Across the Great Divide

March 1st, 2013


“Packing Up and Moving a Haunted House”

A rigging crew in Monroe, Iowa spent February 19, 2013 slowly moving a 100-ton house; and that has local ghost hunters anxiously waiting to see if any paranormal activity follows the reportedly haunted dwelling after it moves.

The home, which had to be moved after one person bought the land and another person bought the house, will be relocated about five miles from where it has existed since 1865. A photo gallery highlighting the move can be viewed on station KCCI 8’s website.

Known as Maple Grove Hill, it is the oldest wood frame historical house in Jasper County and believed to still be the official residence of the original owner, Regina Long. For more than a century, her spirit has been credited with scaring off people and constantly moving items in the home.

The question on everyone’s mind is if she will continue to haunt the house in its new location; the incident is also reigniting a debate in parapsychology about whether it is the location or the objects contained within it that are associated with psi phenomena.

The reason that this has been the subject of contention is due to differing opinions within the field regarding the nature of hauntings. Hauntings, as we know, are specific locations where paranormal activity occurs regularly, especially for more than a year. This phenomenon can be further broken down into the sub categories of apparition (intelligent) and imprints (non-intelligent).

Apparitions are the conscious, disembodied entities that remain after physical death that continue to walk between dimensions and are responsible for many of the incidents reported to occur in places like Maple Grove Hill.

Residual hauntings, or imprints, begin with a Flash Point- the initial emotional, physical, or electrical discharge that “records” an event into the atmosphere of a particular location. Theorized to be a psychic event that is recorded in both space and time, it continues to loop repeatedly in a particular location. Anniversary Imprints, for example, can appear non-conscious and redundant, usually manifesting within a predictable measure of time following the flash point. The intensity of this energy or recording degrades over time until the event ceases to reappear due to dissipation of the energy related to the event. This view portrays the repeating events of a residual haunting as mindless, soulless traces of past lives, not as the active, intelligent movements of spirit energies.

Sometimes paranormal activity is specifically linked to the land itself, such as Civil War soldiers that can be seen at places like Gettysburg. These sightings have been known to exhibit characteristics of both apparitions and imprints.

Other times the activity seems to be centered on the objects most commonly associated with a person and there has been evidence of activity following these objects, such as when they are moved from the original home or location to historical societies and museums.

Maple Grove Hill is to be set on its new foundation in the spring. In the meantime, a perfect opportunity exists for studying both sides of the debate and adding to scientific exploration and discovery- so it would be to everyone’s advantage not to wait.

The first step would be for researchers and historians to pool the available data on reported incidents, as well as a detailed analysis of the geological properties of both the old and new locations to provide a baseline.

During this time, they should also maintain a log of any possible activity at its holding site and then follow up with a thorough investigation upon completion of the move, followed by additional evaluations at 6 months and one year after construction. After a careful analysis of all the resulting information, a clearer picture should be available to make a case for either side of the debate.

Therefore, I think there are really two questions to be answered here. First, will the spirit of Regina Long accompany the new owners and, second, will sensationalism and wasted opportunity prevail over rational and sound research?

We’re watching, Iowa.


Sources: WKRC, KCCI

© 2013 R. Wolf Baldassarro/Deep Forest Productions

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