Well-run mental institutions can be wonderful places of hope and healing, where our most vulnerable citizens are given the care they need. But we also have in our collective conscious a vision of old-school insane asylums where patients were subjected to crude and even cruel treatments. One of the most notorious institutions in Iowa is Edinburgh Manor in Scotch Grove. It has a chilling history that dates all the way back to 1850. While it’s abandoned now, it still stands, a lonely building located in rural Iowa.
This creepy asylum plays on our worst fears, with abandoned rooms left to rot, stories of a terrifying and aggressive ghost named “The Joker” and the echoes of a dark past haunting every inch of the building and the grounds, including the onsite graveyard.
Edinburgh Manor is one of the most haunted locations in Iowa and the Midwest. Although the building was supposed to be a courthouse, it was designated as a poor farm in the mid-1800s after the county seat moved to another town.
The poor farm was described as a "comfortable retreat for lazy, able-bodied and willingly dependent applicants." It was a shelter for the poor, incurably insane and disabled. Tenants farmed agriculture and livestock and were given room and board in return for their labor.
The manor had a cemetery onsite, where the bodies of those who died at the poor house were buried. There were over 80 documented deaths on the property, and some of those deaths were from questionable causes. The restless spirits of those buried in the cemetery are said to wander the grounds at night.
The poor house operated from 1850 to 1910, when it was closed down and demolished. Edinburgh Manor was then constructed during 1910 and 1911. The Manor housed the incurably insane, poor and elderly. It was in operation until November, 2010. The building was opened up in 2012 for paranormal investigations.
While the building is dilapidated and in serious disrepair, you get the feeling that it was fled quickly by its occupants. Furniture is still in place, and there are even medical documents and personal belongings left behind.
Brave visitors to the abandoned asylum have reported all sorts of supernatural phenomena. The manor is said to be home to a malevolent spirit called "The Joker," who has been known to choke visitors.
People have captured evidence of supernatural activity in The Manor with photos of ghostly figures and a creepy face in a mirror on the 2nd floor of the men’s wing.
Audio and video evidence has also been collected, with recordings of disembodied whistling and singing that will cause the hair on the back of your neck to stand up.
For people who are really invested and courageous, there are overnight investigations available. Yes, you can spend the night in an abandoned, haunted asylum. Overnight investigations run $200 per night for one to five people. Numbers of people exceeding five will run you $40 per person. Day tours are also available upon request, and the fee is $10 per person.
Edinburgh Manor is a terrifying and haunting place to visit, whether you believe in ghosts or not. As it’s designated one of the most haunted places in the Midwest, it has even been featured on the TV show, Ghost Adventures. Are you brave enough to visit?
Below is a video that captures the terrifying nature of Edinburgh Manor.
To schedule a paranormal investigation, a tour, or to get more information about the building, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have you braved Edinburgh Manor? What was your experience like? For more creepy Iowa destinations,
. This Haunting Road Trip Through Iowa Ghost Towns Is One You Won’t Forget
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