Hex Murder House Open to Public

The small home in York County, Pennsylvania that was the site of the 1928 murder of Nelson Rehmeyer will be open to the public for tours this fall.

I alluded to the hex murder in my Hexenkopf post a while back.  In brief, eastern Pennsylvania has been the home to a strong tradition of folk healing, known as braucherei or hexerei.  Its practitioners have the power to cure – and, according to some, to kill.  This was the background against which the hex murder was placed.

John Blymire was a former client of Rehmeyer who was told by another healer that Rehmeyer had cursed him.  Blymire came to Rehmeyer’s house to get his copy of the Long-Lost Friend, a book which I’ve discussed at some length.  This would break the curse.

So, Blymire turned up on Rehmeyer’s doorstep with two accomplices.  They tried to get the book back, and in the ensuing struggle, Rehmeyer was killed.  Figuring this was good enough, they rifled his wallet, left the book, and unsuccessfully tried to set the body on fire.   Remember, folks – good planning is the key to any murder scheme!

As they weren’t trying too hard not to be caught, Blymire and his friends were rounded up and put on trial.  The trial served as an excuse for journalists from large towns to express incredulity, wonder, and bemusement that such “primitive” beliefs could survive in the twentieth century.  Of course, this illustrated the newsmen’s lack of knowledge of magic and their own towns more than anything else.   The case became famous, being the subject of Arthur Lewis’ book Hex and the movie Apprentice to Murder, which I really need to see.

Of especial interest in the announcement above is the fact that Rehmeyer’s copy of the Long-Lost Friend might be on display on occasion.  I wondered what had happened to it, and it might be worth the trek from the Undisclosed Location to take a look.

Published in: on June 11, 2007 at 7:56 pm  Comments (8)  

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8 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. While reading that I couldn’t help but imagine the two accomplices as Beavis and Butthead and Blymire sounding like Keanu Reeves from his old “Bill and Ted” days.

  2. Did the curse involve stupidity?

  3. […] the York County, Pennsylvania house in which Nelson Rehmeyer was killed has been burglarized.   As I’ve mentioned, the house is under work to make it into a museum.  Apparently the two men and one woman who broke […]

  4. It would be crazy if it was opened up to the public. I am related to John H. Blymire. I am a witch myself. I’ve been to the hollow numerous times. each time, i was beckoned to one of the witche’s circles and could see some of my family and other people standing around in a circle. it was weird, like there was an open spot for me to stand in, so i did. and the power just surged through my body. It was powerful, overwhelming, and amazing at the same time. Then me and my best friends walked some of the trail that leads to the house. well, my vision got blurry as we walked and i saw a cloaked figure standing there. so we turned around, i looked back and it was gone….

    • my name is ryan blyimre and this ismy family how do i get ahold of you

      • Hi my name is Elaine Ickes I found out recently that John Blymire is my great great unlce… How can I get ahold of you guys to learn more about everything?

  5. when i mean could see them, i’m talking about spirits. i am able to communicate with the dead as well, lol.

  6. […] I’ll include material on the murder of Nelson Rehmeyer (more on that here).  I’m not entirely convinced that the Lost-Lost Friend was a motive in the crime – […]

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