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    murder castle

    While Englewood has spent the last three decades making a strong showing to be Chicago's murder capital, it's association with untimely death goes back a long ways, back to the 1890s when Englewood was a quiet suburb of Chicago where those of moderate means went to escape urban crowding. Back then, instead of being spread out across the neighborhood as waring gangs traded shots, the murders were confined to a small parcel of land, on which sat a "murder castle."

    Why was it called the murder castle? Because it was a castle like building where a lot of people were murdered by its owner and architect H. H. Holmes, a doctor, druggist, grifter, and general madman.

    Note the proximity of the abandoned train station on the left, which in Holmes time was a major transportation hub with its own el transfer station. This would be important.

    After Holmes fled Chicago and the nature of his unusual home was uncovered there was some dispute over what to do with the horrible building, so no doubt concerned with their property values as all suburban homeowners are, it was set anonymously set a blaze one night.

    No one would build on the land until decades later the United States Postal Service built an office on it.

    Comments and faves

    1. BoringPostcards (10 months ago | reply)

      I remember reading about H.H. Holmes on the web some years ago... SERIOUSLY creepy and macabre stuff. Apparently he was able to find a lot of out-of-town victims due to the Chicago World's Fair drawing people into town.

    2. akagoldfish (10 months ago | reply)

      Yup, this is also why the train station next door was important. The fact so many of his victims were from out of town is one reason an accurate body count is difficult if not impossible to develop. Many people who died in the murder castle had no one else in the world who knew they were there.

    3. Duane Rapp (10 months ago | reply)

      If I remember, it was the Columbian Exposition that brought all those victims to the castle, looking for lodging..

    4. habeebee (9 months ago | reply)

      interesting story - thanks.

    5. Jeff Osman and pageofbats added this photo to their favorites.

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