The Historic Williamson School has been a source of activity since it’s purchase by the Slykhuis family. Tours are fun and informational and appropriate for both children and adults. Ghost hunters have deemed it as having ‘good energy’, unlike many other haunted places. We encourage the following groups.
- Girl Scout & Boy Scout Troops – To earn their haunted house badges
- 4H Groups
- Ladies Groups
- Family Fun
- Friends Night Out
- Minimum group size of 10
- Tours are available by advanced reservation only
- $22 per person
- All children must be accompanied by a well behaved adult
- Children must present a signed parental permission slip
- Admission price does NOT include gratuity
- Call 515-707-9621 to schedule a tour
What to Expect (for the inexperienced):
- Site history
- How to be a good ghost hunter
- Tools and gadgets
- The hunt
- Report out of experiences
- Q&A and maybe a few stories
Since taking ownership of the Historic Williamson School in 2012 we have had many unexplained occurrences. Here are some of those activities. If you have visited our Tearoom and had your own unexplained experience please share your story via the Contacts page.
April 2012 – Door bell would ring 6-7 times daily, no one was ever there
May 2012 – 50th anniversary party. Several family members (with all different types of cameras) shared photos filled with orbs both inside and outside the school.
June 2012 – Orbs of light would move through the school, photographs show orbs inside and out on the school grounds
July 2012 – Television turns on and off (I thought I had a problem with the electricity)
2012-2016 – Employees confirm the reports of strange sounds and tampering with the electrical devices and electric, lights flickering and going completely off.
August 2012 – I had a reading performed on the building: I was informed I had three children staying with me, two boys and a girl. Ages 7 to 9, the little girl is very malnourished. They enjoy the third floor, they like playing in the bathroom. They like looking out the window and enjoying seeing a bird they call blue. They are afraid of this lady (doing the reading), they don’t like getting into trouble. They like ringing bells for fun. That’s when I took all bells and doorbells out!
My other guests at that time is a teacher that is looking for her book with her notes in it.
Brought my male Alaskan Malamute down to stay with me. He just kept looking at the bedroom door turning his head all night long, and would not go to sleep.
October 2012- After a Halloween party my brother-in-law’s children ages 2, 5, 7 asked to come back so they can play with their new friends? They told their aunt how they played with the children at the schoolhouse. When asked about the children they explained that they couldn’t see them but they could hear them. Their aunt asked, “So if you can’t see them what did you play?” All three kids said they played rock, paper, scissors and they would tell each other what they had and that they had a lot of fun.
May 2013 – I had a couple’s tea starting at 11 AM. Earlier, I had opened windows on the upper floors to air out the school. Two guests arrived early. Since I was down in the kitchen preparing the luncheon I didn’t hear them knock on the front door. So, they waited outside until I opened at 11 am. Other guests arrived and we had a wonderful tea which everyone enjoyed. During dessert I always hold a Q and A session where the guests can ask questions. One of the ladies that had arrived early asked, “Do you have children?” I responded, “Why yes I do. One is married and the other two are in college.” She said, “No, children that live here with you.” I said, “No, none lives here.” She then asked, “Do you rent [the schoolhouse] to a family?” I responded, “No.” She then asked, “Well whose children are laughing and running up on the third floor?”
August 2014 – The Tearoom hosted a 50th wedding anniversary. Later that evening I received a phone call from one of the attendees. She wanted to share with me that on the way home her grandchildren began telling her about the good time they had with the kids. I told her that it was nice that the kids in the family could play together and have a good time. She quickly corrected me saying that it was the kids at the school and not the family they were playing with. The kids told their grandmother that they couldn’t see them but they could hear them.
September 2014 – My mother-in-law, Pat, ran into a distant relative named Theresa whom she hadn’t seen in years. Theresa asked, “Are you any relation to the lady that has the tearoom in Williamson?” Pat replied, “Why yes, that’s my daughter-in-law?” Theresa told Pat about how she and some other ladies had been to the tearoom as part of a club outing. She told how they arrived early and decided to go around to the front of the school because the doors were still locked. She described how she and another lady looked up at the opened windows because they heard kids laughing and playing. She said they both thought it was strange because they knew it was a tearoom but they definitely heard the kids playing. Theresa recalled how the other woman “got strange feelings” and wasn’t sure if she wanted to go in. After going back to the car to sit for a while she eventually decided to go in since they had already paid for the tea.
July 2013 – I redecorated a room on 3rd floor for my daughters to stay while they were home from college. I decorated it in camouflage with an olive satin comfortable on the bed that always showed an indentation of a butt print on the side next to the window as if they were looking out. I would straighten the comforter and two days later the butt print would reappear with no one else being in the school. This went on for several months with many people viewing it.
October-December 2013 – Unexplained noises have been reported throughout the school including bells and rattling of dishes.
August 2014- First table on second floor, tea cups just dance and jingle with no explained cause.
Third table on second floor there is a chair by a pillar. On three different occasions three different woman sitting in that chair reported weird feeling and some said they felt ill. All three woman got up and left, never returning.
February –September 2016 – In the third floor classroom I had toys available for when my nieces and nephews visited. When I would go up there the toys would be in different places even though no one had been there. So, I removed them and just left a big Teddy bear. Off and on over the months I would see it and noticed it had changed positions without me or anyone touching it. I also had things disappear and show up in different places around the school.
July 2016 – Two ladies attending a tea heard bells jingling on the second floor tearoom.
August 2016 – A lady attending a tea saw two orbs right by her during her luncheon.
October 1, 2017 – During a Carlisle Group luncheon I was taking a group photo when a blue orb showed up in the picture that couldn’t be explained. I have the photo.
October 2016 – A paranormal group asked to visit the school. Their findings included:
- Confirmed recording of voices
- Chairlift beeping on and off for no reason
- Feelings of children present
- K2 meters changing colors, going to RED!!
- Dark moving shadows- unconfirmed
- 3 different people doing 3 different readings at different times informed me that the original pastor from the Williamson Community Church is here and with his pews located in the gymnasium. (The 94 year-old pews were purchased in 2012 from the Williamson Community Church). Two individuals, arriving at separate times, stated separately that they had a premonition of a tall man wearing a dark suit and a mustache prior to their arrival at the school. Both stated they didn’t feel the man was connected to the school. When the two individuals plus another group member visited the gym they felt his presence. Later, they asked if I had any old church or religious photos. I stated I had some old photos that where left at the school when it was purchased. I brought them down from 3rd floor where all 3 individuals promptly identified him.
December 2017 – A tearoom guest stops at the entry step with the door open, looks up the steps and says, “You know there are children with you here” before proceeding up the steps to the tearoom.
February 2017 – Three different times this month when I’ve went to the second floor to prepare for a luncheon glasses and china have fallen off the tables, breaking on the floor.
April 2017 – A guest reported seeing orbs and feeling nauseated and having to leave
June 2017 – After a reunion some of the children in attendance told me, “Your kids are fun. We can’t see them but they’re funny.”
July 2017 – I decided to place a bell at each place setting to see if any of them would ring during luncheons since we’ve had several instances of bells ringing with no explanation. A group of 12 ladies attended a luncheon when one of the bells ‘dinged’ without anyone touching it. The entire group noticed the unexplained ding and got and moved away from the table. It created a lot of questions.
August 2017 – A guest reported hearing children giggling and then feeling a cold chill over their entire body
November 2017 – Another paranormal group requested to a visit the school. Their findings included
- Issues with all batteries and all devices and phones not holding a charge – even newly purchased packs of batteries
- Flashlights turning off and on by request
- Seeing adult sized and child sized stick figures using an Xcam SLS camera
- Seeing orbs in tearoom on 2nd floor
- K2 meters going to red when asking questions to entities
- Distinct temperature changes even with the furnace being broken
- The group confirmed that a large teddy bear I have in a rocker on 3rd floor moved. And, when they sang ‘Ring Around the Rosie’ the flashlight that was placed on the floor in front of the teddy bear turned in a circle and the K2 meters flashed red
December 2017 –
A woman arrives for a luncheon. As she passes by our arms touch and my whole are tingles. After the standard Q and A session the woman asks if she could give me a hug. I said sure and she gave me the biggest and longest hug even though we had never met. It was unusual. Eventually pushing me back by the shoulders she looked at me strangely and said “This is your calling.” I shared with her the tingling I felt when our arms touched upon her arrival and she said she experienced the same tingling.
I placed children’s books on kitchen table at the schoolhouse, lining them up even with the table edge. Told the ‘kids’ to have fun reading them and left. Later that day I came back to find all 3 books had moved.
January – February 2018 –
Multiple instances of flashlights responding to questions on third floor.
April 2018 –
Tina began working on some demolition on the 3rd floor including removing old plaster from walls and taking the tile floors back to their original wood floors. One day while working on the floors she sat down to take a break and decided to see if she could get the flashlights to response. What she caught instead was the pry bar she had just used moving by itself, not once but twice. Also unusual patterns of shoelaces becoming untied.