For those who like creepy, crawly, scary ghost stories, Villisca Iowa may already be on your radar. Because it was here on June 10, 1912, that a really horrible, violent crime occurred that, 100 years later, has not been solved.
The family of Josiah and Sarah Moore had gone to a special evening church service on Sunday, June 9. They invited two little girls, friends of the family, to spend the night with the family. A total of eight people, ranging from 5 years old to 43 years old, went to bed that night in the safety of a small town where everyone knew everyone else.
By 7 a.m., the neighbors knew something was wrong, called the police and life changed forever in pleasant little Villisca, Iowa. All eight people had been violently murdered, chopped to death with an ax that was found in the bedroom with two little girls. A plate of uneaten food had been found on the kitchen table and the doors had been locked from the inside.
Spend the Night In Villisca Ax Murder House
These are things you learn and see on a tour of the house, but if you really want to creep yourself out, spend the night where these eight people spent their last. Restored as it was at the time of the murders, the home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It has no electricity or running water. But a barn on the property provides those amenities, as well as a small theatre to watch a movie about the Villisca Iowa Axe Murders.
Of course, everyone says the house is haunted and if you believe in ghosts, this is as good a place as any where unhappy spirits would return in the middle of the night.
That’s why I was satisfied to visit in the middle of the day on a Wednesday. It was raining and a little chilly – sure that’s the reason I had the shivers in Villisca Iowa. Not because my birthday is June 10 – the same day as the murder – nor because, as I buckled my seatbelt and prepared to drive away from the pretty little house, the front bedroom curtain moved, just a little. I swear it did.