VILLISCA, Iowa -- WHO Radio took its Van and Bonnie morning radio show to the Villisca Axe Murder House, where the entire crew spent the night before getting ready for the morning show.
The home is where the Josiah B. Moore family was killed in their sleep with an axe in 1912. Two adults, their four children, and two other sisters who were staying in the home all died. The person who committed this crime was never caught.
The home was facing demolition several years ago, but the owners decided to save it, and word started spreading. Paranormal TV shows came, adding to the speculation that the house is haunted by those who died inside. Reports of noises and footsteps have been noted.
“I wasn't really scared scared, but it was kind of eerie, very eerie, especially with the wind blowing last night. We had the door blow open once,” said Bonnie Lucas of WHO Radio. “We did have some balls that we put out on the floor, in the middle of the floor, and three of them just took off all in different directions. That was kind of eerie.”
Some reports indicate the ghosts of the children may be playing with the balls and other toys inside the house.
Van Harden didn’t see any ghosts, but noticed something unusual on his cell phone when a strange photo or message popped up on the screen.
“I saw that and I thought, 'what is that?' I didn't think too much about it, and then I thought, 'ooooh,'" said Harden. The photo appeared to be an image of hands coming down from the ceiling, but then vanished and was not seen again.
The home is heavily booked this time of year with people wanting to stay overnight, and Van and Bonnie were lucky enough to book the only open date all season. The public's interest in ghosts is taken seriously, but the home's tour guide says he wants to remember those who died there.
“What happened is horrible, I wish it never happened. I hate this place, but it's history,” said John Hauser, Tour Guide for the Ax Murder House. “We’ve got to remember that these kids need to be talked about. To me, that's just super important. I make sure that it's not exploiting whatsoever, done with full respect and honor to the family.”
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