Villisca Ax Murder House in Iowa is the site of a gruesome 1912 mass murder – DIRT


A timely study recently conducted by Real Estate Witch found that 58% of US home buyers currently in the market for a new residence would be willing to buy a haunted house. In fact, 94% of respondents said they were far more terrified of expensive repairs than of malevolent spirits! As the article details, “In this monster market, buyers are willing to overlook just about anything to own a home, including a few ghosts.”

Those hoping to spend just one night in a haunted mansion rather than buy one still have the option of booking a stay at the Villisca Ax Murder House, a rather indescribable clapboard dwelling nestled in the cornfields of the Southwest. western Iowa that was the site of a horrific mass shooting in the summer of 1912. Turned into a gruesome tourist attraction eight decades later, the property has consistently been considered one of the most haunted places in America. With rates starting at just over $400, groups of up to ten people can check in for what is sure to be a spooky night!

Although I consider myself very knowledgeable about all things true crime and the Villisca murders are certainly among the most notorious in Iowa, I had never heard of the case until there. a few months ago when Robert Patterson, another aficionado of the filming locations, visited the residence and wrote about it on his Set-Jetter website. One look at his photos (which appear throughout this article) led me down a deep, dark rabbit hole investigating the gruesome events of that fateful summer night.

Prior to 1912, the town of Villisca, a small town about 100 miles southwest of Des Moines, was, by all accounts, serene, quiet, and nearby, filled with warm, hard-working souls, all equally eager to welcome strangers than old friends. That all changed on the morning of June 10, when eight bodies were discovered bludgeoned to death in a small house on a dusty road near the heart of town at 508 E. 2nd St.

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Raymond I. Langston