Malvern Manor

Malvern, Iowa

August 12, 2018



I have been anxiously awaiting this trip for some time now. Especially after listening to owner Josh Heard's podcast, Conversations in the Dark, where he goes into detail on some of the happenings at Malvern Manor. Plus we rewatched the episode of Paranormal Lockdown where Nick Groff and Katrina Weidman stayed there. We spent the first night of our 7th anniversary in Omaha, Nebraska, so it was not that far of a drive to the location. After about 45 minutes of driving in the middle of nowhere, we eventually ended up on the road that leads through the middle of the town. Thanks to Google street view I had an idea of the layout and once we hit the booming metropolis of Malvern, Iowa (population 1,142...Saaaa-lute!), it did not take long to spot Malvern Manor. We find a parking spot and head inside to meet up with Josh. He gave us the tour and history of the place. He told us the hot spots and what we could possibly expect. While hanging out in the office, I thought I noticed a familiar looking object I have not seen since 2015, and inquired about the clown toy on the shelf with Rose the Doll. It was the same clown toy from the Villisca Axe Murder House which is maybe an hour away. Johnny Houser donated the clown toy to Malvern Manor. Awww. This was the same clown toy that started jingling when we first got to Villisca a few years back. Nothing paranormal, just the A/C moving the clown around making it jingle, but it did get me going at the time.


After all the pleasantries, Josh told me I could pull my car around back under the carport to make loading and unloading easier, since that is where the kitchen door is. That definitely made life easier, considering we had to move in a cooler, our equipment, sleeping bags, and food for the night. Before Josh took off he told us not to hesitate to contact him if anything happens and we need to take off. I have heard stories but we've got our big boy britches on tonight. We have not left any location scared since starting this annual tradition when we got married in 2011 and I don't see us starting now. Josh heads home and we go out to walk around town. It was a Sunday so not a lot of stuff going on. We did stop by The Hangout for a couple beers and got to meet a friendly dog who literally bellies up to the bar for some attention. We head back down the block to the Manor and decide we should fuel up at local diner C&M's Cafe, which is literally in the front yard of Malvern Manor. Great food...*BELCH* and was just what we needed for a night of investigating.


Around 9:00 pm, we head to the main lobby area and start the night off. I don't know what to think about the Ovilus iPhone app, but we did have it going at the time. We were talking about Villisca and at one point hear a whistle. One of the claims in the lobby is hearing whistling of a former patient who would listen to his radio and whistle along. I asked to have whoever is there to make noise. In actuality, I heard a little knock that didn't amount to much. After listening to audio with headphones on, it was much louder than just a "house settling" noise. It was more of metal banging sound outside, like maybe the metal bars connecting front porch to the overhang or the guttering. Definitely a "KLANG" noise. Finally I ask if there were any women that were hanging around and the Ovilus gives a response of "Yourself". Did that thing just call me a woman? Maybe so because listening back to the audio, I hear a noise that sounds like a laugh or "Oh Yeah" after I ask the question. Like I said we did have the Ovilus app running. I don't know if it really is taking into account the environment and using that data to return poignant words, or if it is simply preprogrammed with spooky words to spit them out so as to make one think something more is going on. Whatever the case, my wife was starting to get a little freaked out when the following words popped up: Agent, Telepathy, Legion, and Malice. So we take a break for a bit. ( **2019 update** I'm calling bullshit on the iPhone Ovilus app. These are the same "spooky" words that came up the year before at the Sallie House.)


She wanted to go upstairs to what is called Susie's room since it seems like it should be a "nicer" room. With coloring books, balloons, and dolls adorning the place it gives a calming vibe. We break out the SB7 and proceed. Much like the Ovilus, I am more than a little skeptical about the SB7. After all, it is radio stations cycling through rapidly, and if there is some late-night broadcast such as Coast to Coast AM with someone talking about ghosts, hauntings, or UFOs, chances are the random spooky word will come through and that is not paranormal. As a matter of fact, it is pretty normal. So perhaps a lot of what is heard on the SB7 is most likely audio pareidolia. With that in mind, occasionally something comes through that leaves me a little befuddled. For instance, in Susie's room, I ask Susie to say her name and the response is "Nikki" or maybe a cutoff version of "Nik". So now the wife is getting a little leery again. Does it know her name? Later she said she would think it would be special if someone drew pictures for her and we get a response of "Yep". Another reason why I am not that fond of the SB7 is that it is loud, annoying, and if there are any actual EVPs or other odd noises, they are covered up by the overpowering static sound. Case in point, we both heard a loud noise/thump nearby that sounded like it came from the hallway, but it did not show up on the recording because of the nonstop static of going through radio stations. Much like the earlier investigation in the parlor, the wife got freaked out when she asked if they knew what our last name was, and over the SB7, we get a noise that could be our last name, or it could be random static noise that we think may be our last name. These responses were quick and concise so maybe we are asking a question, anticipating some different outcomes, a response/sound is returned, and we are trying to correlate the two. In terms of paranormal evidence, I am more convinced of actual noises, voices, or a nice clear EVP. I guess in hindsight, Susie's room with all the kid's toys and coloring books wasn't all that friendly.


We then head back downstairs to Gracie's room. She was reportedly schizophrenic and had multiple personalities. She is also very friendly, as in touchy-feely to males in the room. Her room is basically a mattress on bedsprings, a wheelchair, and a stripped wall. Her eyeglasses are still in the room on a shelf. Because she seemingly is preferential to males in the room, I did this one by myself. I start off with an EVP session and right out of the gate I ask if Gracie is here, and I get a "Yeah" followed by a knock. For grins and giggles I break out the SB7 and bust that out for about 20 minutes or so with nothing except annoying static. Then I noticed the volume kept getting lower and lower and over the next minute and a half, I just let it die out. The batteries were fresh in the SB7 and the plugin ball speaker was working just fine earlier, so I don't know what to think about that. I wasn't grabbed and got no knocking on walls which is a frequent claim in Gracie's room.


The SB7 wasn't the first piece of equipment to go on the fritz. Earlier in the evening just before starting, I had all the equipment laid out in the kitchen area. Fresh batteries were put in. Batteries were charged. Typical stuff. The full spectrum HD camera was charged and working the day prior. Now it decides not to even turn on or anything. Great! Because of the shadow person claims at the end of the hall in the Nursing Home Wing, I specifically planned to just have this camera pointing down there and run it until the SD card filled up. Because we're about the start our investigation and it was still early, I texted Josh to let him know what's going on and he texted back, "Oh wow! Yeah we definitely have issues with battery drain in the Manor. Something could be ramping up for sure." That's comforting...hehe


So without the benefit of the full spectrum HD cam...we head down the hall to the Nursing Home Wing. Since my camera decided not to work, we did not get video of any of this. I put the REM-POD at the end of the hallway between Rooms 1 and 2, and we were back quite a ways from it asking questions with the digital recorder going. Immediately the REM-POD started to go off but after that, we got nothing there. We did get a couple of knocks on the digital recorder. One which was quite loud, I apparently did not actually hear at the time. The other was a little quieter but was heard because we acknowledged it.


Up to Rooms 17 and 18 was next on the agenda. It is reported that one of the occupants would go over to the other room and sexually assault the other man, so there may be some bad juju here. But then again this may have been at a time when any type of sex between male patients would be considered sexual assault even if it was considered consensual. I say that because it may have been a consensual relationship going on based on EVPs in the past year. In Room 17 just starting out, I'm getting myself adjusted on the floor and we get an EVP that sounds like a girl saying kind of a drawn out, "Heeyyy". Obviously didn't hear it at the time. The Ovilus app gave the following random words: Forest, Exit, Len, Come, David, Wheat, Frame, Shall, Jen, Remove, Hours, Object, and Knit. In the off chance that there is anything to the Ovilus app, maybe the two males that may have been a couple, their names were Len and David. Probably a longshot though. Across the hall in Room 18, we got a laugh and an odd "whoooop" noise. No clue what that was about.


Room 15 is Hank's room. Or rather Hank the Crank's room. It is this room that people get EVPs of someone (Hank?) saying not so nice things about women. So naturally this means that my wife does a solo session with him to start off. Right off the bat the REM-POD starts in for like 30 seconds going off and finally stops. She brings up the incident where some group came in and took off with some of Hank's clothes that are still in the dresser. Got an odd EVP that sounds like, "Hey!" something something something "Hey!" At least for tonight, Hank wasn't a cranky old bastard.


Next, we go to Inez's room. The story goes that in late 1900, Inez Gibson and her brother, Otto, were at the Manor. Inez was upset that her mother was coming to get them. The kids were living with another family in town at the time. It was said that Inez said she would rather die than be with her mother and she went up to the room and hung herself in closet with her jump rope. It makes for a good urban legend. A little internet sleuthing indicates she did not live at Malvern Manor but rather few houses away. She did die as a result of hanging, but death was ruled as accidental. Her younger brother, Otto Gibson, lived until 1933 (age 41) and her older brother, Hugh Gibson lived until 1968 (age 83). Now that the truth is out that Inez did not die here, but for some reason has a connection to Malvern Manor, we did get an interesting EVP in the Inez room. I asked if they are glad the story has been corrected to the truth, that she did not commit suicide, and I get an EVP that says, "Truth". Alrighty then. We leave a couple chocolate coins on her dresser with the rest of the goodies people bring in.


The only thing I regret not doing in Inez's room was asking questions about Karl Hertz. Who?? There is an oldey-timey Brother word processor in that room that belonged to the local funeral home that was run by Karl Hertz. His business card was still taped to the word processor. In 2010 he was accused of sexual abuse of a child and committed suicide soon after being served a warrant. I'm thinking if there is any residual energy in this room, it is not Inez. It may be Karl Hertz. This creep who killed himself probably used this same Brother word processor to type out death certificates, funeral notices, and other things associated with funeral homes. Now it is in Inez's Room. I don't know what to think about the "haunted objects" theory but it's something to think about. Maybe if this item was placed in another part of Malvern Manor, would activity cease in the Inez room and pick up in where it was placed?


It's getting late by this time. It's a little after 4:00 AM and we head up to the attic. Remember this is mid-August and even though it cooled down to 70 degrees outside, it was still smothering hot and stuffy in the attic. Only did about 20 minutes here. Not because we were scared, but because it was unbearably hot and uncomfortable up there. We did not get any shadow people, no dragging sounds, or anything. We did get a few odd hits on the Ovilus with words like Lower, Ghost, With, Drank. These were interesting because whatever is up here likes it when people bring tobacco and alcohol, and leave it for them. We got "Lower" when she raised the bottle rather high up in the air to show whoever is in the attic that we brought Vodka. She also mentioned drinking and smoking and at the same time that is when "Drank" came up. Very interesting. Because whatever is in the attic likes their alcohol and tobacco, there is a small collection of beer bottles/cans and cigarettes in the corner for this reason. And I don't believe that salt does anything as far as spirits are concerned, but someone put salt around this booze and tobacco collection. So it's basically a tease..."Here's some beer and smokes for you, but hahahaha you can't get to them because we poured salt around them!". I think if a spirit wanted something inside the salt circle, it doesn't care if a little Morton's is in the way. Also, pointless fact...Johnny Houser did an episode of "Johnny Houser VS." in the attic and he left his can of chew with the bottles and smokes. Looking back at my pictures, Johnny obviously did the episode before we got there and his can of chew was still there.


Ah yes, I almost forgot. Remember earlier when I mentioned my night vision camera was not working. Now at the end of the night it decides to start working for whatever reason. Before we went to Inez's Room and the attic, I put the camera pointing at the end of the hallways where a shadow figure is said the rush out of the room at people. I had it running almost two hours. I set up the REM-POD and some balls down at the end of the hallway. In the end, no REM-POD activity and the balls did not move. One thing of note, when I did turn around to leave, there is an odd light anomaly that appears to manifest, go up, go back down and then head in the direction I was going. Was it flying insects that followed me? And I even hate using this term, but was it an orb following me? Also got interesting EVPs that sound like ping pong balls quickly bouncing on a table. Another one sounded like something tapped on the camera microphone, but if something did touch the microphone it wasn't enough to jostle the video.


Had a great night of investigating, aside from weird equipment malfunctions. It is a large location so if you go there be prepared to get turned around a few times before getting your bearings on where things are. Feel free to bring toys and things for Inez and Susie. However do not be an asshole and bring in a doll with no eyes and a burned face and put it on the pool table. That can scare the shit out of someone not expecting it and walking into that room by the Nurse's desk area. What the hell??
since 2002