Villisca Axe Murder House

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In 1912 an entire family was murdered here by axe, and it is said that the house is still haunted by their spirits. The house has been investigated and featured on the TV show Ghost Adventures.

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    Geographic Information

    508 E 2nd St
    Villisca, IA 50864
    United States

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    40.93015930171949, -94.97323590964811
    Montgomery County, Iowa
    Nearest Towns:
    Villisca, IA (0.2 mi.)
    Nodaway, IA (4.1 mi.)
    Hepburn, IA (6.0 mi.)
    Stanton, IA (7.7 mi.)
    Carbon, IA (11.4 mi.)
    Corning, IA (12.8 mi.)
    Clarinda, IA (13.4 mi.)
    Red Oak, IA (14.3 mi.)
    New Market, IA (14.3 mi.)
    Grant, IA (14.7 mi.)

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    Please note: It is your responsibility to acquire appropriate permissions before investigating any location listed on this site. Private property should be respected at all times, as should all posted signs concerning trespassing, hours of operation and other local regulations. Many "ghost hunters" have been arrested because they failed to contact property owners and/or local authorities ahead of time.

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    Comments (14)

    1. when I was younger I took a picture on the way back from a hockey game in omaha Nabraska of the house and later noticed there was a man in the top window with a round hat staring back at me

    2. Some friends and I did the over night at villisca in April .we received quite a few evps one of which said “I’m going to kill you”, others saying help us .we also got orbs on video when we were talking they would shoot by us.i would recommend this place to anyone who wants to be in touch with the paranormal !!

    3. Visited this site in August 2014. Arrived just as the house opened for tours and was in the first tour of the day, figured that that would be the best time to experience something before the house became crowded. I experienced nothing after an hours visit. Also took multiple photos of the interior and exterior and noticed nothing unusual other than my poor photography attempts.

      Another visitor took a flash-photo and had some type of a blur on it – was promising and everyone thought that “something” may have been caught. They were pretty convinced and happy with themselves.

      Well, if you are going to take ghost photos, then you need to take multiple photos of the same area to be sure. Convinced that person to take another photo of the same area and there was a bright flash on the wall where photo was taken.

      After about 3 more photos with the same bright flash on the wall, came to conclusion that it was some type of tape that was probably painted over and reflected light just right. Sad part, the person taking the photo was using a flash device and you could literally see the flash on the wall with the naked eye. Busted everyone’s bubble on that debunking episode.

      Great visit though. Maybe a future visit will be more promising.

    4. My daughter, her friend and I booked an overnight stay in December 2014. We captured an EVP. We asked, “Who’s with us right now?” The voice said “Lena”. We tried to use the video camera numerous times, but it kept shutting off. We turned the camera on and left for a while to go eat. When we reviewed the video, we didn’t see anything, but heard the piano playing, as well as a bell ringing (there was a bell on the doorknob in the kids’ room). We took several pictures throughout our stay. My main objective was to try to get the kids to move a toy in their room. The teenage girls I brought with me didn’t want to go to the bedroom, but I assured them if I thought we were in any danger, we would leave. Ignoring the objections of my daughter, I was determined to go into the closet. As soon as I reached for the door, there was a loud crash from the attic. It literally sound like something was thrown against the wall. Needless to say, we left. I honestly was scared. My daughter said what scared her the most was seeing that I was scared. When we got home my daughter was going through the pictures we took. She gasped. In a shot of me outside the house standing next to the sign, there is clearly a face looking out the window at us. I have shown this picture to friends and co-workers who are skeptics. The pictures changed their minds. It looks very much like one of the suspects in the murder.

    5. I have slept at this house. It is scary. I have heard voices. I have seen an axe in the house. No joke I couldn’t sleep so I just layed on the ground in the baby’s room. I heard voices. I saw a bloody axe in the other room. We left the closet door open and I saw a man with a axe inside of it. I heard the baby cry I heard the parents car pull up. I heard the neighbor coming over seeing what’s up. I heard her scream. I heard it all. I still have nightmares to this day. While we were there we set up cameras in all of the rooms. We even set up a bunch of ghost detectors EMP’s the hole works. We stayed 2 nights. That was night 1. Night 2 I asked in the babys room “Is anyone here ?” A few seconds pasted and then we got a stacticy “Yes.” We moved over to the closet and said “Are you still hiding from us ?” As the killer hid in a closet and we needed to know if he was still there or not. “No.” We walked over to the spot everyone would’ve died and said “Do any of you wanna play a game ?” As we knew some of the girls loved playing games. Nothing. My friend was in the other room and he said “Give me a sigh you’re all here.” And he had marbles placed on the floor. They all moved complete different directions. There was a huge crash and screams on the EMP’s. We freaked the hell out. We slept for the last hour till day time. Then we destroyed the recordings. Wanna know why ? I’ll tell you what ever made that huge crash wasn’t one of the children we took the tapes poured holy water read a scripture from the bible burned them. Poured holy water on them another Scripture and then took the ashes and burred them far far away. Then on top of this we put them in a box with a cross blessed by the holy church on top . What ever that was it wasn’t the girls. We didn’t want to ever go back there. I don’t talk about this often. Don’t use an EMP as the site of the children murder. We even had a pastor bless us and all of the belongs after as we where scared. You haven’t been scared until you heard it. We did but we burned it as it sounded like the devil himself. If you want to be scared to death this is the place.

    6. Hi I am very adventurous and love to explore haunted places I remember the house and the events that happened to me. I went with a couple of friends a few years back and heard laughter, crying,screaming and a bell in the children’s room. I was allowed to see the attic because I was a close friends with the owner I went up alone because my friend were to scared and the father up the colder it got despite the warm day I heard screaming and how dare you enter and the door slammed shut and stuck I came out shaking and pale and could not recall what happened the few pictures I did get had a man and a small girl in them. I still have them along with all the other pictures I have collected over the years from other haunted sites. Some were terrifying others not so much

    7. Andrew Allison  |  

      I have a friend that went there and he got an EVP saying “I killed six kids”! the same thing was heard on Ghost Adventures!!

    8. There is something evil in this house. I felt it and the experience was very unsettling. I experienced horrible nightmares that following night. Vivid nightmares. This was after my second time visiting this home. It was in the downstairs bedroom that I felt the strongest presence. I literally felt waves of goosebumps throughout my body and they would not stop. I have toured lots of haunted places and never have I left feeling so disturbed. I will not be returning to this site again.

    9. My group and I stayed there on July 17th, 2020. A Friday night. What we experienced were mysterious water droplets that appeared on the floor around the chair that is to the right of the bedroom that Lena and Ina were murdered in. We came up with many ideas of what it could have been and nothing made sense enough to create those drops. No plumbing, it was across the room from us, none of us had water with us, and one of my friends was upstairs in the attic. If anyone has seen anything like that feel free to share your experience.

    10. If you go into the downstairs room and look closely above the bed, you can still see blood splatters from the killings. The entire time I was there I felt a presence, especially in the attic and in the kitchen.

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    Disclaimer: The stories posted here are user-submitted and are, in the nature of "ghost stories," largely unverifiable. makes no claims that any of the statements posted here are factually accurate. The vast majority of information provided on this web site is anecdotal, and as such, should be viewed in the same light as local folklore and urban legends.