Ghosts of the Prairie

Near Strawberry Point, Iowa

Located just west of Strawberry Point, Iowa and just east of Littleport, is a place called Mossy Glen. This seemingly peaceful valley is haunted by a number of restless spirits.

The first ghost associated with the place is that of a peddler who came to the area selling his wares in the 1850's. Apparently, some of the local residents were interested in his goods...and wanted them so badly that they killed him for them. His body is said to still be hidden in a small cave and it is said that his ghost is often seen here also.

Another unexplained disappearance in the Mossy Glen involved a local attorney whose wife died under mysterious circumstances. Shortly after, he was plagued with horrible luck and misfortunes that were said to be caused by his wife's ghost. One afternoon, he drove his buggy out to the Mossy Glen and he was never heard from again.

The most famous story of the area though is undoubtedly the Shine murder, which took place in 1936. A young woman named Pearl married the much older, and wealthier, Dan Shine, a reclusive farmer. A short time later, Pearl conspired with a young farmhand to murder her husband. After they killed him, they tried to make it appear that he committed suicide. They failed to convince the authorities and were convicted of first-degree murder.

After the death of Pearl Shine, many local residents claim they have seen her ghost still wandering the region of the Mossy Glen. Is she simply drawn here because of her misdeeds in the past... or is her spirit still trying to atone for the unspeakable crimes that she committed in life?

And if she does walk here, does she walk alone? There is also the legend of Lucinda, who once lived in a cottage that was so remote that no one remembers where it is anymore. Years ago, she committed suicide in the hollow by throwing herself off a cliff. She was distraught when she learned that her lover had abandoned her for another woman. It is said that she left a single rose on the path behind her before she jumped and today, if you go to the Glen late at night and speak Lucinda's name three times... her spectral form will appear. There are dark consequences to such a summoning however. It is said that if Lucinda drops a rose at your feet, you are doomed to die the next day!

Mossy Glen is located eight miles east of Strawberry Point, lowa and five miles west of Littleport. Both cities are located in the northeast comer of the state and are northeast from Waterloo, Iowa, the largest city in that region.

Copyright 1998 by Troy Taylor. All Rights Reserved.

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