202 S 4th Ave, Villisca, IA, 50864. $22,500
When it comes time to explain why some homes are priced below $50,000, OHU50K often sees comments like, “Look at those orbs in the photos,” or “It must be haunted.” Whether one believes in ghosts or not, most everyone loves a good haunted house story.
In celebration of Halloween, this month we have featured some of the most famous haunted houses stories in the country. We have saved the most tragic for last. (This home is NOT for sale.)
Related: Haunted Houses
Villisca Axe Murder House, Villisca, Iowa
On a dark spring night in June of 1912, eight people, the entire family of Josiah Moore, including his wife, four children ages 5-11, and two of the oldest daughter’s overnight guests, were murdered in this Villisca, Iowa, house by an unknown assailant. Reminiscent of Lizzie Borden, in a gruesome attack, the assailant bludgeoned to death the whole household with an axe.
The evening before the murders seemed like any other for the well-to-do family. They all had attended the Children’s Day program at the Presbyterian Church and had arrived home around 10 p.m. When a neighbor noticed none of the family had arisen for their morning chores the next day, she became concerned and called Josiah’s brother. He was able to unlock the door, where he discovered all eight bodies in their respective bedrooms.
Two cigarette butts were found in the attic, which led investigators to believe the assailant or assailants were waiting until the family had gone to sleep. They used the blade of the axe on Josiah such that his eyes were missing, while the blunt end inflicted the fatal blows to the rest of the family.
The case made national headlines, and while many suspects were questioned and even tried – twice – the mass murder remains unsolved to this day. Today, the house may be booked for overnight tours (Covid may have paused this). Personal accounts indicate cold spots, disembodied footsteps and voices as the common occurrences. Audio and visual of the children are also widely reported, with guests most often reporting laughing and crying. Some have even heard the voices of children telling others to hide, and in one instance when asked, an apparition turned a flashlight on and off several times.