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Malvern Manor - Malvern, Iowa

Location Information

Date: 02 November 2019     Type: Historic

Location Title: Historic Property     City/State: Malvern, IA

Investigation Times: 4:00 PM - 12:00 PM     Status: Analysis


Weather Information

Sunrise: 07:57 AM   Sunset: 06:19 PM

High Temperature: 52°F   Low Temperature: 32°F

Sky Condition: Mostly Cloudy  Wind: SSE at 8 mph

Humidity: 60%   Precipitation: 0%

Lunar Phase: Waxing Crescent   % disk visible: 27%

Solar X-Rays: Normal  Geomagnetic Field: Quiet

Pressure: 29.25 mmHg  


Investigators Present

Becky Ray

Jennifer Sprague

Edward Quentin

Tania Rounds

Julie Klos Burch

Three Guests joined us.

Investigators Notes


Jennifer Sprague, Lead Investigator: On this investigation, I was the lead investigator.

Given the diverse reportings at Malvern, I wanted to try some various experiments. These experiments would involve group dynamic and individual perceptions involving mental and sensory tests. I also attempted a “Bell Jar” EVP experiment. We placed an audio recorder in a bell jar that vacuum-sealed. We know from science class that there is no sound in a vacuum. The idea is that if an EVP were to be captured during this time then we could possibly say that EVPs are not created through sound waves thus we could rule them out being captured acoustically. Unfortunately due to the cold weather, the seal did not hold. We will try this in the future.

The first experiment involved Tania attempting a “Reiki” experiment with her mother in “Gracie’s room.” Reiki is a gentle form of hand laying where it is believed energy and healing are transferred through touch and intent. Tania did not know any of the previous histories of the room. In her attempt to do this she was curious if any activity would arise. I was curious to see if while she was focusing on this if others could get activity to happen while conducting an EVP session in individual rooms.

Each person picked a room that was written on paper out of a jar and did their own session during Tania’s Reiki session.

Tania did not report anything unusual during this time other than a slight feeling of somebody touching her finger. We had a sensor toy, camera, heat sensor board, and a DVR cam as well as audio running and we could not find anything conclusive on audio.  We are still reviewing the video.

During the individual EVP sessions some personal experiences were had, but nothing that equipment picked up. 

The second experiment was individual experiences as they are related to a group focus. On several different occasions, members sat by themselves alone in “Shadowman” Hallway while unbeknownst to them the rest of the group tried to encourage activity relating to their senses. We tried hearing, sight, and touch. The person would come back and relay their experiences and we would compare. At the end of each individual test, the group concentrated on one certain thing to happen. Nobody reported anything that could coincide with what we asked as a group, but I'd like to try this experience again.

Many had experiences in Shadowman Hallway. I had a red grid set up throughout the night, cameras and motion sensors were also set up during the investigation. I spent quite a while there by myself and I did the same in the attic. I did not experience anything other than feeling a bit unnerved and hearing some noises as others reported. One person said they had encountered the Shadowman, but we could not confirm due to camera malfunction.

At approximately 7:30 pm, the members were split up into groups of two and sent to various areas of the building. Another man and Edward went to Gracie's room, as we had been told that she responds well to men. They entered the room, turned the overhead light off and proceeded to conduct an EVP session. After several minutes, Edward thought he may have seen a wheelchair in the room shift, so he took a few pictures at 7:40 pm. A couple of minutes after that, a rolling cat toy we had placed on the floor lit up. It stayed lit for about 3-5 seconds, then deactivated. They attempted another EVP session immediately and Edward took approximately 5 minutes of video on his phone, but after review, nothing appeared on either the video or audio.

Edward, Becky, and I were in "Susie's room" when both Edward and Becky reacted to hearing what sounded like a child in the hallway. Shortly after this Becky attempted to rewind her audio to play it back but her recorder started malfunctioning. As she talked about Susie not wanting to be recorded we noticed the motion-sensitive ball set in the room was flickering whenever she mentioned anything specific to Susie.

During the investigation, Julie and I both had audio anomalies. One in the attic that only my trail cam picked up and Julie's was recorded in Susie’s room.

We also experimented with pink, white, brown, and grey noise in the upstairs hallway but the results were inconclusive.

Thank you to Josh Heard for having us out! We look forward to going back!

Location History

Built in the 1870s, the location that is now known as Malvern Manor originally served as the family home of Mr. Isaac Ringland, who was the elected mayor of Malvern at this time. It was the fourth structure built in the Iowa city of Malvern. 

In 1890 after the death of both Mr. Ringland and his wife, the property was sold and expanded to be used as a hotel/boarding house, and in 1891 it opened as the Cottage Hotel.  

It was a popular location for travelers on the Wabash Trail railway that was part of the Wabash Railroad’s Omaha to St. Louis rail line and Malvern’s local doctor, I.U. Parsons had his residence in the boarding house.  

Due to the location’s popularity, in 1895 the Hotel was expanded again, this time to twice its former capacity. 

In 1905 the Hotel changed ownership and was closed briefly while the interior was updated. 

Between 1906 and 1955 the hotel changed ownership frequently and at one point the name was changed to the Piper Hotel.  

Bessie Smith, Mildred Peterson, and Eyvonne Wederguist purchase the hotel with plans to remodel it into a rest home with a capacity of 45 beds. It reopens that fall and operates as the Nishna Cottage Nursing and Rest Home. It was purchased by Geraldine and Hap Reid in 1959. 

In 1976 state inspectors realized that the hallways were not wide enough to roll a bed down, making the location ineligible to house a nursing home. Patients were moved to another facility in Malvern and the building became a residential care facility. Residents had conditions ranging from alcoholism, drug addictions, schizophrenia, multiple personality disorders, to other ailments that made them unable to live alone. 

In 2005 the facility was taken over by a new owner and reports of neglect began to circulate. It was eventually shut down due to fire code violations the new owner refused to correct.  

Becky's Recorder - 2 Nov 2019 - Malvern Manor
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Edward's Recorder - 2 Nov 2019 - Malvern Manor
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While Jennifer, Edward, and Becky were in Susie's Room, Edward and Becky heard a child's voice in the hallway. Both Becky and Edward's recorders captured this. 

Submitted by Becky

Sing-song? - 9:00pm - 2 Nov 2019 - Malvern Manor
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Sing-Song Isolated - 9:00pm - 2 Nov 2019 - Malvern Manor
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At about 11 pm, Becky and Edward were in the main lobby on the first floor. Edward took a picture of a section of the floor and we were generally talking about the investigation as his recorder was running. Upon review, Edward discovered a girl's sing-song voice underneath Becky talking, with a multi-word phrase approximately 2.5 seconds in length.  

Submitted by Edward

Knocking - 2 Nov 2019 - Malvern Manor
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EVP knocking noise caught in Susie's Room on the recorder but not heard audibly while in the room.  

Submitted by Julie

Whimper - 2 Nov 2019 - Malvern Manor
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After Jennifer says, "Can you make the ball go off?" there seems to be a whimpering sound in the background.   

Submitted by Jennifer

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