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Unraveling the Horrors of Fox Hollow Farm

Step inside a suspected serial killer’s house of horrors—if you dare.

In a quiet corner of Indiana lies an 18-acre estate haunted by its brutal past.  

Fox Hollow Farm, a country manor outside of Indianapolis, was once the home of Herb Baumeister. Baumeister lived at Fox Hollow Farm with his wife and children throughout the early 1990s. 

By day, he operated a set of thrift stores. To friends and family, he was a successful businessman and devoted father. But darkness lurked beneath the surface. Beginning in 1993, reports broke of young men vanishing from Indianapolis’s gay community. Acting on a tip, police investigated Baumeister’s property. There they uncovered a terrifying reality buried in the surrounding woods…

At first hundreds, and then thousands of human bones were scattered across the estate grounds. 

A startling new portrait of Baumeister emerged: At night, he would cruise the nightclubs of Indianapolis—and pick up men who were never seen again. Authorities suspected Baumeister of murdering at least 11 men at Fox Hollow Farm and burying their remains on his property, though there may have been additional victims. Unfortunately, we‘ll never know the full truth. Soon after authorities discovered bones on his property, Baumeister fled to Canada and took his own life. 

Word of Baumeister’s suspected serial murder spree spread fast in the wake of his death. So too did whispers of otherworldly activity at the Fox Hollow estate. 

Now, seasoned author and paranormal investigator Richard Estep (In Search of the Paranormal, Haunted Healthcare, The Devil’s Coming to Get Me) has partnered up with Fox Hollow’s current owner Robert Graves to unravel the dark history of Herb Baumeister and the paranormal activity that haunts the estate to this day. 

The Horrors of Fox Hollow Farm dives deep into the tragic past of Fox Hollow Farm, piecing together the criminal case of Herb Baumeister and examining the otherworldly energies that still linger in the air. Join Estep and Graves as they deliver detailed insights into the original Baumeister investigation and venture into Fox Hollow’s darkest corners in search of the supernatural forces that haunt the property. Included in the book are detailed descriptions of paranormal encounters, from a chilling EVP recording captured in the apartment above the garage to a terrifying run-in with a malevolent entity in the basement pool.

The Horrors of Fox Hollow Farm is set for publication on September 8th—but we're offering our readers a sneak peek right now. In the excerpt below, Fox Hollow's present-day owner Robert Graves takes you on a tour of the strange activity he and his family have experienced at their home. It seems life was always a bit eerie at Fox Hollow Farm. But when Robert’s coworker Joe LeBlanc moved into Fox Hollow, the paranormal activity reached frightening—and dangerous—new levels. 

Read on for an excerpt of The Horrors of Fox Hollow Farm, and then pre-order the book.

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The Horrors of Fox Hollow Farm: Unraveling the History & Hauntings of a Serial Killer's Home

By Richard Estep and Robert Graves

The Horrors of Fox Hollow Farm: Unraveling the History & Hauntings of a Serial Killer's Home

By Richard Estep and Robert Graves

My family and I had settled into the new house in no time at all. At first, there was no indication that anything might be wrong. Our boys enjoyed running around in the woods and swimming in the pool. Vicki and I began to realize just how much work was involved in maintaining a house the size of Fox Hollow Farm, but that was okay—it was what we had signed up for. Then, for no apparent reason, everything changed.

Vicki was down in the swimming pool room, working on the household chores one morning. The boys had tracked in some dirt and gravel from outside, and so she was using the vacuum cleaner to clean it up.

Immersed in the task at hand, she was taken by surprise when the vacuum suddenly switched itself off. Looking across the room, she could see that the plug was no longer in the socket. It was lying just a couple of inches away from the extension cord that it had been plugged into.

Related: Serial Killer Next Door: Herb Baumeister and the Multiple Bodies Unearthed at Fox Hollow Farm 

Thinking that she had reached the maximum range on the power flex and inadvertently pulled it from the outlet, she went over to plug it back in again, then went back to her vacuuming.

The vacuum died again.

With an irritated sigh, Vicki plugged the cord back in again. This time, the plug was sitting more than a foot away from the ex- tension cable’s socket… and she could see that the power cable on the vacuum was still slack. There was no way that she had man- aged to pull it out of the socket.

What in the world was going on?

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  • An exterior shot of Fox Hollow Farm.

  • Photo Credit: The Horrors of Fox Hollow Farm

Vicki is a scientist by profession. Before she came to live at Fox Hollow Farm, she wasn’t one to talk about ghosts and spirits. But try as she might, she was unable to come up with a rational explanation for what had just happened. As so many people tend to do, she shrugged it off as being “just one of those things,” and went back to finishing the vacuuming.

Moments later, the power cable flew from the outlet as though it had been given a forceful tug by some kind of invisible force. Vicki was looking right at it when it happened. To say that it startled her would be an understatement. She was being confronted with some kind of phenomenon that absolutely defied explanation.

Related: 9 Haunted House Books That Will Leave You Sleeping with One Eye Open 

As if that weren’t enough, she sensed the presence of something unseen in the room with her. “It felt like someone was there,” she told me afterward, “and I got the strong sense that this invisible someone didn’t want me to be in there with them.”

Unbeknownst to either of us, Vicki had just had her first encounter with the ghosts of Fox Hollow Farm.

It would not be the last.

***

Several months after moving into Fox Hollow Farm, I learned that a coworker named Joe LeBlanc was in need of a new place to live. Having a lot of extra space in the house, which happened to include an apartment situated above the garage, I suggested he take a look to see if it met his requirements.

The rooms are roughly 1,200 square feet in size and consist of a bedroom, a kitchen, and an en suite bathroom. They can be accessed from inside the main part of the house itself but, in order to give everybody concerned a little more privacy, could also be entered from outdoors by means of a wooden staircase that ran up the side of the building.

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  • The basement pool at Fox Hollow Farm.

  • Photo Credit: The Horrors of Fox Hollow Farm

Joe came to take a look at it, and to his great delight, he thought that it would work out just fine. I felt duty bound to warn Joe about the history of the property and was happy to find that it really did not seem to bother him a great deal; in fact, he seemed to embrace the idea of living at such an infamous place.

Joe moved in about a month later. We helped him move his stuff, carrying his things up the stairs to the apartment that would become his new home. He had quite a few belongings, and hauling it all up there was hard work. Everybody was glad when the last box had been moved and we could call the job done. Now all that remained was for Joe to unpack his things.

Related: Harry Price: The Original Ghost Hunter Who Investigated the Most Haunted House in England 

On that first night, Joe experienced a very vivid dream, though perhaps it could more accurately be called a nightmare. In it, he was running desperately through the woods, compelled by an overriding sense of fear, a compulsion to run for his life. He was convinced that something was chasing him—something that was both extremely bad and very dangerous, though he couldn’t see who or what it was.

Nevertheless, all his instincts told him to flee, and when Joe awoke, sitting bolt upright in bed, his body was still in fight-or-flight mode. He leapt out of bed and ran, still half asleep, slamming his head into the doorframe. 

Joe fell to the ground, his head throbbing with pain, and lay there for a moment, trying to gather himself. He had never had a nightmare that intense in his entire life. What had he been running from? Joe hadn’t any idea. Perhaps, he reasoned, the stories that Vicki and I had told him about what Herb Baumeister had done at the farm had somehow gotten to him and had triggered something in his sleeping mind.

Even then, coming to full wakefulness and lying on the carpet with his heart pounding in his chest, Joe felt the urge to run away.

If he had known what else was to come, he may well have done just that.

***

Taking care of a house and grounds the size of Fox Hollow Farm reminded me of the old navy saying about painting a ship: You start at the front and work your way aft. By the time your paintbrush reaches the back of the ship, you need to start all over again from the front.

Related: Grumblethorpe: Philadelphia’s Seriously Haunted Historic Home 

I was working at the top of a ladder one afternoon when I heard Vicki’s car pull into the driveway. Glad that she was home from work, I climbed down, put down the can of paint that I had been using to recoat a part of the house, and waved her over to come and see my handiwork.

It was a bright and sunny day, with very clear air and good visibility—a far cry from the stereotypical “dark and stormy night” of so many ghost stories. Vicki stood there, politely listening to me talk about which parts of the house I had painted. I didn’t realize it until afterward, but partway through she became distracted. Something had caught her eye, off in the woods to the side of the house.

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  • The woods at the side of the house. 

  • Photo Credit: The Horrors of Fox Hollow Farm

As she described the sighting to me a few moments later, Vicki at first thought that we had a trespasser on the grounds. She had seen the figure of a young man in a bright red shirt and denim jeans, walking through the woods without an apparent care in the world. It looked as if he was taking an afternoon stroll. The man’s back was to Vicki, so she couldn’t make out his face.

Just as she was about to call out and ask the man what on earth he thought he was doing, it suddenly dawned on her that most of his legs were missing. From the thighs down, there was nothing but empty air.

She was looking at a ghost.

Before she could say anything, the apparition vanished right in front of her eyes.

One of the slight drawbacks about living in a place like Fox Hollow Farm is that we tend to attract more than our fair share of unwanted visitors, usually in the form of serial killer “enthusiasts” who want to visit the scene of a crime to see it for themselves. Vicki and I take such things very seriously and have a very low threshold for calling the police when we catch trespassers on our property.

Uncomfortable with the thought of a stranger wandering around in the woods behind our home, I headed straight for the spot where Vicki had seen the young man disappear. Perhaps he had just vanished into the trees and greenery, I reasoned, rather than literally disappeared into thin air. Vicki’s eyes might have been playing tricks on her at the end of a long and tiring day at work.

Related: Her Touch Was as Cold as Ice: A True Ghost Encounter in a Forsaken Sanatorium 

So, I searched the woods, all the way out to the fence line at the edge of the property. Nobody was to be found, least of all a man in a bright red shirt. 

“Looks like you might have seen a ghost,” I shrugged, only halfway kidding. Vicki looked troubled, and rightfully so. With her scientific background, she had a hard time believing in things that went bump in the night. So did I, for that matter. But Fox Hollow Farm changed all that for both of us, as it would go on to do for many other people over the years … and still does to this day.

“I know what I saw,” Vicki insisted as we made our way back to the house. She was trying to process the sighting, to come up with a non-paranormal explanation for seeing a nearly legless figure disappear in plain sight in broad daylight. She was at a loss to explain it away, and so was I.

That was only the first sighting. There would be others.

***

It was the end of Joe’s first week living at Fox Hollow Farm. In the apartment’s kitchen, he had just finished eating dinner and was standing at the sink washing the dishes.

Somebody knocked at the door.

Figuring that it was Vicki or I, he called out that he would be there in just a second and grabbed a dish towel to dry his hands with.

The knocking grew louder and more insistent.

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  • The sign outside of Fox Hollow Farm.

  • Photo Credit: The Horrors of Fox Hollow Farm

“I said I’ll be right there!” Joe hollered. From his comfortable spot on the floor in the living room, Fred the dog sat up suddenly. All the hackles rose along his spine, and Fred let out a low, menacing growl, his eyes never leaving the door.

Opening the door, Joe was surprised to see that nobody was there. The landing at the top of the staircase was empty, and nobody was descending the steps or standing at the bottom. There were no hiding places for a prankster to be lurking. When Joe asked us later, we were able to confirm that whoever had knocked on his door that night, it certainly wasn’t a member of the Graves family.

“Now that’s weird,” Joe said, talking more to himself than to Fred. He was beginning to feel a little uneasy, justifiably creeped out at what had just happened to him. He started to feel as if an invisible somebody was with him in the room, silently watching him, just as Vicki had felt down in the pool room when the vacuum cleaner’s power cable was yanked from its socket.

Related: 51 Scariest Books of the Last 200 Years 

He was sure that he and Fred weren’t alone in there. Attempting to shrug it off, he sat down to watch a little TV.

Suddenly, he saw a flash of movement from the corner of his eye. Whatever it was, the source of the movement had been behind him, in the direction of the kitchenette and bedroom.

Fighting to overcome the sense of growing dread, Joe decided he had to get to the bottom of this. Although it was the last thing he really wanted to do, he got to his feet and went back there to investigate.

Nobody was there.

Want to keep reading? Pre-order The Horrors of Fox Hollow Farm: Unraveling the History & Hauntings of a Serial Killer's Home today.

The Horrors of Fox Hollow Farm: Unraveling the History & Hauntings of a Serial Killer's Home

By Richard Estep and Robert Graves

Do you dare set foot inside a suspected serial killer's house of horrors? Herb Baumeister is suspected of murdering at least eleven men and burying their remains across his 18-acre Indiana estate known as Fox Hollow Farm. In this gripping new book, author and paranormal expert Richard Estep joins forces with Fox Hollow's current owner Robert Graves to craft an in-depth account of the case of Herb Baumeister and the paranormal activity that hangs over the suspected serial killer's former home. A gripping blend of true crime reporting and first-hand paranormal encounters,The Horrors of Fox Hollow Farm is set for publication on September 8th. It's sure to keep you reading long into the night this fall. 

This post is sponsored by Llewellyn Books. Thank you for supporting our partners, who make it possible for The Lineup to continue publishing the stories you love.

All photos copyright Richard Estep and Robert Graves

Published on 26 Aug 2019

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