Spotlight: The Villisca Axe Murder House, Villisca, Iowa

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Address: 508 E 2nd St, Villisca, IA 50864

Phone: (712) 621-1530

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From Villisca Axe Murder House
“On a quiet residential street in this small town sits an old white frame house. On a dark evening, the absence of lights and sounds are the first indication to visitors that this house is different from the other homes that surround it. Upon closer inspection, you’ll notice the doors and windows are tightly closed and covered. An outhouse in the backyard suggests that this house does not occupy a place in the 21st century but somehow belongs in another era or another story. A weather-beaten sign warns rather than welcomes. This is the “Murder House”.”
  • Between the evening of June 9, 1912, and the early morning of June 10, 1912, in the town of Villisca, Iowa, six members of the Moore family and two house guests were axed to death. 6 of the 8 victims were children.
  • There were several suspects, but the case was never solved.
  • Evidence suggested that the killer or killers waited in the attic until the Moore family and guests were asleep to attack.
  • According to the website, “Tours have been cut short by children’s voices, falling lamps, moving ladders and flying objects,” and in 2014 a paranormal investigator stabbed himself after spending the night. The website says, “Skeptics have left believers”.
  •  Author Stephen Bowman wrote about the murders in a book called Morning Ran Red
  • Television series Ghost Adventures covered the story of the Villisca axe murders, in the episode “Villisca Axe Murder House”.
  • The house and murders were profiled on the television series Most Terrifying Places in America.
  • A 2016 horror movie, The Axe Murders of Villisca, was loosely based on the case.
  • The 2017 book The Man from the Train also analyzes and hypothesizes about what happened that night.


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