Case Background and Claims:
The Villisca Ax Murder House is purported to be the most haunted house in the United States, so there are many claims of paranormal activity. Disembodied voices have been recorded and heard; items have been seen to move for no natural reason; there are many EMF spikes even though there is no electricity in the house (investigators often run extension cords from the barn to the house in order to operate equipment); balls are moved by unseen hands; doors move and slam of their own accord; people have seen shadow people and full body apparitions; visitors have been scratched and bruised; there is the feeling of being watched; visitors have reported intense nightmares after visiting; there are unexplained cold spots in the home; and of course, many psychics have reported strong impressions in the home and communication with lingering spirits.
The Villisca Ax Murder House has been investigated by many paranormal groups and featured on several TV series such as “Ghost Adventures”, “Haunted Evidence”, “Ghost Lab”, and “Scariest Places on Earth”.On June 10, 1912, two adults (Josiah Moore and Sarah Moore) and 6 children (Boyd Moore age 7, Katherine Moore age 9, Herman Moore age 11, Paul Moore age 12 and two neighbor children: Ina may Stillinger age 8 & Lena Stillinger age 10) were murdered. Doctors estimate the murders occurred sometime after midnight.
To this day, the murders are still unsolved. An ax was used to kill the family who were bedded upstairs and the two neighbor children who were sleeping in a downstairs bedroom. All of the victim’s faces, along with all windows and mirrors were covered with fabric by the killer. For details about the murders and suspects, please visit: Villisca Ax Murder House
Parlor Bedroom: Lena & Ina Stillinger found dead here. Ax was found in this room along with a 2lb slab of bacon.
Kitchen: a bowl of bloody water & a plate of food was found in the kitchen.
South Bedroom: The 4 Moore children were found dead here.Master Bedroom: The bodies of Josiah (Joe) and Sarah Moore were found here. Gouge marks from the ax were found in the ceiling.
Attic: cigarette butts were found on the attic floor.
- Investigators: John, Patti, Nan, Mark & Greta
- Date: June 9, 10 and 11 2011
- Structure: 1 1/2 story Farm House
- Conditions: 68 degrees, overcast – then rain, thunder & lightning on the first night, overcast and 67 degrees on the 2nd night.
Video Evidence Obtained During Investigation
Night 1- June 9, 2011
We arrived on June 9th because it was the 99th anniversary of the murders. Doctors estimate they occurred shortly after midnight June 10th.
We set up our base in the barn where we had a DVR system and could monitor IR cameras in the upstairs children’s room and the living room, as well as wireless audio so we could listen to the house even when no one was inside it. A laser light grid was set up in the downstairs guest room where the Stillinger girls were murdered. Individual cameras were put in the parent’s room and the kitchen and we also used handheld night vision cameras.
Individually, investigators were equipped with audio reorders, still cameras, EMF meters, an Ovilus and various trigger objects.
Audio was constantly monitored via wireless mic even when no investigators were in the house. There were many unexplained sounds while the house was empty: movement in the living room, bed springs moving and something like a chair being moved in the upstairs children’s bedroom. K2 EMF meters were constantly going off even though there was no electricity in the home (except for an extension cord that ran to the house from the barn).
10:30pm Nan, Greta, Mark and John started investigating in the house on the 2nd floor as Patti watched the surveillance cameras for activity. We started in the children’s bedroom asking questions doing an EVP session and taking pictures. While asking questions the Ovilus said “minister” and “evil”. When John asked the question who could have killed the children and the family the Ovilus responded with “neighbor”. Weather changed to a Storm with high winds, rain and heavy lightning for the remainder of the night. Once the weather changed we noticed the entire feeling of the home changed. Shadows were seen, k2 meters could be heard going off and motion sensors started sounding.
This is the first occurrence in the house; MCGH was in there for 10 minutes, planning our investigation for the night. The first picture shows the door wide open, as we were taking a lot of baseline photos. After leaving the room for just a minute, two investigators returned to find the door closed. They verified amongst the other team members that no one had touched the door.
While they were both standing in there, the door started opening and closing on its own.
Our first reaction was wind drafts, so we tried to debunk it. This door was opening and closing on its own for about two minutes until we opened it to check for drafts. Later in the investigation, there was a storm with extremely high winds (much stronger than was present during the occurrence), and the door moved then as well. It’s inconclusive as to whether wind is to blame or not.
Around 1am, we did a group session in the living room and John felt his leg being touched. Nan tells John she sees something shadowy behind him. John said “what kind of candy do you like” and then he saw a shadow move in the kitchen, followed by his holster being tugged. Steps are heard in the kitchen and Nan hears a cupboard door move in the kitchen as well.
While the investigators were in the living room downstairs, a surveillance camera upstairs caught the children’s closet door open and close three times over a period of about 10 minutes. The room was checked for drafts and we tried to get the door to move from natural causes but could not replicate the activity.
12:00 midnight Nan, Mark, Greta and John gathered in the living room. John sensed children around him and felt children touching his legs, back and hands. Also at this time John noticed shadows moving in the bedroom and saw a dark shadow in the Kitchen. Noises could be heard in the kitchen, bedroom as well as the upstairs rooms. John offered a silver dollar to the children as a present if they would like to come and retrieve it from where it was placed on the old wood stove in the living room. Patti radioed the team to inform us that she saw a dress move that was hanging on the closet door of the upstairs children’s room.
We wrapped up the first night around 3:30am
11:00 pm John, Mark, Greta and Nan Took Spectronic’s Black Light System, which is a powerful forensic light into the home to check for blood spatter on the walls. The light clearly indicated evidence of the murders as the residual blood was illuminated. Unlike a regular black light, the forensic light will reveal what the naked eye cannot see, even if the blood is cleaned off the wall and painted over.
On the 1st floor in the guest room where the Stillinger girls were killed, pooled blood was found on the outside wall. John, the maintenance man who cares for the property came I to take a look. John was amazed that this was the first time anyone ever saw evidence of blood spatter in the home. He joined us in inspecting the bedrooms for proof of the actual locations where the murders had occurred and the placement of the beds at the time.
The upstairs parent’s room revealed that the bed the parents were killed in was placed on the wrong wall as blood splatter was found on the ceiling as well as the inside wall. The ceiling in the parents bedroom still had a blade mark on the ceiling where the ax struck.
In the 2nd floor children’s bedroom, it was obvious from blood spatter patterns that the Moore children were murdered as they slept in their beds. The floor register was checked with both the forensic light and a rigid fiber optic inspection scope was found to be clean, so there is no evidence that blood dripped through the register down to the first floor as rumored.
About 1:00am John, Greta and Nan went upstairs and Greta decided to read a Bible children’s book in the 2nd floor children’s bedroom. After reading the book, Greta started to feel uneasy and Nan and Greta both went to the Barn to join Mark and Patti. At this time, John started to Provoke the murderer of the family as it was felt that the killer’s spirit may have caused Greta to feel the need to leave the house . Patti joined John on the second floor and proceeded to provoke the killer of the family getting many responses from the Ovilus speaking of a “neighbor” and a “minister” as possible killers. Patti and John continued to tempt the killer for about half an hour until the room felt lighter and the Ovilus stopped responding.
2:00 am John, Patti and Nan were in the kitchen when Patti decided to go into the living room and try rolling a ball for the children. She got no response but after she left it alone, it started rolling by itself. It had been on the carpet before and now was on the hard wood floor, so it’s possible that the floor was not completely level and that it rolled from natural causes.
2:30 am Patti and John returned to the Barn and were joined by the entire team to witness the footage of the ball rolling. Then the team went to the living room to try and debunk it by walking heavily on the floor and could not make the ball move at all. No obvious reason could be determined for the ball rolling.
As Patti exited the house, a pop bottle fell off the shelf right behind her. The team also tried to debunk the bottle falling, putting the bottle close to the edge of the shelf and moving forcefully in the kitchen, but we could not get the bottle to budge.
The crew wrapped up the investigation at 3:35am.
Audio Evidence Obtained During Investigation
“Murmur” EVP Class C:John says “what kind of candy do you like?” there is a murmur 3 sec in that sounds like “LICORICE”, then Mark says “Do you like licorice?”. Patti asks on the walkie if anyone whispered.
During the coarse of the 2 night investigation we had many knocks and thumps.