On August 19th, 2010, five members of MVP went to Villisca, IA to stay in the infamous Villisca Axe Murder House. The members preset at this investigation were Bob Brading, Steve Danielson, Andrea Calkins, Jordan Johnson, and Stephanie Adams. With the exception of Stephanie, who had been there before in 2008, this was all of the members’ first time visiting Villisca and the axe murder house.
Please see this website for more information on the Villisca Axe Murder House and its unfortunate history… http://www.villiscaiowa.com/index.php
Around 5:00 that day, all five members met up at Villisca at the Olson-Linn museum to meet Darwin, the owner, and John, who would be our tour guide, a very informative and engaging man. After taking some time at the museum to check out its history and various awesome collections, the team began the tour. After driving down the very roads of Villisca, we were first shown the churches in which the Moore family and murder suspect Frank Jones frequently visited (located right across the street from each other) whom would later have a major fued after the Moore murders. We then parked at the cemetery where we visited the well taken care of but very sad graves of the Moore family and the Stillinger sisters. After that we were then shown to the house and after being given a brief tour and instructions by John, our guide, we were left all alone with the house for the night to begin our investigation and adventures.
After all of the members did a full walk-thru of the house, we unpacked our equipment in the barn behind the house which is equipped with a bathroom, refrigerator, microwave, TV/DVD player, ect. We then set off to Casey’s General Store to get some snacks and drinks to satisfy us for the evening. Around 7:30 p.m. that night we were all ready and willing to officially begin our investigation.
We split up the group most of the night so that there would always be two people left outside in the barn to watch over the equipment and valuables as the barn itself was open and does not lock. We also split to help avoid any noise contamination as the noise carried very easy and readily in the house making less inside the better. This made the group inside the house at a time only being two or three members at the most. Bob, Andrea, and Jordan were the first to go in followed by Steve and Stephanie when they returned. These groups took turns like this throughout most of the night, with Andrea switching joining each one on and off.
The night seemed more active outright earlier with most of the personal experiences taking place between 8:00 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. generally. After midnight the house seemed to die down so to speak, and to the members outright there seemed to be nothing unusual or strange going on inside the house. After we got back and listened to our audio (over 40 hours with all of audio together) we found out that we were very very wrong.
The group chose to pack up around 4:30 a.m. or so and we then headed our seperate ways home after a uplifting and overall exciting and fun experience for us all.
Here are some of our personal experiences below seen, heard, and felt by individuals and sometimes as a group during our investigation…
Stephanie Adams – “The biggest physical evidence for me that night was while myself, Andrea, and Steve were in the house around 9:00 p.m. or so that night. We were all on the second floor and Steve started to report some strange EMF readings. The EMF would spike then disappear then spike again in a different place, almost like it was following something moving. I asked if I could hold it and after doing so I stood in the hallway right in front of the attic door. I stuck my arm out so that the EMF Meter was in the small closet area between the actual hallway and the entrance of the attic. The EMF was at a steady very low number for about 10 seconds then right before my eyes and Andrea and Steve it started to climb slowly up (I remained completely still) the numbers increasing slowly up and up until it was about 15 numbers higher than it was. It remained there while I asked it to stay. After about a minute or two it began to fall, again slowly (not fast), until it finally hit the lowest number it began at in the first place. I did not move the entire time. I continued to go back to that very spot while I was up there and it did not do that again ever nor did it ever have a reading at all there. Something seemed to be there at that moment in front of us, moving in, staying, then moving out. Another experience I had was hearing a dragging noise twice in in the kitchen while me and Steve were in the house later on. I checked with the three members of the team via walkie-talkie if any of them or anything outside had made any noise at that time and they said no. I did not hear that same noise again the rest of the night. The scariest of the night was the feeling of something following behind me once out of the attic, enough to vocally want out of there.”
Steve Danielson – “I also saw the EMF activity that Stephanie mentioned outside of the attic. Earlier, when myself, Steph, and Andrea were in the home, we were upstairs and had decided to enter the attic. At this time the attic door was closed. I was the first one in. Upon opening the attic door I was hit with an intense heaviness. To explain it, it would be like opening an oven door and the heat hits your face, only without the heat. It was enough to make me stop for a few seconds to recover. I felt dizzy and sort of like I was under water. When in the attic, I decided to provoke a little bit to see if we could catch the attention of the rumored ghost of the killer. While doing this, I felt a cold presence behind me. I had gotten an EMF spike of a 1.2 then it fluctuated between .5 and .9. I handed the EMF meter to Stephanie because I wanted her to see this. I could feel the presence behind me so she held the EMF meter there and it showed a .5. I then felt it on my left side. So she moved the EMF detector to my left side and caught a .7. It then moved in behind me again and to my right side. Here the EMF was at a .4. Then it went away. While this presence was around me it felt like whatever side it was on was like having that side of my body exposed to an open freezer door. Was it the killer’s ghost, or just one of the children? By the way, this home has no electricity so any EMF in the home is taken as strange. The second experience came when me, Steph and Andrea were in Joe and Sarah’s bedroom. I was pointing my camera down the short hallway towards the children’s bedroom. Suddenly the whole frame went out of focus. I took a step forward and it all immediately went back into focus. I took a step back, still in focus. Then out of nowhere it went out of focus again. I could see a reflection of my illuminator in a picture frame in the bedroom, and something stepped in front of that blocking it out. Then the camera went out of focus again. This repeated several times, and I thought that I had it debunked as the reflection of the illuminator in the window bouncing back at the camera and throwing it out of focus, but I am not completely convinced of this after watching footage over and over again. One last personal experience happened in the children’s bedroom. This was after we had come out of the attic. We re-entered the children’s bedroom to notice that the atmosphere had changed. It was no longer warm, it seemed cold and heavy. Again I had the presence step in behind me when I decided to provoke the rumored killer’s ghost. What was strange is as hard as I provoked, it did nothing but stand behind me. Was this a child hiding behind me for protection? I think if it had been the ghost of the killer I would have had a much more violent reaction. One more thing. When doing walk-thru, Bob and I were doing EMF readings in the attic. Upon entering I noticed a cold spot over the mattress that is in there. I then caught the same traveling EMF spikes we caught later in the evening. There was an electrical substation across the street, but I took the time to trace any EMF from that substation to the home. When you reach the edge of the yard, all EMF ceases. I even went to several of the windows to see if there was any stray EMF from the sub station there with no results. The home was completely dead for EMF.”
Andrea Calkins – “I also saw the EMF meter’s activity outside the attic door as Steph and Steve did. No other personal experiences.”
Bob Brading – “As Jordan and I were standing in the kitchen we heard what sounded like a faint conversation between several small children. The sound was coming from the front of the house and the rest of the team was in the barn area in the rear of the yard. It was also very late and there were no people outside at this time.”
Jordan Johnson – “Feeling footsteps in the childrens bedroom upstairs, and hearing girls conversation in the kitchen.”
The team captured several EVPs from the house - a few of them being very clear. One in particular startled all of us, and is probably the best EVP the team as a whole has caught yet. This one was taken while Steph and Steve were in the house but neither one of them heard anything with his/her own ear at all at the time. Steph and Steve were in the Stillinger girls’ bedroom and had decided to try another location and had just entered the kitchen at the time this was recorded. The recorder was sitting on the steps between the first and second floor at the time. The EVP was also taken about 2 to 3 minutes before Steph reported hearing the dragging noise
Here are the rest of the EVPs we captured… a few others being as clear as we have ever caught.
Please check out the website for the DVD we are offering of this investigation and also our Youtube channel in which clips of various items are present.
In conclusion, the group as a whole definitely believes there is something going on at the Villisca House. Either when Steph and Diana felt the dark unsettling precense before in 2008 and Chris felt the calming presence and made a friend in the little one Ina, or this time in 2010 when there were obvious EVPs captured, voices and noises heard and things not being as they should be this time, we just don’t know. Is it haunted? I think everyone in the group that has now been there would say without blinking an eye… yes.