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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Mathias Ham House

photo via Pinterest
The Mathias Ham House was built in 1837 by Mathias Ham in Dubuque, Iowa. The house was a small two-story, five room structure for his wife and five children. More rooms were added on after the death of Ham's wife, going from five rooms to twenty-three.

Mathias made his fortune in the mining, lumber, agriculture and shipping vessel. He would sit in the very top room of his house, keeping an eye on his ships. One day he spotted pirates on the river and alerted the authorities. As they were being arrested, the pirates vowed vengeance on him. However, when the day came, it wasn't Mathias they found.

It was the end of the eighteen-hundreds. Every member of the Ham family had passed on except for one, Sarah Ham. She was one of Mathias' daughters and the only one living in the house at the time. While she was reading in bed one night, she head someone moving around on the floor below her. She slowly made her way downstairs to investigate and found no one.

The next night she was better prepared in case the intruder returned. Previously that day, she alerted her neighbors of what happened. Informed them that if the intruder returned she would put a lantern in the window as a signal for help. But
that wouldn't be the only preventative measure she would take.

That night, Sarah heard the same movement below her. She called out to the person but received no answer. Locking herself in her bedroom, Sarah placed the lantern in the window and picked up her shotgun. She waited as heavy footsteps made their way to her. They stopped before her bedroom door. Sarah fired two shots.

Her neighbors arrived shortly after only to find a bloody trail leading down to the river. They found the pirate captain who had threatened Mathias dead on the river bank.

Today the house is a museum and considered to be haunted. Paranormal reports include unexplainable lights, noises, cold chills, old broken pump organ plays on its own. Footsteps and voices are also heard. It is believed Mathias Ham and possibly the pirate captain are the ones responsible for the haunting.

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