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C H I C A G O   G H O S T S:

The Devil in the White City

The tale of serial murderer H. H. Holmes and his Murder Castle captured the imagination of the world with the publication of The Devil in the White City, a brilliant book chronicling the very different, though both genius efforts of two of Chicago's most famous names: Holmes the killer and the brilliant architect and city planner, Daniel Burnham.  

No "Chicago Story" has captured more international reknown since Al Capone orchestrated the St. Valentine's Day Massacre.  Fans of the tome, and of Chicago's often brutal history, will note that a branch of the U.S. Post Office stands on the erstwhile site of Holmes' Castle of Death.  Rumors abound of apparitions--visual, audio, olfactory--and of poltergeist-type activity in the Englewood building.  Residue, perhaps, of Holmes' many victims? Not far away, staff members of the Museum of Science and Industry claim that Holmes' spirit still walks the halls the grand building, favoring the retrospective "Yesterday's Main Street" exhibit, a true-to-scale streetscape of Victorian Chicago.  Some wonder if the shadowy figure seen in the last row of the Nickelodeon, or peering into the shop windows, is indeed the phantom of one of the city's most notorious lost ones.  Why does Holmes frequent the museum?  It is one of the only permanent buildings of the Columbian Exposition, where Holmes walked often during the Fair to lure victims to his horror-laced hovel on 63rd Street.

Ursula Bielski