This is H. H. Holmes:

Photo Credit: Gallery Hip

He is largely accepted to be the first American serial killer, admitting to 27 murders but suspected of committing up to 200 in his lifetime. He lived (and killed) in Chicago around 1893, and he did the majority of his murdering in a hotel he designed and built specifically for that purpose.

Creepy, right?

It’s downright disturbing, if you ask me, so let this serve as your warning if you plan to keep reading. If you’re into that sort of history (like me!), then come along for 5 of the most terrifying things about H.H. Holmes’ Chicago murder castle.

#5. He was the only one who knew all of the nooks and crannies.

He changed contractors and workers almost constantly. Though he blamed incompetence, he also ensured that no one would know the breadth of the warren of passages the hotel hid or start to wonder what purpose they could possibly serve.

The hotel was finished in 1893, just in time for the World’s Fair, and was known locally as “The Castle.”

#4. It made him a ton of money.

The majority of his victims were unattached, young, blond women, and many were employees at the hotel. He required the women to take out life insurance policies in order to secure the position – policies Holmes cashed in once he had murdered them and disposed of their bodies.

#3. If he didn’t get you one way, he had a half a dozen other tricks up his sleeve.

Some rooms had ironclad walls that hid blowtorches capable of melting the flesh from bone. Others became gas chambers, or were used to starve guests to death. Holmes’ hotel of nightmares also contained a “hanging chamber,” as well as places where he would force guests to overdose on chloroform.

Photo Credit: Gallery Hip

#2.Every inch of the place was designed to hide his true purpose.

Holmes had every door alarmed, so guests couldn’t move about without his knowledge, and also installed chutes down to the basement where he could dispose of mutilated corpses at his leisure.

I mean, no need to haul dead weight down multiple flights of stairs if you don’t have to, I suppose.

#1. The basement was well-equipped, too.

It was basically a mortuary on speed, featuring huge furnaces, poison, pits of quicklime and corrosive acid, tools for cutting up bodies and a uber-gross stretching rack, to boot.

He sold organs and skeletons to acquaintances in the medical profession (Holmes was a doctor), all of whom helped him dispose of countless bodies.

h/t: Crime Viral

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