The Paranormal at Home: Hauntings in 50 States – Iowa’s Farrar Schoolhouse

Please click here if you would like to read the first article in the series.

School is a place children go to learn, play and socialize. This is generally a positive experience in most children’s lives, at least until they become angsty, rebellious teenagers. While most people enjoy a beneficial education experience, others do not. The negativity this causes in a young life may have a lasting effect, one that out lives those involved.

Haunted Iowa: The Farrar Schoolhouse

The Farrar Schoolhouse story begins in 1919 when local resident C.G. Geddes agreed to give 6 acres of his farmland to expand the rural area’s modest one-room schoolhouses. A new brick schoolhouse was constructed which would accommodate grades kindergarten through 12.

Five of the previous school buildings were hauled onto the site to serve as temporary classrooms while work commenced on the new building. The cornerstone was engraved with the date “1921” and the first graduating class is documented in 1923 and consisted of only five students. While many students had no problems attending the Farrar Schoolhouse, there are claims of molestation and abuse that occurred years ago. The Ku Klux Klan allegedly burned a cross on the property as well.

A banquet event was held on May 3rd, 2002. This momentous occasion was organized to commemorate the official closing of the Farrar Schoolhouse. It would no longer serve as an educational facility and remained vacant for approximately four years. Nancy and Jim Oliver bought the building in 2006. They use it as a private residence while gradually restoring it to its original state.

Paranormal Activity at the Farrar Schoolhouse

Fly By Night (FBN) paranormal group captures footage of a camera moving by itself while investigating the Farrar Schoolhouse

Many personal experience have been reported at the Farrar Schoolhouse. Co-owner Nancy Oliver described seeing the figure of a young boy while standing on stairs near the gym. The incident occurred around 11 am. Oliver also had an experience while in a classroom often used as an investigation briefing room. While in the area with others, the figure of a young girl with a long, frilly dress  and curly hair was seen. The giggle of a child was also heard during the incident.

Former Janitor Bill Webb used to live on school grounds. He stated that he would frequently find the gym lights on after hours even though he was sure he had turned them off. He also heard noises that sounded like people were walking around on the lower floor.

The Paranormal Seekers of Iowa (PSI) group investigated the school. Two team members were working on an EVP session when they suddenly spotted two balls of light exit the boiler room, dart across the gym floor and head into the laundry room area.

Later in the evening, another member of PSI returned to the gym to focus on allegations of child abuse in the building’s history. A chair was sitting against the brick wall, prompting the investigator to ask “Anybody ever get in trouble here and have to face the wall or get put in timeout?”. A clear, intelligent response was heard stating “…or worse…”. Lead investigator JD Campbell stated it was the clearest EVP they have ever captured at the school. See video below to hear the EVP.

PSI EVP session with small boy in gym
Click here to jump to the start of the incident described above

Katie Hass, also with PSI, entered a storage closet and suddenly felt unexplained anger. This was very unusual for Hass, and was effecting her to the point of balling her fists. There was no reason for the sudden rage.  She began questioning those close to her because she couldn’t figure out the cause and was worried that she may need some kind of counseling.

Hass went to a spiritual healer. She told the healer she was a paranormal investigator but did not mention visiting the school.The healer somehow knew and told her that was the cause.  She also asked if Hass was in a storage closet when the anger began. The healer told her that an entity at the school connected with her energy and is “not a nice spirit.”

Curiously, while this segment of the Paranormal Encounters documentary was being filmed, a strange knocking was heard while Hass told her story followed by disembodied breathing – right at the point where the entity was first mentioned. (Click here to jump to Hass’ segment in the Paranormal Encounters documentary.) A brief search of the area revealed no intruders.

Psychic medium Jacqui Carpenter also spent time at the school. She stated that for nearly 20 years she would drive by the school regularly on her way home and often witnessed the figure of a little girl standing by a window, waving. This recurring activity was what originally drew Carpenter to the school.

Everyone from former students to paranormal investigators and the building’s owners have shared stories that may be paranormal. The location has been featured on Biography Channel’s  paranormal TV series My Ghost Story, the Morning Moose radio show and was covered on a Halloween Fox News segment (click here for part one and here for part two).

Farrar School
Overhead view of the Farrar Schoolhouse on Google Maps.
Click image to see address on Google Maps

The Farrar Schoolhouse Today

The Farrar Schoolhouse continues to be a curiosity for paranormal investigators. A Facebook page has appeared as well as an official website complete with a generous gallery of interesting old photos.

Have you been to the Farrar Schoolhouse (or would you like to go)? Share your personal experiences or investigative approach to this location in the comments.

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