Haunting legends that make your skin crawl

The middle Amana cemetery at sunset.

Kyleigh Maher

The middle Amana cemetery at sunset.

Ky Maher, Arts and Entertainment reporter

Have you ever had a haunting experience or something that coincidentally happened that felt uneasy or felt out of place? Or maybe you’re the type of person that likes the supernatural. One of the many uneasy places is the Mars Hill Church and Cemetery. 

This log cabin church is the only one still in use in the United States. It’s also the largest log building in Iowa. The church and cemetery’s history draws many visitors every year. The building was once an active stop for the Underground Railroad during the civil war, and the cemetery marks the final resting place of at least one veteran from every single American war in history. Today, it is known as one of the creepiest spots in Iowa and where occasional ritual masses are held at midnight or later with pentagrams and candles being left behind as evidence. The location also has its share of spirits who are believed to be slaves, who never made it to their forever-wanted freedom. 

An old mental hospital called Independence State Mental Hospital Health Institute was built in 1873. It was used to hold alcoholics, geriatrics, drug addicts, the mentally ill, and the criminally insane. On-site, you can see the graveyard, hydrotherapy tubs, and lobotomy equipment from the asylum’s gruesome and dim past. The old part of the building is neglected due to the large amount of paranormal activity. Ghosts of former staff and patients are seen in the buildings and on the grounds. People have reported being touched and pushed by unseen forces along with hearing voices, whispers, and laughter. Doors open and close on their own and phantom footsteps are heard. Lights have also been known to flicker or simply turn on and off by themselves.

The ghost of George is located in Clarion Iowa. They say if you go inside, walk upstairs and take one of the old family photos in the home and sleep with it, that when you wake up, the photo will be gone. When you go back into the house, the photo will be back on the floor where you found it and there will be a dark figure in the picture. The figure’s name is George and he will haunt you after you have touched the photograph. They say that if you let him touch you, he will take a part of your soul. 

Last but not least, the ghost of Lover’s Leap, located in Columbus Junction. Myth has it that a young Native American girl threw herself from the originally built, 1880’s bridge into the ravine below, ending her life after learning that her lover died in battle. The woman is said to be buried below in the gorge, haunting the bridge. If you visit the bridge at night, you might hear the heartbroken woman crying.

If you find these places interesting, you may be interested in the supernatural side of the world. I will be back next month with a new set of haunting legends to keep you interested in this subject.