25th September 2016
He is called America’s first serial killer and perhaps one of the most twisted men in history. Henry. H. Holmes bought an old pharmacy and all the floors above and turned it into an elaborate hotel just in time for one of the biggest tourist attractions in the history of America, The Chicago World fair. But this was not just any hotel, this one very much like American Horror Story was designed to stop people from ever leaving. Riddled with secret passages, and designed in a way that it would confuse fleeing guests. Needless to say 100’s where murdered and although the building was demolished the basement is still there under a new structure. The basement is insanley haunted.
Infamous con artist and serial killer H. H. Holmes was actually born Herman Webster Mudgett on May 1861, in Hampshire. He was actually born into wealth and had a very privileged childhood. But from an early age he had some messed up hobbies.
He expressed an early interest in medicine and was unusually intelligent for his age. His sociopath’s curiosity led him to practice surgery on animals. Some even hold him responsible for the death of on of his young friends.
But he made his real fortune came when his real crimes began within the University of Michigan, where he studied medicine. He stole corpses and used them to make false insurance claims, as well as experiments.
Detailed drawing of the murder castle.
The Murder Castle
Shortly after his arrival in Chicago, Holmes found employment as a pharmacist and began work on what would become his “Murder Castle.” Christened the World’s Fair Hotel, it was three stories tall and a full block long. The site was ostensibly designed as a lodging space for visitors of the Chicago World’s Fair, also known as the World’s Columbian Exposition, set to take place in Chicago in 1893.
During the actual construction, Holmes constantly replaced workers, claiming that there work was not good enough. When actually he just kept changing staff to ensure that no one caught wind of what he was doing. He did exactly the same with staff in later years. The strange hotel was filled with stairways that led to nowhere, doors that opened onto brick walls, doors that where designed to only open from the outside that would trap a person inside and even a giant safe to suffocate his victims.
Murder Castle as photographed.
Bedroom´s were soundproofed or equipped with gas lines which Holmes controlled from the other side of the wall. One room was sealed up by brick and could only be entered by a secret door in the ceiling. Doors where rigged with alarms so Holmes could track the movement of guests. A room on the second floor was known by Holmes as the secret hanging chamber, and well you can imagine the purpose of that room.
The building itself was a labyrinth that Holmes spent his entire life developing and luring people in. He would, strangle, asphyxiate, hang, gas, starve, suffocate or stab his victims and I´m sure there where many more methods. There bodies where then sent down a dummy elevator or dropped down a laundry shoot, both of which led to the basement.
Chicago World Fair 1893.
The Discovery and Capture.
When the world fair ended, Holmes left Chicago and his murder castle behind, he decided to try his hand at an old perfected scheme, death insurance. So he gathered two of his friends and got one of them to fake his own death. But instead of faking his own death Benjamin Pitezel and his three children where found dead. This led to the arrest of Holmes in Boston 1894, from that point they where able to trace his actives back to the murder castle.
What the police found inside the hotel, as you can imagine shocked the world. The Murder Castle itself was a maze of toture chambers, one hidden in each room, secret chutes to dispose of the corpses and a huge subterranean dissection area. The authorities however found no complete human remains. They did however, find a mound of human and animal bones. The bones included that of children between 6 and 8 years old. A pile of bloody women’s clothes, a dissection table covered with dried blood, a gold chain and a burned show in a large stove on the third floor.
Police where eventually able to connect Holmes to 9 murders. He actually confessed to alot more, but the majority of the victims Holmes named where actually still alive. So what does this say about him…
May 7, 1896. Herman Webster Mudgett a.k.a Henry H. Holmes was hung for the murder of Pitezel. His neck however didn’t snap and it took 20 minutes for him to actually die and although he didn’t seem to have any fear of the gallows, he did ask for his coffin to be encased in cement and buried 10ft deep so his body couldn’t be dissected.
The Murder Castle Today and Its Haunting’s.
The Murder Castle didn’t stand for long and it was destroyed by a mysterious fire shortly after Holmes was captured. Two men where seen running from the burning hotel but again there are a bunch of conspiracies surrounding the destruction of the Murder Castle. Some say they where destroying evidence, some say they where destroying the dark reminder of what happened there. However the basement where Holmes conducted all of his experiments and dumped all of the corpses remained, sometimes he even took people down there whilst they where drugged and tortured them. But the basement wasn’t the only thing that remained.
The Murder Castle today.
Today however the Murder Castle is an American post office … Yup anti climax. However the building is said to be haunted, but not nearly as haunted as the basement. The basement itself is the same basement that Holmes actually used when the Hotel was fully active. Alot of the secret chutes and tunnels leading down to there still exist and the sense of dread never leaves you, or so the employees say and the never go down there. Apparently when passing the building with your dog, the dog desperately tries to pull away.
There is said to be a large black shadow that is terrifying people and is responsible for alot of the darker activity down there as well as the atmosphere of pure fear. Many think this is the spirit of H. H. Holmes, one employee has even claimed to have seen him walking around down there. Moan’s and cries are heard down in basement constantly, even from outside. Along with all the cold spots and bangings of a usual haunted location.
But it remains un-investigated ! The stories gathered about the hauntings are only from employee’s and passers by. This location above all needs to be investigated, lets just hope we are the first ones in.
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