Ghosts of the Prairie


These two photos were taken at Mars Hill by Nancy Napier.

The Mars Hill Church and cemetery are located near Ottumwa, Iowa. The church was built in 1850 and is said to be one of the oldest ,still operating, churches in the state. The congregation meets there once each year as the church is in a very remote and secluded location.

The area of the church and the cemetery has been the scene of much vandalism and desecration over the years and is it also said to be used by occult groups for ritual ceremonies. American Ghost Society Representative Nancy Napier traveled to Mars Hill in July of 1998 and reported that some evidence of occult practice did exist and she found many gravestones that were stained with rings of candle wax. As in many other locations where such activity has been reported, stories of ghosts and hauntings abound here as well.

Before arriving at the church and cemetery, visitors cross a narrow bridge, which has it's own story. It is said that many years ago, a young woman had her baby baptized in the church and then for some reason, walked to the bridge and threw in into the water, drowning the child. Legends say that on certain nights, you can hear the sound of a scream while crossing the bridge.

The cemetery is located southeast of Ottumwa, lowa. Follow Route 63 south and then left onto Copperland Road. Turn right on 100th Avenue and watch for the cemetery entrance on the left side.

Copyright 1998 by Troy Taylor. All Rights Reserved.

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