The Mason House Inn
Photo: Joy Hanson
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Mason House Inn

The owners of this Bentonsport, Iowa, inn have made the place so homey that past residents simply refuse to leave. The Federal-style house, built in 1846, is the oldest steamboat hotel on the Des Moines River. Many overnight guests are skeptical when it comes to the ghosts—until they experience one themselves. "We have had 14 different apparitions sighted in the seven years we have lived here," says current owner Joy Hanson: two soldiers and a group of children. All are said to have died at the inn when it was a hospital during the Civil War. Guests are also often deceived by Josephine, the resident feline ghost; she looks just like any old cat, but when you reach out to touch her, she vanishes. The Mason House Inn offers ghost-hunting classes and ghost tours. Overnight visits for Halloween are booked a year in advance, but you can spend a night in this haunted house all year-round, too.
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