H. Holmes: The Evolution Of Serial Killers

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In 1861 America’s first serial killer was born, and through him Chicago became the location of his most devious and demented creation, the “Murder Castle”. Through him and his “castle’, this killer was possibly responsible for up to 200 murders and the concept of the modern-day “haunted house” was born. His name was H.H. Holmes, and he was known as the “Beast of Chicago”, rumored to have possibly been or connected to Jack the Ripper, and remembered through the book “The Devil in the White City” (Benzkofer, 2014). Unlike traditional serial killers that have appeared since the 1980s, H.H. Holmes did not aspire for a time under the spotlight. Originally just a scam artist, he evolved from borrowing corpses while a medical student for false insurance…show more content…
This kind of social presence allows serial killers to prey heavily on their selective victim pool, which in the case for H.H. Holmes was women and visitors to Chicago. In fact, during the World’s Fair, he built a hotel to serve tourists, but “the sprawling structure held a darker purpose” (Grey), to serve Holmes as a place of murder and experimentation. Complete strangers were perfect for Holmes and are perfect today for the modern-day killer to satisfy their urge to…show more content…
Holmes are still iconic in their own right, though not many people notice it. As previously mentioned, because of Holmes’ use of a “murder house”, the creation of “haunted houses” appeared, though it’s origins forgotten. Not many people know that this iconic staple of Halloween was inspired by a serial killer’s own house where he tortured and murdered any and all visitors, while we get to leave whenever we are done or too scared to continue. In television, a character named James March and his hotel are themed after elements of H.H. Holmes, in both murderous tendencies and a home with traps and death around every corner. Though not fully remembered in modern media, Holmes is a legend in his own right that existed before the name “serial killer” became
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