The Farrar School sits in Maxwell, Iowa just 23 miles northwest of Des Moines. My friends and I were travelling on this particular weekend to investigate the school and the Villisca Axe Murder House. The most recent records pertaining to Maxwell indicate the population to be approximately 30. Yes..........30! Driving through the area was beautiful and scenic with ranches and farms all around.
The Farrar School has 17,000 square feet and was built on land that was donated so that one large school could be built to consolidate and merge the several one-room school houses in the area. It was then that the Washington Township Consolidated School District came into existence. The school opened in 1922 and eventually closed in 2002. Eighty years of children and community events.......there must be some energy left behind, right?!?!
The Olivers purchased the property in 2006 and have opened it up for paranormal investigations. With three floors of classrooms and the gymnasium, we had plenty of space for just the six of us. There were actually twelve of us on this weekend but we split up between Farrar and Villisca, and then swapped places the next night. It was a great weekend for all!
Reports of activity include voices, shadow people, orbs, and slamming doors. Now I usually don't get excited about orbs because places that are not in use or in disrepair are likely to have dust and other contaminants. At Farrar however, two of us did see colored balls of light and a flash of light that popped up behind one of our night vision cameras. We heard movement in the classrooms and caught some EVPs that are quite compelling. Our experience there was so good that we are scheduled to return in March!
Tips for other paranormal groups/teams: the school is large enough to take more than the six investigators we had on each night HOWEVER voices will travel and echo. The owners live in a section on one side of the ground floor however we never saw or heard them at all. They were quite accommodating and absolutely the nicest people to work with.
Maxwell doesn't have much to it anymore but, being so close to Des Moines, you still have access to whatever you may need for an overnight investigation. I advise all paranormal groups to consider this location. It is affordable even for a small group, and I believe to be well worth the trip. Feel free to comment or contact me if you have any questions about our experience at the Farrar School.
No matter what you do today.......make today count!