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 . . .
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, it's 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.
Internationally known psychic Jacqui Carpenter conducted the first paranormal investigation in 2007 and quickly confirmed the owner’s suspicions. Since then many visitors and paranormal groups have witnessed and documented evidence of ghostly activity at Farrar including: Discovery Channels "My Ghost Story" and "Ghost Stalkers", Fox news, Lazor 103.3 Radio, Des Moines Register, author Steven LaChance, Villisca's Johnny Houser, Brad and Barry Klinge, Chris Dedman, John Tenney, Chad Lindberg, David Rountree, Rosalyn Bown, Dakota Laden, Jodie Parks, Mike Holeman, Tim Dwight, Jacqui Carpenter, Chad and Brian Calek, Christopher Booth, SlipKnot's Corey Taylor and more.
Are you brave enough to stay the night? On the other hand, maybe a daylight tour with one of the owners would better suit you. Maybe you don’t have the nerve! Keep your cameras ready, your mind open and be prepared for anything!
In 1919, C.G. Geddes agreed to donate 6 acres of his farm to merge the area’s one-room country schoolhouses. The school boards voted and created the Washington Township Consolidated School District. The cornerstone inscribed with the year 1921 was set and the dedication ceremony commenced on April 1 1922. The schoolhouse filled with citizens from miles around. An orchestra played on stage in the auditorium as a banquet served the hundreds in attendance. Not all citizens were behind the new building with its $100,000 price tag. One disgruntled citizen refused to attend the celebration calling it a “monument to the arrogance and vanity of the school board,” with its boiler heating, electric lights, and indoor bathroom facilities. On May 3 2002, once again, the band played, a banquet served the hundreds in attendance and sadly, the 80-year-old schoolhouse closed its doors for the last time.
Do you have wheelchair accessibility?
Sorry, no wheelchair accessibility in the building.
HAF discourages anyone with health issues or physical restrictions from attending.
Everyone attending must sign a waiver. Waiver is available for download on the "Booking" Page.
What is the purpose of holding these events?
The Farrar School Restoration Project is a non-profit organization.
Funds raised are to maintain and refurbish the schoolhouse.
How do I book an overnight stay?
Choose a date online, contact Nancy at 515 577-4213 to verify the date,
and then pay online, by check or money order.
When may we begin arriving for an overnight stay?
You may arrive as early as 7:00 PM or 5pm if you purchased the "Extended Stay" option.
(See our "Booking" page)
Does anyone live in the building?
Yes, the owners live in one room of the building. They remain isolated from your group and investigation unless, of course, you require their assistance.
What is the deposit required to book an overnight stay?
The deposit required is either $270 for a weekday stay or $300 for a weekend.
Once you book an overnight stay you have 10 days to get your deposit to us.
Any money due beyond the minimum for additional people or options may be paid at door.
What if I only have 3 people coming with me?
That is fine but be aware the amount required for a booking is
based on a 6 person minimum for either weekday or weekend rates.
If you have only 4 people coming you will still have to pay the 6 person minimum.
What should I bring with me for an overnight stay?
We suggest sleeping bags, air mattresses, drinks and snacks.
Please see "What to expect" below
Is there electricity in the building?
Yes, there is access to electricity everywhere in the building except for the 3rd floor.
Are children under 18 allowed at an overnight stay or daylight tour?
Anyone under 18 must have a parent or guardian with them who can sign
a waiver on the minors behalf.
May we bring alcohol to our overnight?
For safety and insurance reasons, we must prohibit any alcoholic beverage on the property.
May we bring RVs, campers or tents for the night?
Yes but you must call us to confirm your intent to do so.
How do I book a daylight tour?
Please call to check for availability.
Tours must be scheduled in advance.
Must I pay in advance for a daylight tour?
For Daylight tours (call for availability) you may pay at the door when you arrive.
Is smoking allowed in the building?
No. Visitors must leave the building to light up.
Please be as quiet as possible when outside out of respect for the neighbors.
Are there bathroom facilities?
Yes, the old girl’s and boy's bathrooms in the gymnasium are available to the public.
The gym has the only working bathrooms in the building.
What to Expect ...
The Farrar Schoolhouse is a "known" haunted location here in Iowa visited by hundreds of Paranormal Groups and other individuals including "My Ghost Story", "Ghost Stalkers", Fox news, Lazor 103.3 Radio, Des Moines Register, author Steven Lachance, Villisca's Johnny Houser, Brad and Barry Klinge, Chris Dedman, Rosalyn Bown, Dakota Laden, Jodie Parks, Mike Holeman, Tim Dwight, Jacqui Carpenter, Chad and Brian Calek, Slipknot's Corey Taylor Weird Lecture's John Tenney, Filmmaker Christopher Saint Booth and more.
Many alumni, teachers and students, have also visited the schoolhouse. Some have left us with great stories of their childhood. Some have left stories of creepy events from doors closing on their own to disembodied voices heard during class.
What to bring: Dress in comfortable clothes.
Although there are many places to sit in the schoolhouse you no doubt will be spending time sitting on the floor. A seat cushion or blanket might be a good idea if you believe you need it. Bring whatever will make you most comfortible and is appropriate for the nights weather.
Although the gym and 1st floor levels are fairly comfortable keep in mind that the 2nd and 3rd floors can get warm (or cold).
We always provide one small room for our guests that is air-conditioned or heated as needed. There are only chairs in the room so you should bring an air mattress or
blanket to sleep on if you wish. The small room (the old school office) also has a small refrigerator, microwave and a coffee maker provided for our guests.
Please bring only flashlights, cameras or other "investigation" related items.
If you are attending a "Hosted" event your hosts may share equipment with you. Other then the items mentioned above, rule of thumb is if it fits in your pockets or carried on your person (Exa: backpacks) it's Ok. Ice Chests are allowed but may be restricted during large "Hosted" Farrar Events.
Farrar cannot be responsible for lost or stolen items. Farrar discourages anyone with health issues or physical restrictions from attending.
Everyone visiting Farrar must sign a waiver. Waiver is available on "Booking" Page for download and are also available at the door when you arrive
Please note: The owners do live in one of the rooms on the 1st floor.
All necessary steps are taken to isolate. We keep quiet and will not interfere with your
investigation in any way. Of course we are available if an emergency arises.
Working facilities located only in gym area.
Electricity available everywhere except 3rd floor
Smoking permitted outside only.
Although it may be an all night event you may come and go as you please.
Main doors are unlocked during your stay unless you want otherwise.
Children under 18 will have to be accompanied by an adult.
Must be at least 14 years old to attend "Special" Events.
Sorry, alcohol is not allowed in the Schoolhouse.Please call or email us with question
Questions? Give us a call at (515) 577-4213.
"Overnight" and/or "daytime" stays are available. See Booking Page.