The Axe Murders of Villisca (2016) Script

No! No! Yes!

# When I come home at night #

# She will be waiting #

# She'll be the truest doll in all this world #

# I'd rather have a paper doll #


Ina! Ina, get up!

Come here.

You... you need to go right now!

Get up! You need to go! You're scaring me.

Please, listen to me.

Ina, you have to go! Right now!

Please, please, just leave! Ina, leave me!

You need to get out of here right now! Now!

The Lord has delivered you unto me...

...and I will take thy head from thee!

1912, the year that marks the sinking of the Titanic, the debut of the Oreo cookie...

...just look it up, and also one of the puzzling and notorious murders in Iowa history.

Today marks 100 years since the Villisca axe murders.

A century-old unsolved axe murder, eight people hacked to death...

...has intrigued twenty-first century forensic scientists...

...and investigators around the world.

Okay, I think I just saw something move behind the camera.

If this is Lena or Ina, please let me know you're in here.




And finally, we've reached the number one most haunted place in America.

I'd been a paranormal investigator for about 11 years and up to that point, I'd never...

The most grisly, terrifying, unsolved murders of the 20th century.


You have 1 new message.

Hey, Caleb, this is Mom. I have to do a double shift today... I won't be home until at least after 9 or 10 tonight.

Just a reminder, tomorrow before you leave, I'd like to..., visit the cemetery, of course...

Too early to start celebrating?

I'm being sad.

Come on, man. It's your last day of school, ever!

Denny. Yo?

This town blows, man. Tell me about it, dude.

You don't know. Yeah, I know.

You don't know.

Excuse us! Coming through.

We survived.

Thank you for the ride, Denny. Of course, buddy.

By the way, what are we doing tonight? Oh, all will be revealed this evening.

Gotta tell ya, Denny, I will not miss your cryptic bullshit.

What are you talking about? You love my cryptic bullshit.

It's like one of my major features. Shut up. No, you did not.

Look who's here, everybody's favorite faggot.

Why don't you back off, Connor? Yeah, I'm not talking to you, freak.

God, I haven't seen you since, what, last summer, buddy?

Underneath the bleachers, remember?

You had Jerry Fletcher's dick in your mouth.

Caleb! Caleb, stop it!

Fucking psycho. Just like your old man.

Oh, yeah! Hit me, come on, do it! Stop! Shut up and back up!

Do you want me to call your dad again?

No, ma'am.

And Dennis, what are you doing here?

I'm sorry, Mrs. Flanks. I just thought it'd be nice to give Caleb a ride on his last day.

I'm sure he'd love that. Fuck you, Connor.

Not one more word!

It's a nice sentiment, Dennis.

But would you please take your little bike and get off my campus?

Sure thing, Mrs. Flanks.

Later, Caleb.

Bye, buddy.


...the gymnasium is this way.

Why don't we all go together?

Oh, my gosh, you have to see this.

I know, I heard about it all this week. So excited.

Excited? You know what I mean.

I do. I bookmarked it.

Hey, bitch. Dude.

That girl in the bathroom, she passed out. What? What?

The new girl! The new girl from Chicago!

Fuckin' camera! Give me the camera.

What's your name? I'm Connor.

Connor? - Yeah.

You guys are weird here. What do you mean, here?

In Iowa. What's wrong with Iowa?

Who lives in Iowa?

I live in Iowa.

Connor, we live in Iowa.

That can't be her. Don't be stupid. It's definitely her.



What do you want, Rob? Connor wants to talk to you.

Yeah, I don't think that's going to happen.

Everybody knows you're gonna come crawling back.


What do you want? Nothing, man. Such a bitch.


Hey, did you see what I wrote on her locker? It's right here.

Oh, fuck!

Ah! Oh, shit!

He started it. Go to the nurse.

You, in my office. Now.

Come on. Quick time.

Sorry about that.

Don't be. Kid's a jerk.

I told you if you just focused you'd be in and out of here by the end of the month.

Any plans?

I'm leaving for Omaha tomorrow.

My uncle owns a motel. Said I could have a job if I had this.

Well, listen, before you take off, I'd like to have a little chat with you.

I know this has been a difficult time for you and your mom.

But, Caleb, when you walk out that door there's nothing else I can do for you.

I wasn't expecting you to. That's not what I meant, Caleb.

I know you're a smart kid.

But life is about the choices we make.

And we have to do our best to make the good ones.

Otherwise, we get stuck living in the bad ones.


Let me know how it goes in Omaha.

Hey, guys. So today's a pretty exciting day for me.

For the final outing of the Maryville Paranormal Institute...

...we will be visiting the boss fight of ghost houses, Villisca.

As always, I will be joined by my best friend and fellow ghost hunter, Caleb.

Countdown begins now.


The Villisca axe murder house.

Love you, Mom.

You've gotta know, Jess, in a couple of months all this shit's gonna go away.

It's already been a couple of months, Ellie.

And today, while I was at school two girls were watching it again.

God, I hate this place. I miss you guys. I miss Chicago.

Well, get your ass back here and stop hanging out with farmers.

Uh, you know, actually this kind of cool thing did happen today at school.


So Rob came up to me today and was like "Connor wants to talk to you."

And I just walked away and he was yelling all this mean shit at me.

And then this other kid, I think his name is Caleb...

...he went up to Rob and just slammed his face into the locker.

What? Yeah. It was awesome.

Yeah. Okay, uh, what's his last name?


Hirsche? Hirsche. What? How did you...

Facebook. Geographic search. Perfect for stalking.

Oh, my God, you're creepy. Wait a minute.

What? He's got his address on Facebook.

And? Go!

No, Ellie.

Look, at least go tell him to take his fucking address off Facebook!

Jess, you're a Chicago woman. Do this, bitch!

Come on!

Okay, okay, okay, fine. Whatever. I'll go... to his house.

But if I get murdered, it's totally your fault.

Girl, please, nothing ever happens in Iowa.

Give me that. You can take that. Brooks Brothers?

Where'd you get a Brooks Brothers shirt? Not this one.


Now, what time are you leaving tomorrow? Around noon. Greyhound.

Awesome. What, riding a bus?

No, seriously.

Going someplace else, getting out of here... it's awesome.

What's up?

Nothing. Denny.


I mean...

It's like two hours away. You can visit any time you want.

Oh, shit. We gotta move. For what?

The tour.

Dude, no. Yeah.

We've been planning this for, like, two months, dude.

The Maryville Paranormal Institute. We're not even close.

The Villisca axe murder house. Last video. Big finish.

No. You promised.

You promised to help me pack last night, instead we got drunk, so...

Well, me and your "high school equivalency..."

This isn't even a real diploma.

What are... what are you doing? We're going to Villisca.

No, no, no. Don't, don't, don't! Denny! Oh, no. Did I rip it...

Give me that. Now, easy.

Denny, really, don't make me hurt you.

Give it! Give it to me! What, what, what?

Quit fucking around...

Oh. Am I interrupting something?


Your name is Jessica, right? This is Denny.

Yeah. We gotta go, dude. We're gonna miss our tour.

Where are you guys going? Somewhere you're not.


You wanna come? Are you sure?

I mean, it seems like you guys have it all figured out.

Ca... Caleb, we don't have room for her on the scooter.

I can drive. Great, let me get my jacket.

Dude, what the fuck, man? I only made reservations for 2 people.

Denny, they're not even gonna give a shit if we bring one more person.

Use your brain.

I like your jacket. Yeah, I know. That's why I wear it.

Okay. Let's go.


He doesn't have a license. Then drive carefully.

Okay. Come on, Denny.

It's the way to Villisca.


This is a nice car.

So, where are we going exactly?

Villisca. Isn't that like a sinus medication?

What? You know what I'm talking about?

The axe murder house.

Everyone knows what that is. I'm not from here.

Well, I guess that's something that's good about you.

Dude! 74 views on our last video!

I'm driving here! Oh.

What is he talking about?

We do this video ch... YouTube Channel thing with Supernatural.

MPI. We're the Maryville Paranormal Institute...

I got it. Caleb and I are... We're ghost hunters.

We hunt ghosts! Yeah.

He can be a little intense about it.

No, it's... it's cool.

Where is everybody?

They're all dead.

Oh, I'm kind of not joking.

Back in the day, there was this Indian tribe here...

...and they called this area "Wallisca."

They used to bury their outcasts and their insane... shallow graves here so they couldn't move on.

You mean like that movie "Poltergeist?"

Little girl, broken TV? But this is something different, Jess.

8 people, 6 of them kids... their heads smashed in in 1912.

You scared yet? Totally.

Are you Denny? Yes, sir.

I was just about to give up and go.

Well, I'm so glad you didn't. We drove all the way from Maryville.

Nice house.


Welcome to the Villisca axe murder house.

Alright. This is the, uh, foyer.

Okay, so, the murder took place on the night of June 9th, 1912.

There'd been a big gathering at the Presbyterian church in town.

They called it "Children's Day".

Ever since then, this house has been marked by an evil greater than you can imagine.

People just like you have seen and heard...

Um, young lady, this way.

Everything will make more sense if we start the tour from upstairs. Come along.

It's believed the killer entered the house around midnight...

...climbed these very stairs...

Right. This way.

J.B. Moore was the first to get it.

And then his wife, Sarah.

Mrs. Moore was hit 35 times on the top of her head with the blunt side of the axe.

Totes crayballs. Uh, beg your pardon?

Let's, uh, go to the children's room.

It's right down this way.

Come on.

Follow me.

Herman was the oldest child, he was 11.

Paul was the youngest, he was only 4. And Boyd was the middle.

Little Katherine Moore's room was right over here.

All but one of the victims were found flat against their bed.

Why is the mirror covered?

Well, they found all the mirrors covered that way the next day.

The thought is that the murderer wanted to cover 'em up before he began to kill.

Hey. They caught the killer, right?

No. But there was this one guy...

...a traveling Presbyterian minister.

He confessed but was never... Reverend Lyn George Jacklin Kelly.

I did my research. We come to places like this all the time.

In his confession Kelly stated that he woke up in the middle of the night...

...hearing windmills in his head.

And then he went for a walk and ended up here.

Okay. Thanks. I'll just put this back.

What happened to him?

No one knows.

But... you guys wanna see something supercool?

We have the murder weapon.

Right here. Come on.

That, my friends, is the actual axe itself.

A one-of-a-kind piece of bloody Iowan history...

...and genuine American craftsmanship.


Okay. Right this way.


Let me see your teeth.

Murder boner.

This is where Lena and Ina Stillinger died.

They had been guests of the Moore's that night due to what happened to the power.

The power? Yeah.

The electricity in the whole town went out the night of the murders.

True story. That's how the Stillinger girls ended up here.

She was found... the center of the room.

Her underwear had been removed and very bad things had been done to her.

Let's go back to the foyer.

You guys excited about Halloween?

We have a big event here this year. Real moneymaker.

I think this is gonna be our biggest year yet.

# I'm gonna buy a paper doll #

# That I can call my own #

# A doll that other fellows #

# Cannot steal #

# And then the flirty, flirty guys #

# With their flirty, flirty eyes... ##

You shouldn't be in here! Let go of me!

Didn't you see the ropes? Are you blind? This room is off limits!

Hey, what's your problem? Did you touch anything?

Are you serious? Alright, look, guys, the show's over.

Let's go, please. That's the end of the tour.


Alright, let's go.

Fuck. Denny, the tour was kind of lame.

These things are all hype anyways. No, we just didn't see the whole thing.

We didn't see the bloody clothes, the Children's Day mask. We didn't go in the cellar.

Apparently, they take you down there and apparently, it's fuckin' awesome.

Probably a shitload of other stuff, too. Denny, we can come back some other time.

Did you really just say that?

Why'd you jump the ropes?

I heard something.

Really? Yeah.

It was like the sound of an old record player or something.

Are you fucking with me?

That sounds awesome.

Yeah, well, then grandma death popped out and scared the shit out of me, so...

She gave you like lazy eyes. Oh, my God. It was fuckin' scary, man.

Yeah. Well, I guess we should get back to Maryville. Finish packing.

Well, maybe we could take our own tour.

Later tonight?


Yeah, we can fucking break in. I mean, I didn't see any alarm system. Did you?

No. It's not that hard.

My friends and I used to break into empty houses and have parties all the time.

Really? Yeah.

Most places are pretty easy to break into.

And I bet these two fucking whackos aren't coming back here tonight.

Where would they sleep, with the mannequins?

I mean, it is kind of the tour you always wanted, Denny.


Now we'll just have to wait until it gets dark.

Well, holy shit.


Ladies first.

Okay, follow me.

Oh, shit.

Oh, gosh. Watch out.

I'm going upstairs. Okay.


"I survived the Villisca Axe Murder House."

How do they come up with this shit?

Oh. Oh, thanks.

And to the Republic for which it stands... nation under God.

You know, they added that part in 1954.

Which part? "Under God."


And who were we under before that?

I don't know.

Maybe we should ask the Moores.



Oh. Geez! Oh, be careful.

I will. Yeah. You alright?


Hey, let's take a picture.

Come on.

Come on.


It's bright. Yeah.

Let me see. No. Um...

I... I wanna mess with it first. What are you doing?

I'm gonna post it to Instagram. Alright?


Hey. Hi, Denny.

What's up, man? What are you guys doing?

You coming upstairs? Come on.

Shit. Goddamn, you are a pussy.

What are you talkin' about? What the fuck are you talking about?

I heard Shelly... Oh, fuck Shelly!

She said your dick was so small that she had to suck it with a straw.

Yeah, to suck the cum all off fuckin' every... Oh, my God.

What, what? Are you sure this is pot?

It's top quality. I got it from Shelly.

Cherry flavor.

Oh, shit.

No way.

What? Jess, she uploaded a pic.

Oh, yeah? What kind of pic? Kind of like one of those videos I put up...

Oh, shit!

She's with Caleb.

They're at that house in Villisca. What, she's on a ghost tour?

Sad, man. You wanna go check it out?

Not really. Shut up.

Ow! Fuck!

We got unfinished business with that piece of shit.

Hey, all you freakers out there.

I'm Denny Shea, inside the world-famous Villisca Axe Murder House...

...investigating into the possibility of, yeah, ghosts.

Of course, I'm joined... Maryville Paranormal Institute co-founder, Caleb Hirsche...

...and our newest... friend.

As you can see, Jess is extremely overwhelmed... the intense spectral energies flowing through this house.

Let's cut to the chase.

Dowsing rods, candles...

...everything you might need to light this place up.

Notice the concentration...

...intensity on her beautiful young face.

She wants to know what we all do.

Where are the children?

You should ask something.

Come on.


Ghost people... wanna pull my finger?

Dude, it's supposed to be serious. No, it's supposed to be fun.

Denny. Oh... okay, let me try. Okay.

You ask it a yes or no question.

For these to work, you have to hold these very still.

I'm trying. I know. So get it right.



Let's try to talk to...


Lena, my name's Jessica.

Don't be afraid.

We know something really bad happened to you here but we're not gonna hurt you.

Are you there?

How much did you pay for these? The rods are fine.

You're doing it wrong. No, I'm not.

Don't blame her because your little ghost toys are broken.

Fuck you. Fuck you.

Okay, you just... You stay out of it, okay?

You're not even supposed to be here tonight.

Sorry, I crashed your date.

Fuck you.

At least I know how to keep my pants on.

Excuse me? Denny. Enough.

What? Why are you being so protective of sticky fingers over here?

Was your bullshit video so special?

Yeah, even the homos of Maryville know all about your sad, tragic story.

Fuckin' asshole!

I haven't even told my parents.

Are you worried about what your parents think?

Of course. Mine are dead.


Diesel jack-knifed on I-80, hit us in the back.

Car flipped over, caught on fire.

My mom had to push me out the back window. Lucky fucking me.

Yeah, she gets the story, Denny. We get the story. Your parents are fuckin' dead.


It wasn't your fault. Shut up.

Denny! Open the door, please.

What the fuck happened, man? He got all fucked up, man.

He made you go with him.

Caleb. Shut up, Denny.

You gotta listen to me.

Get up! Your dad was messed up.

Shut the fuck up, Denny!

You think you know anything about my fuckin' dad, you're fuckin' clueless!

He was...

This is bullshit.


Fuck, it's the owners! Get up!


Shit, what is that?

It's a mannequin.

Shit... Ah!

Pull it out, Connor! Pull it out, pull it out.

I'm sorry! I'm sorry, man! You okay? Pull it out. Connor, pull it out!

Okay. Okay. Okay, okay, I'm sorry!

Here we go!

Denny, come here.

Is that Connor's car?

What is he doing here?

You must give them what they want.

Yes. I'll do anything.


I'm so sick of that asshole.

You comin'? Dude, just hang here a sec.

I'm sorry I slapped you.

What was that?

I gotta go. Wait.

You stay here.




Fuck you.

Open the fucking register, now!

Alright, Dad, just be careful with... Shut up!

Oh, fuck. You guys gotta leave.

Put it down! Wait. I know you.


Is this a fucking joke?


The new girl! The new girl from Chicago!

"Lena, I will be your shepherd always.

Reverend Kelly."


# I'm gonna buy a paper doll #

# That I can call my own #

# A doll that other fellows cannot steal #

# And then the flirty, flirty guys #

# With their flirty, flirty eyes... ##

There you are. What happened?


What? Did you find anyone?


What're you doing with that machete?

You gonna kill 'em?

I'm sick...

...of you following me around like a lost little puppy.

You need to find a new reason to get out of bed in the morning, Denny.

'Cause I'm done with you.

Well... what?

I get it.

You're into me.

You're fuckin' retarded.

No, I don't think so.

I've known you for six years, Caleb.

Have I ever done anything to you?

Not when you're drunk or lonely or when the cops come to my house...

...and I lied to them and told them you were there all night?

I'm out of here.

He was just like you.

But everybody lies.

Nothing is safe.

You promise?

Caleb? Jess?


Jess, what the fuck? We gotta go.

Come here. Connor's inside the house.

We gotta find Caleb...

What are you doing? Don't... No. It's better to stay here.

What... It's safe.

Jess, please.

Shh. No.

You can pretend I'm him. Hm?

Help me, Denny! I'm burning!

You must miss him terribly, don't you?

Don't you see, Dennis? We're only trying to help you.

We can take you to her, Dennis!

Come on, Dennis! Let us take you to her, Dennis!

Oh, shit.

Hey, hey. Hey. Hey, hey! Where you going in such a hurry?

I... I don't know... Jess is... You're all shaken up. Are you okay?

Hey, Denny, I've been meaning to tell you. I never did get a chance to thank you...

...for what you did for me.


You know, I'd be in prison if it wasn't for you, right?

No, man. It's okay. We gotta go. That's not important right now.

Everything's gonna be okay. What are you...

You're an excellent kisser.

Every time I saw you at school...

...I imagined...

...bashing your face in with a hammer.

Why did you hate me so much?

Because you exist.

Make it stop! Make it stop!

# I'm gonna buy a paper doll #

# That I can call my own #

# A doll that other fellows #

# Cannot steal #

# And then the flirty, flirty guys... ##

Oh. Well, look at you.

All cleaned up after today's festivities.

I brought you a sweet.

Dad? Dad?

It's good to see you.



Take this.


This is in you!

This is who you are!

You must accept it.

Dad! Just do what he fuckin' says, Matt!

No! No, stop!

This is... this is who you are.

No! Stop!

It's time, Caleb.

Son. Huh?


Yes, it's me.

There will be beauty here now...

...because of you.

Your father...

...would be so proud.

I've missed you so much.

And I've missed you, too, Dennis.

We can be together again.

You know how.

You've thought of it before.

Do it.

Do it.

Do it, Dennis.


No! No! No!

What's happening to me?

Everything here is a lie.

Stop, Ina!

This place twists you.

It changes you.

It feeds our insanity...

...our tragedy...

...and regret.

The Lord has delivered you unto me...

...and I will take thine head from thee!

Jess. I'm sorry. I'm sorry, Jess.

Jess. It was all my doing!

My darkness! My dirtiness!

Kill me! Do it now! Jess?

Kill me! No!

We're trapped here because you refuse to see the truth.

Lies! Lies!

I am dirty! Dirty and broken!

You are not the one who did this to me.


Come here. Jess, don't. Come on. I'm right here.

Look at me, come here! Come here! Jess! Look in my eyes.

Jess! Look at me. Come here. Come here! Jess! Jess!

You look in my eyes. Look in my eyes right now. Look in my eyes. Come on.

Look at me. Look at me, Jess! Come on. Come on. There you go. There you go.

Look at me. Look at me. There you go. I'm right here. I'm right here.

There you go. I'm right here.

There you go. Come on, there you go.


You're the Devil!

Connor, don't! Connor!

Stick it in, boy!

No! No!

I was born before your Gods.

Living in the never-ending shadows of your sweet, black...



When are you coming to bed?

Now just close your eyes, Ina.


It's time for us to leave.

I'm sorry.

Fuck, okay.


Okay. We gotta go. Listen to me, listen to me.

Come on, we gotta go. Listen, you guys were never here.

What do mean? You gotta go.

No, man. No, we're not leaving you, Caleb.

They need a reason not to come looking for all of us.


Caleb. Come on, Denny.

Caleb, come on. Just help me.

Come on. Come on, Jess.

Let's go. Wait.

There's nothing here.

There's nothing here!