The Jefferson Iowa News®


  Jefferson Iowa News Reviews Local Haunted House

Acting on a tip, our staff decided to drop by the Jefferson Jaycee's 2009 Haunted House this Halloween season, and review it. We wanted to find out if it was worth visiting, and see just how scary it was. There didn't seem to be any information available about it, but that was no obstacle for us - we have grown used to a lack of information in Greene County. I mean, how hard could it be to find? Jefferson is a small town and a "haunted house" would surely stick out like a sore thumb, right?

Wrong! On nearly every block we encountered a house that we surmised could pass for "haunted" - you know, unkempt yard, broken shutters, a total look of abandonment. It took us over two hours to determine what we considered the obvious candidate - the Shriver Construction building on North McKinley. It had all the elements at work for it. The roof was tattered and in disrepair, the paint was peeling, the sidewalk cracking, there appeared to be bats in the attic, and cobwebs were everywhere. We took a scary photo of it the next day when sunlight made the effects less obvious (photo at left).

The building was obviously not in use, as a person would have to have absolutely no pride to allow a building in use to deteriorate to such a point. There didn't seem to be much activity when we arrived, so we waited patiently for tickets. After a wait of several hours, a person identifying himself as Joe the Shingler drove up and asked if we needed help. He informed us that the building was indeed still in use although he couldn't state for certain whether or not it was haunted.

All in all, the evening's trip was not a total loss, and our staff graded the "haunted house" a "C+", due to the extremely scary nature of its exterior and the creepy way Joe stared at our secretaries. It was actually a better house than the one chosen last year, which turned out to be inhabited at the time by a family watching TV. Our camera crew moved on in the hopes of spotting yet more Halloween phenomena in the Jefferson area.

Submitted by Spencer Straight (10-26-09)