Mason House Inn, Bentonsport, Iowa

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Have you ever visited a “haunted” residence where its reputation preceded your visit?  Such was the case on February 7, 2009 for our overnight visit to the Mason House Inn at Bentonsport, Iowa.

You can research its history by accessing their website at  Built in 1846, almost on the banks of the Des Moines River in southeastern Iowa, the Inn has a rich history.  One of the most unusual things about Mason House is the fact that each time the Inn was sold, all the furniture went along with the sale.  Five owners have shared 160 years; with the first 100 years remaining in the Mason family.  

When did the hauntings begin and how many spirits are there?  That’s a difficult question!!  The current owners, Joy and Chuck Hanson were originally told of one entity when they purchased the house in 2004.  However, they soon discovered there are many and that number seems to increase as the years go by.

Nothing could have prepared us for the astonishing evidence we would be presented throughout the night.  Our extremely talented Technical Director, Clair, built a Frank’s Box.  Every ghost hunter is aware of this piece of electronic equipment but none of us were quite ready to have our questions answered by this box!  Oh yes….it did speak with intelligent responses; replying to our questions many times! 

During the Civil War, the Inn was used as a temporary holding area for wounded soldiers being taken to Keokuk.  Some were not lucky enough to survive the trip and died there in the Inn.  When we asked the Frank’s Box “Did you fight for the confederacy?” there was silence and then the answer came “HAD TO” (EVP by Kevin) .   Every jaw in the room dropped.  No on was expecting to actually hear from “the other side”!

Amanda is one of the most talkative of the spirit children; the laughter of children can be heard many times on the box.  Dani (who stayed at the Inn previously) asked “Hi Amanda do you remember me from last time I was here?”  A child’s voice answers “I remember”.

Dowsing rods were brought out in an attempt to converse with the spirits.  Two researchers used the rods with positive results and passed them to Joy, the homeowner.  Joy was able to determine who was there and who was not.  Photographs captured by Vicki support the presence of “Curtis” who not only acknowledged his presence through the rods, but appeared as a shadow in two consecutive photographs.

Alone in Room 5, Kate was sitting in a rocking chair, filming with her video camera, when she hears the sound of crinkling (like cellophane) coming from the area of the window behind her.  She says “If there’s someone with me, could you please make that noise again?”

The crinkling sound happened again, only louder, longer and farther to her left!!  Once Kate realizes there is no plastic wrap on the windows AND she’s on the second floor, she calls out to fellow researcher, Marcus.  While reviewing the video evidence, Kate discovers she has not only caught the crinkling noise, but also captured a light anomaly on video. A small white ball of light streaks from behind her right side and quickly across the room towards the door. Later, the homeowners told us the children’s spirits communicate through the sound of rustling plastic bags.


 EVP's include,

It was the first real test of the Frank’s Box and the results did not disappoint!  The spirits were friendly and eager to speak to the living to let us know THEY ARE HERE!!

They spoke, we listened and felt incredibly fortunate to have stayed at Mason House Inn and we’re appreciative of the interaction we had with the residence “spirits”.  For a short period of time, we connected to the past of Bentonsport and it’s a memory we’ll carry with us forever. 

The owners, Joy and Chuck Hanson, are delightfully friendly and warm innkeepers who allowed us a view of the special relationship they have with their other-worldly guests.

The Supernatural Research Society of Iowa has determined that the

Mason Inn House is one of the few true “haunted” places in Iowa and we were honored to be a part of its history.  Stories will be told in the years to come about how the living spoke with the dead in Bentonsport!  

      A special thanks to Joy and Chuck and THUMBS UP to our Mason House research team:  Becky, Clair, Dani, Doug, John, Kate, Kevin, Marcus, Mercedes, Sean and Vicki