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Van Meter Visitor Festival Celebrates Local Legend
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Van Meter Visitor Festival Celebrates Local Legend

Visitors – human and perhaps otherwise – are about to arrive in Van Meter for a spooky celebration.

The 2018 Van Meter Visitor Festival is set for Saturday, September 29, and for fans of local legends, small-town history and the unexplained, it’s a deliciously dark outing.

As the story goes, more than 100 years ago, the small Dallas County community of Van Meter was terrorized by a mysterious, winged monster said to have emerged from an abandoned mine on the outskirts of town.

Residents – including the local doctor and a bank cashier – described a strange half-human, half-animal creature with giant bat-like wings flying over the town at freakish speeds. It reportedly emitted a foul stench, with a blinding light shooting out from its horned head.

Definitely not your average visitor in Van Meter, then or today.

And its identity? Still unknown.

The Van Meter Visitor Festival is free of charge and features a variety of guest speakers on legends, lore, and the paranormal (view the schedule here). Merchandise, food, and various exhibitors add to the delightful spell.   

Of special note, researcher Chad Lewis – co-author of the book “The Van Meter Visitor: A True and Mysterious Encounter with the Unknown” – will lead afternoon and evening walking tours of the town to retrace the infamous week of terror when the visitor made its presence known (note: for an extra dose of spine-tingling awesomeness, take the night tour).

The 2018 Van Meter Visitor Festival opens at 1 p.m. on Saturday, September 29, in downtown Van Meter.

Join the fun and keep your eyes on the sky.

For complete details, visit the Van Meter Visitor Festival on Facebook.

Image credit: Lisa Schmitz

Leave a Comment

  1. Travel Iowa Team
    Travel Iowa Team
    This is fascinating fall fun! Thanks for the post!
    Log in to reply.


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