H. H. Holmes - The Murder Castle

Updated May 17, 2022
Daniel Pinna
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on Nov 17, 2020 12:07 PM
This three story 'castle' as it was termed was a crazy custom built torture chamber by Dr. H. H. Holmes disguised as a hotel.

There were soundproofed rooms and mazes of hallways which seemingly went to no where. Similar to the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, CA. A number of rooms were outfitted with chutes that would drop straight down to the basement where Holmes had acid vats, quicklime and a crematorium to dispose of his victims' bodies.

The hotel had three stories and a basement. The first floor was the storefront. The second story consisted of elaborate torture rooms, which contained a chute that led to the basement, and the third floor held more apartment rooms.

There were rooms with hinged walls and false partitions, rooms linked with secret passageways, and even airtight rooms that were connected to pipelines filled with gas which Holmes used as gas chambers. He would then use chutes to deliver the bodies to the basement and once there, he made use of surgical tables and an array of medical tools to dissect them before selling their organs and bones on the black market and to medical institutions

The hotel was gutted by a fire started by an unknown arsonist shortly after Holmes was arrested, but was largely rebuilt and used as a post office until 1938.
Date & Place: at Englewood in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois United States

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AncientFaces commented on May 17
Thought to be America's first serial killer, H. H. Holmes (1861 - 1896) - real name Herman Mudgett - is said to have carried out several murders at the "Murder Castle" during Chicago's World's Fair. Perhaps you've seen the Hulu documentary H.H. Holmes: Original Evil? The "Castle" was 3 stories high and had chutes straight down to the basement, which was outfitted with acid vats, quicklime, and a crematorium. The second floor consisted of "elaborate torture rooms". Why all of the evil? Herman and partner Ben Pritezel wanted their victims' insurance. According to one article, H.H. Holmes claimed to have killed 130 people. When arrested, he said he had killed "merely" 27. For more details about Henry Howard Holmes and his sordid life, see his biography
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