H. H. Holmes & His Murder Castle

Have you ever seen American Horror Story Hotel? If so you may Remember the Main Character John March, This was based on Mr. H. H. Holmes of course.

After Mr. Holmes (fake ass name) had con manned his way threw towns all over even been questioned for multiple different strange occurrences when people he’d interacted with end up dead. He still wasn’t done coning and killing not by far. The rest is as follows..

Holmes arrived in Chicago in August 1886 and came across Elizabeth S. Holton’s drugstore at the southwest corner of South Wallace Avenue and West 63rd Street in Englewood. Holton gave Holmes a job, and he proved himself to be a hardworking employee, eventually buying the store. Although several books portray Holton’s husband as an old man who quickly vanished along with his wife, Dr. Holton was actually a fellow Michigan alumnus, only a few years older than Holmes, and both Holtons remained in Englewood throughout Holmes’ life and survived well into the 20th century; the idea that Holmes killed them is strictly fiction.

In 1887, Holmes purchased a plot across from the pharmacy and began construction of a two-story building with apartments and retail spaces. He was soon up his old tricks, as he refused to pay the architects and Aetna Iron and Steel, who sued in return. Construction was also delayed because Holmes hired and fired laborers to save money with unpaid wages – and to prevent anyone from knowing the full layout.

In preparation of the World’s Fair which Chicago was due to host, in 1892, a third floor was added to the building, and was renamed the World’s Fair Hotel. The event attracted millions of people from all over the world and Holme’s seized the opportunity to lure visitors into his hotel of horrors. Many of which would never be seen alive again.

During the construction, investors pulled out when Holmes made the news for hiding unpaid materials from Tobey Furniture and Schulz and Hirsch Mattresses. Upon coming to repossess the furnishings, both companies found an empty building, until an employee explained that the items were hidden in secret passages and rooms.

Some historians claim that it was during this time that he began marketing a fake alcoholism cure, built up and sold a debt-ridden restaurant, and relocated the drugstore, which he sold by hiring people to shop there. After building his “Murder Castle,” Holmes would also sell a fake invention for producing illuminating gas from water, along with “miraculous” spring water taken from a city water main.

By the opening of the World’s Fair in 1893, tourists arrived to handsomely furnished rooms, although the corridors were poorly lit and oddly angled. In contrast, the second floor of 51 rooms held only 35 ordinary bedchambers. The others included airtight, soundproof rooms. One room was sealed up by brick and could only be entered through a trapdoor in the ceiling. Each was rigged with gas pipes controlled through a panel in Holmes’ bedroom. With names like “room of the three corpses,” “hanging secret chamber,” and the “sealed room all bricked in” in which unfortunate victims would be left to die of starvation or thirst. Each room had been designed for torture and Holme’s pleasure.

The devil’s design also included peepholes, trapdoors, secret passages, sliding panels, false partitions, chutes to the cellar, and a custom alarm system that tracked the movement of guests. In the cellar, authorities would discover an acid tank, quicklime vats, and a human-sized kiln, along with a dissecting table for reassembling bodies as skeletons to be sold to medical schools. Still, on the outside, only the building’s design attracted undue attention, with neighbors dubbing it “The Castle”.


The hotel was burned to the ground shortly after Holmes was executed and eventually became a post office in the 1930s.

What are your thoughts?