Tour the Witch Murder House, Maybe
People who enjoy touring murder houses will soon have a new blood-soaked destination to visit. That is, if the zoning hearing board of North Hopewell Township, Pennsylvania, is cooperative.
Two enterprising locals, Rickie Ebaugh and Jerry Duncan, want to open Nelson Rehmeyer's house, known locally as "Hex House," as a tourist attraction. The house has remained "fairly unchanged," according to Duncan, since Rehmeyer was beaten and kicked to death in it 80 years ago.
"There are lots of places in America where murders have taken place," Duncan explained. "But there are very few places in America where a murder took place because the person was a witch."
Rehmeyer was a "PowWow doctor" -- a Pennsylvania Dutch witch -- who was ambushed by another local witch, John Blymire, who had been told by a THIRD local witch that Rehmeyer had put a hex on Blymire. Blymire went to Rehmeyer's house on the night of November 27, 1928, and demanded that Rehmeyer surrender either his book of spells or a lock of his hair. When Rehmeyer refused, Blymire and his two accomplices killed him. All three were later imprisoned for the crime, although Blymire insisted that his bad luck ended when Rehmeyer died.
Because of the rural location of the long-empty house, its association with hexes, and the fact that Rehmeyers still live in the area (Rickie Ebaugh is a great-grandson of Rehmeyer), it has remained unmolested all of these years. That's good news for Ebaugh and Duncan, who want to restock the house with its original furnishings (which have been kept by family members in local barns and attics) and open it for tours "some time in 2008," according to Duncan. That is -- if the zoning hearing board, which rejected Ebaugh and Duncan's original permit, will now grant them a variance.
Exhibits in the house, according to Duncan, will include Rehmeyer's pocket watch and pocket contents of death. A sheet of plexiglass will cover the bloodstains on the floor and the hole that was burned into it when Rehmeyer's body was set on fire to hide the crime. (The fact that IT PUT ITSELF OUT is another reason why people stayed away from the house.) Duncan told us that a book of spells that may have been Rehmeyer's will also be on display, although three other neighbors also claim to have Rehmeyer's book, which is not surprising since every local witch had the same book, and there were a lot of local witches.
Ebaugh and Duncan are confident that the zoning board's initial rejection on August 7, 2007, was just a matter of improper paperwork. "The support for this thing in this area is phenomenally overwhelming," Duncan assured us. "We really haven't had much resistance at all." He also told us that he's already been contacted by several local paranormal groups, who want to reserve the house for sleep-overs.[08/10/2007]
- Rehmeyers Hollow Rd, Shrewsbury, PA
- I-83 exit 4. East on Forrest Ave./Hwy 851 (for about a mile) and take second left onto Deller Rd, then an immediate left onto Bowman School Rd. Drive a little over two miles (Bowman School Rd turns into Mt Olivet Rd) and take 3rd left onto Rehmeyers Hollow Rd.
- In Transition