(Farrar Elementary School)

11125 Northeast 134th Avenue, maxwell, ia

(515) 577-4213

Status: Former Elementary School; Formerly Abandoned; Haunted Attraction; For Sale


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6 acres of land was donated in 1919 by a local farmer to create a new school unifying all the rural one room schoolhouses in the area. The cornerstone was laid in 1921 and the school was dedicated on April 1, 1922.

For its time it was a modern state of the art school with a boiler for heating, indoor washrooms and electric lighting. The price tag of $100,000 (1.7 million dollars in 2022) did not make everyone happy in the area to say the least. Proving that no matter what the time period there’s always going to be those who think the education of young minds is not a priority.

The school operated – albeit with falling enrollment – until the end of the school year in 2002.

It was left abandoned until 2006 when it was bought by Jim and Nancy Oliver who, after discovering they were far from alone in the building, began running it as a haunted attraction.

The building is currently up for sale again (2022).


Paranormal Activity

Reports of a haunting date back to when the school was open although the reason for the activity is unknown. The 150 year old cemetery across the road is generally put forward as the reason.

An unseen entity helped Nancy (the owner) when she became unbalanced on a staircase. The haunting is generally considered friendly with no reports of the ghosts ever acting violently.

Other Activity: disembodied voices; shadow figures in the hallways known for disappearing suddenly; the apparition of a small boy on the stairway; phantom footsteps; doors slamming on their own; objects moving on their own; light anomalies; phantom knocks; unexplained noises including rings, laughter, tapping, yells and cries and feelings of being watched.