Villisca Axe Murder House
Olson-Linn Museum is home to the famous Villisca Axe Murder House. On a quiet residential street in the small town of Villisca, Iowa, sits an old white farm 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 her.
Upon closer inspection, you’ll notice her 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 leaning against the decrepit front porch warns rather than welcomes. “J.B. Moore Family Home, site of the Villisca Axe Murders.” She is the “Murder House”.
Her walls still protect the identity of the murderer or murderers who bludgeoned to death the entire family of Josiah Moore and two overnight guests on June 10, 1912, and over ninety-four years later, her secret continues to draw many visitors to her door. To some, she seems to be speaking.
Visits by paranormal investigators have provided audio, video and photographic proof of paranormal activity. Tours have been cut short by children’s voices, falling lamps, moving ladders and flying objects. Psychics have confirmed the presence of spirits dwelling in the home, and many have actually communicated with them.
If you ask Darwin Linn, owner of the Villisca Axe Murder House, however, if he believes in ghosts, he’ll tell you that although he’s never personally seen one, “there’s something in that house”. And then…he’ll tell you about the plant.
The plant that grew unexpectedly in the side yard of the Villisca Axe Murder House. The plant that bloomed for two years during the renovations that returned the home to its original condition at the time of the murders. The plant called “Love Lies Bleeding”. The plant that has not bloomed again.
He’ll tell you about the disc jockey from Des Moines, Iowa who stayed in the house and woke to the voices of children who didn’t exist. He’ll tell you why his nephew couldn’t finish the wallpaper border in the room in which two young girls were murdered. He’ll tell you about the closed door that will open and close on demand.
He’ll tell you the stories other visitors have passed on to him. And then…he’ll invite you in for a visit.