Are You Afraid of What Goes Bump in the Night? Meet Iowa's Most Notorious Ghosts at These Haunted Locations Across the State!
November 17, 2017 By Cait Russell
The Villisca Ax Murder House was the scene of one of the most horrific unsolved murders of the 1900s in the country, and it is believed to be haunted by the spirits of the murdered family to this day.
Photo by: Eric Swanger via Flickr
What's spookier than driving down a dimly lit road flanked with nothing but cornfields and pastures? Not much. Ever get that eerie feeling like there's someone watching you, despite there being "no one" there? Well it's no surprise - Iowa has quite the haunted history, and there have been countless reports of ghost sitings, encounters, and other paranormal experiences across the state.
Whether you've had your own otherworldly encounter with an apparition, or you're on the fence about paranormal activity, you'll definitely want to check out these notorious Iowa real haunts, which just may turn you into a true believer.
- The Villisca Ax Murder House - Villisca, Iowa - With a name like "Ax Murder House", well, how could you not be on a list of most haunted places? In 1912, an entire family was brutally murdered in their Villisca home, which is now known as "The Ax Murder House". The family, consisting of a married couple and their six children are believed to still haunt the resident over one hundred years later, and the property has been investigated by almost every major Paranormal Investigation television show.
The murders were absolutely brutal - so brutal, in fact, that it took the sinking of the Titanic over two months later to get the murder story off of the front page of the local papers, finally. It's no surprise that the family still haunts the home - not only were the murders horribly gruesome, but they were never solved, which is why their story has stayed in the public eye for so long. In the 1990s, the home was converted into a museum, so that you can visit it yourself, and if you're feeling brave, or want to do your own paranormal investigation, you can actually schedule an overnight stay at the Ax Murder House.
- Coe College - Cedar Rapids, Iowa - Coe College is another one of Iowa's iconic real haunted places. In 1918, a young student named Helen Roberts died during the influenza epidemic that swept the nation, and while her time at Coe College as a student may have been short, it seems that she's taken up permanent residence in the dormitory where she once boarded. Helen lived in the Vorhees Hall, and although she has passed, a grandfather clock donated to the school by her parents, still calls the Hall home, and there have been numerous reports of Helen's spirit making herself at home within the clock.
It's also reported that Helen likes to play pranks on the students that live in Vorhees Hall - pulling sheets off their beds, slamming doors, and even showing up as an apparition next to their beds in the dorms late at night. While it seems like Helen is mostly harmless, she does sound like one spooky gal, that's for sure.
- Stony Hollow Road - Burlington, Iowa - Stony Hollow Road is one of the most well known "Lover's Lane" haunts in all of Iowa. The Legend of Stony Hollow Road tells the story of a young girl, Lucinda, who jumped to her death after her lover failed to meet up with her to run away together, as they had planned. Since her tragic and untimely death, travelers have reportes seeing her along the roadway, and local lure says that if you chant her name three times while traveling on the road, Lucinda will appear. But beware - if Lucinda gives you a red rose, then you'll be meeting an untimely fate of your own the next day, according to legend.
- The Black Angel of Oakland Cemetery - Iowa City, Iowa - Cemeteries are always inherently creepy - especially so when they're filled with ornate statues and monuments, as the Oakland Cemetery is. While there's more than a few grave marker statues that might give you the heebee-jeebees, there's one in particular that's been known to spook visitors - The Black Angel. The statue was erected in memoriam of a local woman by her daughters in 1912. Just days before she died unexpectedly, she told her daughters she had seen visions of an angel, so when she passed, they had a bronze angel statue erected at her grave site in her honor.
Over the years, something unusual happened - the statue changed colors, but unlike most bronze statues, which turn a shade of green with time, this one turned black, and rumors started to swirl. According to local lore, anyone who touches the Black Angel Statue will suffer a horrible fate, and the statue turns a shade darker each and every Halloween. One man, who tried to cut off the statue's outstretched hand, went insane, and was later found dead in the Chicago River.
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