Haunted Locations: Idaho

Harms Memorial Hospital
American Falls, Idaho
Construction on the Power County Hospital and Nursing Home began 1960 and was completed in 1961. The original configuration of the Power County Hospital allowed for 18 nursing home beds and 16 hospital beds, with room to expand to 60 beds. It was also the only hospital in the west to be heated entirely by electricity. In the early 1980s, the name of the hospital was changed to Harms Memorial Hospital, in honor of Dr. Frank Harms who served the area from 1940 through 1980. Many people have died in the nursing home over the years and the dead allegedly still walk the halls. The night staff at the nursing home has received calls from call buzzers in rooms where there are no patients. The ghost of Dr. Frank Harms is said to wander the building leaving behind him a trail of cigar smoke. There have been reports of residents who have died there appearing in various locations of the building and then disappearing. There have also been reports from staff that claim they’ve seen a tall ghostly man standing near the entranceways.

Boise State University
Boise, Idaho
With nearly 19,000 students, Boise State University is the largest institution of higher learning in Idaho. It is located in the middle of one of the most vibrant and up-and-coming cities in America. Boise State has academic programs in eight colleges – Applied Technology, Arts and Sciences, Business and Economics, Education, Engineering, Graduate Studies, Health Sciences and Social Sciences and Public Affairs — with a full-time faculty of more than 500. There is something else that Boise State University has that a lot of schools don’t. GHOSTS! The first story is that of a girl named Dinah. Dinah is believed to be haunting to Communications Building, which once house the Student Union Building. It is told that Dinah hung herself there after being rejected by a date at the Student Union ballroom. There is another story that states she hung herself after finding her lover in bed with another girl. Dinah was active in the theater department’s costume shop, which was housed upstairs in the building in the 1970s. She is now known to switch on computers after being turned off. At least one faculty member avoids teaching in Room 226. There is also a story about a frat house located near the university that was the scene of many brutal murders years ago. As the story goes, the male assailant slaughtered a number of people and dragged their mutilated corpses around the neighborhood. Blood stains on the walls from that night, at times, can be seen even though the walls have been painted over. There have also been reports of a shadowy figure of a lady standing in the front window. It is unknown but it is possible that she is one of the victims.

Boot Hill Cemetery
Idaho City, Idaho Idaho City
is about 36 miles northeast of the City of Boise. It was founded in December 1862 amidst the Boise Basin gold rush. As its population swelled, the Idaho legislature changed the town’s name to Idaho City to avoid confusion with Bannock, Montana. At its peak, Idaho City’s population numbered in the tens of thousands, but most departed once mining declined. The height of the boom lasted from 1863 to 1866. Fires also ravaged the community. The first, in 1865, wiped out eighty percent of the buildings in town. Others, in 1867, 1868, and 1871, were similarly destructive. Luckily, due to the extraordinary wealth of the gold strike, the town was speedily rebuilt each time. It was violent town where whiskey was cheaper than water and life was cheap. Men carried guns and were quick to use them and lawbreakers were hung without trial. Boot Hill Cemetery houses about two hundred of the dead from those days, and also the undead. There have been many reports of paranormal activity at this old cemetery. Orbs have been photographed on a number of occasions and people have also reported seeing streaks and mists seemingly rising from the graves.


Haunted Locations: Illinois

Avon Theatre
The Avon Theater opened in 1916, and had been constructed for showing moving pictures. The screen was the best and the largest in the city. The projectors were top of the line and there was an orchestra that would play music for the films. There was also a pipe organ. The Avon Theatre flourished for a number of years and then in the late 1920’s, it was purchased by the Constanopoulos family. In 1953, a new widescreen was installed in theAvonto show Panavision and 3-D films. In 1966 the theatre was bought out from the Constanopoulos family. They retained ownership of the building but had no control of the business. Gus Constanopoulos kept an office in the building for many years until, in 1966; he was forced out by the new owners. It is believed that Gus, even after death, did not really leave theAvon. TheAvon’s popularity was on a steady decline for many years and in 1986 the doors were closed for good. In 1989 theAvonopened again as an independent and art film theater and it remains open. There have been many paranormal encounters at the Avon Theatre and Gus is believed to be the one behind all the activity. Staff has reported that items seem to go missing, lights turn on and off on their own, and that after the theatre has closed they can hear voices, laughter and applause coming from the auditorium. The sound of footsteps can also be heard in the empty theatre and the feeling of being watched constantly or even touched is also common. There have also been reports of an apparition of a man who is believed to be Gus. In the hallway upstairs staff has reported odd cold spots and the sound of footsteps coming toward them but they turn to look, nothing is there. Guests of the Avon Theatre have also felt strange when they pass through the front doors. They have complained about feeling like they were being touched by unseen hands and the feeling of every move they make being watched. Many guests have also seen apparitions and shadows.

Congress Plaza Hotel
The Congress Plaza Hotel was built in 1893. The hotel was originally called the Auditorium Annex when it opened to house the visitors to the World’s Columbian Exposition. A feature of the hotel was an underground marble passageway that connected the new annex with the Auditorium Hotel. The south tower was constructed in 1902 and 1907 and included a banquet hall, now known as the Gold Room, which would become the first hotel ballroom inAmerica to use air-conditioning. Another ballroom, called the Florentine Room, was added to theNorthTower in 1909. Over the years the hotel switched owners and in 1908 was renamed The Congress Hotel. In 1916 the hanging chandeliers were replaced with electrical outlets and desk lamps. The original bathroom plumbing fixtures were replaced in a 1923 and in the early 1930s; the former Elizabethan Room on the ground floor was transformed into a stylish night club, with a revolving bandstand. Renamed the Joseph Urban Room, it would become the 1935-36 headquarters for an NBC Radio show featuring Benny Goodman. Following the outbreak of World War II, the Government purchased the Congress Hotel and used it as a headquarters for U.S. Army officers. The Congress Hotel was once known as the “home of presidents,” as several of them used the hotel for speeches and to discuss campaign strategies. Guests and staff at the Congress Hotel have reported strange happenings in the building. There are numerous moving cold spots throughout the hotel, lights and TVs turn themselves on and off and objects in the hotel move on their own. Many people have complained that doors open then slam shut on their own and they feel as if someone is with them when they walk the hallways alone.

Bartonville Insane Asylum
Bartonville, Illinois
The original Peoria State Hospital for the Incurable Insane was built in 1887. The first building was never used due to the fact that it was built over a mine shaft. The building began sinking and cracking so it had to be demolished. In 1902, under the direction of Dr. George Anthony Zeller, construction began on the new hospital that exists today. Dr. Zeller was considered a pioneer in the mental health treatment field. It was his idea to implement the cottage system which meant that instead of having one central building to house the patients there were 33 different cottage-like buildings. He also believed that the windows should not have bars and restraints should not be used. The forms of treatment employed at the hospital would be considered inhuman by today’s standards. They include but are not limited to shock therapy and water submersion. Dr. Zeller also came up with a system to discard the bodies of the unclaimed dead. He put together a crew of staff members and patients to take care of the grave digging and burials. The burials took place on the hospital grounds in one of the four cemeteries. One of the members of this crew was a man that was referred to as A. Bookbinder or “Old Brook”. His name was unknown and he could not communicate so he was named after his last job. Although most of the patients buried at the hospital were not known personally by anyone there, Old Brook took each burial to heart and wept for every one of them. He would lean against an old elm tree which stood in the middle of the graveyard and to cry and sob. When Bookbinder died, almost everybody in the hospital turned out for his funeral. The four men that were handling the lowering of his casket into the ground pulled on the ropes so that the wooden planks could be removed to allow the casket to drop. As they did this the casket shot up into the air as if it were empty. At the same time there came a loud whining and moaning sound from the old elm where Old Brook used to lean. Everybody at the funeral turned to look at the tree and was horrified to see Old Brook leaning against the tree crying. People began to run and scream and Dr. Zeller ordered the casket to be opened. Upon opening the casket they found that the body of Old Brook was still there. Once the casket was opened the apparition and the wailing stopped. A few days later the old elm tree began to die and eventually was totally dead. Dr. Zeller tried to have it cut down but with the first swing of the axe came this loud sound as if someone were crying out in agonizing pain. The same thing happened after the doctor ordered the tree burned down. Since those days many people have ventured into the old hospital to experience something paranormal. There have been numerous reports of eerie noises, footsteps and even apparitions.


Haunted Locations: Indiana

Guyer Opera House
The Guyer Opera House was built in 1901 and is named after Dr. Oscar K. Guyer. The two story opera house is the tallest building in the small town ofLewisville. During a Wild West Show, in the early1920’s there was a gun accident where an eight year old audience member was shot and killed. The Guyer Opera House is believed to be haunted by at least one ghost. Employees and actors have been terrified by lights turning on and off in the dressing rooms. There have been reports of strange, loud banging noises at the back of the auditorium. Also in the auditorium, the doors will sometimes open and close on there own. The light booth seems to be the place that most staff members are afraid of. On numerous occasions staff members were sent screaming from the booth, terrified by what they experienced. What happened were an extreme temperature drop and the sound of animal like growling. A shadowy figure has also been reported in the building.

Danville Bridge
TheDanvilleBridge inDanville,Indiana is reportedly haunted by the ghost of an Irish worker. In the 1850s Irish immigrants were hired as cheap labor to build a bridge across White Lick Creek. While pouring a pylon to support the bridge, a wooden platform collapsed and the Irish worker was thrown into the wet cement. As he sank deeper into the concrete the other workers could hear him screaming and pounding on the wooden sides of the frame. He sank so quickly that there was no time for anyone to save him from his ultimate demise. Since that fateful day, people that are near the bridge at night claim to have heard the loud piercing screams that were heard the day of the accident. It has also been reported that a pounding sound can be heard from the same pylon the Irish worker fell into. Many years later the trestle was torn down and now a swinging bridge crosses White Lick Creek. The remnants of the old bridge are still there to see. Since the removal many people report seeing the apparition of the Irish worker haunting the area.

Rivoli Theatre
The Rivoli Theatre was built in 1927 by Carl Laemmle Jr. of Universal Pictures Corporation and Universal Chain Theatrical Enterprises Inc. Before the Rivoli, there stood a farmhouse and before that an Indian burial ground. The theatre was designed in Spanish Mission Revival style by architect and Henry Ziegler Dietz, and had 1500 seats. Universal sold out their interest in the theater in 1937, and the theater changed hands several times until 1976 when acquired by Charles Richard Chulchian. The Rivoli to this day has the largest theater stage in Indianapolis. It was also host to live music concerts in the 1970s and 1980s, and closed down in 1992, having been dormant for ten years. The Rivoli theatre is also known to be haunted. Many of the previous owners have said that when entering the theatre in the morning they would see and hear people in the auditorium. When the owners would try to ask them how they got into the theatre they would disappear. It has also been reported by people in the theatre that a man would run through the aisles in the auditorium then disappear into the wall. There is a feeling of being leered at when in the women’s washroom. Toilets would flush and water taps would turn on and off on there own. Staff at the theatre claim to have been shoved and have seen objects move on there own. The ghostly images of a man and woman have been seen on the stairs leading to and in the projection booth. Lights turn on and off by themselves, the sound of smashing glass can be heard, and voices can be heard throughout the theatre.

Flag of Iowa   State seal of Iowa

Haunted Locations: Iowa  

Mathias Ham House
Dubuque, Iowa
The Mathias Ham House is a 19th century house in Dubuque that was designed in the Italian Villa style and looks out into the Mississippi River. In 1833, Mathias Ham moved into this house as it was an excellent way to keep an eye on his fleet of steam boats. Mathias Ham was a prosperous shipper and miner. He married Zerelda Marklin and together they had six children. Due to the large size of his family Mathias began to expand the house. This expansion included a large observation tower on the third floor used to watch his boats. The tower also allowed Mathias to aide in the capture of a large band of pirates who swore revenge on him and his family. When his wife died in 1856 he remarried to a woman named Maraget Mclean and with her had two more children. In 1874 Mathias’ second wife died and then he died in 1889. After his death, two of his daughters, Sarah and May, took up residence in the house. After May’s death in the 1890s, Sarah began hearing voices and footsteps throughout the house. Sarah believed that it was the pirates that swore revenge on her family. She reported what was happening to the neighbors and came up with the idea of a signal. She would place a lamp in the window if it happened again. The next night while Sarah was in bed she heard the footsteps again. They stopped right outside her bedroom door. Sarah put her lamp in the window, grabbed her gun and fired two shots at the door. The neighbors rushed over and found a trail of blood on the stairs leading outside and down toward the river. Upon inspection the body of the pirate was found at the edge of the river with two bullet holes in him. The Mathias Ham house has been operated as a museum since 1964 by the Dubuque County Historical Society. Employees in the building report strange happenings daily. The most common is the cold winds that blow through the building even when the doors and windows are shut. There are numerous cold spots in the house, the coldest being in the tower where Mathias would sit and watch his fleet. There have been many reports of items mysteriously disappearing and then reappearing somewhere else in the house. Windows in the house seem to open on their own, even if they were locked. Lights flicker and sometimes refuse to turn off or on. There have also been reports of female voices, phantom footsteps and strange lights moving throughout the house.

Pottawattamie County Squirrel Cage Jail
Council Bluffs, Iowa
The unique Victorian Gothic styled Squirrel Cage jail in Council Bluffs served as the Pottawattamie County Jail from 1885 until 1969. It was America’s largest rotary jail, an idea first patented in 1881 by William Brown and Benjamin Haugh. The purpose of the new jail was to produce a jail in which prisoners can be controlled without the necessity of personal contact between them and the jailer. The cylinder is 28 feet high, 24 feet in diameter and is suspended from an iron beam on the fourth floor. The cylinder has three floors with ten pie shaped cells on each floor designed to hold two prisoners per cell. Since there was only one entrance or exit on each floor the cylinder had to be turned with a hand crank until the cell was lined up with the opening in the cage. Two of the most bloodthirsty criminals housed in the prison were Charles Brown and Charles Kelley, “The Mad Dog Killers” who went on a three state mass murder spree in 1961. That February, Brown and Kelley killed a man while robbing an Omaha liquor store. The next day, the pair found themselves in Council Bluffs where they shot Alvin Koerhsen five times for his truck. The truck wouldn’t start so Brown and Kelley found Kenneth Vencel and his Ford pickup in the parking lot of a grocery store. Vencel was forced to drive them at gunpoint to a parking lot where Kelley and Brown ordered him out of his truck and then shot him repeatedly. Brown and Kelley went north to Missouri Valley. The pair bought bus tickets to Kansas City and were captured shortly thereafter at a roadblock on the north edge of Council Bluffs. Brown was executed by hanging on July 24, 1962 at the penitentiary in Fort Madison, Iowa. Kelley was hanged in September of the same year, making him the last man executed by the state of Iowa. Although the jail housed some violent people it is believed the paranormal activity is caused by a former jailer. There have been reports of voices and noises emanating from the fourth floor apartment where he stayed. People have described the feeling of great sadness in some of the cells that housed the prisoners. There are cold spots in the building and it has been reported that a person felt as though their clothes were being pulled on.