Irresponsible Knife Use of the Day: Iowa Axe-Murder House Self-Stabbing


The Villisca Axe Murder House – Site of an unsolved 1912 octuple-murder , and a 2014 Self-stabbing. (photo from Villisca House Website)

In the southwestern corner of Iowa lies the town of Villisca (pop. 1252). On a June night in 1912, someone hacked 8 people to death in a case which remains unsolved. The house in which the murders occurred is reported to be haunted. (shocking.) For the low price of $428/night, you and up to 5 friends can spend the night in the aforementioned house.

You can find out more about the history of the house, the murders, haunting tales from guests, and to book your very own stay, check out The Official Site of the Villisca Axe Murder House.

The house is has national attention once more because a family group of  paranormal investigators spent the night there last night, and one of them, a Mr. Robert Laursen Jr. decided to stab himself and is now in critical condition after being flown to  an Omaha, NE hospital.
From the NYDailyNews:

“The wood-framed home at 508 East 2nd St. in Villisca remains much the same as it did on June 10, 1912, the evening someone bludgeoned to death the family of Josiah and Sarah Moore, their four children and two children visiting for the night. The creepy crime scene is the town’s biggest draw, attracting “paranormal investigators” from around the world who take either a guided tour or shell out $428 to spend the night at the home, which has no electricity or running water, according to its website.

It’s unclear how the 37-year-old man visiting from Rhinelander, Wisconsin managed to stab himself, but authorities said he was there “for a recreational paranormal investigation” when cops got the call around 12:45 a.m.

Laursen was eventually flown for treatment to an Omaha hospital, some 80 miles northwest of the small Iowa town.

“It’s kind of shocking to wake up and hear that someone has nearly died at your tourist attraction,’’ owner Martha Linn told the Omaha World-Herald. “I’m absolutely sick about this. I’m practically in tears. I can’t imagine why somebody would do something like this to himself.’’

I don’t know. Maybe a ghost made him do it.

Would you ever stay at a “haunted” house? 

Kenyon College, my alma mater,  is considered one of the most haunted college campi in the country. Several of the buildings are reportedly haunted as a result of several deaths including a 1949 fire that killed 11 people. During my time there I spent nights in several of these buildings and never experienced anything paranormal, not that I am a particular believer.

That being said, I don’t think I would go out and seek a haunted site as a matter of recreation.

(on the remote chance that any of you are interested, there is a very thorough “Ghosts of Kenyon” page.)


Old Kenyon (1829) was gutted by a 1949 fire which killed 11 students. It is supposedly extremely haunted, though I never experienced anything inexplicably odd when I crashed there.




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Irresponsible Knife Use of the Day: Iowa Axe-Murder House Self-Stabbing

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