Here is the plan: we will on a Friday afternoon and drive up our first location in Dubuque IA: The Haunted Ham house, from there we drive on to Independence IA to see the Independence State Hospital, from there we head to Fairbanks IA to the Terror Bridge, we then head south to the Earling Iowa Exorcism site, and concluding the first day of the trip at the Butler House on Grand in Des Moines IA where we will stay the night.
Links and Info about the first day:
Here are the links for Day 2:
"Construction on Independence State Hospital began in 1873, but it did not open until 1883. The hospital has had many names over the years, including the Independence Lunatic Asylum. Like many asylums on its day, it was laid out on the Kirkbride Plan, which meant the building was laid out in a staggered-wing arrangement so that each wing received sunlight and fresh air. The most violent patients were housed furthest away from the central administrative offices. Independence State Hospital is still in use today, although some parts are abandoned. Visitors have reported feeling cold drafts, hearing whispers, and the feeling of being watched. Others have seen shadows and heard screams in the empty halls at night. Apparitions of former staff and patients are also seen in the buildings and on the grounds around the hospital."
(Sorry I don't have the link for these quotes).
" Terror (Tara) Bridge
Webster County, Iowa
This secluded rural bridge allows traffic to pass over a railroad that used to run past the town of Tara. Tara is long gone now, but strange tales remain. These stories date back to the 1800s, when a frustrated farmer cursed the winds and was struck down dead. Since that time, locals have reported being chased by a howling ghost rider. The area became known as Dead Man’s Hollow. A large, hairy creature or wildman has also been reported under the bridge and in the nearby woods. More gruesome is the story of a woman who took her children to the bridge and waited for a train. As it passed, she tossed them onto the tracks one by one to be crushed to death. This accomplished, she jumped off the bridge and met her own fate. According to local legend, if you stop your car on the bridge and leave it unlocked, the woman’s ghost will drag you out and throw you onto the tracks below."
Below are links I found with some more information on the Earling IA exorcism of Emma Schimdt. Here's a quote from the second link:
"In 1928, an exorcism was performed in a convent just north of the peaceful hamlet of Earling. It was one of the last exorcisms officially sanctioned by the Catholic Church. The case was reported in several famous pieces of literature. One is a 48-page booklet called "Begone Satan" by the Rev. Carl Vogl, a witness to the event. The second is a book, "The Devil Rocked Her Cradle," by David St. Clair. The third is a novel inspired at least partly by this exorcism and one other in Washington, D.C. The book is called "The Exorcist" by William Peter Blatty and it inspired a film of the same title, which is considered to be one of the most frightening horror films ever made. "
Here's a big list of some fun Haunted locations in IA so you can plan your own trip! I'd love to hear about it and if you've had any spooky experiences too! I've only shared mine with close family and friends, maybe sometime I'll write up a blog about it. It's a running family joke now, but at the time it felt like living in a horror movie.
Finally, here's a look at what our route looks like all put together!