This Three story house was built in the late 1800s by the town Marshal Harold Stokes. Back in those days it was considered a mansion. It was one of the nicest homes in Hanging Fork. That was the original name for Hustonville.
The original name was derived after two men were caught stealing horses from the stable at the end of the street. They were brought to the Marshals home where he allowed the towns people to hang the horse thieves in his front yard to serve as an example. One was hung from each tree, out front. Needless to say there was never another horse stolen while he was the Marshal.
Marshal Stokes was assassinated while standing on the Northeastern corner of his front porch in 1920. The assassin was never caught. It was always thought to have been one of the hanging victim’s brothers seeking revenge on the Marshal
In 1922, the County paid back taxes on the house and turned it into a house for the mentally ill. They named it The Asylum. The house was used as an Asylum until it was shut down by the state after one of the orderlies went crazy and killed five of the patients. He did this on Friday, the 13th day of October in 1944. Some blamed it on the full moon.
The orderly was Frank Smith he murdered the (2) men and (3) women in various ways. Using whatever means he had. He stabbed some. He doused one with paint thinner and set him on fire. He used the states low voltage electric chair which was used back then for what they called shock treatment. Frank reaped havoc on the helpless mentally disturbed patients and he was never found.
From 1944 to 1958 the house was left vacant that’s when the Norvilles stepped into the picture. They were all brothers and had moved into Central Kentucky from Tennessee. None of the brothers had ever been married. They bought the old Asylum thinking they were going to be able to renovate and restore it back to the way it was when it was first built and use it for a Bed and Breakfast.
They bought the house at a state auction for $48,000 and some big dreams. Until planning and zoning stepped into the picture and shut down the renovation. Seems that because there had been multiple deaths on the property, it was going to be impossible to use as a B&B.
It was either lose the house or find a new way to let the house pay for itself. There were always people knocking on the door wanting to look at the ole Asylum. Some had even offered to pay. That’s when the Norvilles decided to open it as a Haunted House and capitalize on its grim but interesting and disturbing history.
The brothers soon found themselves in financial trouble again. They need more realistic props in order to keep up with the other haunted attractions. They soon realized that with their jobs and talents they could make their own props. Claude who was a butcher by trade, Earnest was a prison guard, Hector was a taxidermist/ cab driver and Roger was a mortician.
During the 60’s and 70’s Haunted Houses had really taken off they started in Michigan but, were now Nationwide. In the 80’ and 90’s there were even people who were known as Haunt masters, who would go from Haunt to Haunt and rate them on a scale of 1-10 to let people know if they were worth the money paid to attend the attraction.
In the early 80’s a group called www.besthaunts.com contacted the Norvilles about rating their Haunt. The Norvilles thinking it could really boost their attendance agreed. When the Haunt Masters met the Norvilles it turned into chaos. It seems the Norvilles had been making their props out of real people. They had taken bodies from the local funeral home. They had kidnapped people. The taxidermist of the group had been mounting the victims and using them as their cast.
Now that the Haunt Masters had discovered what the Norvilles had been doing the gig was up. The Norvilles killed most of the Haunt Masters, while three of the brothers were also killed. So the house does have history. We are attempting to tell it both by allowing others to view the house3 and by a soon to be released book.
We have pretty much left the place as it was back then. It has been closed for over 32 years but, now in 2013 we are going to open it up to the public. As we feel it is truly haunted.
If you are expecting to be so scared you pee your paints this may not be the place for you. If you want to see where some of Kentucky’s most gruesome history was made you might enjoy the tour. (You morbid person you)
Brief History of Town
In the 1700’s, there was a settlement at the junction of this large intersection of highly traveled trails, the settlement was known as “The Cross Roads”.
In 1818 the settlement was renamed “Hanging Fork” after two men were hang for stealing two horses.
In 1826, Sam Huston opened a mercantile store and settled in Hanging Fork, not wanting to be known for nothing more then Hanging someone, the community changed the name to Hustonville in honor of Sam Huston.
In the early 1920’s, Hustonville was a lively, community with establishment of many businesses.
In the 1990s with the new Highway US-127 constructed, traffic was rerouted around Hustonville and bypassed the small town by less than one half mile. The detour devastated the small community. Hustonville would struggle for many years but would soon find a renewed vision and identity when in the mid 1990's, as many as four haunted houses opened in the small community. Today, Hustonville is known as the Haunted House Capital of Kentucky. Each year, thousands of tourists visit Hustonville from as far away as Tennessee, Illinois, Ohio and Indiana.