Malvern Manor

Photo published by Allan Wortman shows the manor back in 1910-1915

Malvern Manor is packed full of history. Built in the late 1800's as a hotel, it thrived while the railroad was booming. Originally known as the Cottage Hotel, the business saw many patrons come and go over the years and was successful for quite some time. But with the rise of automobiles came the fall of the hotel. It changed owners and names a few times before the hotel had to shut it's doors for good.

In 1956, the doors to the hotel were shut, the building was sold. Later that same year, the doors were reopened as a care facility for the elderly. They added a new wing to the structure and boasted that their facility had larger rooms that were generally already furnished for most residents. Sadly the nursing home era was short lived, as the state of Iowa came in and told them their hallways were not wide enough to move patients around sufficiently. Therefore, in the 1970's, the nursing home closed their doors and ushered in a new era of care and treatment.

The former hotel/nursing home became a care facility for people suffering from all types of mental ailments. From addicts and alcoholics to the more exotic ailments such as multiple personality disorder and schizophrenia. There were even residents who had murdered people in the past. The facility ran smoothly for years until the director was asked to retire at 87 and a new administration was brought in. Under the care of this administration, it is said that often times the new director was the perpetrator of physical and verbal abuse of the residents and employees alike.

Eventually the state of Iowa caught on to the wrong doings of this administration and in 2005 they closed the facility down and it was sold, yet again.

Fast forward to 2015. Josh Heard, a paranormal investigator and filmmaker, was looking at filming a documentary on paranormal activity at the café across the street, as it is said to be haunted. Unfortunately, noise contamination from an adjacent bar prevented him from being able to film there.

Frustrated, he went outside to get some fresh air and was approached by a gentleman who was curious about all of the cameras. He informed him he was there to shoot a paranormal documentary but that it was going to work out and the gentleman told him about the manor, as he was the present owner. After experiencing unexplainable paranormal activity in the manor, he suggested that they open the doors to the public so other paranormal investigators would have the opportunity to experience a true haunting. Eventually Josh was given the opportunity to buy into the manor with other investors and now runs daily the tours.

There is said to be many entities roaming the halls of the manor. Gracie, a young woman who suffered from multiple personality disorder and schizophrenia, is said to have been heard saying, "The Devil is coming to get me," in a male voice when she was still alive. Investigators have experienced tugging on their clothes, especially males, when going to leave Gracie's room. If she cannot get you to stay, she will smack the wall out of frustration.

In the attic, many people have gotten physically sick from spending too much time in this area. This is the area where the dark mass of energy that is felt throughout the manor is said to be most potent. The energy in this space often comes through on EVP asking for cigarettes, alcohol or other addictive substances. There are stories of people seeing disembodied arms jutting out of the darkness and torsos dragging themselves across the floor.

The shadow man, thought to be the spirit of a former resident, has been seen several times by many people running at full speed straight at you, always disappearing right before impact would happen. In his life, the shadow man was believed to be a 6'7", non-verbal, deranged man who had killed in the past. A former employee says this man used the chase the nurses down the hallway when they were doing their bed checks to the kitchen, never crossing the threshold.

The disembodied voice of Captain Cullers, the original owner, has been heard calling out his own title, "The Captain." People who have decided to try and provoke the Captain into a response have been scratched, punched, kicked and bit in his room on the 2nd floor. 

Rebecca was said to have been in her mid thirties and thought that her husband didn't love her anymore and didn't find her attractive. She was in such poor mental state over it that she was found pulling out her own hair, a condition known as Trichotillomania, AKA trich.

Suzie was a middle aged woman with the mental age of 8-10. There are coloring books in her room that people color in or leave notes to her in. She is known to turn the pages in these books. 

Hank/Henry doesn't like women. Especially when they come into his room and mess with his clothes in his dresser. It is said that in life, Henry liked to sit outside and throw rocks at the children playing.

Inez is said to roam the halls of the manor as well, though it isn't clear why. When Inez was just 12 years old, she and her 9 year old brother Otto were outside their home, 2 blocks away, playing in their yard. Inez and Otto lived with their Uncle, as their parents had split and neither wanted to take care of their children. That year, the children were told that their mother was going to be coming and picking them up to go live with her when the weather was nice. Inez has been quotes as saying, "I would rather die than live with her." That day, she had decided she was done playing outside and told Otto she wanted to go inside. About 10 minutes later, Otto decided to go in and found his sister hanging by a jump rope in her closet. It was ruled accidental, as ruling it a suicide back then would have been bad for the family. But why, has Inez chosen to stay at the manor when she passed away 2 blocks from it? Is this really the spirit of a 12 year old girl, or is this a part of the malevolent energy that is said to be felt most in the attic?

Watch our interview with Josh himself here.

Malvern Manor Photos

May 2, 2021: Our walkthrough of Malvern Manor with owner, Josh Heard:

July 30, 2021: Josh Heard singing with the spirits of Malvern Manor:

Malvern Manor was the subject of an episode (season 2, episode 9) of Nick Groff's Paranormal Lockdown on Destination America.