A trip through: haunted Iowa

A+trip+through%3A+haunted+Iowa

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this is the one

There are many places around the world renowned for their ability to strike fear into the hearts of onlookers. Not because they’re innately terrifying, but because of the thick history of lore that surrounds them. Tales of ghost-infested graveyards, witches and boogeyman in the forests, as well as ominous figures in the dark windows of long abandoned houses pollute our consciousness, but could these not-so-rational fears be the dilutions of manifest history; truths disguised as horror stories and camp fire tales? The only way to know is to take a trip through time and haunted Iowa.

Villisca

 

The Villisca Axe murders are an unsolved crime that were perpetrated in the late 19th century and still haunt the residents of Villisca, Iowa today. The topic of Villisca’s murders remain a divisive issue even these decades later because the perpetrator was never discovered. All that’s known is sometime during the night of Sunday, June 9, 1912, a person or persons unknown entered a modest home in Villisca, Iowa and bludgeoned to death the eight people sleeping there. The only evidence found was an axe, and the only discovered witnesses were dead. To add injury to tragedy two of the people murdered there that night weren’t residents of the home but visitors, friends of the Moore’s children who had asked to sleep over.

Black Angel

 

Picture by Lizzie Pruneau and Nick Deerberg
Picture by Lizzie Pruneau and Nick Deerberg

Black Angel

A staple in the Iowan paranormal investigators community, the 8’6” Black Angel was meant to be a more genial, benevolent figure rendered by Mario Kobel, a French artist enlisted by the wife of the deceased Nicholas Feldevert. After all, the statue was a memorial to Nicholas. But as time progressed, the figure’s shiny bronze coating slowly transformed into a more menacing grey-black. Why did it change color? Well, that’s the subject of myth. Some say it’s because Teresa Feldevert was a witch and the sculptor had not giving her the statue she described, but she was forced by court ruling to pay for it. her the statue displayed her feelings. Others say that it’s because she had murdered Nicholas herself and this was the only way he could make it known. Either way the stories told there are always these admonishment: Don’t kiss the statue because you will be struck dead, don’t touch the statue because you will be struck dead, and if you’re with child don’t walk beneath her outstretched wing because you will miscarry.

Pictures by Stephon Berry and Nick Deeberg
Pictures by Stephon Berry and Nick Deeberg