With Halloween just a few nights away, I?came across this list of Haunted roads in Iowa. Surprising, Emmetsburg and neighboring Estherville both make the list. So, if you’re adventurous (or curious), you might like to make a little drive…if you dare.
I-80 between Mitchellville and Des Moines
Several people have reported seeing the ghost of a man dressed in colonial garb haunting the stretch of I-80 between Mitchellville and Des Moines. It is believed to be the ghost of a fur trader from the 1600s who settled the area along the Des Moines River. The figure is said to glow and then disappear under car headlights.
Marsh Rainbow Arch Bridge, Lake City
The Rainbow Bridge is said to be haunted by a chocolate loving ghost. The legend goes that if you lay an unopened chocolate bar in the center of the bridge at midnight, after 5 minutes, you will find the unopened candy bar with an intact wrapper, but the chocolate inside will be gone.
Highway 18, Emmetsburg
On a vacant lot on Highway 18 on the east side of Emmetsburg, there used to be a motel. There have been several sightings of a ghostly old man in a plaid shirt walking down the old driveway where the motel used to be. His movements make it appear as though he is checking doors.
9th Street, Sheldon
The legend goes that if you walk down 9th Street to the graveyard in Sheldon at midnight, you can see the figure of a white, shadowy ghost hovering in the air.
Oak Hill Road, Estherville
There’s a hill on Oak Hill Road in Estherville, outside Oak Hill cemetery, and it’s said to be haunted by the ghosts of football players who died there. The legend goes that a car full of football players were going to a game when their car stalled on the hill. They got out to push the car up the hill, and a car came around the bend and didn’t see the players. They were hit, and all of the players died. It’s said that if you put your car in neutral at the spot where the players were stalled, their invisible hands will push you up the hill so that you won’t have to get out of your car and be in danger of getting hit.
Matsell Bridge, Viola
It’s said that when you park your car on the middle of this bridge and shut it off, you’ll get pushed across the bridge. When you get out of your car, supposedly you’ll actually see handprints from the car being pushed. People have also reported seeing and hearing mysterious things outside their cars. If you have the windows down, you might even hear disembodied voices in the woods.
There you go – a nice road trip over Halloween weekend. Of course, do beware of the little ghosts and goblins that will be out and about come next Monday night, Oct. 31, the traditional Trick Or Treat night.
If you are sending little ones out for trick or treating, make sure they wear costumes that are visible in low light. Make sure children travel in groups, go only to areas they are familiar with, and by no means, do not eat any treats they receive until they can be checked over by a parent or adult.
Halloween is a fun holiday, with just a little bit of mystery to make life exciting. Don’t let it become a sad memory. Have fun – but have fun safely!