Murder Castle – Chicago Illinois
During the 1893 Columbian Exposition there was a doctor who opened his home as a hotel for visitors to the infamous World’s Fair.
Herman Webster Mudgett better known as Dr. Howard Henry Holmes was the first and one of the most sadistic American serial killers. The aforementioned hotel was built and designed by Holmes specifically to facilitate his heinous addiction to torture and murder.
The castle was three stories high and took up an entire block. Located on the ground floor of the Castle was Holmes’ own relocated drugstore and various stores. The upper two floors contained his personal office and a labyrinth of over a hundred dark and closed in rooms with doorways opening to brick walls, oddly-angled hallways, stairways that led to blank walls, doors that could only open from the outside, and a host of other strange and elaborate constructions. Holmes purposefully changed builders during the creation of the Castle, so only he would fully understood the design of the structure.
Most of Holme’s victims were female amongst his employees, as well as lovers and hotel guests. Some of the victims were locked in soundproof bedrooms which had gas lines installed that would allow him to asphyxiate them at any time. There were also victims which were locked in a huge soundproof bank vault near his office, where they were left to suffocate. After torture and death, a lot of the bodies were dropped by secret chute to the basement where they were meticulously dissected, stripped of flesh into skeleton models, and then sold to medical schools. Through the connections he had gained in medical school, he sold skeletons and organs with little difficulty. Now, why wouldn’t this have raise an eyebrow?
He was also known to have cremated some of the bodies or placed them in lime pits for destruction. The castle included two giant furnaces as well as pits of acid, bottles of various poisons, and even a gruesome stretching rack.
The castle is long gone today, said to have burned to the ground and Holmes was ‘hanged till the death’ as punishment from trial.
The grounds where the castle once stood (63rd and Wallace) are now occupied by a US post office. There are persistent reports of poltergeist activity as the Post Office basement shares an left-over portion of the castle basement including a tunnel and trap-door.
Workers have reported hearing voices and screams, some even refuse to go down into the basement without knowledge of the previous residence.
Site of the Holmes Hotel today