Haunted Cemeteries of Eastern Iowa
Iowa became the 29th state in 1846 and covers 56,272 square miles. There are 6,124 documented cemeteries here. For a state its size, Iowa has a very high proportion of haunted cemeteries. I found nearly 50 cemeteries with some sort of hauntings. I’ve written about 20 of them and here are the first 10.
Riverside Cemetery was established in 1857 and can be found on Hart Street in Charles City. This Floyd County cemetery has over 12,000 interments and overlooks the Cedar River.
This graveyard is often described as having a very strange and eerie vibe. Dark figures are often seen walking around and occasionally stopping and looking at particular graves. Some visitors have claimed to be approached or even attacked by these shadows if they themselves are standing in the shadows.
The feeling of being watched is present pretty much constantly. Strange sounds are often heard, particularly by the riverbank or the mausoleum.
The ghost of a Native American is also seen walking around on occasion. He does not show any aggression and just looks lonely.
Evergreen Cemetery is on 10th Avenue in Vinton in Benton County. There are over 8,000 interments dating back to the 1820s.
This cemetery has railroad tracks running just outside the northeast side. A ghostly woman dressed all in white has been seen riding a horse back and forth on the tracks but only where they pass the graveyard.
There is a section in the cemetery that is reserved for unknown soldiers. The ghosts of military men are often seen roaming around in that area.
There is a statue here also that seems to have different types of paranormal activity associated with it.
Parkers Grove Cemetery
Parkers Grove Cemetery is on 20th Avenue Drive in Shellsburg in Benton County. There are 340 interments here, the oldest belonging to Reverend Richard King who died in 1824.
There is a statue here with a man’s face carved into the base of it. It is not known who the man is. Legend has it that at night the man cries and you can see the tears falling from his eyes.
Amana Cemetery is on G Street in Amana behind the post office in Iowa County. All the tombstones are placed seven feet apart facing east. There are a little over 1,100 interments. The oldest grave is that of Peter Bang Kind in 1819. The cemetery is still in use.
There is a spot in the cemetery called Ghost Corner. A woman is buried in one of the corners of the cemetery and supposedly each year, during the last minute of the year, a blue figure hovers above her grave.
Oakland Cemetery is in Iowa City on Brown Street in Johnson County. It is a large cemetery with over 13,000 interments. There are three governors and a Congressman buried here. It has been the main cemetery of Iowa City since 1843. The oldest grave is William Stone in 1801.
This is another cemetery with a Black Angel. The statue is eight and a half feet tall and was erected in 1912 as a monument to the Feldevert family. The statue was made of bronze but then mysteriously turned black. The Black Angel is said to watch people as they traverse about the cemetery and there are strange lights seen near the statue.
There is a statue of a little girl on a pedestal near the Black Angel. She has been known to stare at a person and the air will become warmer as the person gets closer to her, but then becomes cooler as they move away.
Greenwood Cemetery was established in 1843 and covers 80 acres. It is on the south side of Lucas Street and is owned and operated by the city of Muscatine in Muscatine County. There are well over 21,000 interments here.
This cemetery has a Blue Angel. She is inside the mausoleum of Harry Huttig who died in 1935. The statue has a basket of flowers sitting beside her and she holds a rose in her hand. The legend says if she drops the rose while you are looking at her, you will die soon.
At some point a vandal cut off her hand so she could not drop any more roses. But sometimes the hand reappears, glowing and holding a rose.
The Blue Angel is not always blue. She is made of white gypsum and the windows in front and behind her are paned with cobalt blue stained glass. Thus, as the sun rises and sets, she turns blue.
Hickory Hill Cemetery
Hickory Hill Cemetery is located at the end of 340th Avenue near Deep Creek after it turns into a dirt road. It is near Charlotte in Clinton County. There are cornfields on either side of the cemetery. There are only 69 interments here dated from 1860 to 1942. Almost half the graves belong to the Gohlmann family.
The legend here is about the ghost of a little girl who does not want visitors. When she is seen she has a mean look on her face and continuously points towards the gate. it is not known who she is. The only marked grave of a child is for a two-year-old.
There are several infants buried here and the sound of crying babies is often heard.
Campbell Cemetery can be found in Bertram on Mt. Vernon Road SE in Linn County. There are a little over 1,000 interments. The oldest grave is from 1839.
This cemetery is known for its Trunkless Tree. There used to be two large trees here, but one of them was cut down when it became diseased. If you park in the cemetery with your lights off the tree appears to have no trunk. It looks as though the branches of the tree are just floating in midair. Is it a spirit’s trick or just an optical illusion?
Oak Hill Cemetery
Oak Hill Cemetery has a little over 6,000 interments and can be found on Mt. Vernon Road SE down the street to the east from Bertram Cemetery. The model for the farmer in Grant Woods famous painting, American Gothic was Dr. Byron H. McKeeby. He was buried here in 1950. There are also three Congressmen and one Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient buried here. The oldest grave is from 1811.
The ghost here is 10-year-old Tillie Krcmar. She was a little Czechoslovakian girl who died in 1893 from diphtheria. She can be seen wandering the cemetery at night carrying a flickering candle. Some visitors have reported that she tried to pull them into a mausoleum.
Pleasant Ridge Cemetery
Pleasant Ridge Cemetery is also known as Lewis Bottoms Cemetery. Another unofficial name is 13 Stairs Cemetery. It can be found on Lewis Bottom Road in Cedar Rapids. There are only about 120 interments here. The graves date back to the 1840s with 22 members of the Lewis family buried here.
It seems the only part of this cemetery that is haunted are the 13 stairs leading up to it. Multiple EVPs (Electronic Voice Phenomena) have been captured here. Visitors reported seeing apparitions and being touched by unseen hands.