Friday, October 30, 2015

Scary October: Villisca Axe Murder House

In celebration of my favorite month, October, I'm featuring a different scary story every Friday. I've saved the best for last. This creepy house will stay with you long after you've heard the story:



The title of the house gives away the ending to this disturbing story, but we'll start at the beginning, anyway. Located in Villisca, Iowa, this house was home to the Moore family, which included Josiah and Sarah Moore and their four children. They are pictured here with two of those children:



On the evening of June 9, 1912, the family attended church, bringing home two young friends who were spending the night. The group of eight walked home, arriving at approximately 10 p.m., and were never seen alive again.



The next morning, a neighbor noticed the family had not yet begun their chores. Since the doors to the home were locked, she got Josiah's brother to unlock the door. Overnight, someone had murdered all eight with an axe, covered every mirror in the house, and crept out without being noticed.



To this day, the case has never been solved. Visitors to the house, which is open to tours, report hearing children's voices and seeing objects move and fall over. Photos, videos, and audio recordings have supposedly captured volumes of evidence. There are so many, the Villisca Axe Murder House page simply links to a YouTube channel as evidence.



It has been a fun month! I hope everyone has an awesome Halloween. In case you missed any of my Scary October stories, here they are:




Scary October will be back in 2016! Do you have any places you'd like to see mentioned in next year's posts?

62 comments:

  1. Eight people killed with an ax and no one heard or saw anything - unbelievable.
    Enjoyed the haunted places. For next year, check into the Biltmore. Someone else posted that it's haunted. That would be a good one.
    Have a great weekend!

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    1. I'll look into it! We were there a couple of years ago. I wish they'd do a ghost tour, but I get it. They don't want the nutty ghost people showing up so they try to keep that stuff on the downlow.

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  2. Crazy!

    I like Alex's suggestion for next year. I've been to the Biltmore. :)

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    1. I have, too. They won't talk about the scary stuff, though. It's one of those places where they don't want that side of their heritage to be publicized. We stayed at a hotel in Kentucky like that. We asked the desk clerk about the stories and he said they didn't like the staff to talk about it because it brings in "undesirable elements." (i.e. "People like you whackos who are asking me these questions.")

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  3. i'm formulating a 'next' book...a hit man. Ax would be a great MO

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    1. What's really scary about this story is a guy CONFESSED and they just decided not to believe him. There are a couple of people who could have done it--he's one--but crime investigation wasn't nearly what it is now back then. If it had happened today, they probably would have had the killer in jail within days and he would have stayed there.

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  4. Covering the mirrors is a fascinating aspect! Who covered them - the killer/killers or was the family forced to do it before they were killed? Why cover them in the first place - a sign of mourning, remorse?

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    1. What was the reason for covering mirrors? They believed the souls of the dead could become trapped there as they left the bodies? Which does make you think it was someone who had a conscience about it...

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  5. Eight people killed with an axe and the murderer has not been caught? This is really scary. Hope I will be able to sleep tonight.

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    1. There were no less than five suspects...I think most people believe the guy who confessed did it, though (Reverend George Kelly). Back then, they just didn't really have much in the way of science to conclusively prove someone did it. The suspects are described here:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Villisca_axe_murders

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  6. Very scary story! Imagine a murderer walking free and he could be anyone!

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    1. I guess he didn't kill again? Who knows...there was one suspect who was suspected of killing another family with an axe...William Mansfield.

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  7. Ok so I'm looking through my feed and of course the first post I read is about an ax murder house. Lmao.
    This is terrifying!!! People always say they want to go back to the old days, but um yeah, they didn't have the best police depts back then with any high tech equipment or dna evidence. So no thank you.

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    1. Comedian John Mulaney joked about that. "It was really easy to get away with murder before they knew about DNA. What was a murder investigation like in 1935? One cop would just walk in and be like, 'Detective, we found a pool of the killer's blood in that hallway.' He would just be like, 'Hmmm, gross. Mop it up. Now then, back to my hunch. Look for clues. I'll tell you what we'll do; we'll draw chalk around where the body is, that way we'll know where it was.'"

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  8. I read about this story just recently while doing research on unsolved murders. This was a very chilling and horrific story! There was some suggestion that the murderer incapacitated each victim with a single blow, so there was no time for any of them to raise an alarm to the rest, then went back methodically to finish the job on everyone. *shudders*

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    1. ALERT to anyone who doesn't like to read about violence against children--don't read this comment! Now, that said, there was one of the little girls who was found not in a sleeping position. Her arm had an injury, too, as if she'd tried to defend herself. They think the murderer may have tried to sexually assault her, too. The rest appear to have not even been aware of what happened.

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  9. How sad. It's terrible that no one's ever been caught, it beggars belief how no one saw or heard a thing.

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    1. I believe (Dianne mentioned this, too) that he got each of them while they were sleeping. They didn't even know what happened...like with Ted Bundy. He would sneak in when his victims were asleep and kill them with one blow. They've actually found a difference in serial killers' brains (through studying Bundy's brain and others) that could account for an actual physical defect. Maybe they can someday come up with a cure, but I don't know how that would be administered. As a vaccination at birth? The "you're going to become a serial killer if we don't give you this shot" vaccine?

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  10. Yikes, now I get to think about this all day. I hope I don't have nightmares tonight.

    Have a fabulous day and weekend. Happy Halloween. ☺

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    1. This time of year, I'm glad I post in the morning!

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  11. methinks only in Muricca would they make it a tourist attraction with the board in front of it :(

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    1. Haha, love it! SO true. It is a little creepy how these places have jumped on the "ghost hunting" bandwagon and learned to capitalize on the "haunted" nature of the place. Get this--on their website, these people say they regularly host SCHOOL GROUPS! Kids? How on Earth is a trip to a house where eight people were murdered with an axe a school trip?

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    2. I truly don't understand American obsession with murder, crime and aggression, not to mention guns. I mean in most sane countries that house would be bulldozed down not visited by curious people, especially not kids.

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  12. Oh how disturbing! Those poor souls deserved to have their murders vindicated. I would have been curious as to Andy Sawyer's reaction to being put in front of a mirror! Terrific post, Stephanie :-) Made me shiver!
    Happy Halloween :-)

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    1. Yes, I think Andy Sawyer knew quite a lot about the murders to not have even been tried for them...but the sheriff in his town gave him an alibi.

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  13. What a scary story. You'd think there would be some clue to the murderer, but then strange things do happen that never can be explained. I've enjoyed all your stories. Thanks.

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    1. Today it probably would have been solved with DNA, but I guess today's murderers are aware of DNA collection, so they're more careful. Back then you know they didn't even worry about leaving evidence behind.

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  14. What a great series, Stephanie. Eeew, this one is so awful. Unsolved mysteries like this are so scary because it means the murderer was able to keep murdering.

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    1. All we can hope is that maybe he stopped after getting so close to being caught?

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  15. What a gruesome story... Of course I had to go research on it on the web.... Too bad the crime investigators were not as thorough as they are today.
    So many suspects and no one to account for the murders.

    Happy Halloween.
    Hugs,
    JB

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    1. Way too many suspects. I can't think of very many crimes now where the list of suspects is that long--at least not PRIME suspects. Usually they narrow it down to two or three!

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  16. The mirror business is particularly creepy!

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    1. Also creepy...they found cigarette butts in the attic, so they think the person/people waited in the attic until everyone was asleep.

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  17. I have not heard of this and now must learn more! I wonder why all the mirrors were covered?? I can't see a face in that picture. I want to read about the Biltmore now too. Have you ever heard of the toystore that is very haunted? I first heard about it on Unsolved mysteries and it is really creepy

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    1. I haven't heard about that. I'll have to look into it. I used to love Unsolved Mysteries. I wish they had them posted online somewhere to watch!

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  18. Perhaps someone stopped over to ax everyone a question.

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  19. What a gruesome and creepy story, and for the murderer to never be found - no wonder people hear voices.

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    1. And you can spend the night there...although I think that's for ghost hunters, not for people who want to sleep? Either way, I just wouldn't want to be in that house at night!

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  20. My goodness, that's frightening!

    Love,
    Janie

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  21. How very sad. I am sure that places absorb and retain the 'feel' of things which happen there. Both good things and bad things.

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  22. Oh, that is a creepy one and new to me. Still unsolved murder mysteries are interesting to me.

    Thanks for the wonderful spooky series of posts.

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  23. Oh my gosh! This is horrible!

    I (spookily) enjoyed this series of scary stories, btw! Pretty cool . . . and creepy. ;)

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  24. I had never heard about this case. Definitely scary. Amazing that the case was never solved! Horrible!

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  25. Yikes. I wonder why it happened? I'm sure there was some reason, if only in the mind of some deranged person.

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  26. How sad! And I can't help but notice the date...this happened two months after the Titanic's fatal sinking, April 14-15, 1912! Wow!

    Here in Montreal there is a mystery as well, and I have met the family! The mother and the twin sisters of a girl who went missing in 1975, 40 years ago! She was kidnapped, raped and murdered and left for dead in the winter during a heavy snowfall. Her murderer has never, ever been brought to justice. I will let you see the website of Sharon Prior, which was made by her family. http://sharronprior.com/

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  27. How sad! And I can't help but notice the date...this happened two months after the Titanic's fatal sinking, April 14-15, 1912! Wow!

    Here in Montreal there is a mystery as well, and I have met the family! The mother and the twin sisters of a girl who went missing in 1975, 40 years ago! She was kidnapped, raped and murdered and left for dead in the winter during a heavy snowfall. Her murderer has never, ever been brought to justice. I will let you see the website of Sharon Prior, which was made by her family. http://sharronprior.com/

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  28. What a chilling story! I wonder why the murderer covered the mirrors? Creepy!

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  29. Amazing that nobody heard anything and that the crime remains unsolved! It would be interesting to tour this house. Thanks for the Wiki link.

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  30. Oh, super creepy! And what if you're one of the people who lives in a house nearby...that would be an odd thing to explain to visitors who saw the sign out front.

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  31. That creeped me out massively! :-)

    Thanks.

    Greetings from London.

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  32. This one is so sad!!!!!

    Thank you for haunting us for a month Stephanie!!! I really enjoyed it!

    Happy Halloween!!! :)

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  33. That is not what I was expecting, and it's bloody intriguing. Going to have to look into this more, because that's some story fuel right there. ^_^ Thanks!

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  34. OMG this is the scariest story yet.

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  35. So chilling and spooky. Like Amityville Horror House.

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  36. There are some very scary places out there and how sad that 8 people died and it was never solved...

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  37. Wonderful spooky story! Thanks for sharing that.

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  38. Wow. I'd never heard of this one. I can't even imagine how someone could do that.

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  39. Creepy! There are way too many stories like this, sadly.

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  40. Sorry to be so late getting here but glad I didn't miss this scary story!

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