The Villisca Ax Murder House in Villisca, Iowa
The Villisca Ax Murder House in Villisca, Iowa



The terrific crime scene in the quiet town of Villisca, Iowa still haunt many. Happened in 1912, the gruesome tales of murders are said to be the worse in American History. On July 10, 1912, the neighbors opened the door of Moore’s Hose; they were shocked to find eight dead bodies. The most horrifying part was that all of them were stabbed with an axe.

These victims included the Moore himself, his wife Sara, their four children and two neighbors who were friends with Moore’s elder daughter. Sadly, all of them were killed while sleeping. However, Lena, twelve years old, was killed alive. According to the reports, a stranger entered Moore’s house through an unlocked door (the town was pretty safe during those times, and sleeping with doors unlocked was not something unusual) in the middle of the night. With the help of an oil lamp, the murderer made his way through the house and went upstairs with an axe in his hand. Before killing everyone in their sleep, he covered the mirrors and windows of the house with clothes. When he left, he locked the door behind him with the keys.

To date, the suspects behind this heinous act remain a mystery. Police were able to link the murders to a few people, including Frank F. Jones, who was an Iowa State Senator. It is believed that Moore was having an affair with his daughter. Another suspect was William “Blackie” Mansfield who was a known serial killer. Mansfield was believed to be the murderer of his wife, child and in-laws. A few more axe murder cases occurred in the town after Moore’s family murder. According to some sources, Mansfield was hired by Jones to kill Moore but soon, he was released because of absence of solid proof against him.

George Kelly was also suspected for the killing of Moore’s family. Kelly, who was a traveling minister, was arrested after he sent letters to police and Moore’s family inquiring about their death. He had also been in mental hospital in Washington before the murders. Before admitting to hospital, he was arrested previously for sending indecent material through the mail. However, despite all this, he was proven innocent in Moore’s murder case due to his health condition.

Similarly, many other people were questions, but all the efforts led to dead ends and unfortunately, no justice could be served. This innocent family lost their lives for God knows what reason.

The Ghost Encounters at the House

Parts of Inside the Villisca Axe Murder House!
Parts of Inside the Villisca Axe Murder House!

After their murder, the house remained empty for some time. Later, it attracted families who lived there for years but never stayed for long. It is reported that it is due to ghosts that scare the families away. Many people have reported the strange sounds, footsteps, shadows, things moving by themselves and a lot more than you cannot even imagine. Some have also mentioned that inside the house, they felt like someone was following them through the corridors. They could see shadows of a group that quickly disappeared.


Story of a Ghost Hunter

Many years back, a ghost hunter visited the house in search of possible spirits of Moore and his family. Instead, he was ended up in a hospital with a stab wound to his chest. It is believed that he stabbed himself while he visited the house. But as per researchers, it was a job of a spirit living inside Moore’s house.


Tours and Stays

Villisca, Iowa Axe Murder House In the Kitchen
Villisca, Iowa Axe Murder House In the Kitchen

The Moore’s house serves as a historical landmark and attracts many people, mostly paranormal investigators every year.


Day Tours

For crime enthusiasts, history lovers and daring folks, the house offer some tours. The day tours are said to be for everyone, including kids. These day tours can be booked from Tuesday to Sunday for only two hours; 1 pm to 3.30 pm. The price per person for the day tour is $10 (aged 12 and over), $5 for children (aged 7-11) and $5 for people over the age of 65. There is no need to reserve in advance. You can show up in the mentioned days and time, pay and go.

Note: The house is closed for day tours until further notice due to covid-19 outbreak.

Night Stay in Villisca

Can you survive a night in this spooky house after knowing all that happened here? If yes, then go on and book the most adventurous stay of your life. The home offers stay from 4 pm to 9.30 am for $428 that allows one to 6 guests. There is an additional $75 per guest if you want to bring more people. But the suggested number of people is not more than 10 due to the small size of the house.

Additionally, the house stay doesn’t provide any amenities like hotels. You’ll have to bring your sleeping bags and pillows. For restroom, water and electricity, go to the barn that is located just a few feet away from the house.

In the winter season, the house offers a heating system, but it’s best to bring your warm clothes and blankets with you. The management of the house encourages its guests to take pictures and videos and share with them. To book this Tour, make a booking in advance and pay $200 in deposit on call via your credit card. There is no way to visit the house and make a booking on the spot.

You can also visit their face book page here

While you enjoy your stay in the house, you may experience any paranormal activity. But beware, as kids in the neighborhood might prank you by knocking at the windows.