These are the legends and reports of incidents which come from the authors – Chad Lewis and Terry Fisk, in their book, The Iowa Road Guide to Haunted Locations. These are just the six in Linn and Johnson counties. Lewis said they don’t rank them since they let the adventurer decided which places earn that title.
Note: All descriptions bellow have been paraphrased from their book. Here’s a link to their website: http://www.unexplainedresearch.com/
Cedar Rapids Public Library, 500 1st St. SE, Cedar Rapids: The ghost of a library patron continues to visit the library.
Legend says there is an elderly woman named Helen Stein who visited the library on a regular basis. One day the woman came to the library wearing a nicer dress than staff had typically seen her in. But later that day the staff was informed of her death. They soon found out she was buried in the dress they had seen her in the library hours after her death had been recorded. One librarian did report that several staff members have had odd things happen to them including hearing strange noises, items falling off shelves for no reason, and various misplaced items.
Oak Hill Cemetery, 1705 Mount Vernon RD SE, Cedar Rapids: The ghost of a young Czech woman will grant you your wish, but disrespectful visitor’s to her grave will encounter bad luck.
Legend says there is a woman named Tillie who is said to make her presence know by ensnaring those brave enough to pass through at night. The record of where her plot is has been lost and no one knows where she is actually buried. Witnesses report seeing a mysterious ghostly woman walking the grounds with a small candle in her hand. Rumors say that she was a practicing witch in Cedar Rapids in the 1800’s who was stoned to death. Her grave use to be in an area surrounded by an iron gate, but the gate was eventually removed and Tillie is said to now roam the cemetery. The other story of her is that she was a poor woman in Cedar Rapids who died without any money or possessions and roams the cemetery.
Carlos O’Kelly’s Mexican Café, 3320 Armar Dr., Marion
One night when an employee was closing the restaurant, the phone kept ringing on and off, and this was an unusual occurrence. When she had returned after multiple trips to check the phone she came back and discovered a cup of coffee on her desk. Several employees had also reported seeing plates, cleaning supplies, and cooking equipment fly off the shelves for no apparent reason as well as blenders turning on and off on their own for new reason.
Pleasant Ridge Cemetery, 4 Miles North of Palo on Palo Marsh Road
Known as the “13-Step cemetery,” because there are only 12 steps visible during the day but a 13th appears at night-leading people into the cemetery- Investigators reported a ghostly phantom running through the cemetery. Also visitors have reported seeing a green ball of light hovering over then famous Lewis family graves. Many reported to have been touched or pushed by some unseen forces. Eerie unknown human shapes have also been reported to be seen in the cemetery. The dare to people in to park your car near the entrance of the cemetery and enter and when you return, raccoon or other animals will be covering your car.
Matsell Bridge and Mansion, Matsell Park Rd., Viola:
Though the mansion no longer exists, legend says haunting still exists around the bridge It is said that if you drive onto the bridge and shut off your car, an unknown force will push you across the bridge. Reports of handprints on people’s back windows have been reported. But beware, local teens are said to believe that if the ghosts of the bridge get angry they will try and break your windows or even push you off the bridge.
The Black Angel of Oakland Cemetery, 100 Brown St., Iowa City
Legend says every Halloween the statue turns a shade darker because of the souls it has taken throughout the year. If you touch the angle at exactly midnight it is said you will die within 7 year. If you stare directly into the statue at midnight it is said you will suffer a fatal curse. And it is said if any woman who is kissed in front of the Black Angel will die within 6 months unless she is a virgin. Legend says the statue turned from bronze because of a woman named Teresa -whose ashes are buried under the angel- who was a very mysterious woman who was interested in spells and magic. Her evilness is said to have caused the statue to turn black. There are many versions of the story including one which says that a man constructed a statue over his wives grave but it turned black due to her infidelity during the marriage. One popular story said that two men went into the cemetery and urinated on the statue and died in a car accident that night has placed a curse on the statue. Many other legends exist. The dare is to kiss the statue at midnight.