This Haunting Road Trip Through Iowa Ghost Towns Is One You Won’t Forget

When we think of ghost towns in IA, we think of cobwebbed saloons and Wild West towns abandoned to the ghosts of gunslingers past. You may be surprised to find that there are quite a few ghost towns in eastern Iowa, and they contain as much haunted history as any of the iconic ghost towns that first come to mind when thinking of the wild, wild west.

From abandoned mining towns to small towns that fought to survive during some of Iowa’s devastating floods, you can take a tour of some of these ghost towns right in your backyard and discover slices of Iowa’s history. Check out the directions on this Google Map for a chilling and educational 4-hour and 55-minute journey through seven of eastern Iowa’s deserted communities. Get in the car and go on this haunted road trip through Iowa!

Not sure what to bring along? No worries – check out our comprehensive Road Trip Essentials Packing Guide for everything you need and then some.

We hope you enjoy this historic and haunting road trip through Iowa. If you want to learn more about Iowa’s haunted past, you might be interested in the most haunted places in Iowa! Which ghost towns in IA would you add to the list? Did we miss any? Let us know! 

Address: Buckhorn, Maquoketa, IA 52060, USA
Address: Buxton, IA 52531, USA
Address: Downey, IA 52358, USA
Address: Elkport, IA, USA
Address: Kinross, IA 52335, USA
Address: Monmouth, IA 52309, USA
Address: Sunbury, IA 52778, USA

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The OIYS Visitor Center

Ghost Towns in Iowa

June 10, 2021

Where are some haunted places in Iowa? 

Some folks might accuse Iowa of being what’s known as a “flyover” state, implying that it’s boring and has nothing interesting happening now or any time soon. They’d be surprised to learn that Iowa is a remarkably spooky place if you know where to look; it’s home to plenty of eerie and uncomfortable places that are said to harbor ghosts. For example, the Independence State Hospital is one of the most haunted (well, allegedly) places in the entire state. Once home to a dangerous mental hospital, the halls of this old building are said to be witness to some creepy goings-on. There are also several haunted places where you can stay the night, like the old Mason House Inn.   

How many ghost towns in Iowa are there? 

There most certainly are! Iowa isn’t exactly a place where most folks would immediately imagine old western ghost towns, but believe it or not, we’ve got plenty. As of the time of this writing, there are nearly 30 known ghost towns in Iowa. Some of them include places like Herring, Doris, Dudley, Buchanan, Littleport, White Pigeon, and even a little place once known as Unique. They’re all unique in their own ways, and the history of each town is worth learning. Hoping for another ghostly road trip through Iowa? Embark upon this creepy road trip in IA if you dare. 

What kind of abandoned places in Iowa are there?  

Iowa is a place that lovers of the abandoned and derelict should not overlook; it’s home to lots of fascinating, long-dead places, all waiting to be admired from afar. You can find quiet schools, racetracks, long-closed businesses, homes, and so much more. Being a farming state, we’re also home to plenty of abandoned homesteads and old farms, so make sure to keep your eyes peeled when you’re taking a drive next time!  

Address: Buckhorn, Maquoketa, IA 52060, USA
Address: Buxton, IA 52531, USA
Address: Downey, IA 52358, USA
Address: Elkport, IA, USA
Address: Kinross, IA 52335, USA
Address: Monmouth, IA 52309, USA
Address: Sunbury, IA 52778, USA

OnlyInYourState may earn compensation through affiliate links in this article.