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Ghost of a serial killer

It was 2006. Rob Graves and his wife Vicki were touring a gorgeous estate in Indiana. The place had everything they could want and then some: an indoor pool, a separate apartment that could be rented out, tons of room to roam, and ample privacy.

Even better, the asking price was good. Too good. As Rob walked around the home, there was something about it that troubled him, something that niggled at the edges of his brain.

“Wait, wasn’t this the home of Herb Baumeister?”

Yes, the realtor admitted. It was.

Does the ghost of serial killer Herb Baumeister haunt Fox Hollow Farm?

That explained the price. Baumeister was a suspected serial killer (alleged only because he killed himself before he could be convicted), responsible for the deaths of at least eleven men. Fox Hollow Farms was not just his home, but his killing grounds. Many of his victims breathed their last before they were strangled in the pool, their bodies dumped in the woods behind the house.

Baumeister was such a convincing liar that even when his thirteen-year-old son Erich found a human skull on their property, he was able to make his wife believe the bones came from a medical skeleton inherited from his anesthesiologist father. When Baumeister’s wife Julie went searching for the remains and couldn’t find them, she assumed animals had made off with the bones and never gave the incident a second thought…until police came knocking.

In spite of some trepidation, the aptly named Graves family decided to purchase the house. Shortly after, Vicki was startled by a man in a red shirt walking through her yard towards the woods where some of Baumeister’s victims had been discovered. She thought it was an intruder until she noticed something strange–the man had no legs.

She wasn’t the only person to see the man in red. The Graves’ tenant, Joe LeBlanc, saw him as well and became convinced the spirit was trying to tell him something. He followed the apparition’s path into the woods and found a human femur, which he turned into the police. Though the remains have not been identified, sightings of the man in red stopped after LeBlanc’s discovery.

Supernatural events have become commonplace for LeBlanc, who has to deal with ghostly roommates. Many an evening has been disturbed by an incessant pounding on his front door. One night, upon answering the door and finding no one there, he shut the door and locked it, only to see the knob turn a few minutes later. In spite of the lock, the door blew open, scattering wood chips across the floor. LeBlanc was startled to find a terrified man, dripping wet, screaming on his doorstep. The man ran through his apartment and vanished. Later, LeBlanc recognized his visitor as one of Baumeister’s victims.

While swimming in the pool, the hapless tenant felt something touch his back before invisible hands wrapped around his neck, strangling him and attempting to drag him under water, in full view of a friend. LeBlanc believes this spirit belongs to the serial killer himself, and thinks he now knows some of what Baumeister’s victims went through in their last moments.

The strange activity continues, drawing ghost hunters, paranormal researchers, television crews, and the curious to Fox Hollow Farm.

Could you live in a house once owned by a serial killer? Despite my interest in true crime, I don’t know that I could, haunted or not. As has been said of many other places in the world, I’d visit Fox Hollow Farm, but I wouldn’t want to live there.

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Jackson Stone is touring the abandoned Chinese city when he slips away from the group to spend the night, determined to publish an account of his ghostly experiences there.


Then he meets Yuèhai, a strange, soft-spoken woman who can tell him the city’s secrets—secrets the Chinese government would kill to keep hidden.

As Jackson uncovers the truth about Yuèhai and the ghost city, he’s drawn into a web of conspiracy, betrayal, and murder. He must risk everything to save himself and bring honor back to Yuèhai and her family.

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32 Comments

  1. Not a chance I would live there. I’m surprised that family has stayed on.

    Reply
  2. If absolutely nothing else, even if I could handle it, I’d worry I’d never manage to resell the place!

    Reply
    • JH

      Very good point, Randee.

      Reply
  3. Oh hell no! With that amount of activity I’m surprised anyone stayed there. A very interesting post that has me wondering if other serial killers’ houses are like Baumeister’s.

    Reply
    • JH

      Usually, serial killers’ homes are torn down. This makes the Fox Hollow Farm situation very unusual.

      Reply
  4. I wouldn’t want to live there no matter how great of a place it was. Too creepy for me! Graves is a very apt name.

    Reply
  5. I can understand the couple staying on – they’d have so much trouble selling the place if it’s drawn a lot of attention, but I have to wonder why they tenant stays, especially when he has experienced not just the victims, but the killer too.
    Debbie

    Reply
    • JH

      Good question, Debbie. And that’s a great point about it being difficult to sell–you’re probably right. It was sold at a loss to the Graves, even before the haunted reputation was an issue.

      Reply
  6. No I would not live there. Yikes! But, how cool that LeBlanc followed the spirit and found the femur.
    Your Ghostwriter series is fantastic! Keep them coming!

    Reply
    • JH

      Aw, thanks Mary. It’s so nice to have a fan. 🙂

      Reply
  7. Live there? No. Way.

    Interesting how the tenant had experiences with the victims AND the killer. It sounds like the victims don’t mean any harm and just want to be heard and/or to have their remains found. Still scary though.

    Reply
    • JH

      Yes, and sad. I can’t imagine that place not having a “feel” to it, when so many have died there.

      Reply
  8. I can understand buying a fantastic house at a bargain price, but staying after experiencing these types of hauntings? That’s unbelievable!

    Reply
    • JH

      They might have stayed for financial reasons, but from what I’ve seen, the couple don’t appear to be that spooked by the hauntings any longer. If anything, they’ve embraced them. The tenant, on the other hand–I have no idea why he stays.

      Reply
  9. Dude, I can barely watch horror movies, let alone live in one.

    Reply
    • JH

      Best comment ever, Loni! This made me laugh out loud.

      Reply
  10. No way would I buy a place like that and live in it. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t visit either. Give a nice ghost, but not a serial killer one.

    Reply
    • JH

      Given my love of true crime, I wouldn’t be able to pass up the chance to spend a few nights there. But I’m sure it’s a sad place, especially near the pool.

      Reply
  11. Why must it always be me that is different? Ok. My way of looking at this is different than most again. The place is not the issue and I don’t believe I’d have any problem living there in the way others have mentioned. I would want the property and surrounding lands to be thoroughly inspected for remains of any kind. Then I’d likely have the place cleansed. Out of respect for the departed and their remaining families. I would not fear any lingering evils would possess me or kill me. I do believe, knowing myself as well as I do, that I would likely obsess over the man and his reasoning for killing. I need to get inside the mind of the killer as it is, and if I were on property he had owned I would be in constant connection with him. Wondering if he planned a murder while standing where I stand, what his triggers were, and why he began when he did. I would likely study walls and drawers and doors for hours. Looking for any marking or clue that might have been left to answer any questions remaining. So, yes, I would live there. But to my own detriment.

    Reply
    • JH

      Nothing wrong with being different, Of a Mind. To each their own, as they say.

      Reply
  12. No…I could not live there because of the victims who died there. I would find it almost…disrespectful and just too damn creepy. We had paul bernardo and his bitch of a wife live in my city and the house had to be bull-dozed down. Now, if I could visit there and even spend the night, I might do that since I find ghost stories intriguing. I am surprised the tenant is aok living there especially after the pool incident. I feel very bad for the wife and son of the serial killer.

    Reply
    • JH

      Most serial killers’ homes are destroyed, it’s true. Fox Hollow Farm is an unusual case.

      I feel the same way about being disrespectful to the victims. When I did research for this post online, I found lots of “ghost hunters” posing for photos and acting silly with dowsing rods, etc., and I couldn’t help thinking, “People died there–it’s not a carnival. Show some respect.” I understand the interest in the place, but it’s like watching the people who take selfies at Pompeii. So inappropriate.

      The Homolka-Bernardo case was truly horrific.

      Reply
  13. Not a chance I’d live there! Whether it’s paranormal activity or not, I’m a firm believer in cosmic engery, even if I don’t understand how it works. One of the reasons I didn’t believe the Lutz’s story of the Amityville Horror is because the family stayed in the house long after any remotely sane person would have fled the premises. I would not have exposed my family to those alleged incidents for 28 days.

    Reply
    • JH

      True, Lee, but in some cases I guess financial circumstances make it impossible to leave. Do you ever watch the show “Paranormal Witness?” It’s how I found out about Fox Hollow Farm, and some of the things people endure because they’re financially unable to flee are pretty intense.

      Speaking of ghosts, you must be getting pumped about your haunted tour of Scotland! So wish I could go with you.

      Reply
  14. Visit, yes. Live there, NO. Not even just spend the night. I’ve lived with ghosts before, luckily none were malicious. Can still be unnerving though. I believe violence – as well as extreme goodness – leaves a psychic residue that the living can sense. I’ll just enjoy reading what others have discovered, thanks.

    Reply
  15. I can’t believe they would buy the place let alone live there. I remember touring an old home in my community where a murder had occurred ages ago. It would creep me out to live there.

    Reply
  16. I feel the need to clarify and I can’t edit or reply to my own comment it seems. There needs to be a way to do this.

    I do believe in many things supernatural, spiritual, or paranormal.. as you prefer, many. Maybe too many. But the home I was raised in from age 10 until I moved out on my own at age 17, was a house where a suicide had been committed. There were 5 children in the home. It was never hidden from us. For a portion of time,the room where he had shot himself in the head was my bedroom. We knew when we moved in, but it was rarely mentioned in our presence afterwards. I know it was fact because not only was the story highly publicized in the area, but my grandparents being owners of the home, we’re responsible for cleanup. Inexplicable occurrences did take place. Some almost a harm. And we stayed. We stayed because we were dirt poor and simply couldn’t move. My mama prayed a lot and there was a Bible in every room. So I guess that further explains why I wouldn’t be afraid to live there. That and my fascination with a killers mind.. Hoping for a peak into his psyche…

    Reply
  17. I don’t think I could be comfortable living there, even if I believed any risk to myself or my family was minimal. Certain places just give me a bad vibe, and I feel like the stain of a place that was home to serial killings just wouldn’t be able to ever quite feel like “home”. Sometimes random places cast a shadow over my heart and soul and I always wonder if something bad took place there. Although, in this world we live in, a place where bad things haven’t taken place is getting harder and harder to find. =(

    Reply
    • JH

      Sad but true, Nikki.

      Reply
  18. I’m with you: and intriguing place to read about and visit, but I wouldn’t live there permanently. I might be curious enough to spend one night and go for one swim, though. Supervised by someone else who is not a spirit. 🙂 Fascinating story!

    Reply
  19. It is pretty creepy that his last name was Graves.

    I snagged the free copy of your book. I have a lot of other ebooks to read…ones I should’ve read long ago, but I will do my best to read it this year. BTW, have you seen your best seller ranks on Amazon for this title? Very nice!

    Reply

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