After staying the night in Des Moines for our 4th anniversary, we made a quick drive to Coon Rapids for lunch at Coon Bowl to taste Iowa's Best Burger and squeeze in a game of bowling. Amazing burgers and definitely deserving of the title. Thick and juicy, topped with bacon and melted cheese...ok, I digress. We hit the road again and a couple hours later arrive in Villisca, Iowa. We met up with the lady who gave us the key and let us know the rules of our overnight stay (no smoking, don't sleep in the beds, lock the back door when leaving the house, etc). It wasn't Martha Linn, but I believe it was her daughter/niece or some relation. She gave us a quick tour showing us where the rooms were and said the next stop was the Villisca Cemetery. We then followed her to the cemetery about 1/2 mile away where the Moore family and the two visiting Stillinger sisters are buried. Returning to the house, I stopped by the local Casey's General Store to get a couple bags of ice and some munchies for the night. We did a quick walkthrough of the house while we had some daylight just to get a feel of the place. While it was still light outside, we drove around town and stopped at the City Lounge for a couple drinks. But quickly approaching dusk, it was time to head back to the house for the night.
We arrived later in the afternoon around 5:00 PM, so when we were inside talking to the lady, it was light outside and the inside of the house was starting to get a little dim. By the time we got back from the bar and started to settle in, it was already pretty dark in the house. I do have to say that it was a little creepy waiting for the sun to go down and ultimately darkening the infamous house. My wife's first experience was pretty much immediately. I was in the downstairs bedroom and she was walking up the stairs. She head a loud thump and called out if that was me banging underneath the stairs. I didn't hear her due to the window unit A/C in the room so she came back down and asked if that was me, which it was not. At that time, we noticed a weeble-wobble type of clown toy on top of the dresser was moving and clinking the bells or whatever was inside the bottom of it. Wow, we haven't really been investigating that long and already things are happening! That was until we realized the A/C unit, which was about 5 feet away, was the cause.
Throughout the night we spent about 30 minutes in each room. We did this a couple of times and the last round in each room I got my digital recorder and we did some EVP sessions. I decided to approach it quite differently than what people you see on paranormal shows or YouTube clips do. That being they are asking about the murders, inquiring about evil spirits and demons, etc. I am pretty sure that if there is anything there, "they" are tired of being asked about same overdramatic questions. So instead, I asked questions as though I am talking to a regular family in the early 1900's. We asked about church, singing hymns, what their favorite meal was, and things like that. Not "How many times were you axed in the face?!". In the kid's room upstairs, we are talking to them about playing pranks, making fart noises, or their favorite toys, not "Did all the blood from your slaughtered sister scare you?!"
Apparently my tactic worked because after getting back home and listening to the sound files, I got some really good EVP's. In the front room I asked what a favorite subject in school was and I get a low response that could be, "Math" followed by 3 knocks. In the parent's room at the top of the stairs I asked what their favorite holiday was and I get a questioning response of, "Holiday?" as if they didn't see holidays as a thing because they are always working. The best by far was when we were in the kid's room upstairs. We are asking questions and being silly as if we were playing with them. During the first few minutes of being in the kid's room I ask what is their favorite toy and a few seconds later I get a response totally not in reference to the question. I get a very clear response of, "Am I dead?" Believe me, when I heard that on my headphones, I got chills. I had to replay that one a few times. I played it for the wife and asked what she thought it said, and she said, "Am I dead?". Seems to be an odd response to what's their favorite toy, but it is there.
Overall it was a good stay. It wasn't evil and horrific, nobody got possessed, nor were we chased by demonic entities and spooked by the dreaded "shadow person". Looking back on the stay, I really should have done some EVP in the basement or the upstairs closet in the kid's room. Due to stories of doors upstairs opening, we did leave them closed and would check later if they were open. No such luck. We also did not go in the attic due to the "Do Not Enter" sign on the door. During the tour earlier, the lady said the roof was getting week and they didn't want anyone to fall through the attic floor into the kitchen. I also left a little memento for the kids, the Taco Bell Chihuahua doll that says, "You're getting hungry, very hungry" when you squeeze it. Also, between sessions in each room, we would go outside and sit on the table by the barn and watch the Perseid meteor shower that was going on that night. Pretty cool every 15 seconds seeing shooting stars. At one point, I took a potty break in the barn and returning to the house when I walked into the kitchen area, Nikki asked if I smelled flowers or perhaps an old lavender perfume. I did not but she said she was in the kitchen and briefly smelled that. Obviously you can't prove a smell but I believe her.
We wrapped things up about 5:00 in the morning and grabbed a few hours of sleep down in the living room. We got up and around before checking out and had a weird occurrence. My wife went to put in her contacts, and one of them was cut in half. She opens up her spare pair, still in the package, and it too was sliced in half. She didn't think anything about it until later. Contact lenses sliced in half, different pairs, sliced in half...in a house where people were killed with an axe? Really? Probably not paranormal, just really coincidental. After packing up and leaving the key in the barn, we head to TJ's Cafe to fill up on a couple breaded tenderloin sandwiches to get us filled up for our trip back home.
A little pricey for an overnight stay but if you've got the money, I definitely recommend staying overnight.
to Haunted Locations