Villisca Ax Murder House
Travelers with a penchant for the morbid would particularly enjoy a stay in this Villisca, Iowa, home where one of the most notorious crimes of the early 20th century was committed. On June 10, 1912, an unknown person brutally murdered the entire Moore family (two adults and four children), plus two additional children who'd been invited for a sleepover. An axe was the weapon of choice, and each victim was found tucked into bed with fatal head wounds. Understandably, this community of 2,500 was rocked by the violent and sudden loss of eight of their own residents. Although the culprit was never brought to justice, the townspeople had many theories, ranging from an angered ex-business partner to a serial killer. Sadly, that question will probably never be definitively answered.
The home has had a number of owners in the decades since the murders, many of whom renovated the property. In 1994, however, new owners elected to restore the house to its 1912 condition, removing plumbing fixtures, electricity and otherwise turning back the hands of time to the day the crime was committed. Said to be haunted, the site is available for daylight tours, as well as overnight stays — if you dare! Sadly, you can't sleep in one of the "murder house" beds; you'll have to bring a sleeping bag for your overnight visit. The cost is $428 for one to six people (2015 rates) [source: Villisca Ax Murder House].