12 Nov 2014
Mystery Continues Over Why This Paranormal ‘Ghost Hunter’ Stabbed Himself Inside the Infamous ‘Ax Murder House’
Few details have emerged in the days after a man reportedly stabbed himself inside of the Villisca Ax Murder House, a popular tourist attraction in Iowa that was the site of a grisly murder scene in 1912 and is often frequented by paranormal investigators.
Robert Laursen, 37, was reportedly spending the night at the home as part of a family group investigating supposed ghosts last Friday when he inexplicably stabbed himself inside one of the rooms.
Few new details have emerged since the initial story broke, leaving the motive for the stabbing a mystery.
When TheBlaze called local police on Tuesday, an unnamed employee said that he had heard that Laursen said that a “ghost made him do it,” though Montgomery County Sheriff Joe Sampson later indicated that Laursen hadn’t given police a motive.
Sampson told TheBlaze Tuesday that authorities hadn’t done “any further investigation” into the incident after determining that it was a self-inflicted wound, though he added that there has been much speculation over what led to the incident.
Considering the supposedly supernatural happenings unfolding inside the home, some, of course, believe that something ghostly was at play, though Sampson indicated that others have speculated that the man did “it for attention and financial gain down the road.”
Sampson said that Laursen is awake, though authorities had previously declined to give an update on his medical condition; his family has also been silent on the matter.
But in an interview with TheBlaze Tuesday, Villisca Ax Murder House owner Martha Linn — who declined to give the names of the individuals Laursen was with inside the home — did shed some further light on the situation.
Despite being startled by what unfolded, the 77 year old said that she’s “doing fine” and that she’s been in touch via telephone with Laursen’s family. She said he was staying at the home with his stepfather and mother last Friday when the stabbing unfolded.
“I don’t know the people. They’re from Wisconsin,” she said. “I’ve never met them. I can just tell you that this was not the first time they’ve been to the house, so that’s what makes it a mystery.”
That said, Linn told TheBlaze that she isn’t sure if Laursen accompanied his stepfather on the two previous trips he took to the home, noting that different family members came along with him each time.
It’s not uncommon for investigators to rent the house for an evening, as they search for evidence of the paranormal — and some do repeatedly return.
“As far as I’m concerned this is a private family matter,” she added.
Image source: YouTube/Paranormal Pat
Linn, who was careful only to share select details, did offer up a bit of the history of the Villisca Ax Murder House, where a grisly crime unfolded on June 10, 1912. It was on that day that an individual who was never caught “bludgeoned to death the entire family of Josiah Moore and two overnight guests,” killing six children and two adults.
Having grown up in the area, Linn said that she was familiar with the Moore family, as her mother was the same age as one of the victims when the crime unfolded.
Despite knowing the home’s troubled history, Linn said that she and her late husband, Darwin, a farmer, purchased it as a complement to a local museum they started after retirement, running tours at the house after it was renovated in the mid 1990s.
“When the house came up for sale Darwin, seemed to be drawn with it,” Linn said. “He thought it would be a nice attraction to our museum. Another draw.”
While the Villisca Ax Murder House has become a destination of choice for some paranormal investigators who claim that there’s something supernatural happening there, Linn said that she and her husband never intended for it to become what it is.
It all started one day in 1999 or 2000 when they were approached by a ghost hunter who asked if he could explore the house. When Linn told her husband about it, he said, “What the heck is a ‘paranormal?’” having had no experience with the supernatural.
“From that point on, it just kind of took on a life of its own,” she said, noting that regular paranormal investigations didn’t start until around the year 2000.
Four of the young victims inside the Moore home (Image source: YouTube/Paranormal Pat)
Linn said that the unfortunate incident surrounding Laursen is the first of its kind since she’s owned the home. So far, though, she hasn’t seen much of a resulting impact on her business, as she said that the Villisca Ax Murder House is booked solid.
“I haven’t had anyone cancel because of it so far anyway. … I had people two nights afterwards,” she said. “It’s booked and like I say nobody has called to cancel.”
As for whether or not all the hype is real, Linn — who has admittedly never spent a full night in the home — said that she has received hundreds of responses from people who claim they’ve experienced the supernatural inside the home.
“You cannot see and read all that without having some thinking that there has to be something in that house that draws people back,” she said.
Read more about the Villisca Ax Murder House here.