On August 9th, 2008, 4 members from our team made a trip to Villisca, a small town in the state of Iowa, to visit and investigate the infamous Villisca Axe Murder home. Participants included team members, Becky, Steph, Chris and Diana, along with Chris’s friend Cliff, who is a member of Wabash Paranormal Investigation and Research Group (W.P.I.R.G.) formed in Wabash, Indiana.
Here is the history of the murders committed in the Villisca home almost a hundred years ago…. http://www.villiscaiowa.com/The_Crime.html
We left the Quad Cities at about 11:00 a.m. planning to arrive in Villisca around 6:00 p.m. The team stopped at the Atlantic city Maid-Rite, where we had a wonderful experience with the owners there. The team highly recommends going there for a bite to eat.
Arriving in Villisca, we first toured the museum and learned about the town history as a whole, including the murders and victims. We were then taken on a tour of the cemetery followed by a driving tour of the important points of the town, including historical houses of people who had something to do with the murders. We arrived at the house to set up around 7:00 p.m. We first toured the house then made ourselves at home in the barn outside, which has a refrigerator, bathroom, and television . The house itself has no electricity, no running water, and has been restored to the way the house was in 1912. When all was ready, around 8:30 p.m, we made our way into the home where eight innocent souls had been killed with an axe one dark night in 1912.
The entire group went in and Chris and Becky went upstairs to investigate the upper bedrooms while Steph, Diana, and Cliff investigated downstairs. Steph tried to play with the ball on the floor, in an effort to get a response. Diana attempted to rouse any of the children, as well. Cliff used the EMF detector to detect any changes in the downstairs area and in the Blue Room off of the main living room.
The following is from Chris about what he experienced upstairs in the home at this time….
“When we first entered the home me and Becky went upstairs to set up equipment. Sitting on the floor, trying to play with the kids of the home, I saw what seemed to be a shadow that came in front of the window in the parent’s room. It stopped briefly and moved on, I can’t explain what it was at all. Shortly after I looked up and to my right, above the baby bed, there was a bright flash of light, unlike anything I’ve seen before.”
Becky verified his experience by reporting of the flash of light as well. Whistles were caught on audio at this time and are included in this report. When Chris and Becky came downstairs to join the team, they shared their experiences. As Chris was entering the blue room (where girls Lena and Ina Stillinger were killed, and the axe had been found), the EMF meter began to go off. We left an EMF meter on the dresser and audio recorders in the Blue Room and the living room after conducting a short EVP session.
After the team left the house, and Steph was standing outside, she heard a loud, unexplained knocking noise coming from the inside of the house. Cliff heard the EMF meter going off inside the house while no one was inside.
More from Chris…
“Through the course of the night, upon setting up an EMF Detector in the Stillinger room (blue room), I started getting responses to me. Other people would walk in but no one would get a response, yet if I asked if they should leave, I’d get a beep in response. There were times I was not getting a response and I said I was going to leave then, by the time I made it to the door, it would beep rapidly until I got into the room, at that time it would stop and I’d ask if she (Ina) was in there with me now, and I’d get the trademark, double beep. We set up a K2 Meter beside this meter to check if there was a problem with this meter, they both responded. I checked all drawers for anything electric, but there was nothing. At the end of the night it beeped steadily because she knew we were leaving, and at one time we asked her to focus and make it beep quickly, and it did so.”
Everyone on the team can verify the activity of the EMF meters in the blue room and with Chris. It was startling to us all. Upon listening to the audio at a later time, we heard the sound of the EMFs going off, by itself, especially when Chris or other members of the team would be going back into the house. The EMF meter would be silent, then go off sporadically, as if something was checking it out or playing with it, all while the house was empty. It would then start going off in a steady beeping manner that sounded almost frantic at times, when someone would come into the house. Chris seemed to get the most erratic behavior and the most unquestionable responses, from the meter, when asking a direct question in the blue room.
Becky and Cliff went in, by themselves, at one point of the night and the following summary comes from Becky…
“Cliff and I entered the home and could hear the EMF going off in the blue room. We tried to take pictures, but the new batteries died. Both cell sensors continued to go off almost the whole time. Cliff noted that the EMF signal was going off at an adult size height in the room. The K2 meter was up to 3 light, and there was a 2.7 degree drop in temperature. When the EMF was silent, I asked it to only go on when asked questions. It did a few times, then the temperture started to go up and the K2 went to one light and the cell sensors were silent. We decided to go up stairs and the EMF off as cliff walked up the steps. I then felt a brush of something go over my wrist, like someone had lightly touched me. We went into both upstairs rooms with no activity to report. When we stopped in the hall, I heard footsteps, and then comment to Cliff about them. Right afterwards, Cliff heard 3 footsteps as well. Both sets up footsteps were captured on the audio.”
At another point of the night, Chris and Cliff went into the house. From Chris…
“While I was upstairs with Cliff, the EMF detector that had not gone off all night all of a sudden went crazy in the whole upstairs area. The battery in my camera drained, and Cliff vocalized for me to come and look at his camera. He had been taking video with the digital camera and a flashlight, the LCD image on the screen had split into 3 images and was that way a while. We went downstairs finally because the battery in both cameras died. When we got to the girls, both Cameras had battery power back, and the 3 images that was on the screen was now one single image.”
Team member Diana also had some personal experiences in the house. Her experiences from her own words…
“The only things that I can say I experienced was, at one point when we were sitting in the living room, It felt to me like child’s fingers walking up my right arm. It was brief but there. I wasn’t moving at the time nor did I bump anything. The other thing that I saw was also when we were sitting in the living room and I was sitting in the chair that was directly in front of the kitchen and I kept getting this creeped out feeling like we were being watched so I kept my attention towards the kitchen and that was when I saw something (looked like a pair of legs, but don’t know for sure) pass in front of the stove. It was very quick, but something dark blocked out the stove. The stove was white, so you could definitely see something block it out.”
Team member Steph did not have any of the blatant experiences of being touched, as some of the other members or seeing lights or shadows, but she was witness to the undeniable answering of the EMF detector and the indescribable feeling of being watched, especially from the kitchen, while she sitting in the living room, later that night. Steph writes…
“For me the biggest experience cannot be proven scientifically but it affected me the most. While we were all in the house, and Cliff and Chris were in the Blue room talking to the girls and me, Diana and Becky were sitting in the living room I felt a presence so strongly from the kitchen that I literally was sitting ON EDGE… it’s like every nerve and survival instinct was primed on my body. It was strong like that for a good 10 minutes and I finally mentioned it and Diana said she felt it too. I’ve never felt like that before and I can’t explain the overwhelming feeling that something was there watching me. It was definitely from a strong male presence, probably the father. He is who I seemed to sense the most that night watching over his kids.”
Chris and Cliff went inside the house together. While sitting outside, during the middle of the night, Steph, Diana, and Becky all witnessed a strange bright light across the street, parallel to the house. There were no headlights, no cars, no flashlights, and no people around the vicinity . Steph even searched the area for any people in the surrounding streets. Chris and Cliff were asked to shine their flashlights out the window, in case that is what we had seen, but their light showed nothing that resembled what we saw. Perhaps those lights could be explainable but we couldn’t explain them, and they appeared odd to us.
Towards the end of the night, the whole team entered the house again and, at first, the activity seemed to have decreased, almost at a standstill. The team went upstairs to investigate. As we were coming downstairs from investigating, the whole team noticed the strong smell of kerosene and could hear the EMF meter going off in the Blue Room. The smell, in the blue room, had grown very musty, almost like blood. The EMF detector started up frantically, again, when we stated we were going to leave for the night, especially when Chris spoke. Ina (which is believed to be who Chris had made contact with), seemed to not want him to leave. The EMF would slow down at times, as if whatever was touching it was tired, then it would speed back up again when asked to, or when it was mentioned Chris was going to leave.
Several batteries went dead at numerous times in the house, and every team member experienced a different feeling in the place. Chris stated he felt a very calm feeling and a feeling of being welcomed, Diana used the words awesome and amazing, Becky, at times felt apprehensive, and Steph felt a strong sense of foreboding, and a sense of anticipation and dread.
All in all, this trip will not forgotten by any of the members that were there. We ended up leaving Villisca around 4:30 a.m. (with no sleep) and headed home. Was it worth it? Yes. With so many experiences how could it not be? The team who visited would like to recommend it to anyone interested. We would also like to return to the house someday and see what else we can find.