10 Scariest Haunted Houses In Iowa

Iowa is home to many places filled with mystery and history, but some of the most intriguing is its haunted houses. From the grand mansions that hold centuries of secrets to the more modest abodes where apparitions and shadows lurk in the shadows, explore some of the creepiest and most chilling haunted houses in Iowa.

Whether you’re a traveler in town for a spooky weekend getaway or a curious local looking to explore all Iowa has to offer, we’ve rounded up 10 haunted houses, representing a diverse range of ghostly experiences, where you can go if you dare. So gather your courage and join us as we explore some of Iowa’s most mysterious destinations.

Creepy and Chilling: 10 Haunted Houses in Iowa You Must Visit

Take a closer look at some of the most haunted houses in Iowa

Mayhem Haunted House

Address: 13011 120th Ave, Ottumwa, IA 52501, United States

If you are looking for spine-tingling thrills, the Mayhem Haunted House near Ottumwa in Wapello County is one haunted house you won’t want to miss. This year is the 2nd annual Wapello County Mayhem Haunted House, which will leave a lasting impression.

This haunted house is scary and set in an old abandoned county home. Visitors will be creeped out by the spooky sound effects, terrifying props, and eerie characters that lurk around every corner. The creepy and chilling atmosphere will take your breath away! Plus, proceeds from the tickets go to support the Wapello County 4H expo grounds, so it’s a great way to contribute to the community while having some fun.

Madness Haunted House

Address: 21534 Chestnut Rd, Council Bluffs, IA 51503, United States

Madness Haunted House is an attraction that will send chills down your spine. Located at the Pioneer Trail Orchard in Council Bluffs, IA, this haunt features three attractions in one, promising to be the “Scariest & Largest Haunt in the Metro!” This horror event offers Halloween fun and fright from October until the end of the month.

Madness Haunted House is known for its thrilling and terrifying maze, a haunted hayride, and a haunted house. Here, guests can choose their level of fear by selecting either the “Fright Levels” or “Scare Levels” options. The Fright levels are designed for those who love to have a good time without all the scares, while Scare Levels options offer a more intense scare experience with plenty of monstrous creatures lurking around every corner.

The event also features food vendors, scary clowns, eerie music, and an exciting gift shop selling unique horror-themed items visitors can take home as souvenirs. So if you’re looking for spooky entertainment this Halloween season, mayhem awaits you at Madness Haunted House!

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The Malvern Manor

Address: 103 E 3rd St, Malvern, IA 51551, United States

Check out The Malvern Manor in Malvern, Iowa, for a truly chilling haunt. This sinister house holds as many secrets as those with a long history dating back to the beginning of the town it resides in. It was featured on Destination Americas Paranormal Lockdown and TLC’s Paranormal Lockdown.

The Manor was built in the early 1800s and has a foreboding atmosphere that can’t be denied. It features slanted winding hallways and disjointed rooms, almost like it’s coming apart at the seams. It’s rumored to be haunted by different spirits, some friendly and some not so much. So if you’re looking for an adventure full of mystery and thrill, visit The Malvern Manor!

Circle of Ash Haunted Attraction

Address: 201 Central City Rd, Central City, IA 52214, United States

Located in Central City, Iowa, the Circle of Ash Haunted Attraction provides something for everybody. It features a traditional indoor haunted house experience, a walkthrough funhouse maze, and a haunted forest. With three separate walkthrough haunts offering up terror, it’s sure to make for a chilling night.

Circle of Ash Haunted Attraction began as a small haunted trail in 1999. It grew over the next two decades and is now a 5-acre event. It was opened in 2000 as Canfield’s Frightmare Forest and has since changed its name to Circle of Ash. It has grown to include live performers, interactive sets, and special effects – all of which create an unforgettable atmosphere that will frighten any visitor!

Edinburgh Manor

Address: By Appointment Only, 13241 E23 County Home Rd, Monticello, IA 52310, United States

Edinburgh Manor is a creepy and chilling haunted house in Jones County, Iowa. Described as one of the most haunted locations in Iowa, Edinburgh Manor has a rich history and a legacy of reasons why it may be haunted.

It is said that over 150 people died within the walls of Edinburgh Manor throughout its time as a poor farm, mental institution, and finally, a retirement home. What’s more? Visitors claim there are supernatural occurrences in the house to this day, from apparitions to general panic or unease.

The best way to experience Edinburgh Manor is to take one of the many organized tours available. You can expect chills and fright as you explore each room on your tour guide’s expert narration as your group comes across unexplained events or mysterious figures.

If you’re brave enough to try it out, book a tour at Edinburgh Manor today and prepare for an unforgettable experience!

The Slaughterhouse Haunted Attraction

Address: 500 Locust St, Des Moines, IA 50309, United States

Located in Des Moines, The Slaughterhouse Haunted Attraction is creaking open its doors for its 10th Halloween season. Open only in October; this terrifying horror event offers Halloween fun and fright in Iowa near you!

The Slaughterhouse Haunted Attraction offers a mix of close quarters, horrifying scare actors, and terrifying surprises to visitors brave enough to enter. At nearly 20,000 square feet of subterranean terrors, you never know what might be lurking around the corner. Featuring eerie new scenes each year and a unique story, the haunted house experience at The Slaughterhouse is not to be missed!

Hillside House of Hell

Address: 114 Green St, Glenwood, IA 51534, United States

If you’re in the mood for a spine-tingling adventure, Hillside House of Hell is the place to go. Located in Sioux City, Iowa, Hillside is Iowa’s largest haunted house, featuring over 50,000 square feet of heart-pumping haunted attractions. You’ll find four killer attractions under one roof, including a massive Haunted Maze, Freaky Factory Laser Maze, Rootin Tootin Shadow Show, and an interactive Zombie Cage Maze.

Originally built in 1964 by local entrepreneur Charles Hillside III, this isn’t your typical haunted house—this is an experience that you won’t want to miss! The walls and rooms of the house are filled with extreme props and decorations that unleash your innermost horrors. You’ll be unable to escape the feeling of terror that quickly develops as you explore the winding halls. With over 35 rooms and tons of scares at every turn, you’ll jump out of your skin by the time you make it out!

Linn’s Haunted House

Address: 3805 6th Ave, Des Moines, IA 50313, United States

Linn’s Haunted House has provided a “Scariest Night Ever” in Des Moines, Iowa, since 1984. If you’re looking for Halloween fun, fright, and terror near you, this is the place to be. It is one of the first haunted houses in Iowa and has been providing the “Scariest Night Ever” to visitors from all over the Midwest.

Linn’s Haunted House features a huge indoor haunted house filled with creepy characters, animatronics monsters, and special effects. It offers an immersive terrifying experience filled with horror-filled scenes that will make your heart race and scare you silly. Be prepared to scream your head off as you explore every inch of the spooky castle.

Rc Haunted House

Address: 124 N 3rd St, Rockwell City, IA 50579, United States

If you want to visit a place full of chills and thrills in the Midwest, you don’t want to miss RC Haunted House in Rockwell City, Iowa. This old-school haunted house has been around since the early 1900s, and if the stories are true, it was once owned by a serial killer whose victims may still inhabit the grounds to this day!

At RC Haunted House, you’ll explore two stories of horror on your journey and a creepy outdoor area. For added fright, you’ll also get to experience some scares outdoors, too. You can visit this haunted house for about two weeks before every Halloween.

What makes RC Haunted House so special? Well, for starters, it’s one of those places that has stood the test of time. It has been around for over 100 years, and the scary atmosphere never fails to deliver plenty of thrills and chills. The ghouls lurking around are sure to give you a good fright, so make sure you’re brave enough to visit!

Villisca Axe Murder House Inc.

Address: 508 E 2nd St, Villisca, IA 50864, United States

The Villisca Ax Murder House Inc. is a haunted attraction in Iowa that receives thousands of visitors nationwide each year. Located in Villisca, eight people were brutally murdered there in 1912, and since then, it has been the site of paranormal activity.

On a dark evening, the absence of lights and the silence of the night are two clues that this house is different from its neighbors. An old weather-beaten sign warns rather than welcomes visitors as they approach this historic site.

Paranormal investigators have reported evidence of supernatural activity within the house. Some guests even report feeling an oppressive force while inside this historic home. Despite these creepy occurrences, many visitors come to learn more about the murders and experience something supernatural for themselves.

Visiting this house is an experience unlike any other and a must for anyone looking for some spooky thrills. The Villisca Ax Murder House Inc. remains one of the most popular haunted attractions in Iowa and beyond!

What Causes A House To Be Haunted?

There are several theories, but the most common is that when a person dies tragically, their energy can become trapped in a physical location. This energy, commonly called a ghost, can manifest in various ways, such as apparitions, strange noises, and unexplainable movements. Other theories include residual energy imprinted on a location, demonic possession, and even alien activity.


If you’re looking for a spooky adventure, Iowa is the perfect place to explore. From centuries-old houses and eerie farms to haunted graveyards, the state has plenty of creepy attractions that will frighten you. Whether you’re a thrill seeker or an armchair ghost hunter, Iowa’s haunted houses will surely provide thrills and chills. So, round up your brave friends and family, and prepare for a ghostly experience in the heart of the Midwest!

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