The site, often referred to as the County Home, was originally built as a county “poor farm” back in 1867. The original building was replaced in 1896 and has been built on to many times since. It became “home” to the unfortunate people who had nowhere else to go, to those who were mentally or physically handicapped, to the orphaned, and to the elderly. In the 1800s and early 1900s, inmates who could do so helped raise crops and stock to help pay for their keep. When residents died with no families to provide for them, they were buried in unmarked graves as late as 1962.
Thankfully, situations had been much improved and modernized in the last 40 years, but this was still not a place most people wanted to end up in.
The home closed a few years ago and has sat vacant since. Well, not completely vacant…some troubled former residents seem to have remained—some merely as place memories absorbed by the building, some as restless spirits.
A few previous workers at the facility told us that they had seen people they thought were residents vanish while walking down a hallway, or they saw them turn and go through a closed door. More than one unsettled employee quit.
After obtaining police approval, the Central Iowa Ghost Hunting Team did some preliminary investigations on the outside grounds. We obtained one photo showing the apparition of a young boy in a white T-shirt looking out of a window. He was not visible to the investigators when the photo was taken.
In the spring of 2004, we obtained permission for a second visit to investigate inside. It was a very unsettling experience for the psychically sensitive people in the group.
In an area in the former Alzheimer’s ward, I suddenly smelled the very strong metallic scent of blood. Another member of our group came into the room and commented on the same smell before I had said anything. A picture taken in the room at the time showed some unusual anomalies. The scent of blood then vanished, and subsequent pictures showed nothing unusual.
We recorded many places where the temperature would drop by as much as 20 degrees, and abnormal readings were obtained on the EMF meters. Other members captured photos of strange mists and light energy. Two members of our group even experienced unusual spirit activity in their own homes shortly after the investigation.
The former care facility is now in the process of being redone to serve as a center and storage area for various public works. Hopefully, it will soon be filled with a new lifeforce.
During our visits, we were lucky enough to capture some very intriguing photos, giving some proof of those former residents who would not be forgotten and still remain.
Written by — Lynette Baker Leader, Central Iowa Ghost Hunting Team
FORMER JASPER COUNTY CARE FACILITY
5245 LIBERTY AVENUE
NEWTON, IOWA 50208