BY Sasha Goldstein, New York Daily News
Keep sharp objects out of this Iowa house.
A paranormal investigator stabbed himself in the chest while spending the night at a “haunted” Iowa house made infamous for an unsolved ax murder 100 years ago that left eight people, including six children, dead.
Steven Laursen Jr. ended his visit to the Villisca Ax Murder house in southwest Iowa early Friday with critical stabbing injuries that the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office say were self-inflicted.
The wood-framed home at 508 East 2nd St. in Villisca remains much the same as it did on June 10, 1912, the evening someone bludgeoned to death the family of Josiah and Sarah Moore, their four children and two children visiting for the night. The creepy crime scene is the town’s biggest draw, attracting “paranormal investigators” from around the world who take either a guided tour or shell out $428 to spend the night at the home, which has no electricity or running water, according to its website.
It’s unclear how the 37-year-old man visiting from Rhinelander, Wisconsin managed to stab himself, but authorities said he was there “for a recreational paranormal investigation” when cops got the call around 12:45 a.m.
Laursen was eventually flown for treatment to an Omaha hospital, some 80 miles northwest of the small Iowa town.
“It’s kind of shocking to wake up and hear that someone has nearly died at your tourist attraction,’’ owner Martha Linn told the Omaha World-Herald. “I’m absolutely sick about this. I’m practically in tears. I can’t imagine why somebody would do something like this to himself.’’
The haunted home, replete with the furnishings and trappings of the time, has held a certain fascination for years because of the grisly crime committed there and the fact it’s remained unsolved.
Linn and her dead husband Darwin purchased the home in 1994 and have hosted paranormal investigators “all the time,” Martha Linn told the newspaper.
“They all hope something will come to them. … Sometimes they like to tempt fate,” she said.
Testimonials written by people after a night’s stay attest the home’s creepy factor.
This house has a mystique all of its own and will rival any other allegedly haunted location,” one person wrote on the website. “An overnight visit to this house will make most skeptics believers come sunrise the next morning!”
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