Saturday, February 23, 2013

Moving a Haunted House

One commonality in ghost accounts is that renovating a property often affects a haunting. In some cases a renovation will eliminate phenomena and in others it can dramatically increase them. Various explanations have been offered for these observations, from the replacement of old wiring eliminating electromagnetic fields that can cause people to feel "presences" to sentient spirits angered by changes to their former home. This story from Iowa may put such explanations to the test. The house in question is not merely being remodeled, but picked up and moved to a new site five miles away.

Weak ground conditions led the newest owner of the 1865 Iowa home, Sherri Meeker, to move the 100-ton structure five miles down the road. Naturally, it caught the interest of the Web. The old house, supposedly haunted by evil spirits, bears a resemblance to the one on “Nightmare on Elm Street” and is known around town as “The Haunted Mansion of Jasper County.”

Some locals swear it has a spooky past. The historical three-story, wood-frame house sure looks haunted. Local news station KCCI even spent the night in 1994 and heard lots of stories about Regina Long, thought to be the original owner, who was said to have been seen floating around. Mike Salier, the homeowner at the time, said in the KCCI story: “It's real. People think it's a lot of poppycock, but it's enough to make your skin crawl.”

Time will tell whether or not paranormal phenomena will be reported at the new location. If they are, that suggests hauntings are related in some way to the structure in which they occur. If they do not, and especially if the phenomena continue to be observed at the original location, it suggests that the physical location is more important than the structure. What's nice about this case is that since houses are so rarely moved and haunted houses are so rare, it provides an unusual opportunity for such experimentation.

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Anonymous said...

Thank you for this! I was involved in a discussion recently on just this scenario! :-)

Scott Stenwick said...

It would be really interesting to have a paranormal investigation team go through this house once it's been moved to the new location. Whether or not they find anything, the resulting data would be quite revealing.