Pumpkins, goblins, and witches have taken over pop culture yet again as the cool weather moves in. Did I mention yet that I love fall? Not only am I the proud owner of an October birthday, but I have always been most excited for this season. Changing leaves, bonfires, and of course; ghost stories, urban legends, and spooky fun movies.

Beautiful fall foliage in the northeast USA
cREDIT: Sharan Singh

And Iowa definitely has its own "haunts" to speak of. We are known for our picturesque landscapes and friendly communities, but some places harbor dark and eerie secrets and stories. The state has numerous haunted places that have captured the imaginations of locals and paranormal enthusiasts alike. From ghostly apparitions to unexplained phenomena, Iowa's haunted sites are shrouded in mystery and intrigue.

Credit: daniilphotos
Credit: daniilphotos

I even have some firsthand experiences with a couple of places on the list. The Edinburgh Manor was once an asylum for the mentally ill. My mother worked in the kitchens there. I even remember visiting work with her several times and playing on the swing set outside. I never had any paranormal experiences there; however, my mother did and hated the basement and stairs. The imposing structure, built in the 1910s, is still standing today, and is rumored to be haunted by former patients. In fact, ghost hunters can set up visits, and several have documented eerie voices, unsettling footsteps, and unsettling apparitions within its decaying walls.

One of the most famous haunted locations in Iowa is, of course, the Villisca Axe Murder House. In 1912, the seemingly peaceful residence became the scene of a gruesome crime, where eight people, including six children, were brutally murdered. Add to it the mysteries of UNI's "Purple Lady," the Blackhawk Hotel (formerly the Mississippi Hotel), and landmarks like the pyramids in Avery at Hickory Grove Cemetery.

These haunted places (and many others) across the state of Iowa offer a unique glimpse into the world of the paranormal; inviting those with a taste for the mysterious to explore the eerie history and spine-tingling stories that continue to captivate residents and visitors alike. Whether you're a skeptic or a believer, these locations are sure to send shivers down your spine and leave you pondering the unexplained. Continue at your own risk... (cue the spooky laughter).

Iowa's Top 20 Most Haunted Locations

Photos and a brief description of Iowa's Top 20 Most Haunted Locations

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