The leaves are turning shades of
red, gold and brown, the nights are
getting much cooler and the darkness
creeps in earlier, making you wonder
if that figure you spotted out of
the corner of your eye was just a
shadow --- or something more
It's scaring season in the Cedar
And while there may be things you'll
travel out of state to see, when it
comes to scaring the pee out of you
there's really no place like home.
Whether it's a terrifying maze with
no exit, a dark house with surprises
around every corner or even walls
that seem to close in around you,
local haunted attractions have been
building, changing and expanding
every year to bring new frights to
"You don't say you're a haunted
house guy without living it and
loving it," said Kevin Schults,
owner of Heart of Darkness in
Waterloo. "I build this for the
Cedar Valley. If it wasn't for them,
I wouldn't be doing it."
You see, Northeast Iowa? They love
you. They love you so much they're
going to make you scream, cry and
run away fearing the guy wielding
the chainsaw might actually be
If that sounds like your idea of a
good time this Halloween, keep
Want to get started right away? You
might want to hear what Chad Lewis
of Eau Claire, Wis., has to say.
With a master's degree in psychology
and an interest in why people
believe --- or don't believe --- in
paranormal activity, Lewis tours the
Midwest giving talks about the
haunted places he's seen up close.
"With Halloween approaching, a lot
of people say, 'I don't know if I
believe in this or not, but it
sounds fun, I'm gonna go check it
out,'" Lewis said.
He'll let people know about the
ghost of the barefoot outlaw with a
noose around his neck who wanders
the Buchanan County Courthouse,
slapping his feet noisily on the
floor. He'll also describe something
he's heard about from witnesses but
hasn't yet checked out --- a boy who
wanders around the Waterloo Walmart
dressed in clothes from the 1800s.
"People say, 'It was so quick, I
wasn't sure if it had happened or
not,'" Lewis said.
Lewis will give his talk on Iowa's
haunted places Tuesday at 7 p.m. at
the Independence Public Library. The
talk is free and open to the public.