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The Moore House (Villisca Ax Murder House): Iowa

Updated: Aug 1, 2023

Built in 1868, the former home of Josiah and Sara Moore is known by many as the Villisca Ax Murder House. It was at this house, in 1912, that 8 people were murdered. The victims consisted of the Moore family: Josiah and Sarah as well as their children Herman, Mary Katherine, Arthur and Paul. The last two victims were friends of Mary Katherine staying over for the night, Ina Mae and Lena Stillinger.

The gruesome murders occurred in the middle of the night on June 9, 1912. The perpetrator lied in wait for the family and friends to return home from a night out at church before attacking. Each victim was found in bed, leading investigators to believe everyone had fallen asleep before the attack began.

The next morning, a neighbor had noticed that something wasn't quite right at the Moore house and called on Josiah's brother, Ross, to investigate. Ross found the victims just as they were left and quickly went to summon the police.

The murders were so horrific that it became the top story in all of the United States, bumping the former top story (Titanic) off the front page according to Wikipedia. Several suspects drew suspicion from the police during the investigation into the murders, including one man who was tried twice, admitted to the murders then recanted, all before being acquitted by a jury. The murderer, or murderer's, was never found and the case continues to be unsolved to this day.

The paranormal activity in this house is said to be off the charts. Countless documentaries and paranormal shows have featured the ghostly activity here. EVP (electronic voice phenomena) has been picked up clearly, many times. The ghosts in the home are very willing to communicate according to those who have investigated the home. Videos and photos alike have captured a ghostly presence in varied forms. From a person shaped shadow to white lights and mists, the spirit shows up quite often. Items move seemingly on their own, startling the living who happen to be standing by. Flying orbs, cold spots, strange noises, disembodied voices and more have also been witnessed in the house.

A tragic, gruesome past has led to some serious hauntings in this home. My heart breaks for the victims of this horrific attack more than a century ago.

I personally have never been, but if you have, I'd love to hear what your experience was.


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