mandag 31. januar 2011

A Maniacs Maze

Sometimes the fixation on different themes can lead you into unexpected findings like this one; Herman Webster Mudgett (its in the name really), better known as Dr.H.H.Holmes is known as one of the great serial killers of America, confessing 27 murders but belived to have killed as many as 200.
Whats interesting about Mr. Holmes is neither the murders nor the notority of the crime, but its the intricacy of the house (known as the haunted castle) he built in Chicago.The building was an imposing structure of three stories and a basement, with false battlements and wooden bay windows that were covered with sheet iron. There were over 60 rooms in the structure and 51 doors that were cut oddly into various walls. Holmes acted as his own architect for the place and he personally supervised the numerous construction crews, all of whom were quickly hired and fired (or killed), discharging them with great fury and refusing to pay their wages. Holmes repeatedly changed builders during the construction of the Castle so only he fully understood the design of the house, thus decreasing the chance of being reported to the police. The first floor of the building contained stores and shops, while the upper floors could be used for spacious living quarters. Holmes also had an office on the second floor, but most of the rooms were to be used for guests - guests that would never be seen again. Evidence would later be found to show that Holmes used some of the rooms as "asphyxiation chambers", where his victims were suffocated with gas. Other chambers were lined with iron plates and had blowtorch-like devices fitted into the walls. In the basement, the "doctor" installed a dissecting table and he constructed his own crematory. There was also an acid vat and pits filled with quicklime, where bodies could be conveniently disposed of. Despite the nasty fact that this house was the last haven for many people its still a story about architecture in the highest degree; a house designed for a purpose and satisfying the needs of the builder...

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