Historic buildings like the Kirk Apartments, shown here, in Mason City will be haunted with ghoulish tour guides during the Haunted Historic Building Tour. Photo courtesy of Main Street Mason City.
By Michael Morain
Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs
Now in its fifth year, the popular walking tour starts with cocktails and ends with dessert. In between, visitors hear from various spirits who recount true tales from the city’s past (and bear an uncanny resemblance to actors from the Mason City Community Theatre).
Each year’s route remains a secret until the tour starts just off Central Park, near the hotel that Frank Lloyd Wright designed in 1908-1909 and the bank John Dillinger’s gang robbed in 1934. And if all those walls could talk, they’d probably brag: Mason City hosted the 2022 Preserve Iowa Summit in June and is ranked by Conde Nast Traveler as one of the world’s 20 best cities for architecture lovers.