Remember that scene from the 1980's film The Shining, where we see a flashback of two young girls in a hotel hallway, after being murdered by their father with an axe? Well, disturbingly enough, an eerily similar scenario actually took place in the early 1890s, in a bustling area of Chicago city.
One of the first ever documented serial killers, Herman Webster Mudgett (better known as Dr. Henry Howard Holmes, or just H.H. Holmes) was responsible for the death of somewhere between 27 to 200 people in the 1890s, and was executed in 1896.
The 'Murder Castle' Story
In the early 1890s, Holmes purchased the lot across from the drugstore where he worked, and then proceeded to build a three story castle like hotel on the land. While the bottom floor was converted into his own relocated drugstore, the upper two floors contained his personal office, along with a maze of 100+ windowless rooms, doorways opening onto brick walls, oddly angled hallways, stair cases that led to no where, and doors which could only be opened from the outside, along with many other labyrinthine obstacles. During construction, Holmes would repeatedly hire different builders so to ensure that he was the only person alive that knew and understood the complete design of the hotel.
After the completion of his hotel, Holmes selected mainly female victims from his current employees, as well as lovers and hotel guests, who he would later kill in the maze-like second and third floors. Holmes would dispatch of his victims in various ways, such as locking them in sound proof bedrooms before asphyxiating them with the fitted gas lines, or by locking them in a large vault by his office, where he would leave them to starve and die. Holmes would then dissect his victims bodies, and sell their skeletons and organs for a high price.
Pretty grisly story right?
In the world of horror, grisly often seems to be what the fans like - so I think that this dark story of H.H. Holmes could make for a fantastic documentary like movie.
The plot: A group of young people who work for Mr. Holmes are asked to spend the night at his wonderful new hotel - they agree of course, just to be polite. Once inside, they realize that the hotel isn't quite what it appeared to be, and their overnight stay turns into a fight for survival through one man's sick human slaughterhouse.