Malvern Manor, Malvern, Iowa August 2020
Investigators: Dave, Mark, Angel, Andrew, Lydia, Nadia, JJ, Jim and Vicki
Weather was unseasonably cool, clear, and absolutely
As our previous investigation was held at the Villisca Ax Murder house, Malvern Manor was the logical next destination for the continuance of our family Iowa investigational saga. I did not know very much about the Manor, but its proximity to Villisca and haunting Facebook comments made it an intriguing location.
We met with Josh Heard, the Co-owner of Malvern Manor, around 4pm. The Villisca tour guide, John, had mentioned being friends with Josh and, since he had left us all with a very favorable impression, I had little doubt that Josh would be amiable as well.
I was very surprised at the size of the place! The original wooden structure was built in the 1800’s as a hotel and remained in use into the1950’s. An addition was built on so that it could then be utilized as a nursing home and in the 1970’s was designated as a group home where it is said some suffered from mental disorders (and dare I say murderers?) until finally closing in 2005. When the building was purchased approximately 7 years ago, they had found it still contained quite a few personal items, such as clothing, that were left behind. They opted to leave all these objects in their place. One of the curiously gruesome spots is the 2nd floor hallway, streaks of blood on the wall. Yes blood, it was tested!
Josh gave us a fascinating walkthrough, relating many stories of the distinctive candidates that may haunt the various wings of the building. On the second floor of the old hotel is “The Captain” who roams the hallway. The rooms in that section also included Suzie, a mental patient and a little girl named Inez whose life was tragically cut short. In another wing of the old hotel is one named Hank who sometimes goes by the name of Henry, a grumpy old cuss that apparently dislikes women. Also, a couple gentlemen residents that may have shared a relationship. That wing also led to a narrow staircase that headed up to a very creepy attic space.
In the lower addition of this labyrinth is another one-time resident, a woman with multiple personality (now called dissociative identity) disorder named Gracie. Which led us to the furthest section of the structure where a towering and not so friendly shadow named Johnny that likes to terrorize people, (especially women, oh boy!). That section also hosts a room where a lady named Rebecca was committed by her husband, (no doubt driven to insanity by said man). All good candidates that could still be lingering at this location.
During that walkthrough, Josh was surprised to find one of the lights on. He said that was a fairly common occurrence. Also, the door going up to the attic that is normally closed was open. The door in the Inez room was found opened; and in another upstairs room a piece of furniture had been entirely moved to the other side of the room. While I was standing in the Captains hallway during the tour, I suddenly felt severely unbalanced like I was going to fall; perhaps the Captain was trying to push me onward or simply “get out”!
After the tour had finished, Josh left us to pursue our investigation. Jim placed several video cameras around the building. Although we did not get anything visual, they did prove to be valuable with audio EVPs especially in the Captain’s hallway area.
The Ovilus was unusually active all night, especially providing names. When Angel asked the question how many spirits there were, it said 15; that number came up several times throughout the night. At one point it said, “Suzie, “girl”, and “Hi”. Interesting since that one of the patient’s name. The other names it provided were: Sally, Paul, Meg, Debbie, Mandy, Carol, Jan, Clint, Walter, Hank, Larry, and Harriot. The words “paranormal anomalies” actually popped up several times that evening.
The oddest time was in the area known as Johnny’s hallway. While Angel, Dave and I were standing near the place the shadow man is seen, I had a strong creepy feeling come over me. At the same time the K2 meter lit up and the Ovilus said “Paranormal, Anomaly”. Adding to that, the rempod was going absolutely bonkers! Angel then saw a shadow that appeared to be a male moving at the other end of the hall and started taking pictures. I must admit that she did get a very odd one!
The rempod reacted strongly in that same area later that night when Mark decided to play the Jack Nicholson clip “Here’s Johnny” from The Shining on his phone. We all ended up with ringing ears after that! I have to say, that was an epic spine-chilling moment listening back…. Good job Mark
In the same hall as Johnny is the nurse’s station. Jim had gotten some K2 hits all the way to the red lights briefly. Past the station to Rebecca’s room. Jim had gotten K2 hits in there also. While Angel and I had sat in that room we had also gotten K2 hits and heard multiple floor creaking sounds. The words “paranormal property” popped up for us on the Ovilus too.
When Drew did a Facebook live walkthrough later that night his phone died just when he entered Johnny’s hall. When he was recharging it, to his amazement, it reached 50% after only 5 minutes.
Venturing upstairs, one of the rooms gave Angel and me a dizzying feeling. When we walked the Captains hallway near Suzie’s room, Angel and I both smelled a nice fragrance that Angel identified as Jasmine. Dave and Drew spent time in Suzie’s room with our youngest investigators, Nadia and JJ. They seemed to have a good spirit box exchange with a voice that sounded childlike. It was one of the few times the spirit box was active that entire night. Later in that same room, Dave was running the spirit box again. Jim was standing in the hallway and his K2 meter was suddenly getting several hits. It all seemed to stop just as swiftly when Dave shut off the spirit box.
When Dave, Mark, Andrew and Lydia ventured to the upstairs attic, the attic door was found open and the light was on. They didn’t seem to experience much activity while they were up there. I think the spirit could have worn itself out but then again, to my understanding that attic haunter likes his liquor, so perhaps was passed out instead?
We ended up staying later than we expected. Malvern Manor is a real interesting place and one I would dearly love to return to someday. Investigating Villisca and Malvern was the perfect pairing; as well I can imagine the friendly rivalry between John and Josh. I couldn’t help but think what a hoot they must be when they’re together!
On a sad footnote, it
is with profound sorrow I announce that our brother Mark passed away in
November 2020. He was always a joy,
never failing to bring a room full of people to loud rambunctious laughter. It sometimes made my task of evidence review more
daunting and a bit ear shattering with headphones but always provided me with comic
relief. Mark was truly an exceptional
investigator and will be sorely missed on CAPS’ paranormal quests. We know he will be there with us, laughing
with us or more likely at us….
Until we meet again Brother, rest in peace.
One of the gruesome blood smears found on the 2nd floor.
Interesting streak of lights, however I am fascinated by the misty white shape next to it on the right side...(Photo taken by Angel)
Angel started taking pictures down the hallway towards the nurses station when she saw a male figure.
Around .6 seconds a whisper that I think says "do understand". Taken from Rebecca's room.
The spirit box while in the room next to the kitchen sounded like a boy saying "Help" about .2 seconds.
Near Hank's room As Jim is tagging the recorder a voice around .2 seconds. Again around .4 it sounds like a child talking.
The spirit box rarely worked throughout the night, but it did say "Hank", while Dave was in Hank's room.
This is audio from the video camera placed on the 2nd floor hallway next to the room named for the little girl Inez. Dave, Drew, Nadia and JJ were trying to communicate with "Suzie" . Around .7 seconds a chiming sounding voice and .15 a very sing songy child's voice again.