Iowa State University is a classic when it comes to imagining just what a Midwestern university is. The small city of Ames hovers around a population of 65,000 yet nearly half of those numbers are students at the university. Cornfields lay on the outskirts of the Ames, and agriculture is still a huge reason why students attend. But amongst all those far-out rows of the cornfields in the distance, did something sinister sneak onto the campus somehow?
Is The Iowa State University Haunted?
The university was established all the way back in 1858. Ideally, due to all of the vast unused farmlands in Iowa, the school was established with a heavy concentration on agriculture life so as to propagate such lifestyles and careers within the state. In 1861 the very first building on campus, The Farm House was constructed. Serving as the main house to a model farm on campus, it is considered an institution on campus. However, the Farm House is considered to be the most haunted location on campus.
The Haunted Farm House
Farm House is said to be haunted by the ghosts of two different women. One named Edith Curtiss, was the daughter of the dean of agriculture while the other is named Esther Wilson and she was the former wife of the school president. Curtiss was reputed to have many gentleman callers that were snuck through the windows at night. While the Farm House is a museum today, the curtains have been spotted by students and visitors mysteriously swaying. At other times, the curtains have been seen snapping open and then closing in an instant with nobody in the room. Paranormal theorists believe her spirit is responsible for that and the mysterious sound of a female voice that can be heard at different times in the house. Wilson’s spirit has a different slant, quite literally. Being a museum many table place settings have been mysteriously moved or angled after they’ve been laid down by human hands and many believe her spirit is correcting the improper table manners. On more than one occasion her spirit is believed to have been manifested and one frightened woman was said to have approached and greeted the spirit before it disappeared into thin air.
The Ghost of Fisher Theater
Fisher Theater is also said paranormally active by a ghost. The theater is over one hundred and twelve years old, and its longest-tenured theater instructor was a woman named Frieda Shattuck. In fact, her dedication to the Iowa State theater was so dedicated she is rumored to have never missed a single performance in sixty-two years. Her spirit has manifested before theater students on the night of a big performance, and this is taken as a sign of good luck. However, her wheelchair was left behind as a prop to be used by the school’s theater company. There have been reports of the wheelchair not only moving locations around backstage, but some have even claimed to see it move towards them as if someone were in it!
Haunted Friley Hall
Across campus, Friley Hall is another haunted hotspot on campus. The basement area is said to be the most haunted spot in the hall and has earned the campus nickname of “The Devil’s Legion Room.” Over the years, students have reported seeing a shadow man who has partially manifested into an older man with a beard and top hat. His spirit has been seen slinking around this area and brings with it a certain feeling of not only cold air but dread as well. This dread seems to have branched out and hit other parts of the hall as collectively students have complained about having incredibly disturbing and dark dreams.
There also exists a singular room where a student was said to have committed suicide in it years ago. At some point, the room was closed and because it lacked a fire escape and serves no purpose, but the most disturbing claim is that people have seen a blood-like substance seep from underneath the doorway. The room has been opened and no real source was found for why it materialized. Is the shadow man in the basement responsible? The physical manifestation has the knee jerk reaction of someone who died in the vicinity in a violent way and continues to make their spirit known. On the other hand, there are some that speculate the entity is somehow related to the “Hat Man”. The Hat Man is a supernatural entity that has been seen by people the world over. Tall, shadow-like figure that resembles the physical feature of a man, but wears either a top or wide-brimmed had. Along with his presence is that terrible sense of dread as well as a cold sensation that creates almost a paralyzing fear. Still to this day, the origins of the Hat Man phenomena as a whole is a mystery.
Iowa State University is one of the top Midwestern schools in terms of academics and even in its vastly rising sports programs. Paranormal tours have been known to occur on campus that are formed by former students and it’s spirits like that which keep the stories of the real spirits on campus alive.