16 January 2012

Midwesternist Macabre Monday: The Villisca Axe Murders House

On the morning of June 10, 1912, a nosey neighbor in the small town of Villisca, Iowa, noticed that Josiah & Sarah Moore hadn't begun their daily chores and decided to knock on their door, presumably to ask who the hell they thought they were. Nobody answered and the entire house was locked up tight, so the neighbor contacted Josiah's brother, Ross.

How Come Nosey Neighbors Are Never the Victims?

Ross let himself in with his spare key and quickly discovered the mutilated bodies of Josiah, Sarah, their four children, and two neighbor girls who had spent the night. All eight of them had been bludgeoned in the face with Josiah's axe. One of the young neighbor girls had defensive wounds. She was the only one who was awake at the time of death; the rest were killed in their sleep. The prevailing theory suggests that the killer entered the home while the victims attended church and hid in a closet like the fucking Boogeyman; striking shortly after midnight.

The Boogeyman was questioned but eventually released

The small town of 2,500 was shocked. The police investigated and came up with a few suspects, but nobody was ever charged with the crime. Forensic science was in its infancy back in 1912, and the crime scene wasn't properly secured or even photographed. After five years, the case went cold, but not before the town was torn apart by gossip and personal theories about the murderer and the victims. Villisca hasn't ever truly recovered from that gruesome night, and today only 1,300 people call Villisca home.

The infamous murder house still stands. In 1994, Darwin and Martha Linn purchased the house, restored it to its 1912 grandeur, and successfully lobbied to have it placed on the National Registry of Historic Buildings.

As you can imagine, people are convinced that the house is haunted as all get out. But there's no way of proving that…unless you stay the night! Yes, for $400, you and up to five friends can try to sleep in an authentic turn-of-the-century Iowa farmhouse where 6 children and 2 adults were butchered! Or, if you're not up to that, daytime tours are a mere $10 per person. With the 100th anniversary approaching, you can bet that the only thing that won't be getting slashed are the ticket prices. If you're in Southwestern Iowa for some reason, you can visit the creepy house at 323 E. 4th St., Villisca, IA 50864.

Darwin 'Moneybags' Linn


Rich said...

The real horror is that the family had to live so many years in Southwestern Iowa WITHOUT getting axed in the face.

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