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The Villisca Axe Murder House

The Villisca Axe Murders occurred during the night of June 9–10, 1912 in the southwestern Iowa town of Villisca. The six members of the Moore family and two house guests were found bludgeoned in the Moore residence. All eight victims, including six children, had severe head wounds from an axe. A lengthy investigation yielded several suspects, one of which was tried twice and acquitted. The crime remains unsolved.

The Moore family consisted of parents Josiah (aged 43), Sarah (39), and their four children: Herman (11), Katherine (10), Boyd (7) and Paul (5). An affluent family, the Moores were well-known and well-liked in their community.  On June 9, 1912, Katherine Moore invited Ina (8) and Lena (12) Stillinger to spend the night at the Moore residence. That evening, the visiting girls and the Moore family attended the Presbyterian church where they participated in the Children’s Day Program, which Sarah Moore had coordinated. After the program ended at 9:30 p.m., the Moores and the Stillinger sisters walked to the Moores’ house, arriving between 9:45 and 10 p.m.

At 7 a.m. the next day, Mary Peckham, the Moores’ neighbor, became concerned after she noticed that the Moore family had not come out to do their morning chores. Peckham knocked on the Moores’ door. When nobody answered, she tried to open the door and discovered that it was locked. Peckham let the Moores’ chickens out and then called Ross Moore, Josiah Moore’s brother. Like Peckham, Moore received no response when he knocked on the door and shouted. He unlocked the front door with his copy of the house key. While Peckham stood on the porch, Moore went into the parlor and opened the guest bedroom door and found Ina and Lena Stillinger’s bodies on the bed. Moore immediately told Peckham to call Hank Horton, Villisca’s primary peace officer, who arrived shortly thereafter. Horton’s search of the house revealed that the entire Moore family and the two Stillinger girls had been bludgeoned to death. The murder weapon, an ax belonging to Josiah, was found in the guest room where the Stillinger sisters were found.

Doctors concluded that the murders had taken place shortly after midnight. The killer or killers began in the master bedroom, where Josiah and Sarah Moore were asleep. Josiah received more blows from the ax than any other victim; his face had been cut so much that his eyes were missing. The killer(s) then went into the children’s rooms and bludgeoned Herman, Katherine, Boyd, and Paul in the head in the same manner as their parents. Afterward, the killer(s) moved downstairs to the guest bedroom and killed Ina and Lena.

Investigators believed that all of the victims except for Lena Stillinger had been asleep at the time of the murders. Investigators also believed Lena attempted to fight back. She was found lying crosswise on the bed, and a defensive wound was discovered on her arm. Furthermore, Lena was found with her nightgown pushed up to her waist and no undergarments on, leading to speculation that the killer(s) sexually molested her or attempted to do so.

The murderer, or murderers have never been caught.

The Haunting

he house had many owners and tenants over the years but in 1994,  a real estate agent approached Darwin and Martha Linn, local farmers, about the possibility of them purchasing the house. At the time, the Linn’s already owned and operated the Olson-Linn Museum located on Villisca’s town square and they felt that purchasing the house would give them the opportunity to preserve more of the area’s history. Because of its deteriorating condition, the Moore house was in danger of being razed. If the Linn’s had not purchased it, it’s likely that it would have been destroyed. They soon set about obtaining the necessary funds to restore the home to its condition at the time of the murders in 1912.


Using old photographs, the Linn’s began the renovation work in late 1994. The restoration included the removal of vinyl siding and the repainting of the original wood on the outside, the removal of the enclosures on the front and back porch, the restoration of an outhouse and chicken coop in the backyard and the removal of all of the indoor plumbing and electrical fixtures in the house. The pantry in the original house had been converted to a bathroom years before and this room was now restored to its 1912 condition. Then, using testimony and records from the coroner’s inquest and grand jury hearings, the Linn’s placed furniture in approximately the same places as it was located at the time of the murders. Unfortunately, the furniture that had belonged to the Moore’s had vanished many decades ago but antiques were used to replace what was lost.


The Moore home was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1998 and remains today as a colorful time capsule of 1912, the ghastly murders that occurred here and the mystery that followed. The walls of the place hide many secrets —— from the identity of the murderer to just how he managed to carry out his dark deeds without awakening the occupants of the house —— and these secrets still bring many visitors to the door. Some come looking for the history of the place but most of them come looking for the ghosts.


Ever since the Moore house was opened to overnight visitors several years ago, ghost enthusiasts, curiosity-seekers and diehard paranormal investigators have come here in droves, all seeking the strange, the unusual and the haunted. Some have stayed here alone, like the Des Moines disk jockey who awoke in the night to the sounds of children’s voices when no children were present. Others have come in groups and have gone away with mysterious audio, video and photographic evidence that suggests something supernatural lurks within these walls. Tours have been cut short by falling lamps, moving objects, banging sounds and a child’s laughter, while psychics who have come here have claimed to communicate with the spirits of the dead.

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An Egyptian city found 1,200 years after being submerged.

it says it was submerged because of earthquake.

They found 64 ships, gold coins, stuff made of bronze, 5m high statues, hundreds of small statues representing gods, steles carved in hyeroglyphics, and mummified animals.

It was in Aboukir’s bay.

(Source: littleredjackal)