.

Madness Haunted House

Mall of the Bluffs, 1751 Madison Ave., Council Bluffs, IA Open for Season: Sept. 22nd – Oct 31th 2023 Madness Haunted House is a pro-haunt in the Omaha metro area. Parental discretion is advised for kids under 12.

Ranch of Terror and “Darkness” The Hayride Experience at Bellevue Berry & Pumpkin Ranch

Bellevue Berry & Pumpkin Ranch, 11001 S. 48th St., Papillion, NE Open for Season: Sept. 15th – Oct 31st 2023 Join in the most thrilling, spine-tingling horror experience in the Omaha area. Haunt features a twisted walk through a haunted house, caves and zombie jail as well as a frightening hayrack ride through the woods.

Scary Acres

17272 Giles Rd., Omaha, NE Open for Season: Sept. 15th – Oct 31st 2023 Twenty acres of Halloween inspiration has been unleashed within the Park, including three of Omaha’s most terrifying Attractions…the Master’s Castle, the House on the Hill, and the Haunted Woods.

Shadow’s Edge – This will be their final season!

3457 S. 84th St., Omaha, NE. (in front of Mangelsen’s 2 blocks north of I-80 on 84th St.) Open for Season: Sept 29th – Oct 31st 2023 Omaha’s Premier Haunted Experience returns to Mangelsen’s at the Westgate Plaza. The Shadow’s Edge is rated 13 and up. Parental discretion is advised.

Skinny Bones Pumpkin Patch Haunted Night

3935 State Hwy. 133, Blair, NE Opens for Season: Haunted Nights are Saturdays from 6 – 10 p.m. Scarers move through the giant corn maze, anxiously awaiting their next victim. No flashlights allowed. (The haunted corn maze is limited to 1 time per person).

Museum of Shadows

Downtown Omaha – 1110 Douglas St, Omaha, NE 68102 Open Year Round: Wednesday – Sunday 2:00p.m. – 10:00 p.m. Museum Of Shadows is located on 2 levels of a four-story building, voted one of the most haunted museums in the world! The museum houses over 3000 verified haunted artifacts, donated from not only across the United States but multiple countries.

Haunted Houses near Omaha

Eagle hollow haunts.

Eagle Raceway, 617 S. 238th St., Eagle, NE Open for Season: Sept 29th – Oct 28th 2023 Eagle Hollow Haunts will be open Friday and Saturday nights starting October 8th. Grab your friends and make your plans now to visit us for the 2021 season.

Hillside House of Hell

114 Green Street, Glenwood, IA Open for Season: Sept 16th- Nov 4th 2023 An all-new experience in fear! Hillside House of Hell is something you need to see to believe. 

Roca Scary Farm

16531 S. 38th St., Roca, NE. Open for Season: Sept. 22nd, 2023 More than a haunted house, it’s a haunted farm! 

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Council Bluffs Iowa

Squirrel cage jail, this former jail is still holding four spectral guests of the state., two spirits of senior staff members still like to closely supervise museum folks., description.

Tom and I took the self-guided tour of the Squirrel Cage Jail on our road trip during the summer of 2021. It is quite a building, with no wasted space; making good use of every square foot.

This sturdy 1885 Victorian brick building is a four story, revolving “human rotary or lazy Susan” jail located at the back of the first three floors; one of three revolving jails left in the United States.

Known as squirrel cages, the thirty cells were like pieces of pie in a circular structure made of three tiers of cells stacked on top of each other and located under the fourth floor superintendent’s apartment. This jail was built in the spirit of a Victorian jail where the superintendent lived in the same structure as the inmates.

Each floor in this kind of jail had one door for each tier of ten connected cells. A hand crank on each floor would turn the ten cells until the one in question lined up with the door on its respective floor. Today, the cells no longer rotate. It would cost $10,000.00 to get this rotation in working order again. Many cells haven’t been turned for around 30 plus years!

On our first visit many years ago while Tom and I couldn’t see the inside because the Squirrel Cage Jail Museum was closed, but an older man was sitting on a bench, in front of the Squirrel Cage Jail. He told me, with a rueful grin, that he had spent some time in “The Squirrel Cage” when he was a young man, caught doing stupid stuff.

On this second visit, the building was open. We could walk all the way around the first floor of the squirrel cage jail cells tier, in the ground floor space. A picnic table where inmates could sit and probably see visitors and eat, was in the back of this section. You can look all the way up to the third floor top tier standing in the back of the first floor jail tier cells. It did indeed look like a giant, three story, squirrel cage. The jail is pretty ugly and depressing inside.

In the front part of the first floor by the front door is a foyer of sorts, with central and side metal stairs that lead up to the second and third floor rooms and jail cell tiers, ending at the fourth floor where the Superintendent’s Apartment was located.

The first floor had an induction into jail office on the right side, and a small, dark closet cell for uncooperative drunks. Another room across the foyer, now an exhibit area was a used in the running of this jail.

The first floor and second floor cell tiers were for petty crime offenders; men, women and juveniles. Some were awaiting a hearing in court while others were serving county time.

The jail’s second floor has a juvenile section located above the induction office. Another set of cells on the other side was for women in trouble with the law. There was another room for a prisoner trustee, a model prisoner who was given additional responsibilities and allowed to stay in this space. The cells for male inmates are in the back of the second floor, on top of the first floor tier of cells.

The third floor had an apartment for the Assistant Jailer, an infirmary & apartment for the onsite doctor, and cells reserved for inmates accused of murder and other dastardly crimes.

The entire fourth floor was an apartment for the Superintendent and his family. The Superintendent’s apartment would’ve been a lovely place to stay and make a home for everyone in the family.

There are various items on display that must have brought great fun to family life; a piano, music box, a bookcase, chairs and sofas to sit in and be together, as well as a dining room, bedrooms, and a bathroom. There probably was a TV set and stereo during the later years that the jail was open.

In the areas located in the front part of each floor are interesting exhibits about the inmates who stayed here, the jailers who took care of them and many other interesting stories and artifacts.

A violent criminal with the last name of Bird was held in the third floor tier cell for his criminal court trial in Council Bluffs Courthouse. After being tried and convicted, he was sent to state prison. When he was let out for good behavior, he fled Iowa for Washington state where he killed a mother and daughter with an axe in Tacoma. He was caught, convicted was sent to die on death row in a Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla.

A traveling clown by the name of Richard Wilson was often brought into the jail for his own protection, where he also enjoyed a hot meal and a bed to sleep in. He was known as the Clown King, and was once elected in a clown gathering in Iowa.

After the morgue for the Episcopalian Church was torn down on this parcel of land to make room for the jail, the first superintendent, J.M. Carter, oversaw its construction, and spent the longest time working as jailer in charge than any other superintendent.

The jail was occupied by guests of the county continuously from 1884 until 1969, for eighty-five years! The superintendent J.M. Carter and his family and other superintendents who followed, lived at their workplace, which was the custom in the 19th, early 20th century.

In its early days, the hardened criminals and killers awaiting their execution were locked up here in third floor tier cells, according to the free info card which is available when the museum is closed. The last two men hung in Iowa spent their final hours in this facility. The chore of holding “dead men walking”and hardened, violent criminals was later passed onto full-blown prisons.

In its heyday, the holding cells for defendants awaiting trial at the Council Bluffs Criminal Court building and a place to put men, women and juvenile delinquents who were serving county time for various less serious, petty crime offenses.

After it closed for good in 1969, this structure was bought in 1971 by the Council Bluffs Park Board for Preservation. They did all the right things in a timely manner to ensure that this building would be protected and spared from the fate of many older buildings in the 1970’s and ’80’s; a date with the wrecking ball.

The first thing they did was to work on getting this building put on the list of the National Register of Historic Places, in 1972, making it really hard to tear the building down.

Another problem remained though. Having cost $30,000 dollars to build in 1884-’85, the price tag must have been way too high for the Council Bluffs Park Board’s restoration budget. They sought help from the professionals who know how to raise money for such a cause.

In 1977, The Historical Society of Pottawattamie County raised the funds needed to save and renovate the building for future generations. In 1979, the Historical Society of Pottawattamie County bought this gorgeous building and turned it into a museum, and have been in charge ever since.


Apparently, this museum is still a jail for spirits, made complete with two spectral superintendents supervising everyone; dead or alive.

Jails and prisons are notoriously known to be haunted. Because of the stress of captivity in small, depressing, uncomfortable cells, and as a result of the suffering, drama, and death which can happen happens naturally or unnaturally in such an unpleasant place of confinement.

Alcatraz Prison National Park, CA (Inmates and guards who died at the hands of others or killed themselves still are there).

The Crown Point Sheriff’s House and Jail Building, IN (An inmate who suffered a bad hanging is still here).

Allegan Jail, MI (Past inmates who perhaps died here are still serving their time).

Squirrel Cage Jail, IA (Of the four people died here while serving time. One inmate had a heart attack, and one killed himself or herself in their cell).

Needless deaths from dumb accidents left the spirits who died this way frustrated, angry at themselves, sometimes ashamed and restless, with a need to rejoin their lives, which were so suddenly taken from them.

Fort Worden Guard House, WA (A guard at the base jail guard house accidentally killed himself while cleaning his gun).

Willamette Heritage Center, OR (A workman was killed in the Thomas Kay Woolen Mill because of a preventable mistake done by him or a fellow worker).

The Palace Theater, NY (A tragic mistake led to a haunting, due to embarrassment and shame. A tightrope performer fell off the rope and died. He is still trying to get it right).

Squirrel Cage Jail, IA (There were two such deaths here. One death was caused by a foolish prisoner stunt. He died after falling from the third level of the jail cage, while trying to write his name on the ceiling).

(The second preventable death happened during a farmer’s strike in 1932, when eighty-four people were arrested. The police were armed with machine guns, to ensure there would be no jail breaks from the angry crowd. No officers were killed by the crowds, but one died when he accidentally shot himself).

Sometimes people in charge of a jail or hotel, airplane or other structure are heavily invested in their work, and have a tough time letting go when their earthly life has ended, and stick around to help the living do things right!

Bullock Hotel, SD (The spirit of Seth Bullock lost faith in the living when they allowed gambling in his hotel. He is now front and center, keeping an eye on wily employees and taking care of the guests; even doing bed checks).

J.P. Speed Museum, KY (The spirit of Mrs. Speed still wants to supervise the living who work here).

Hearthstone Historic House, WI (The spirit of Mr. Priest can’t help himself. He needs to supervise the living like he did while alive with the employees at his factory).

Squirrel Cage Jail, IA (Apparently two spirits of former superintendents are still on the job, sharing the top floor apartment, supervising the living and looking after the spirits that are still here).

haunted houses in council bluffs iowa


A female child spirit.

(This could’ve been a woman who wanted to be seen as a little girl, or an actual little girl who was caught committing petty crime in the late 1800s or 1900s).

A woman working on a project in the building was startled to see a spirit of a sad little girl, dressed in gray, sitting in one of the cells, probably in the Juvenile Cells; unavailable to the living.

Visitors have felt an unseen presence tugging on their clothes, like a child would do.

The head docent told me that one day one of her earrings suddenly went missing.

She found it on the sink in the bathroom the next day.

She has heard the music box in the 4th floor apartment turn itself on.

Items in the museum have been moved to odd places.

Negative Feelings

Feelings of depression and sadness radiate from various cells.

Sad, unseen presences still doing their county time are felt by sensitive people and mediums.

Spirits of Two Supervisors

There are two candidates for what supervisor is haunting the jail, though it seems that both are in residence!

The paranormal activity which happens outside the cell areas, in the hallways, especially in the fourth floor apartment, is thought to be caused by either or both of these restless entities.

In the late 1950s, when Bill Foster became the new superintendent, he experienced enough paranormal activity to realize that the former occupants of the fourth floor apartment were still existing there, despite being deceased! He chose to bunk on the second floor instead!

Spirit of J M Carter

The entity of the first superintendent, J.M. Carter, is thought by some to be the restless, intense spirit who never gave up his position.

This spirit has hung around checking up on jailers and prisoners alike over the years that this building was a jail.

Other living superintendents knew that they had a spectral manager making sure that they did a good job in Carter’s jail.

Apparently, he has assigned himself the new job of watching the living as well as still looking after the spirits still doing time.

The Spirit of Otto Gudath

He was a superintendent at the Squirrel Cage Jail from 1949 to 1958.

A full body apparition of Otto was seen by witnesses on the 4th floor.

He apparently is also keeping an eye on the living and the spirits who are still serving time.

The Dynamic Duo!

These two entities have perhaps teamed up in their after-life retirement years!

Visitors, and remaining spirits are well supervised indeed!

Though deemed to be friendly and cordial, these presences still supervise the museum staff, perhaps looking over the shoulders of the staff to see their progress as they run the museum.

On-Going Activity

Needless to say, the spectral superintendents follow the living around the third and fourth floor, keeping a close eye on visitors.

Doors have opened and closed by themselves, as they go about their business.

The main docent told me that she hears footsteps in the Juvenile detention cells just above the office.

“Staff and Volunteers have heard footsteps, voices, whispers, and doors moving,” Kat Slaughter, the HSPS museums manager says. “Some have seen dark shadows move across the stairs or past doorways. “


Past and present staff, volunteers and visitors to this interesting museum, have had boatloads of personal experiences; the full sports package, as mentioned above under the Manifestations section.

“The jail has received national attention about its hauntings with spots on Travel Channel’s Most Terrifying Places and Ghost Adventures Serial Killer Spirits.” (Unleashed Council Bluffs Blog Source)

Auditory evidence: EVPs have been recorded. A boatload of hard evidence has been caught by many paranormal investigation groups. “Paranormal investigators have found EVPs (audio recordings) of voices and sounds of things that weren’t there,” Kat Slaughter said. “They caught photos and videos of shadows as well. Their equipment has picked up EMF hits in areas where there shouldn’t be any electromagnetic interference.”

Paranormal activity in the cells has been caught as well. About 25-30 orbs were caught on film inside the cell area by PRISM paranormal investigators. These orbs corresponded to electromagnetic spikes on special meters, and also to abnormal temperature fluctuations on infrared thermometers.

Psychic Investigations by mediums and psychics have felt great sadness from presences inside the cells.

Investigation Groups have also had personal experiences. Two investigators felt tugs on their clothes by unseen hands, which backs up claims by the staff and visitors who have had the same experience.

Paranormal Activity witnessed in the 4th floor apartment; a hot spot. Paranormal groups who investigate at the Squirrel Cage Jail are never disappointed here as there is always recorded activity.

When I, Julie Carr went into the superintendent’s apartment, I got really dizzy from the presence of a spirit or two, perhaps showing me around.

A picture of a male apparition, taken by a PRISM investigator, was caught on film from outside a window on the fourth floor, where the superintendent lived.

An unseen presence walking in the fourth floor apartment has been heard by the living.

Odd light balls have been noticed there as well.

Cabinet doors have opened by themselves.


Yes Indeed!

PRISM members and CAPT paranormal investigation groups are just two of the many groups who have recorded scientific evidence which suggests that, while The Squirrel Cage Jail closed its doors long ago, some inmates and superintendents are still there, unable to let go.

Some spirits died physically here, while others died emotionally and spiritually. Strong emotions keep them stuck in their cells, still serving time, as they can’t let go of this low point in their lives.

The two spectral superintendents who truly were dedicated to their jobs here, are not ready to retire just yet, because they think that the spirits who are still serving time, as well as the living, need them to continue on in their jobs they once had in this world.

Squirrel Cage Jail 226 Pearl Street Council Bluffs, Iowa 51503

Pottawattamie County Squirrel Cage Jail is now being preserved as a museum, and is open for tours.

Pottawattamie County Squirrel Cage Jail can be found in the downtown area of Council Bluffs, on Pearl Street, which is a one way street, running south. It is near the corner of Pearl and Willow Avenue. The Squirrel Cage Jail is just south of Willow Avenue and north of 5th Avenue, and sits on a small park, located just right of the modern Council Bluffs police station and jail complex.


  • Squirrel Cage Self-Guided Tour
  • A Haunted History of the Squirrel Cage Jail,(This post was originally published on October 30, 2019 on the Unleash Council Bluffs blog).
  • Historic Pottawatamie County Squirrel Cage Jail handout.
  • thehistoricalsociety.org/Jail.htm
  • doyouseedeadpeople.org/
  • doyouseedeadpeople.org/inv_pott_jail2.html
  • CarrollAreaParanormalTeam.com
  • Haunted Places, The New Directory, by Dennis William Hauck, pg. 175, Penguin Books, 2002

Our Haunted Paranormal Stories are Written by Julie Carr

Visit the memorable… Milwaukee Haunted Hotel


Haunted History of Squirrel Cage Jail

Spooky tour of the haunted Squirrel Cage jail (Part 1), Council Bluffs, Iowa. (Human rotary).


The Ghosts of The Squirrel Cage Jail (Serial Killer Was Here)

HAUNTED SQUIRREL CAGE JAIL | Full Paranormal Investigation


haunted houses in council bluffs iowa

Your Paranormal Road Trip

Enjoy… magic up-close.

haunted houses in council bluffs iowa

Find a haunts across the country

haunted houses in council bluffs iowa

Get spooked with Iowa ghost stories and 170-plus haunted places to explore  — we dare you

Creepy cemeteries, haunted hallways, sinister schools ... here are hundreds of ghosts stories to send chills down your spine.

haunted houses in council bluffs iowa

Do you believe in ghosts?

The Des Moines Register assembled a list of more than 170 haunted places across Iowa with reports of paranormal activity, as collected by the  Shadowlands Haunted Places Index . These reports are from folks around the U.S., entered in their own words.

Wondering if these ghost stories are real? Check them out for yourself.

We dare you. 

More: These 9 creepy Iowa ghost stories will give you goosebumps

Ackley, Iowa, Hazel Green Cemetery

It's an old cemetery about 5 miles south of Ackley out in the country. There’s a gazebo and there is said to be an old lady sitting in a rocking chair holding a baby.

Algona, Iowa, Gypsy Graveyard

Just north of town is a small graveyard with an even smaller graveyard fenced off toward the back. It is said that when the Gypsy wagon trains would pass through town back in the 1800s, and one of their flock was sick and dying, instead of taking them further on the journey and not having Gypsy-hallowed ground to bury them in they would just bury them there, while still alive. Many ghostly figures have been seen hanging around, and if you cross the small fence and walk on the hallowed ground you will be cursed. This is a favorite haunt for the local teens.

Algona, Iowa, Plum Creek Pits

Back in the far corner, there has been a little boy said to be playing near the water’s edge legend has it that the little boy was running back to the river on the other side of the pits when he tripped on a stone and was stabbed by a stick he had fallen on. The local fishermen who used to fish there say they have seen this boy walking on the bank of the pit when they yelled to him he seemed to have looked up and run back towards the river and disappears. Nobody knows what this boy’s name is or even his age.

Alton, Iowa, Floyd River

It is said that three teenagers hung themselves in an old broken-down house just off the Floyd River. You can still see three ropes hanging from the rafters of the house. There is a path leading to the house with a No Trespassing sign on it and when you cross it the haunting starts. Legend has it, the haunting never stops.

Amana, Iowa, Ghost Corner

in a cemetery there. there is a stone that is said on the last minute of every year a light blue figure hovers over her grave.

Ames, Iowa, Iowa State University, C. Y. Stephens Auditorium

The auditorium is haunted by the benevolent ghost of C. Y. Stephens. He is especially present in the basement tunnels that run between the auditorium and the Coliseum and Fisher Building. Cold drafts and footsteps are among the ways he makes himself known. He can also be seen from the stage sitting in the back right corner of the third balcony whenever the house lights are on and the stage lights are low. His presence is thought of, at least by dancers in the annual Nutcracker production, to be a sign of good luck for the performance.

Ames, Iowa, Iowa State University, Memorial Union Hall

Pays tribute to graduates of Iowa State who 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). Rumor has it that the moan is the voice of the only woman to graduate from ISU and die in WWI.

Anamosa, Iowa, Holy Cross Cemetery

Behind this small graveyard on a hill, there is a grouping of trees that will lead you to one big tree. where it is said that many hangings occurred. The area with the trees is said to be an old Indian burial ground as is much of Anamosa. Some have seen orbs and shadowy figures.

Appanoose, Iowa, Centerville, railroad tracks

If you park your car on these tracks, turn it off, and put it in Neutral, little kids will push you off the tracks. You will hear footsteps in the rocks while they are pushing you.

Avon, Iowa, the track

The apparition of a man holding an old lantern walking the tracks then disappears.

Bertram, Iowa, Campbell Cemetery, trunkless tree

If you go there at night and shut off your headlights there is a tree that looks like it is floating and has no base to it.? There used to be two trees right next to each other that looked that way, but one was cut down.

Bloomfield, Iowa, Davis County Middle School and Elementary

If you are in the building at night, you can see weird shadows and sometimes hear voices and moaning. Up by the fifth grade there is a corner and if you are up there sometimes you can see a shadow around the corner and hear a moan but if you look around the corner nothing is there. Also, in the big storage room aka bowling alley, you can hear moans and see shadows when nothing is there.

Boone, Iowa, The Boone News Republican

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 hear your name called and people walking upstairs. Again, the place is empty.

Boone, Iowa, Kate Shelly High Bridge

Kate Shelly was famous for saving a train from going off the tracks on the bridge that is now known as the Kate Shelly high bridge. It is said that if you look up at the tracks (bridge) at night you can see a mysterious outline of a person and a dim light like a lantern running on the tracks. People around here say that it's Kate forever reliving the incident that saved a train and lots of people.

September 2004 CORRECTION: located west of the city of Boone, is not the bridge where Kate Shelley saved the passenger train. It was actually first structured in the early 1900s and was named The Boone Viaduct. It was renamed for Kate Shelley in the 1960s. The bridge has wonderful tales of Specter Steam Engines and ghostly watchmen that walk it. The original bridge that Kate Shelley crossed was demolished in the 1930s. Kate Shelley's ghost, accordingly, haunts the hamlet of Moingona, Iowa, southwest of the city of Boone, where the story took place.

Boone, Iowa, State Nursing Home & Hospital

Yelling and screaming have been heard & seeing apparitions of different people walking around.

September 2004 Update: The old structure is falling in on itself and will be slated for demolition soon. The county has involved a no-trespassing rule since some people from Des Moines and the surrounding area decided to use it as a paintball battlefield two years ago. The home has several structural issues to it, including a collapsing floor. In regards to haunting and things, yes, there's something to it. A lot of people suffered there, and the sadness of that place can be felt today.

Buckeye, Iowa, House

There is a house and this only happens at night. This house is really old almost 100 years. At night, upstairs the floorboards creek as if someone was walking up them one after another. The door in one of the rooms opens on its own, but it jams shut.

Burlington, Iowa, National Guard Armory

Reportedly there are doors that won't stay shut and that slam shut by themselves. People working there late at night have heard the sounds of horses and footsteps when there is no one there. A witness saw a reflection of the face of a man with a handlebar mustache in a computer screen and turned around to find no one there.

Burlington, Iowa, Stony Hollow

It is said that if you go to that bluff and say the ghost's name 3 times she will appear and if she drops a rose, you will die the next day. It is said that a boy did it and died the next day.

Cedar Falls, Iowa, University of Northern Iowa, Lawther Hall

Was believed to be haunted by the spirit of a soldier named Augie, who died there when the building was being used as an infirmary. Students in this residential hall have reported strange noises, cold spots, and the movement of objects. Lawther Hall has always been a women's dorm, and at no time was it ever used as an infirmary. During the war, it was used partially as a dormitory for WAVES definitely not men. In fact, the stories told of Augie center largely around the fifth (or perhaps fourth) floor attic areas. These were never used as rooms but were originally recreational areas for the women in the dorm. In the early '70s, these rooms were closed (1972, I believe) because they were deemed in disrepair and quite unsafe. For a few years, a hall Halloween Haunted House called Augie's Attic was held there until a fire started accidentally one year ago, and the activity was banned. In fact, to say that Lawther is the dorm that is primarily haunted could be entirely incorrect. Next door to Lawther, in fact, attached to, is Bartlett Hall. Bartlett has an identical layout, and though is now coed, was once all female as well. To suggest that the two have been confused is not unlikely.

Cedar Falls, Iowa, University of Northern Iowa, Bartlett Hall

Bartlett shows all signs of being haunted. This past Halloween, a not exactly prohibited but very extremely hush-hush haunted house was held in the attics of Bartlett. Whilst setting up, students underwent lights flickering, doors shutting, and vast temperature changes. It got to the point that they were ready to stop bothering with their setup; simply take the money and usher people through the rooms. However, to their great disappointment, subsequent trips have yielded nothing in comparison to October 30th.

Cedar Falls, Iowa, University of Northern Iowa, The Strayer

The wood theater 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 worked by itself.

Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Brucemore

A glowing entity has been seen in the library of this building.

Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 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 parlor and stands by kids' beds and pulls covers off of them.

Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Domino's Pizza

Workers report cold spots, hearing footsteps walking around the store when you are the only person in there, pans started flying at us like someone was throwing them, but there was no one there. We ran out of the store and when we got brave enough to go back in we found all the pans had been put back on the shelf.

Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Linn County, Mckinley Middle School

At night when the janitors are working, they hear things and footsteps and they feel things touching them and cold spots when no one is around.

Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Mount Mercy (Stello Performance Hall)

A nun hung herself from the balcony of the choir loft. She is said to haunt the whole building of Warde Hall. Supposedly she wanders the halls, people have been said to feel the presence of another entity behind them. Also, she has been reported to be seen in the halls.

Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Oak Hill Cemetery

It is said that Tillie, a small Czech girl, can be seen at night carrying a flickering candle, and is said to have tried to pull people into a nearby Mausoleum.

Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Parkers Grove

There is a gravestone with a carving of a face here and when you go there at night, you can see the face cry and his eyes are wet!!

Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Rawsons Flatland

This is supposed to be haunted by a 2- to 3-year-old girl, named Josephine, wearing a white T-shirt and has short hair about to her cheeks. If you see her you will remember quite a bit about her, then by the time you turn to take a second look, she will be gone.

Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 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 & locked, Flung open for no apartment reason. The young girl ran and has never been alone again. It is said it is the ghost of a man who died while building the mall.

Cedar Rapids, Iowa, wildwood apartments

It is said that about 20 years ago, a convicted child molester was 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 rumored that you can still hear the innocent cries of his victims echoing in the halls late at night in Wildwood apartments.

Charles City, Iowa, Iron Hill

In these woods behind the old white farm, there have been sightings of a little girl dressed in white, also various girls have been heard. Around Halloween, you can hear faintly a chanting that is something like this, ring around the rosy … and wanna come burn with me. Around 1920 there was a train car full of orphans burned down on the railroad tracks that run through there. a burned rag doll has been found. They say it is their graveyard yet no family ties have been found.

Charles City, Iowa, Riverside Cemetery

This cemetery next to the river is a very strange and eerie place, sensing the darkness and windy roads. Dark figures have been seen walking around and standing over graves and a few people have been attacked or approached by figures that refused to step into the light. An Indian has also been seen out there, it is a place where you feel someone is watching you at all times. Being by the mausoleum is probably the best place to see or hear things or along the river bank.

Charlotte, Iowa, Hickory Hill Cemetery

the cemetery is located down a dirt road that is between two cornfields.? the road comes to an end at the top of a hill of trees.? The cemetery is located to the left in the trees. it is said that if you walk into the cemetery you will hear babies crying and will see a little girl pointing at the gates indicating you to LEAVE!

Cherokee, Iowa, American Theatre, East Main St.

It has been said by the employees who 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. 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 rocking slowly all by themselves. There are other stories to be told of the hauntings there, but all you need to do … is come, and visit with the staff at the American Theatre.

Clarion, Iowa, George

It all started when these two friends loved to prove people wrong. The story goes that if you go in this house and go upstairs there will be pictures on the floor you are supposed to pick it up and take it home and put it on your chest and go to sleep. When you wake up it will be gone. you go back to the house and go upstairs and you will see it right where you got it. In the pic is a black figure. He is called George and you shouldn't let him touch you because it is said that after he does he takes part of you with him. How we know is about this one of the boys got touched and went crazy and is gone for the rest of his life in an asylum and the other still sees George even though the house is gone!

Clarinda, Iowa, 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 disappeared when walking through the tunnels. Many people have seen and heard footsteps and screams.

Conover, Iowa

Four shadowy figures are said to have been seen along Conover Road, against a stand of evergreen trees. Supposedly a family died there years ago.

Conroy, Iowa, Mechanists Hall

Mechanists Hall used to be a school, but now is sometimes used for meetings and such. Sometimes at night lights inside the building flicker, but if you drive a car up it usually doesn't happen. If you go behind the building you can sometimes hear voices, but you can't make out what they are saying.

Coon Rapids, Iowa, Elk Grove Cemetery

There is a little headstone. If you get in the right angle and just wait a couple of minutes it will start to glow.

Council Bluffs, Iowa, Fairview Cemetery

This cemetery is home to the Black Angel. Dodge's wife died and in her remembrance, they made a statue of the angel that she dreamt of before she died and put it in the front of the cemetery. The statue is known as The Black Angel. Her eyes follow you no matter what direction you go. Whoever is blessed by her is on the sickly side from then on. Small lights have been seen in the trees behind the older grave sites. Feelings of someone walking on the heels of visitors.

Council Bluffs, Iowa, General Dodge's House

The Dodge House was owned by General Dodge and his family. The community has tours go through it, to make some money off of its beauty and age. ...The real story is that General Dodge is still there wandering around or sitting in his rocking chair. Around dusk every day, you can hear 2 men arguing if you stand in the middle of the street. Late at night you can see small flashes of light around the Dodge house lawn, and get a very faint smell of fire. Dodge's wife died and in her remembrance, they made a statue of her and put it in the front of the cemetery. The statue is known as The Dark Angel. Her eyes follow you no matter what direction you go. Whoever is blessed by here is on the sickly side from then on.

Council Bluffs, Iowa, Lewis and Clark monument

Feelings of getting sick, major emotions and disorientation are felt.

Council Bluffs, Iowa, old library, now Union Pacific museum

This is the old Council Bluffs library, which has now been restored to a wonderful-looking and brand-new Union Pacific railroad museum. Before the renovation occurred, many people were hesitant to venture into the basement of this Carnegie structure due to books literally flying off the shelves. Many experienced items mysteriously disappeared, only to have them return later. Also, some have reported dark, shadowy figures being seen in the basement. Not too many folks want to go into this basement alone.

Dakota City, Iowa, Historical Museum

It is said to be that the Dakota City Historical Museum is to be haunted at night. Some nights you can drive by it and see shadows, and lights going on and off in the windows. An old lady gives tours there in the summer and says that it could be haunted by the founders of Humboldt County or by the famous wrestler Gotch.

December 2003 update/addition: The submitter to the addition has heard of a fisherman walking around there, possibly he is there because the Des Moines River is right next to the museum and there is a story of a fisherman drowning to death there many years ago. Another true story is that if you walk up to the front sign of the museum and ask it any question it will move to the right

Please note it is a hanging sign on hinges. Some people might think it is the wind doing this but it only happens on calm nights when there is no wind or gusts at all. There is a lot of history at the museum.

Davenport, Iowa, Blackhawk Hotel

There have been many circumstances of seeing a lady roaming the halls wearing a red or blue evening gown. There have also been instances of pianos playing in the main ballroom misc. disturbances with employees. Actor Cary Grant also died on the 8th floor and has been seen walking the halls.

Davenport, Iowa, Masonic Temple, Brady St.

Currently owned by Palmer College. Security reports many types of haunted phenomena at all hours of the day.

Davenport, Iowa, Palmer College of Chiropractic

One of the lecture halls which was built in the middle of the 1800s 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 no air vents or fans even near the ceiling. The occurrence happens regularly and has been witnessed by many classes of soon-to-be chiropractors.

Davenport, Iowa, 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 a man still hanging in the first window.

Davenport, Iowa, Scott City Hall

A heavyset man reportedly sits in the city council chamber. They call him Hal. The legend of Hal goes like this. Hal was a citizen who was extremely upset with the city government. He ran for alderman of his ward. He lost by a landslide to the incumbent, but Hal wasn't going to let that stop him. He attended every city meeting that was held in the chamber until he died of a heart attack at 63. Hal has been seen at least 100 times. He also has been said to walk around city hall, and former mayors have said they have seen them in their office on more than one occasion. Often Hal is smoking a cigar.

Davenport, Iowa, St. Ambrose University Ambrose Hall

When there are only a few professors left in the building late at night, they hear strange noises. They have heard footsteps and seen lights flickering on and off. It's said that it is an old priest that died many, many years ago.

Davis City, Iowa, Cemetery

can be seen shooting across the cemetery very late at night. Animal sacrifices have also been known to be practiced in the early nineties. As you enter the cemetery a sudden feeling of pressure is often felt.

Davis County, Iowa, Mars Hill

It's the only extant log church in Iowa now. There is a graveyard to the right of the church. Rumors are that is a hot spot for seeing UFOs, but other things have gone on there too

Black Mass has been held in the abandoned church; evidence has been left behind, like inverted pentagrams in red paint or blood on the floor. I've been there and there is a positively suffocating force there

it's like you can't breathe and you get the impression there are tons of eyes watching you. Very creepy! And, just down the hill from the church is Crybaby Bridge, where at midnight if you turn off your car on the bridge, you can hear the sounds of babies and small children crying.

Decorah, Iowa, Luther College Larsen Hall

The ghost's name is Gertrude. She has been known to open and close doors in rapid succession and move pencils and other small objects when students aren't looking.

Decorah, Iowa, Luther College Regents Center

Regents Center is an athletic facility. In the '90s, a janitor killed himself and other staff members reported seeing his ghost.

Decorah, Iowa, Porter House Museum

Supposedly you can see people in the upstairs part of the house, standing in the windows.

Des Moines, Iowa, Air Lanes

Behind the bowling alley lanes, there is an upstairs that is rumored to have been used to be used for illegal gambling in the 1920s. Well if you go upstairs, 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. you could hear your name being called.

Des Moines, Iowa, Des Moines International Airport The Cloud Room

In offices that were originally a restaurant named the Cloud Room during the '60s and '70s. Supposedly haunted by a deceased young flight attendant who materializes usually in the Autumn walking empty halls with a bag as if confused looking for her flight. The occasional noise of laughing and glasses clinking at the bar early and late when the offices are quiet. Many cold spots and unexplained noises in and outside the Cloud Room.

Des Moines, Iowa, Des Moines International Airport The Farmer

Construction began in 1932 over family farmland on the south side of the city that was owned by a family (buried in a small, private cemetery on SW 31st St) who lost their land against their will. Since the basement was constructed, shadows and the image of a malicious-looking middle-aged man in farm attire. have been witnessed by various individuals. Moans, footsteps and stomping, shadows, images and cold spots are his style.

Des Moines, Iowa, Dowling High School

Reports of a purple orb were seen.

Des Moines, Iowa, 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 1920s. 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.

Des Moines, Iowa, Lincoln High School

Mainly occurs in the balcony of the auditorium. Unexplained lights flash on and off in the light booth when it has been locked and nobody is in there. Seats of wooden folding chairs swing up and down when nobody is around. Cold spots in certain areas. The curtains on the stage will rustle in a seemingly nonexistent breeze when there is nothing that could cause it. There is no air conditioning in the school. There have also been unexplained noises such as tapping on the wooden floor of the stage, and banging on the seats in the balcony. If you go into the Paint Room, which is located in one of the wings of the stage, you get the feeling of someone watching you, and running their fingers up and down your back.

Des Moines, Iowa, East High School

There has been a glowing blue light in a restroom there. The light flashed right behind two students who witnessed it in the mirror and disappeared before they could turn around. Before the flash, there was a spark of electricity on the faucet when one of the students reached for it. This school is over 150 years old and there are at least 4 deaths.

Des Moines, Iowa, Old Red Horse Armory

Was an old Cavalry armory. It is now the city school bus barn. When the National Guard was in the building soldiers who worked full time and were in there after hours reported hearing the clip-clop of horses' hooves and the jingle of harnesses off the small drill floor where the stables were. They also would catch glimpses of an older man dressed in an old cavalry uniform in the long back hall that only had a small light bulb at each end of it. They were not fanciful people who saw and heard these things. They were hardworking soldiers with their heads on straight who would never in a million years make up things like that.

Des Moines, Iowa, Merle Hay Mall Tower

Merle Hay Mall, and a building in the mall known as the Merle Hay Tower, is built over the site of a Monastery that was closed in the 1950s. Rumor has it that on occasion a nun would become pregnant, with the pregnancy resulting in miscarriage. These babies were buried in unmarked graves on the Monastery grounds, where the mall stands today. My grandfather used to drive an ice cream truck, and would deliver to the Monastery, and witnessed one of the nuns nursing (feeding) an infant in the kitchen of the Monastery. In the present day, the Merle Hay Tower is said to be haunted by a figure wearing a very old-style habit, who cries as she carries a dead child. People who have offices in the Tower report an elevator that moves between floors with no one aboard late at night. When the elevator stops, footsteps can be heard, but when the sounds are investigated, no one is around. Cold spots are frequent and a feeling of being watched when alone is also reported. Others report hearing someone walk into an office and when they turn around, no one is there.

Des Moines, Iowa, Saydel High School

There is a little girl that sings around the hallways at night.

Des Moines, Iowa, Terrace Hill

Witnesses have seen a transparent little girl, eyes in pictures following them and many other things. In the middle of the elevator (which is code-activated) goes up and down and opens.

Des Moines, Iowa, Weaver House

This house has a table that seems to be haunted.

Dubuque, Iowa, 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 sisters of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Students 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 the bath on 3rd floor west wing restroom in the middle ofthe night, and unexplained footsteps in the tunnel connecting Mary Benedict and Mary Josita halls.

Dubuque, Iowa, Fischer Building

The Fischer Building was originally 8 stories tall, built in downtown Dubuque in the mid-19th century, about 50 years before the first skyscraper was built in Chicago. With a steel addition to the top of the building, it is now 9 stories tall with another smaller building on top. There are two reported hauntings in the Fischer Building. In the basement, in the offices of the maintenance staff, there is a tall man that walks from one room, a short distance through a larger room to the next room.? Many people have reported him walking in the same direction, and he has been seen only from the back. On the fourth floor, in the northwest hallway, there is a well-dressed woman, wearing a dress, fur and high heels, who appears near the center of the building and walks north, turns to the right and goes in the last doorway. Her style of dress suggests she is from the 1920s or 1930s. Some people report that she opens the door and enters the last office, even though the door is locked.

Dubuque, Iowa, Grand Opera House

Voices, footsteps and apparitions are present here.

Dubuque, Iowa, 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.

Dubuque, Iowa, The Saul House

In 1992 a 14-year-old boy killed himself with a knife in his home. And the people that have moved in have said that knives have been lying in an x on the exact spot where he killed himself.

Estherville, Iowa, Forest Ridge Cedar Hall

South of Estherville on Highway 4. Things randomly fall off the walls, a little girl in a blue dress has been seen, also an old man. There is a reflection of a person standing over the desk when nobody is standing there. One of the bedrooms (209) is haunted; girls have reported having their hair pulled by something under the bed. Closet door handles rattle, locked closets have opened on their own.

Eldora/Ackley, Iowa, the Felland old property

A stone garden is found there (one rock is found from the old Roman aqueducts) a spirit found from the norms house is alive there (under large center rock, never point him/her in the direction of the norms house. The second floor east room is a crossroads. The straight point in the front lawn (most east north) has been used for magic rituals.

Emmetsburg, Iowa, vacant lot behind Nauss Oil on Highway 18

There once was a motel on this sight. The people who ran the motel lived in a house across the road for a while, then the motel was demolished but the driveway is still there. Sometimes an old man in a plaid shirt and chino slacks walks along the old driveway and stops 5 or 6 times like he is checking doors. The house across the street where the people lived was still standing in 2002 and they were renovating it.

Estherville, Iowa, Oak Hill

It's a cemetery and there is this hill that is haunted. The story is that a car full of football players were going to their game and their car stalled on this very hill. So they all got out and started to push the car up this hill then a car came around this bend and didn't see the football players and hit them. All of the players died. People say that if you put your car in neutral between these 2 markers you will go uphill because the football players push you up the hill because they don't want you to get hit by another car. Another story is that two children who lived in the nearby mansion were playing in the road when they were run over and killed. When your car moves, it is the children pushing it off of them. Anyway, the going uphill sensation is caused by an optical illusion. For this to work, you must be headed downhill. In the place where you stop, the road levels off and appears to go up in comparison to the rest of the road. If you go down the hill and around the curve and look back, you will realize that the entire road does indeed go downhill.

Floyd, Iowa, Charles City Iron Hill

Back on the new walking trail is the site where a train wreck happened. Reports of apparitions & people calling out your name.

Fort Dodge, Iowa, Bannwell Bridge

There is a bridge a few miles southwest of Clare. There are three bridges total and if you look on a map it shows up like a triangle and a woman and her kids are supposed to haunt it. if you go there around midnight and stop on the bridge and get out of the car and wait. A woman's face is supposed to come down the railroad tracks and follow you down the road till you go under a bridge about a quarter mile down the road. Further on down the tracks where a road goes across the tracks, you can stop your car and some kids will push you across. the story is that she hung her three children over the bridge and a train came along and hit the kids.

May 2004 update: they tore it down and are building a new bridge in its place.

Fort Dodge, Iowa, 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 ec room several years ago.

Fort Dodge, Iowa, Hawkeye Theater

You always feel like someone is watching you. Whenever you are in a room by yourself, you are physically abused by an 'invisible hand'. Reports of a transparent little girl. IL

Fort Dodge, Iowa, terror bridge

It has been said that a woman threw 3 of her 4 children off the bridge while a train was coming one of the 4 got away when you drive over the bridge at midnight your car will shut off till you're over the bridge and by her house where she hung herself and burnt down. if you go under the bridge her truck is still where she parked it. It is truly terrifying. it has also been said that you should lock your doors and roll up your windows or she will throw you over too.

Fort Madison, Iowa, Iowa State Penitentiary

Built in the 1800s. 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, Iowa, Nuckolls Street

Located a block down the hill from the former Iowa Institution for Feeble Minded Children along the original banks of Keg Creek (where I've dug up several Indian artifacts while gardening). 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 a while.

Grinnell, Iowa, Grinnell College

According to an article in the Des Moines Register, there is an old wheelchair on the stage of the performing arts bldg. it belonged to the director of the theater dept, who retired by dying. It's said to roll out on stage during rehearsals or performances for no reason. The students think it's the friendly spirit of the theater director.

Guthrie Center, Iowa, Cemetery

When going east out of Guthrie Center there is a cemetery to the left of you. In this cemetery is a gravestone shaped like a chair. This chair has been named The Devil's Chair it is said if you sit in it something bad will happen to you. My neighbor sat in it one night and two days later discovered he needed to have open heart surgery. Don't sit in this chair or you'll be sorry but if you do sit in it you're very brave, good for you!!!

Hamburg, Iowa, Catholic Cemetery

Occasional sightings of a woman figure have been seen kneeling at the feet of the three Virgin Mary statues. Some have reported hearing wailing from the statues themselves.

Hardin, Iowa, Eagle City Park

There are people that go to the park and worship the devil and chase you away if you try to watch them. There are ropes that are in a barn at the park that are used to hang people at least it looks like that is what they are for. Also, there is blood all over the ground in the barn.

Independence, Iowa, Buchanan County Court House

A man was hung sometime in the late 1800s to the early 1900s there, but when they did his neck didn't snap, so he died slowly. Now he is supposed to haunt the building at night, walking around the building. 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. He isn't a very credible person though.

Indianola, Iowa, 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, Iowa, 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 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.

Iowa City, Iowa, University of Iowa Currier Hall

According to rumor, 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, Iowa, Slater Hall Floor 9

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 ax.

Iowa City, Iowa, Slater Hall Floor One

Legend has it that in the 1800s, a man they called Penguin man roamed the vicinity looking for young babies whose brains he liked to feast on. Legend has it that the Penguin man has been reincarnated into a fat, black, first-floor RA. She roams the halls of Slater looking for innocent young students to eat. SLATER HALL IS VERY DANGEROUS. BEWARE THE WADDLER.

Iowa Falls, Iowa, Eagle City

An outside church in lower Eagle city too many voices to recognize.

Iowa Falls, Iowa, 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, Iowa, North Liberty Greencastle Cemetery

This is a very old cemetery, No one has been buried there in years. When you go there at night the dirt is freshly dug by many of the stones, as if someone was buried there that day. Tombstones move all by there self. Many people have seen a witch in black with long dark hair, she talks to young children. She looks like she is between 16 and 18 yrs. old.

Kossuth, Iowa, Algona Little Africa

Rumor is that there are several places here that have been the scene of murders. The old bridge you cross has been the place of 2 hangings. 2 of the roads have had accidents on them because people claim things have been standing the middle of the road and won't move. The old farmhouse is said to have the spirit of the old maid who worked for the family had an affair and the husband killed her ... the family left right after and everything in the house is still there. Out past the hospital cemetery. Worth going there.

Lake City, Iowa, Rainbow Bridge

A few miles south of Lake City, there is an old bowstring bridge, which is blocked off from traffic and cannot be driven on. If you walk out on the bridge at midnight, lay an unopened candy bar on the middle of the bridge and go back off the bridge and wait for 5 minutes in the dark, when you go back for it, the wrapper will be unopened and intact, but the chocolate is gone.

October 2003 Update: visitors to our website tried this and report it does not work.

Lamoni, Iowa, Terre Haute Cemetery

It is said that the cabin beside Terre Haute Cemetery, there is a little boy who plays on a swing set beside the cabin. He then motions for you to follow him and he guides you to the cemetery to where he is buried. When you reach the grave the boy disappears.

Laurens, Iowa, infant cemetery

Out in the middle of the country, you will go up a hill on a gravel road. On top of that hill, you will see an old run-down white abandoned house. To your left pushed back in the corner of A lot of trees you will see a small cemetery. No one has been buried here in years, and as you walk into the graveyard you will see to your left 3 small graves with the same last name. Legend has it that the three graves are 3 little girls that lived in the house a long time ago until their father killed them. Some people went into the house and found a bunch of old toys and stuffed animals. Gusts of cold wind will blow as soon as you step out of your car, and many voices have been heard inside the small round cemetery.

Madrid, Iowa, Mount Hope Cemetery

Toward the back of the cemetery, there are five graves of children from the same family. One of them is Sara. She likes to follow visitors around and several have said they hear a child's voice asking for Ree. If she is not answered she will tug at clothes and touch people.

Manchester, Iowa, Stage Coach House

The old stagecoach house and stables near Coffins Grove Park are said to be haunted by members of the Baker family who ran the stagecoach house and are buried in the family cemetery nearby.

Marion, Iowa, Carlos O'Kellys

Many odd things occur including unplugged blenders going off, flickering lights, and plates falling off of racks for no apparent reason.

Marion, Iowa, Granger House

It has been said that the white figure of a young woman can be seen sitting in front of a window at midnight.

Marion, Iowa, 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 in the room, fluorescent light bulb bursting even though it wasn't turned on.

Marshalltown, Iowa

The ghost of the Quarry, a 5th grader who was killed 30 years ago haunts the Quarry forest. He calls to you from every corner of the forest and follows you around until you leave the forest. Also, there are symbols carved into a wooden bridge in the forest.

Marshalltown, Iowa, 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 rumors that some people, who died very normal deaths (like car accidents), sat in the chair a month or two before their deaths.

April 2004 Update: A visitor to our site reported the chair is not there anymore, but in fact, it is there as of November 28th of 2004. It is in the older part of the cemetery. If you look for it you can find it.

Mason City, Iowa, Ghosts of the rock stars

Some people occasionally spot a plane crashing, and some say it was from the 1959 tragedy, when The Big Bopper, Ritchie Valens, and Buddy Holly died in the plane crash. Their spirits are rarely spotted, but 3 orbs were caught on tape once, and it was in the same spot where the 3 rock stars died.

Metz, Iowa, Sugar Grove Cemetery and Metz Bridge

Within the Cemetery there is a Glowing Tombstone ... on the Metz Bridge there is a story of the Metz Mud Monster where I guy wrecked his car into the mud, now river below and was never yet found ... while on the bridge with my fellow friends we taped it and when viewing the tape later that night we saw a black being run across the screen.

Milton, Iowa, old house

this house used to be on the SE side of town and was then back in the late 1850s or so was a mortuary; it was later moved to a central part of the town and occupied by residents these residents claim that the upstairs of this house is haunted by an old man and a little girl you can hear people talking and sobbing.

Missouri Valley, Iowa, 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 near 11:00 pm) 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, 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.

Mount Ayr, Iowa, Tedrow

Tedrow is a small cemetery in the country. In the daytime, there is a tree that contains an evil face. But at night, the spirits frequently make themselves known. It is not the cemetery but it is the woods that surround the cemetery that is haunted. Apparently, about fifty to a hundred years ago, a small cult came the cemetery and did ceremonies. Now whenever you drive at night into the cemetery, you may enter but you may not be able to get out. The reason for this is because there is a glowing object in the woods and if this glowing object gets too close to you, you will not be able to start your car. But in order to witness the strange happenings you need to have your car turned off and lights turned off. You can have a flashlight with you but that is it. While you are in complete silence and complete darkness, something might run passed you several times and when you look nothing will be there. Sometimes you might hear moaning in the woods, sometimes you will hear what sounds like somebody pounding a metal sheet against a tree. Sometimes you will see a dark figure staring at you from a tree. And if you are really lucky, you will witness the strangest and scariest experience that you ever had. At times you might wait for a good five or ten minutes and nothing will seem to happen, but when you have given up all hope and decide to leave, all at once there will sound like a herd of elephants are all around you and make the loudest racket. You are guaranteed to jump in your car and take off, but that is just the beginning. If you leave your window open, while you're driving, you will hear the object following you until you have reached the end of the pathway leading to the cemetery. Also the weather is completely different there, it could be a hot day and when you reach the cemetery, it will be cold. And it could be the clearest day and when you reach the cemetery it will begin to rain. And there could be no wind at all and when you reach the cemetery there will be ten to 20mile-an-hour winds.

Fair WARNING ― As with all other haunted places, you need to get permission before going into a cemetery late at night. There may be NO TRESPASSING and you could be fined. Be smart and be safe, do it the legal way.

Mount Pleasant, Iowa, Hwy 218 on Kentucky Rd. Birthday Bridge

Supposedly years ago a girl hung herself from the bridge on her birthday if you go out there at night you can see her and on her birthday see her hanging.

Mount Pleasant, Iowa, The Medium security Prison

This building used to be a Mental hospital and was built in the middle 1800s. It consists of an old stone center building with newer brick wings extending off the center to the east and west. Before it was converted to a prison in the 1980s a former worker on the 11 pm to 7 am shift on the top floor in the middle ward on the east wing. There were Offices and group rooms in the ward to the west of ours and the ward to the east was empty. When they first started working that unit quite a few of the coworkers asked them things like, ?aren't you afraid to work on that unit its so creepy up there and have you ever seen anything up there. Not understanding their questions until one night when a terrible racket began on the empty unit. The only way it can be described is the sound of heavy metal furniture being dragged across the floor and slammed into the connecting door and wall. It shook the walls and actually woke up the patients on a few occasions. When it was searched the empty unit was always empty and looked like nobody had been in there for years. Apparitions have been seen in the halls.

Muscatine, Iowa, Greenwood Cemetery

If you walk down the center 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.

The Blue Angel is a statue in the Greenwood Cemetery that used to hold a rose and if the person looking at the angel, if she dropped the rose, you were doomed to death. Eventually, some people cut off her hand so that she wouldn't be able to hurt anyone anymore, but at night time her hand was still there, glowing in the night holding the rose that she might drop on you. When approaching the angel you will see the sky turn blood red and when you look at the trees cause the angel is set back all by itself in a cove, the short side of the trees will be swaying and the tall side will not.

March 2007 Background Information: The Blue Angel is made of an ebony white gypsum. In the sides of the mausoleum in which she is housed are two cobalt blue stained glass windows. One to the east and one to the west. Each morning as the new dawn emerges and each night as the day ends the sun shines thru the windows bathing her in a luminescent glow turning her white figure blue. During the '50s stories of the blue angel were all of a benevolent nature. She was the protector, the guardian angel of the cemetery, protecting all within from any vandals or wrongdoers. It is very sad the current stories of any evil associated with her.

Muscatine, Iowa, Lutheran Holmes/ Lutheran Drive

Lutheran Holmes now a nursing home used to be an orphanage. There is said to be old tunnels underneath the building but have never been seen. Workers say that on the seven hundred in one of the room every time a new patient comes to that room they soon die. Also the six hundred hall call lights will come on and nobody is in that room. Residents say they see children running at night and asked the staff to ask them to be quiet. Behind is an old cemetery, which is closed and has a no-trespassing sign. It is small and consists of mostly orphan graves. You get an uneasy feeling and want to leave.

Muscatine, Iowa, Old Hershey Street Hospital

Sometimes 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.

Nevada, Iowa, old Story County home

The old Story County home is said to be haunted it closed down 15 yrs ago. They say if you drive by it at night you can see glows like a light was on. It is condemned now with no trespassing signs in front. It was an asylum where people with mental illness lived. They say you can hear moans and cries. So many people died there. It has been said some teenagers went to it one night at midnight and one of them got struck on the head by a piece of falling debris, like someone was jumping on the floor above them to make it fall.

February 2007 Update: the county home was torn down a couple of years ago. The area is still used as the gun range for the local Sheriff's Office. Warning!! ? No Tresspassing

New Providence, Iowa, Reece park

A young women will appear in the corn field and you will hear her screaming. The young women killed herself out there, and it is her ghost that is known to haunt that very place.

New Virginia, Iowa, cemetery

the grave of the first settler in New Virginia is said to be haunted. At midnight every night you can see a glowing light coming from this stone. They say the ghost if mad because they changed his gravestone.

Newton, Iowa, Children's Forest

It is known that a neighboring 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, Iowa, Green Pond

By the trailer park, across the railroad 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 pong a woman will rise from it. Years ago 2 children went missing and their bikes were found in the bottom of the pond.

Ottumwa, Iowa, Good Sam Nursing Home

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 was nobody. The people noticed this and talked to the invisible ghost saying that you're scaring this poor lady and she can't 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 when 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.

Pacific Junction, Iowa, 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.

Palo, Iowa, Pleasant Ridge Cemetery

Pleasant Ridge is more commonly known as 13 stairs, because of the 13 stairs leading up a hill into the cemetery. Voices have been recorded on tape (EVP) that were not heard while there. Also, people have been touched by unseen things. Visitors have seen things human-like shapes appear and disappear.

Pella, Iowa, Central College Graham Hall

A room that is locked up, believed to be haunted by the Penguin Lady. Residents have held sheets of paper under her door to watch her grab them with a sucking action, and later when the room is unlocked by staff, the residents find the paper placed neatly atop an extra desk or dresser.

Polk, Iowa, Pleasant Hill El Azteca Restaurant

When this restaurant was called Clay's, one evening while dining a butter knife forged its 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!

Polk, Iowa, West Des Moines Barnes and Noble

Employees and patrons have seen books pulled off of shelves and dropped. They don't fall off it looks like an invisible hand has pulled it off and then it drops straight down.

Protivin, Iowa, the creamery

Witnesses have seen a face in the window. There have been other reporting of strange noises and movements. A long time ago part of it burned down killing 2 people inside.

Oakdale, Iowa, Iowa Medical and Classification Center

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, Iowa, 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, Iowa, 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 the 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 upstairs. 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, Iowa, 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.

Ottumwa, Iowa, North Court Cemetery

When you walk through it at night you'll see on some tombstones dark figures sitting on them. And you will see some dark figures run behind trees but if u go check it out there is nothing there. and sometimes if you walk on the grass and look down you might see a white cat run in circles around your feet and disappear. you might hear whispering in your ears as well and footsteps in the grass.

Ridge Hauntings, Iowa

Marquette is surrounded by bluffs on three sides, and the river on one side. It is rumored that the Indian mounds atop these hills are haunted. No one thought much of it until the hauntings started to happen closer and closer to people's homes. At night, you can hear the ghastly moan of the lost souls of the Indians. There is much speculation of these happenings because there was a U.S. military trail about two miles north of Marquette used to transport Indians from fort Atkinson in Wisconsin to Fort Atkinson in Iowa.

Riverside, Iowa, Riverside Cemetery

Apparently, when driving by the Riverside cemetery it's been said on certain nights and will start seeing eyes vaguely glowing, this turns into a crowd of eyes, most likely the residents of the cemetery. Seeing the number of sets of eyes staring shows the significance of how many apparitions are there.

Rockwell City, Iowa, North Central Correctional Facility

In the education building which is one of the oldest buildings on the grounds and is said to have previously been the hospital, there have been sightings of a female walking on the lower level, screams, and doors opening and closing. The prison itself was a female prison prior to 1982, and has its own graveyard for several female inmates that passed away while in custody.

October 2007 Update/ Additional Information: It was previously used for different things; an infirmary, and solitary confinement. Many people have claimed to have had experiences there. Nothing too concrete. The prison itself was a female reformatory opening in the early 1900s. Many of the old buildings are extremely creepy, and many odd sounds are heard. Most can be attributed to old pipes, but once in a while, the hair does go up on the back of one's neck. The cemetery contains graves of women and babies, presumably who died during childbirth. What really adds to the haunted feeling is the giant old twisted oak trees that surround the older buildings.

Shelby, Iowa, Old Hwy 83

A few people have seen two young girls in flowing white dresses playing in the middle of the road very late at night. They have a light glowing around them and disappear almost into thin air.

Sheldon, Iowa, 9th Street Graveyard

It is said that if you walk into the graveyard at 12:00 midnight you can see a white shadowy ghost floating in the air.

Shell Rock, Iowa, Satan's Hollow Bridge

Under the bridge there are experiences of being watched unexplained sounds and tall white figures also you hear all around you moving and following as you go further down. There is a feeling of not wanting to be there.

Shellsburg, Iowa, Shellsburg Cemetery

Just outside of Shellsburg, there is a statue of an angel marking the grave of 2 young children that died in the late 1940s. It is said that if you walk up to her at night, she will softly start crying and tears will run down her face and fall to the ground.

Sioux City, Iowa, Airport

Reports of orbs, 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, Iowa, 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, half of it still produces green leaves every year.

June 2008 Correction: The Headstone with the tree is wrong. It is an actual tree made into a headstone. It is cut off of an old hanging tree. It is cut from the part down from where they used to hang people from it. The rope is still attached to the tree and the headstone is actually carved into the tree. It is in the older top part of the cemetery, along the dirt cut through.

Sioux City, Iowa, Graceland Park Cemetery

People taking pictures, hunting for orbs, experience slight disorientation, and cameras stop functioning until you leave the premises.

Sioux City, Iowa, Joy Hollow

Mary the virgin has been seen with blood running down her face in one of the older cabins girl scouts who died in that cabin haunted it reports of floating objects girls coming out of the shower with hand prints on them

Sioux City, Iowa, KD Station

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 center that included store shops, a bowling alley and a miniature golf course. A friend that worked as security and also operated a martial arts studio in the building reported a number of strange happenings. There at one time was a terrace that had lights that required them to be unscrewed to turn off. One night he 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 for more information go to: Disasters | Sioux City History

March 2007 Update: The KD Station suffered a fire in the middle of the night on December 26-27, 2006, and should not be entered as it is unsafe. The fire was caused by arson and the city has kept a watchful eye on the building since the fire and stories being published in the local paper about people exploring the building prior to the fire. The city has plans to demolish the building in the near future.

Sioux City, Iowa, Leflur house

It's located in Morningside near the college, and it has been in a magazine. It has been investigated before. There have been sightings of a Red glow in the upstairs. The workmen who did some remodeling there would always find their tools in the basement in the mornings. The birds they tried to keep would always die on them and the dog would never go into the house. In the middle of July, the attic would be so cold that you could see your breath. The house has been surrounded by death. There have been many murders there. There has been a count of seven entities there.

Sioux City, Iowa, Morningside College Dimmit Hall

There is said to have been a girl that committed suicide on her hall on the girls’ side of the building. Her hall is called the hidden hall because the is no entrance to the outside, so you have to go up a level or down a level to get out, therefore, leaving her trapped on her hall. It is said she committed suicide by hanging herself on old heating pipes in the rooms. Residents of her room have reported recently of hearing a girl’s voice and gagging choking sounds at night while they're studying. They've opened up their doors and yelled down the halls at their hallmates thinking it was a joke and no one was out there, and the sounds continued. Other girls of the hall reported seeing a moderately dressed young woman walking slowly down the hall sniffling and crying and walking through the door into the haunted room.

Sioux City, Iowa, preschool

Orbs 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 may be that of a young man who was gunned down on the Morningside loop during the mid-1990s. It use to be Lutheran Social Services at one time.

Sioux City, Iowa, Sioux City Auditorium/Long Lines Family Center

A former worker for 10 years reports: The building was constructed in a period of 10 years during the 1940s 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 '50s 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 on. Well, the other employee waited the 10 minutes and turned on the power. 2 hours later Rodriguez's 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 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 '60s 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 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.

Spencer, Iowa, Moose Pond

A long long time ago there was a boy ice fishing on the pond, It was getting late so the boy was starting to pack up when the ice broke he fell in the water which is 40-foot deep and drowned. Now if you go down there at 8:47 pm on the 23rd of December you can hear thumping on the ice and the screams of a young dying child.

Springville, Iowa, Springville Cemetery

There is a grave where in the way back that is not in the cemetery and in the trees and it was said to be moved back there from a ghost, because everything was moved even the body and there were no marks of someone who dug in the ground, or grass took off ground. If you go there in the night you can see the guy digging a hole with a glowing green shovel. He was said to work as a gravedigger in 1902 but then fell in the grave and broke his neck and died instantly.

St. Ansgar, Iowa, NE part of town

Noises running up the walls of the steps, lady calling out a name, dog would be alert during the spirit calling out the name. Bowls would be placed out on the floor in neat order, according to sizes, if certain doors were closes, running water could be heard. A lady figure was seen dressed in black with a white bonnet on her head. The spirits were not aggressive.

Stockport, Iowa, Silos

Stockport is an old run downtown and on the outskirts of it there are two silos where a little boy once jumped across and fell to his death, you can still see him jumping back and forth.

Storm Lake, Iowa, Buena Vista University McAllister Cottage

This location on College Avenue has been the home of six Buena Vista University Students who repeatedly saw, from their back porch, the spirit of a woman. Strange occurrences of lights turning on and off, as well as strange smells and hot musty drafts have also been encountered. The second McAllister cottage has since been demolished and made a parking lot.

Storm Lake, Iowa, Swope Hall 305

The ghost's name is Mary. 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. 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.

*Note: There is a false rumor around the college that she was a student and jumped out the window of 305, or that she lived in 305 and jumped off Smith Hall, but this has no historical backing and all of the people who have talked to her have nothing from the conversations to support this.

Story City, Iowa, apartment building

The apartment building use to be an old funeral home. There are only 3 apartments. In the 3rd apartment, there are 18 steps and when you go down the steps someone always follows you. You can also hear some weird noises, usually when you're alone.

Stratford, Iowa, Vegors Cemetery

In the middle of three miles of woods, is a cemetery that is over 150 years old. It was once the ancient burial ground of the local Indian tribe. When the settlers came, they dug the Indians' graves and placed them in five mounds throughout the hilltop. In retaliation, the Indians killed a white woman named Mrs. Henry Lott. She was the first white woman killed in Webster County. She was buried there. Over fifty small children are buried there along with many soldiers. If you go there at night, you can hear children laughing and the sound of Indians. If you roll down the hill three times, you will see the stairway to heaven. Also, legend has it if you desecrate an Indian mound, you will be cursed. I have known two men to have done so, and they were involved in serious car accidents within a week of visiting the cemetery. An interesting link is Spirit Lake Massacre of 1857, not sure of the validity of the story in the link, though. There is a large monument to her there, presumably above her grave.

Strawberry Point, Iowa, Mossy Glen

There are caves at Mossy Glen, it is rumored that 3 ghosts haunt that area. One of the ghosts is a woman said to have been seen, but if she drops a rose by your feet you are doomed to die the next day.

Urbandale, Iowa, Springbrook

There is a legend told about this scary dead guy called Uncle Charlie. You can see him running through the woods late at night. An elementary school student saw a flesh-eaten face at her window staring. If you have a camera I tell you right now don't turn the flash on. But if you have the flash on you will see a guy standing behind the thing you took a picture of. Late at night, you are the only one up you can hear people running and screaming high-pitched. Sometimes you can feel cold trembling fingers on you when no one is behind you. You have your covers torn off by nothing.

Urbandale, Iowa, Urbandale High School

Bulit over an old coal mine, footsteps and talking voices can be heard late at night when nobody is around.

Van Meter, Iowa, Brick factory

This Factory was burned down twice in the early 1900s and never rebuilt. If you get there at certain times of the year you can hear bricks being thrown around.

Villisca, Iowa, Villisca Axe Murder House

Believed to be haunted by the family that was murdered there. Doors slam, and ghost talk and lots of other things.

More: What to know on the anniversary of the 1912 Villisca ax murders

Vinton, Iowa, Evergreen Cemetery

There is an apparition of a woman wearing a white dress that rides a horse up and down the railroad tracks.

There is also a statue in the unknown soldier section of the graveyard and the right eye of the statue is missing at night. Rumor is that the statue has both eyes and they follow you also that the unknown soldiers wonder that part of the cemetery. Also reports of a woman's voice being heard.

Viola, Iowa, Matt's Bridge

When you go out to the bridge and you park your car near the middle of the bridge and shut it off you will get pushed across the bridge. You will see and hear things outside your car. After you leave get to a road with light to see the handprints on your car. Be careful though, if you go there too many times and they recognize you they'll get mad and try to push you off the bridge or break your windows. Even if you catch them on a bad night they might try. If you have your windows down you can hear a lot of noises and voices in the woods.

Wapello, Iowa, South End Park

Certain nights (none in particular) you can hear people chanting and fire crackling and sometimes you see this certain owl (the same one every time) and if you spot it, it will stare right back at you and cry its horrible cry. At this moment if you look at the moon it has two circles around it, and that is the haunting of south end park.

Waterloo, Iowa, Wal-Mart Store on Flammang Dr

Crossroads shopping center. Haunted by the ghost of a small boy of about 12 years of age named Jeremiah. He loves to play small pranks on people such as moving merchandise from one spot in the store to another, tugging on employees' smocks, tapping on your shoulder, and causing mischief. He was seen one time by an employee who described him as small, very pale and thin, wearing black trousers with suspenders, white shirt, and an Amish-looking straw hat.

Waverly, Iowa, Camp Ingawanas

A rumor around here says that the spirit of a 12-year-old boy haunts this Boy Scout camp. Apparently while playing one day, he was swinging when he jumped and hit his head on a 5-inch rock. Some say he was killed instantly, some slow and painfully. This happened 3 years ago. Anyway, a swing moving at the same height is never higher never lower. Even creepier, there is never a breeze when this happens some say. I've only been going for a year, but it's been the same condition as they say. Some have even heard a giggle.

Webster City, Iowa, 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 was there. On 3rd shift and evenings is when this always happens. Also, many pts and nurses have reported seeing a nurse in a white uniform in the dark halls and in rooms. Call lights going off in empty rooms. When OB is closed not uncommon to hear babies crying.

West Union, Iowa, 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 names 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, Iowa, Leisure Bench

Leisure Bench, a private memorial built by the Leisure family whose cemetery plots are together in front of this cement bench which is constantly warm year round, a figure has been seen sitting on this bench then suddenly disappears.

Williamson, Iowa, Stoneking Cemetery

Trees in the back of this cemetery are dangerous. The story was that anyone that walked behind these trees and see Stone King sitting on his grave then they would die. Rumor is a man did see him and died a week later in a motorcycle accident.

December 2003 update/addition: Stoneking Cemetery was a family plot for members of the Stoneking family. The submitter of the correction believes that the headstone of Joseph Stoneking was featured in the original Children of the Corn movie, but would need to verify that. Words on the headstone seem to indicate that the reader of the stone will be joining Joseph down below in hell. The ending of the epitaph is: As you are now, I once was. As I am now, you soon will be. So, come face death and follow me. It is said that nobody can climb the stairs of the abandoned family home located on the property … something ALWAYS stops you from succeeding Sightings of people with horrible burns and missing hands are rumored to have occurred repeatedly in the area.

February 2004 addition. There aren't any remains of the old family house. There also aren't any graves behind the trees. There are a lot of strange happenings though. There is a bright light that comes at you.

Haunted Houses Across Iowa

Local Legends Around Iowa's "Haunted" Locations

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Periwinkle Place Manor

The Periwinkle Place Manor can be found in Chelsea, Iowa. It was once the Historic Hrabak Funeral Home , founded in 1892 by Joseph Hrabak. The funeral home was closed in 2003, and it was sold to a private homeowner. A fire nearly destroyed the building, but it was saved by the now owner and “Lady of the Manor, '' Jodi Philip. She turned it into a bed and breakfast with an eerie reputation. According to the website, guests of the bed and breakfast have reported rocking horses and dolls moving on their own, disembodied humming and footsteps, doors opening and closing, and even full bodied apparitions. We may have even had a paranormal experience ourselves – the cameras were really acting up at this location, and a lot of the photos turned out blurry or with a blue tint! Jodi offers ghost hunts, and provides multiple videos of ghostly evidence on their website, so you’re welcome to go check it out yourself. 

Black Angel Statue

Many people find angels to be comforting symbolism, often represented with composed smiles and heads held towards the heavens. But unlike most angels, the Black Angel grave marker, found in Iowa City’s Oakland Cemetery, is more likely to fill a person with dread than with peace. Standing at nine feet tall atop a four foot pedestal, oxidized from bronze to black over years of weathering, this daunting statue has easily earned its creepy reputation. Many rumors follow this statue. Some people say that if you kiss or touch the angel, you will drop dead unless you are a virgin. Others say that the color turns a shade darker every year as a reminder of those that it has killed. It draws crowds on Halloween, because touching the angel at midnight on October 31 means that you will die in seven years. It is not known if any of these rumors are true, but it is known that security keeps a very close eye on this statue because of past vandalism, so best to keep your hands off either way!

Edinburgh Manor

Edinburgh Manor is located in Jones County, Iowa. The land originally housed a “poor farm," that housed the poor, incurably insane and disabled. Tenants were given shelter and food for their labor on the farm. It was in operation from 1850-1910, and in that time there were over 150 deaths on the property. After the farm was closed in 1910, the structure on the property was demolished to make way for Edinburgh Manor to house the incurably insane, the poor and the elderly, no farming necessary. It was in operation until November of 2010. When the last employees and patients left the building in 2010, they never returned, and all documents and personal belongings left can still be found in the manor. 

In the present day, visitors have claimed to see apparitions of a little girl that likes to play games and a woman dressed in white that vanishes without explanation. The current owners of the manor have posted multiple videos and soundbites of potential evidence of hauntings, but you are welcome to come see for yourself. They offer day tours and overnights. 

Franklin Hotel

The Franklin Hotel in Strawberry Point, Iowa, dates back to the early 1900s. It was bought and is operated by Doug and Christine Schmidt in 1989, and they began a restoration project on the building. It is said that a ghost of a 1920s prostitute named Lily can be heard singing and wandering the halls. A ghost named Leo, who possibly operated the hotel’s laundry at one point in its long history, has been heard ringing the hotel bell system at night. Furniture has moved on its own. 

Independence Mental Hospital 

The Independence Mental Hospital in Independence, Iowa, was built in 1873 as an asylum to hold drug addicts, alcoholics, geriatrics, and the mentally ill. It still continues to operate as a psychiatric hospital today, and it includes a museum to teach about the olden days of the institution. But there is another, more spine-chilling side to this hospital. People who have toured the unused wings of the building report hearing whispers and feeling cold drafts. People who work in the hospital tend to avoid these parts, because they have heard disembodied voices and screaming. 

Villisca Axe Murder House

On June 10, 1912, six members of the Moore family and two visitors were found bludgeoned to death in their home in the town of Villisca, Iowa. The crime was never solved, and the house still stands to this day. The home has gone through multiple owners and multiple renovations, and now it is open for tours and overnight stays. Guests have had a myriad of crazy experiences in the house, from lights turning on and off at request, EVP captures, cold spots, and more. It is arguably the best documented and possibly most haunted location on this list, or even in Iowa. 

Squirrel Cage Jail

Squirrel Cage Jail is located in Council Bluffs, Iowa. It was built in 1885, and is one of the only remaining rotary jails. The cells were built this way to minimize the interactions between jailer and convict, as the cell could just be spun around. The jail was closed in 1969, as the rotary function often got stuck. It is now a museum site, and possibly a haunted location. There were four known deaths in Squirrel Cage Jail, and museum staff report hearing footsteps, voices, whispers, and unexplained movement. The jail was built on the land of an old church morgue, which only adds to its creepiness. 

Flashlight tours and overnight investigations are offered, so you’re welcome to go check it out for yourself!

Clarinda Treatment Complex

The Clarinda Treatment Complex was built in Clarinda, Iowa, in 1884. It was the third mental hospital in Iowa, built to house alcoholics, geriatrics, drug addicts, the mentally ill, and the criminally insane. In 2015, the hospital was shut down and all services were terminated. Now, it houses the Clarinda Academy. 

Some former employees and residents have reported hauntings at the Clarinda Treatment Complex, which is not surprising. About a quarter mile from the main building is the CTC Cemetery, with markers for each of the people that passed while residents of the complex. At least 1,200 people are buried there. People have reported hearing footsteps and feeling like they were being watched. 

Farmhouse Museum

The first building on Iowa State campus, built in 1860, is now known as the Farmhouse Museum. After some renovations in the 1970’s, it was established as a museum to document agriculture in Iowa’s history. Being the oldest building on campus, it is no surprise that it has gained a reputation for being a little spooky. Objects in the house move on their own, most notably the shades moving up and down by themselves and flatware on the table changing angles. A student posted on the Iowa State Reddit thread about seeing a door opening and closing. Museum curators also found a door that led to nothing but a brick wall, which adds to the mystery of the place. 

Vincent House

The Vincent House, found in Fort Dodge, claims to be the oldest building in the community. It was built in 1872 by James and Adeline Swain. The Swains were members of a spiritualist society, meaning that they believed in, spoke to, and welcomed spirits into their home. The current caretaker of the house believes that these spirits, along with those of James and Adeline themselves, still reside in the Vincent House. He once invited a medium to the home, who claimed that there were at least 25 spirits inhabiting it. There were also two known deaths in the house - that of Helen Vincent and Charles Vincent, who owned the home after the Swains. Some say that they have seen full apparitions of both Helen and Charles. Others have claimed to hear noise from floors above them and witness objects moving. 

Rainbow Bridge

The Marsh Rainbow Arch Bridge just south of Lake City, Iowa dates back to 1914 and spans the North Raccoon River. Surprisingly, the rainbow name came from the arched profile, and not the colorful graffiti that covers it now. This haunted bridge has a pretty silly story behind it. Supposedly, the spirit that haunts it is a lover of chocolate. The story goes that if you leave an unopened bar of chocolate in the middle of the bridge at midnight and leave, the chocolate will be gone within five minutes, but the wrapper will remain intact. 

Grotto of the Redemption

When a seminary student named Paul Dobberstein fell critically ill with pneumonia, he prayed to Mary, mother of God, promising to build a shrine in her honor if he lived through the illness. He survived, and upon graduating seminary school, he traveled to West Bend, Iowa in 1898 to begin his priesthood. He kept his promise, and the Grotto of the Redemption was built in West Bend over the course of 42 years. Stories of hauntings here are few and far between, but there have been enough strange experiences that it has earned a mild reputation for being a little chilling. Visitors have reported strange shadowed shapes showing up in their photos of the grotto, and feeling as though they were being watched. 

General Dodge House

haunted houses in council bluffs iowa

Folks say General Dodge himself is still hanging about the grounds. If you take a guided tour through the building, you may catch a glimpse of him sitting in his rocking chair. Around the grounds, light flashes and the smell of fire have been reported. Another strange occurrence that may happen here: If you stand in the middle of the street at dusk some say you can hear the ghostly sound of two men arguing. Please make sure there are no cars coming!

If you've had a paranormal experience here, or have any additional information about this location, please let us know!

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haunted houses in council bluffs iowa

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Please note: It is your responsibility to acquire appropriate permissions before investigating any location listed on this site. Private property should be respected at all times, as should all posted signs concerning trespassing, hours of operation and other local regulations. Many "ghost hunters" have been arrested because they failed to contact property owners and/or local authorities ahead of time.

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Comments (12).

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When I was in 5th grade we went there for a feild trip and we were in the kitchen part of the house and I remember one boy in my grade fainted and foam was coming out of his mouth. It was really scary. I have no idea if it has something to do with General Dodge

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Hello my name is Charles Harmsen, I went to General Dodge house last night November 15, 2015 at around 7 p.m. I took my camera recorder and captured a ghost on my camera recorder! Please contact me only text message 402-810-5194 Hope to hear from you asap Thank you

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What are you doing there at 7 pm? It is closed at 5pm! I volunteered there for a number of years. Spent hours there and saw nothing! And you broke rules that no camera nor video cameras ate allowed due to security. The house contains antiques and are priceless.

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On Thursdays, the house is open until 8 pm, god, do research!

And, the house allows photos but no FLASH photography, did you ACTUALLY volunteer there or no?

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When I was in the 5th grade I went on a field trip here once we got upstairs I felt like the room was off somehow. Than all of a sudden i got extremely cold, lightheaded, and nauseous. As soon as I got back down stairs I puked and than felt fine. This place serious scares me I had nightmares for weeks afterwards.

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Hi! I’d like to hear more about your experience. Can you call me at the Dodge House to talk about it?

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I volunteered at the Dodge house. I also got the privilege to decorate 2 Victorian trees. I spent many hours there. By myself alot. I saw nothing and besides the General had no rocking chair! LOL. That part is hilarious! The only rocking chair is in the girls room. The chair was a wedding gift to one of theirn servants. It was returned to the museum. I love the Dodge house. It was a great experience being a docent there. I have great respect to the Dodge family.

Girl, stop ruining all the fun of this place, serious party crasher! And, there is a rocking chair in the house. FACTS

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When my two kids were young their dad and I took them to the Omaha zoo, it was 2007, and we visited the Dodge House as it in the vicinity. Between the kitchen and dining room was a narrow connecting space called the butler’s pantry. While the tour guide was speaking, I caught sight of a semi opaque black mist or shadow that flitted across that pantry. I think the tour guide, judging by her reaction, saw it too but she didn’t mention it, I think she didn’t want to draw attention to it. The fact that it was black disturbed me. And there was no immediate light source to cast a shadow and no other people in the house at the time.

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Disclaimer: The stories posted here are user-submitted and are, in the nature of "ghost stories," largely unverifiable. HauntedPlaces.org makes no claims that any of the statements posted here are factually accurate. The vast majority of information provided on this web site is anecdotal, and as such, should be viewed in the same light as local folklore and urban legends.

haunted houses in council bluffs iowa

Ghost Hunts USA | Ghost Hunts | Ghost Hunting Events | Haunted | Paranormal

Squirrel Cage Jail Ghost Hunt

$149 per person.

Ghost hunts thirteen event

This overnight investigation is a “Thirteen” event.

Your time will be spent in the most haunted areas with limited guests.

The haunted Squirrel Cage Jail is a haven for the paranormal.

Our overnight Ghost Hunts at this location will definitely test your nerve as you explore this vast and daunting location.

Squirrel Cage Jail was the home of “Jake Bird” the Evil Serial Killer who took the lives of 44 Victims.

Many visitors and overnight Ghost Hunters have witnessed and experience some of the most harrowing paranormal experiences here.

Who are the lost souls that still make their presence known and are often seen wandering the dark halls of this abandoned jail?

Squirrel Cage Jail Ghost Hunt

Event Start Time: 8:00pm

Event Finish Time: 3:00am

Your ghost hunt at Squirrel Cage Jail includes the following:

Access to the most haunted areas of this prison,

45 Minute History tour,

Group Vigils With Experienced Investigators,

Lone Vigils,

Use of our equipment which includes, trigger objects and EMF Readers,

Free time to explore this location and to undertake your very own private vigils,

Unlimited Refreshments, Including Coffee, Bottled Water and Soda,

Selection of snacks.

Location History

In Council Bluffs, Iowa there stands a stately brick building erected in the late 1800s which houses a most remarkable lockup known as the Squirrel Cage Jail. One of only 18 of its kind built, this “human rotary’ jail is now only one of three still in existence, and the only one that stands three stories tall.

Constructed in 1885 under the supervision of J. M. Carter, the jail features 10 pie-shaped cells on each level, and each cell was meant to house between two – and some say up to six – prisoners at a time. This bizarre design was the brainchild of Indianapolis natives William H. Brown and Benjamin F. Haugh, and the intention was to “provide maximum security with minimum jailer attention,” – thus cutting down on the number of personnel needed to run the prison.

The jailer’s office, kitchen, trustee cells and women’s quarters were located in the front of the building on the first floor and living quarters for the jailer were on the fourth floor. The three levles of cells are placed on a central carousel or drum which was turned using a hand crank. The bars (or cage) are stationary and have only one opening on each floor. The cells were rotated using the hand crank until each one would line up with the cage opening so that prisoners could be accessed, but only one cell at a time.

Over time, the rotating carousel housing the cells became more difficult to turn and often became stuck, making it nearly impossible to get food or medical assistance to prisoners if needed. Inmates often suffered broken arms and legs when they would mistakenly (or deliberately) stick their limbs through the individual cell bars while the drum was being spun.

However, there are only four recorded deaths on the property during its more than 80-year run as a prison. One inmate died from and apparent heart attack. Another was found hanged in his cell. A third prisoner reportedly died when he fell three stories after trying to climb up the cage to carve his name in the ceiling. The fourth death was rumored to be that of an officer of the local police department who accidently shot himself during the confusion of the Farmer’s Holiday Association Strike in 1932 when 84 protesters were arrested and jailed.

The Squirrel Cage Jail was in operation until 1969, when it was deemed “unfit for human habitation.” In 1971, after the prison was shut down and its remaining prisoners moved to other facilities, it was obtained by the Council Bluffs Park Board. They were successful in getting the structure listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1972.The Historical Society of Pottawattamie County – who owns and operates the building today – headed the endeavor to protect the jail in 1977, and it is now a museum which offers a glimpse into the unique cultural and architectural history of Council Bluffs, Iowa.

The Paranormal

Constructed in 1885 and in operation as a jail until 1969, the Squirrel Cage Jail offers guests a chance to experience what life may have been like doing time (or working in) a “human-rotary” style jail. One of only three such jails of still in existence, this strange building design surely holds secrets from the past.

Not surprisingly, there are a number of reports of paranormal activity within the structure, some dating back to when the jail was still in operation. It is said a jailer from the 1950s named Bill Foster refused to use the fourth floor as his living quarters because of “strange goings-on up there,” which including footsteps when no one was up there and odd sensations when he went upstairs to investigate.

One former tour guide has claimed to have seen the spirit of J.M. Carter, the gentleman who supervised the building’s construction in 1885. He was reportedly the first resident of the fourth floor living quarters. Perhaps he has stuck around to keep an eye on things to this day.

Others have recounted seeing a full-bodied apparition, also on the top floor, who they believe may be another former jailer named Otto Gufath. Still another person stated she saw the ghost of what appeared to be a sad little girl dressed in gray, sitting inside a cell which was completely inaccessible at the time.

Over the years, visitors and employees alike have described a number of possible paranormal happenings, including feeling like they are being watched, having their clothes tugged on, hearing disembodied voices, doors opening and closing by themselves, seeing strange lights and hearing odd, unexplainable noises.

Spend some time with us and see if you can discover which spirits may still be lingering here, trying to communicate with the living – and what they might have to say about the conditions they endured at the Squirrel Cage Jail.

Squirrel Cage Jail Ghost Hunt  Council Bluffs, Iowa  Friday July 15th 2022

Squirrel Cage Jail Ghost Hunt Council Bluffs, Iowa Friday July 15th 2022

Squirrel Cage Jail Ghost Hunt  Council Bluffs, Iowa  Saturday July 16th 2022

Squirrel Cage Jail Ghost Hunt Council Bluffs, Iowa Saturday July 16th 2022

Squirrel Cage Jail Ghost Hunt  Council Bluffs, Iowa  Friday September 30th 2022

Squirrel Cage Jail Ghost Hunt Council Bluffs, Iowa Friday September 30th 2022

Squirrel Cage Jail Ghost Hunt  Council Bluffs, Iowa  Saturday October 1st 2022

Squirrel Cage Jail Ghost Hunt Council Bluffs, Iowa Saturday October 1st 2022

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Iowa Haunted Houses

Madness Haunted House

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MADNESS Haunted House – Council Bluffs, Iowa.

Haunted Iowa: Top 10 Spine-Chilling Destinations

It’s one thing to visit haunted house attractions during the Halloween season, but it’s another to investigate the paranormal year-round. Thankfully, paranormal experts and enthusiasts have done the heavy lifting, so the rest of us can enjoy the fruits of their labor. Though, I’m not sure walking around an alleged haunted location hoping for an encounter of the spiritual kind is the way to spend any day, but who are we kidding? Everyone loves a good ghost story and a firsthand experience is the best. Right? Right? Iowa enjoys its haunted houses, institutions and museums as much as the next state. So, looking around, here are the top haunted locations in the Hawkeye State.

Six photos of the victims who were murdered in the VIllisca Axe Murder House

Table of Contents

Villisca Axe Murder House

Where : Villisca

Located about 90 minutes southeast of Omaha, the Villisca Axe Murder House earned its reputation as one of the most-haunted houses in the state because of the killings of eight people in 1912. On a warm summer night in June, someone used an axe and other weapons to bludgeon the Moore family and two guests. The axe was used to inflict head trauma. More than 100 years later, the murders remain unsolved, despite two trials for one of the suspects.

Photos of paranormal happenings occurring at the Villisca Axe Murder House

Paranormal experts have investigated the small two-story wooden house, discovering the presence of ghostly spirits. People spending the night inside the house report strange goings-on, shadowy figures, voices and items moving. “Villisca: Living with a Mystery” is a documentary taking a look at the story of the house and its haunting.

House tours are offered 1 to 3:30 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday. Admission is $10 for day visits. Groups of less than 12 people can spend the night for a fee. You may want to plan alternative accommodations in case the spirits prove to be too much.

Historic Squirrel Cage Jail Museum

Where : Council Bluffs

One of 18 revolving jails – squirrel cages – built in the United States, the Historic Squirrel Cage Jail was used by Pottawattamie County law enforcement from 1885 until 1969. Built in a cylinder style, standing three floors high, the Council Bluffs jail’s circular rotation was known to drive prisoners mad. The jail closed because it often got stuck and replacement parts were difficult to locate.

Interior of the Squirrel Cage Jail in Council Bluffs

At least four inmates were known to have died while in custody. People have reported hearing footsteps, voices and whispers. Items are said to move on their own. The jail attracts paranormal investigators who seek out the spirits believed to haunt the location. Flashlight tours are also popular, so amateur paranormal sleuths can search for ghosts.

Vincent House

Where : Fort Dodge

Up to 25 spirits – including James and Adeline Swain, the mansion’s builders – are believed to roam the Vincent House in Fort Dodge. People have reported seeing adults and children freely walking about the property. A paranormal investigator has confirmed the presence of ghosts.

It’s common to hear voices, footsteps and even furniture being moved on the second floor. The house’s caretaker treats the spirits with respect. He has explained that the spirits don’t realize they’ve crossed over. They see visitors as spiritual.

The Vincent House can be rented for events.

Farrar Schoolhouse

Where : Maxwell

Imagine sitting next to a ghost or watching as figures float down a hallway. At Farrar Schoolhouse in Maxwell it was a common occurrence, according to local folklore. For about 80 years, the schoolhouse served the community.

Located about 30 miles northeast of Des Moines, the elementary school closed in 2001. It was purchased by a couple five years later. It didn’t take long for them to notice strange occurrences, such as slamming locker doors and voices seemingly coming from thin air.

Today, the Farrar Schoolhouse is available for haunted tours, as well as overnight stays. You may want to reserve a hotel room in case the overnight haunts become too intense.

Cresco Theatre and Opera House

Where : Cresco

Exterior of the Cresco Theatre

Interested in watching a movie at one of the Midwest’s most-haunted theaters? Buy a ticket, get some popcorn and plop down in a seat to enjoy a new movie at Cresco Theatre and Opera House . But beware. The person sitting next to you may not be of this world.

Ghostly figures have been seen sitting in the auditorium, as though they’re watching a production. Spirits of vaudeville performers have been seen on stage. Workers have reported strange sounds, doors opening and closing and hearing voices in the basement. So, you may want to buy an extra serving of popcorn for your neighbor.

Hotel Ottumwa

Where : Ottumwa

The exterior of Hotel Ottumwa in Iowa

Opened in 1915, Hotel Ottumwa has been the scene of numerous ghost sightings. A woman in white had been viewed by employees in the basement. A gentleman in a suit roams hotel hallways. Shadows, heavy breathing and apparitions are common at the downtown hotel. The historic building was closed for about a decade until it was purchased in the mid-1980s and reopened, once again offering accommodations.

Mason House Inn

Where : Bentonsport

You may just find Casper among the 25-50 ghosts believed to reside at the Mason House Inn and Caboose Cottage . The bed and breakfast was once a hotel along a train route and routinely hosted travelers. Today, the house continues to attract travelers, with about 300 spirits known to have spent time visiting it.

Exterior of the Masson House Inn located in Bentonsport, Iowa

Rather than fear them, the owners and guests alike embrace the spirits, who are considered nice and polite. While they may play around and absorb energy from outlets and devices, they tend to follow the requests of people staying at Mason House, about 45 minutes west of Fort Madison. Simply advise the ghosts to leave you alone and they’ll comply. If you want them to hang out on your room, invite them in for the evening.

The owners open their home to paranormal investigators who have confirmed the presence of the spirits. This house doesn’t have demons, as it had been mistaken for a house with a similar name.

The Black Angel

Where : Iowa City

Standing nearly 9 feet above the graves it overlooks, the Black Angel is said to curse people who touch it or try to harm it. Erected in the early 1900s to watch over a family’s gravesites, the bronze statue became black over time because of oxidation. Or did it? Some people believe the angel turned black because of all the people it cursed to death. People who have touched it or cut off its fingers are believed to die violent deaths.

Located in Oakland Cemetery, the Iowa City attraction is known to draw students from the University of Iowa. Myths involve strange things happening to female students who are kissed near the Black Angel. Halloween visits to the statue are believed to cause people’s deaths.

Historic Iowa State Penitentiary

Where : Fort Madison

Is the old prison on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River haunted? Opened in the mid-1800s and serving as the longest operating prison in American history, it’s likely spirits of inmates executed at Historic Iowa State Prison or who died while in custody may roam the cells and grounds. About 40 prisoners were executed, while at least one guard was murdered there.

Stony Hollow Road

Where : Burlington

Lucinda, a young bride who feared her fiancé had left her for another woman, killed herself by jumping off a cliff. Shortly afterward, he arrived, delayed by muddy roads. Today, near the cliff on Stony Hollow Road , a gravel road outside of Burlington, ghost seekers can call out Lucinda by shouting her name three times. She is said to appear at the top of the cliff. But, and this where you may want to reconsider calling for her, if she lays a rose at a person’s feet, it supposedly means that person dies within a day.

Whether you’re a believer in ghosts or just an adventure seeker, Iowa has dozens of haunted locations to explore. Just prepare yourself for the folklore involved, so nothing bad happens. Be safe. Have fun. And sage when you get home.

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The Darkness in Saint Louis, Missouri

The Darkness is rated the scariest haunted houses in America located in St Louis Missouri. The Darkness celebrates 30th year of fear in 2023. Every single year The Darkness is totally renovated with new scares, screams, monsters and more. The Darkness features an outdoor screamzone, two floors of fear, over 200 animations, 50 live actors, and a massive Horror Retail store. Next door to The... [ Read more ]

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Creepyworld Screampark in Saint Louis/Fenton, Missouri

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Lemp Haunted House in St. Louis, Missouri

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    The Pottawattamie County Jail in Council Bluffs, also known as the Squirrel Cage Jail, is an interesting jail due to its revolving circular, or lazy Susan, jail cells. It's one of only three remaining squirrel cage style jails left in the country, in fact. It is also home to several ghosts, according to the jail's staff and visitors.

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  7. Madness Haunted House

    Madness Haunted House is a haunt attraction in Council Bluffs, Iowa near Omaha. This scary horror event offers Halloween fun and fright in October near you!

  8. Madness Haunted House

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    5 Bedroom Home in Council Bluffs - $519,040. 18 hrs ago. Robin Philips, M: 402-290-3050, [email protected], www.heartlandrealtor.com - MODEL HOME NOT FOR SALE. Splendid new Pine Crest two-story ...