How long have you haunted your town? Why do you haunt it so? I grew up 30 miles from Iowa City, attended The University of Iowa, and never left. I keep haunting it, because my friends are here.
Ghost you would summon if you had the chance: Robert Jordan, so my husband could find out if he’s happy with how Wheel of Time ended.
Paranormal creature you wouldn’t mind being for a day: Vampire (for a night–ha ha). They have the most fun.
1. Slater Hall. Built in the 1800’s, legend has it that a student jumped to his death from the ninth floor of this dormitory and now footsteps and screams can be heard as he lingers. The second, more sinister spirit, is known as “Penguin Man,” who targets those walking the halls alone at night.
2. Currier Hall. Another dormitory, the rumor is that three roommates on the fourth floor fell in love with the same man and committed suicide. If current roommates argue in the room, the ghosts will appear to restore harmony. A second presence is said to haunt the E300 wing, the father of a former tenant.
3. Watt’s Antiques and Collectibles. A house converted into an antique store is rumored to be haunted. You may hear footsteps and voices. Some have seen apparitions or felt the paranormal, such as cold spots.
4. Dubuque Street house. A rental on Dubuque Street received some notoriety a couple years ago when members of the Iowa baseball team living in the house hired paranormal investigators to confirm the presence of two spirits. A funeral home in the 1920’s, this house has been linked to multiple disturbances. In addition to the typical doors slamming and objects moving, a resident with the attic room lost his will to leave the room, and when one roommate’s girlfriend stayed over—pants on—she found her underwear removed in the morning and placed someplace else.
Oakland Cemetery. You can walk the trails of Hickory Hill Park, take a wrong (or right) turn, and end up here. Established in 1843 and filled with an array of beautiful stones, the most notable figure worth seeing is the Black Angel. Erected in 1913 over the son of a Czech immigrant Teresa Feldevert, the statue was bronze at the time (oxidation turned it black, or maybe something else). Later, the ashes of the Feldevert’s second husband were placed in the base of the statue. Feldevert’s ashes joined at her death, although the monument only features her birth date and not her death date.
What to do on Halloween
1. Kiss the Black Angel. Legend has it that you will be struck dead, unless you are a virgin, and that pregnant women who walk beneath the shadow’s wings will miscarry. If lovers kiss under the gaze of the statue, the couple will die within seven years.
2. People watch on the Ped Mall. The college students are out in full force. Avoid paying overpriced cover for an overcrowded bar. Just watch the crowd from your own park bench.
3. Go to Field of Screams. Check out this haunted corn maze!
4. Go to the Haunted Bookshop. It’s only haunted by 40,000 books and some adorable felines…I think.
1. TCB. This pool hall is our favorite weekend stop to avoid the college crowd.
2. Mondo’s Saloon. Margarita specials on the weekend and a build-your-own burrito menu? Yes, please! The karaoke says it starts at 10:00 on Friday nights, but it usually gets going around 11:00. Just part of its charm.
3. Formosa. Serving the Las Vegas sushi roll and cotton candy martinis, the specials on Tuesdays and Thursdays are to die for.
4. Short’s Burger and Shine. Try to conquer the whole burger menu–if you dare! This bar and restaurant haunts an old shoe shine shop and still features equipment and photos from that time period.
5. Jimmy Jack’s. Kansas City barbecue in Iowa City. Yum!
6. The Java House. The best place for coffee and conversation.
Want to show the haunted side of your town? Contact me.