The Monster of 63rd Street

1893 World’s Exposition Holmes finished his “Castle of Death” just in time for the 1893 World’s Exposition.

Up to fifty of the expositions’ visitors would wind up his victims.

200 Young Ladies H.H. Holmes is reputed to have murdered up to 200 young ladies in his mansion.

He lured them there by posting advertisements for his “boardinghouse” in local papers.

Early Start While attending Medical School at the University of Michigan, Holmes would falsify insurance claims, scar a corpse with acid, and turn in the unidentifiable body for the claim.

It was one of his many violent and disgusting ways of making extra money.

Elasticity Determinator Holmes was reputed to have an “elasticity determinator,” a machine he claimed could stretch experimental subjects to twice their normal length in order to produce a race of giants.

Those who viewed it (and lived) said it appeared to be a medieval torture rack.

Finally Caught In Philadelphia in 1895, Holmes was apprehended for the murder of a fellow swindler.

After his trial and conviction, he confessed to murdering only twentyseven people and even wrote an account of his exploits.

On May 7, 1896 Mudgett was hanged at Moyamensing, Philadelphia County’s prison.

Holmes as Lawyer Holmes’ didn’t tust lawyers.

Unfortunately for him, at his trial in 1895 (in which Holmes acted as his own defence) a mechanic told of how he had worked for Holmes stripping flesh from bodies which he thought had come from the city mortuary.

Holmes the Husband Holmes first married in 1878 while still a student, and in 1886 contracted a bigamous marriage with Myrta Belknap.

He took to fraud as a means of livelihood, and in 1888 worked in Chicago as a pharmacist. His female boss ‘disappeared’ in 1890, leaving Holmes in command of a business which thrived on sales of patent medicine.

Odd Burial Instructions Fearing that his body would be dissected and brain studied, Holmes provided special instructions for his burial.

His body was placed in a coffin and cement poured into the coffin. When the coffin was placed in the grave, cement was poured over it as well.

Strange, Terrible Castle Holmes’ “Castle” had secret passages, trap doors, and chutes which led to hidden rooms where Mudgett robbed, tortured, murdered, and dissected his victims.

He disposed of his victims’ remains by dissolving them in vats of acid or incinerating them in a basement crematory.

The Castle H.H. Holmes’ 100room “Castle” was located on Chicago’s south side. Specifically, at the corner of 63rd Street and Wallace.

Trapped Like Rats Holmes’ young lady victims would be put into one of many empty shafts that ran through the building.

The hapless girls would blindly follow the shaft, only to find themselves trapped behind a glass panel in an airtight death chamber, into which would be pumped lethal gas.

The bodies would be sent down a chute to the basement, which contained vats of acid and lime and, in the center of the room, a dissecting table.

Here Mudgett would cut up the corpses, removing particular organs which took his fancy and disposing of the rest in the vats.