York County’s Hex murder house visit offers surprises
The southern York County Hex Murder house is shown as investigators were on site collecting evidence in the murder of Nelson Rehmeyer. That led to a trial of the attackers that gained international attention in 1929. For more photographs of the house, see Sparking interest in site.
I took a tour of Rehmeyer’s Hollow and its famous Hex house, where three assailants killed witch Nelson Rehmeyer in 1928 in their quest to break a spell cast on one of them.
This was the first time I’ve seen the house since a member of the Rehmeyer family declared plans to turn it into a museum – a plan that has drawn the wrath of township officials.
As usual, the top of the tall house was visible first as you drove out of a dip after leaving Line Road. It hits you almost by surprise. Why would such an odd-looking structure stand in this bucolic area? …
Burn marks in a floor joist in the center of the floor and staining on the floor boards mark the spot where Rehmeyer fell, when he was murdered and set on fire.
As usual, the house struck me as out of proportion. It is too tall for its width, almost a caricature.
And as usual, one wonders why the witch would allow anyone admittance at midnight in that hollow. That place is spooky even today and almost as isolated as Thanksgiving time, 1928.
I noticed that more of the siding has been torn off, revealing bare wood of 1928.
And as I turned around in the little pull-off area beside the house, I wondered where museum visitors would park – something that occurred to township officials as well. That aside, I thought the notion to make a museum out of this site of York County’s most notorious murder makes sense, if done right.
An exploration of why anyone would kill because of the belief they were hexed could lead to greater understanding of powwowwing and other superstition rampant in York County in those days.
But then I noticed something new.
A shed sits some yards away from the house. It could be a hunting camp.
Anyway, the number “13” is painted or otherwise affixed in an entryway window.
Maybe that’s new. Maybe it isn’t. But I hadn’t noticed this in my previous half dozen visits to the hollow.
But it added to the experience of this Sunday afternoon ride.
If the house is ever opened, the following would also make for a memorable visit:
· Six-burner flatplate stove with an iron and kettle
· Paper money for 25 cents about the size of Monopoly money, $2, $3 and $5 bills found in Rehmeyer’s coat pocket and tucked in books
· Wall clock that stopped at 12:01 a.m., the coroner’s time of death, has never been restarted.
· Envelope from the U.S. House of Representatives to Mr. Nelson D. Rehmeyer at RR 2, Glen Rock, and postmarked Aug. 23, 1906.
· $4.37 tax bill dated Oct. 11, 1919
· Two original framed photographs of Rehmeyer
· A handgun
· Two harmonicas
· A ticking pocketwatch.
For previous blog posts with extensive photographs about the Rehmeyer Hollow house, see:
Powwowing: ‘… It was here, and it had many adherents … , ‘Powwowing was done for good’, Hex headache cure: ‘Tame thou flesh and bone’, Relative: Evil in Hex murder came from outside, Hex murder fascinating tale of mysticism, occult: Part 1, ‘Trials of Hex’ makes sense of notorious murder case: Part 2 , Little-known facts about Hex murder trial emerge, Hex murder compared to O.J.’s, Anna Nicole Smith’s cases, Hex house visit offers surprises, Visiting the scene of the crime.
Nelson Rehmeyer’s writing desk in the Rehmeyer Hollow Hex Murder house.