Farrar Elementary was dedicated in 1922 and closed in 2002. The large 17,000 square foot schoolhouse looks out of place in the small town of Farrar, Iowa. Farrar’s population of no more than 30 people has been slowly shrinking for many years. The only growing population is in the 150 year-old cemetery across from the schoolhouse. Built on six acres of rural farmland, its old walls are beginning to crumble. Over the decades employees and students reported hearing voices, slamming doors and sightings of unnatural figures walking the halls. Adults and children have passed on and have returned and re-live their experiences, good and bad, in the old school. There is no record of anyone actually dying at the school though.
After sitting abandoned for five years, Jim and Nancy Oliver purchased the building in 2006. It quickly became apparent they were not alone. Voices, shadow people and orbs were common. Nancy became unsteady on the stairs when a hand on her shoulder helped her catch her balance. She turned to thank her husband for the help only to find no one there. The dark distinct outline of a small boy was sighted on the well-lit stairway descending into the gymnasium. The boy appeared to be about 3' 6" tall with one foot on each step and holding onto the handrail. The figure stayed motionless for almost 2 seconds before disappearing. There are also claims of the sounds of an endless basketball game being played in the gym.
Three TIP investigators and a junior investigator joined 3 good friends from BOOndocks Paranormal to investigate Farrar. After finding out that Starbucks are few and far between in Iowa we arrived in time for a one hour tour of the facility. During the tour members of the team felt things in certain rooms. The boiler room is known for EVPs and a creepy shadow person that crawls on the ceiling. As mentioned, people claim to hear a basketball game complete with cheering in the gym. The stairs leading up from the gym is where the apparition of a little boy appeared. The third floor is known for shadow people and a “sad boy” in the stage area. There’s an art room where a shadow person hides in the closet. An apparition is claimed to be seen looking out the window of the small room next to the principal’s office. Lastly, a lunch lady is said to haunt the small cafeteria of the building.
After setting up our cameras we began to investigate. The TIP team began in the boiler room where we hoped to make contact with the shadow person that lives there. We conducted an EVP session and several investigators had strange feelings but we did not see the shadow man. There were some random noises in the boiler room but we were able to debunk them. The BOOndocks Team started in the stage area on the third floor. One interesting thing that happened is a ball that had been placed on an old lamp pedestal fell off on its own. In reviewing the tape of the incident it’s unclear whether the ball was knocked off by a spirit or had simply been placed slightly off-center which resulted in the fall. Believing in Occam’s razor (the simplest explanation is usually correct) it most likely fell being off-center. We then switched floors and did EVP sessions in various rooms but did not have personal experiences.
At the end of the night both teams did a ghost box session in the boiler room and the gym. We did not obtain any responses from the ghost box that seemed intelligent. One interesting thing though is when one certain investigator tried to ask a question the ghost box would emit a loud noise to cut her off as if it did not want her to speak.
As a bonus for the evening we were treated to a spectacular star display including the Milky Way which we cannot see in the Chicago area.
In reviewing evidence we did get some interesting EVPs as well as an interesting light anomaly on the stage. At a time when no one was on the third floor a small light started up from the right side of the stage and then changes shape while going behind a table and then zips off to the upper left. We have not yet been able to debunk it but we are not saying it’s paranormal.