An Iowa native, C. G. Geddes, agreed to give six acres of farm land to be dedicated toward creating a county schoolhouse. In 1919 he made his offer and in 1922, the school was dedicated. The area was located in Farrar, an unincorporated community in Polk County, Iowa. Unfortunately, despite his generosity, some found the gift to be extravagant and complained that the school was a monument of arrogance and vanity. The angry townspeople cited the boiler heating, electric lights, and indoor bathroom facilities as the primary concerns for their grievances.
The school served the community until 2002 when the eighty year old school house closed its doors and housed its last students. The abandoned building joined a church and thirteen houses as the only structures, located near a 150 year old cemetery. The population of thirty continues to shrink. The Farrar school house building sat empty until 2006 when Jim and Nancy Oliver purchased the building. They had grand dreams of rebuilding and restoring the building to its original appearance and layout. The couple intended to live in the home until its completion.
Unfortunately, despite their grand plans and early success, Jim and Nancy Oliver quickly found out they were not the only ones occupying their home. Both reported hearing voices, seeing shadow people and finding orbs. They each have their own stories of paranormal dealings in the home. For example, Nancy describes feeling as though she were going to fall down the stairs, only to be grabbed from the back and steadied. She turned to thank her husband, who was the only one around who might’ve helped her, only to find emptiness and quiet behind her.
They both report seeing the outlines of children, commonly descending stairways or walking down hallways, often entering into the gymnasium. Often the figures will stop mid-step and pause for a few seconds before disappearing. Cheering, running and laughter can often be heard throughout the building. Many times the stories are just of odd occurrences that last only a few seconds and after so many, they stop being so shocking and are quickly forgotten.
It was the more injurious incidents that started to draw attention to the house, causing many paranormal groups and researchers to seek entry. As a result, the Farrar building has been featured in books, radio, and television. Perhaps it was the strangers who angered the beings in the home, but people claim to have been attacked by shadow figures, often leaving marks and welts. During one investigation, doors slammed and numerous light bulbs exploded and no one could ever determine the cause or recreate the occurrence.
Many of the more sophisticated groups have used special technology to capture apparitions or communications from the unexplained phenomena that seems to run rampant at Farrar. Some reported having their footage completely erased when they tried to review it later. Others were lucky enough to maintain their data and could replay sounds of disembodied whispering, screaming, registering energy readings, and other unseen entities communicating in various methods.
It seems that despite their best intentions, Jim and Nancy Oliver got a whole lot more than they paid for when they decided to take up residence with the phantoms at Farrar.