Mathias Ham House

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No one knows exactly who is haunting the Matthias Ham museum, but ghostly tales abound. People have felt icy drafts in rooms that are closed, objects move and lights turn on independently of any explainable source. People also claim to hear strange noises and occasional whispering. One of the most interesting stories associated with the house is that of Sarah and the Pirate. Sarah was the last remaining daughter of the Matthias, who had testified in a trial against a group of pirates who were stealing their way up and down the Mississippi river. Years after Matthias’ death, a pirate broke into his house, allegedly to seek revenge against the man who’d sent him to jail. Sarah, being alone in the house, heard the intruder and armed herself, shooting through her bedroom door when he attempted to enter. He fled, but was mortally wounded and died some distance from the house. Some people believe that the haunting may be attributed to this pirate, still determined to seek his revenge.

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Geographic Information

2241 Lincoln Ave.
Dubuque, Iowa
United States

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42.53136485553705, -90.65060439391783
Dubuque County, Iowa
Nearest Towns:
Sandy Hook, WI (2.2 mi.)
Dubuque, IA (2.2 mi.)
East Dubuque, IL (2.7 mi.)
Sageville, IA (3.3 mi.)
Kieler, WI (4.2 mi.)
Asbury, IA (5.3 mi.)
Durango, IA (6.7 mi.)
Menominee, IL (6.7 mi.)
Dickeyville, WI (7.3 mi.)
Sherrill, IA (8.5 mi.)


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Comments (4)

  1. I took a took of this and the tour guide swore up and down that the Mathias Ham house is not haunted what so ever. However, as I was walking through it with a friend of mine, we saw a little girl run down the hallway as we were going up the stairs…we were the last two in the tour group and the last tour of the day…

  2. Donette Ambrosy  |  

    My husband & I were touring the Ham House. We made jokes to each other under our breath throughout the tour about it being haunted. The guide would not discuss it. As we were leaving, I was ahead of my husband exiting the gift shop, and I stopped to turn around & have a look st the house. As my husband exited the building, I saw the door fly from his grip and slam shut behind him with a BANG. There was no spring on the door, it was not a windy day. The type of motion was extremely eerie. I could tell immediately from the look in my husbands’ eyes that he was a big shocked at what had just happened. We scurried away & he confirmed it had felt like someone tearing the door out of his hand.

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Disclaimer: The stories posted here are user-submitted and are, in the nature of "ghost stories," largely unverifiable. makes no claims that any of the statements posted here are factually accurate. The vast majority of information provided on this web site is anecdotal, and as such, should be viewed in the same light as local folklore and urban legends.