This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Herman Webster Mudgett: H.H. Holmes Essay

2136 words - 9 pages

One of the first men to single handedly terrorize the nation was Herman Webster Mudgett, more commonly known as H.H. Holmes. As a rather successful businessman with a degree in medicine, few would suspect the horrible secrets he kept locked away in the hotel he had built as his own personal torture chamber. By the time he was arrested, Mudgett had already taken an upwards of one hundred lives in a way that would shock the world.
Born on May 16, 1861 in Gilmanton, New Hampshire to devout Methodist parents, Herman Mudgett was an intelligent boy who was quite inquisitive and had a fondness for inventing things (Dahl). Being a son in an extremely religious family, Mudgett had to follow strict guidelines; he would be harshly punished by his father if he went against the family rules (H.H. Holmes Bio…). As a child Mudgett was a loner with only a few friends. He first encountered death at an early age when his closest friend, Tom, died after falling in an abandoned house that the two were playing in (Dahl). Some speculate that Herman was responsible for his friend’s death but this has not been proven. His quiet personality and smaller size made him a common target for bullying. In one instance, two older boys, who had discovered he had an extreme fear of doctors, forced him to look at and touch a human skeleton found in a doctor’s office. Instead of scaring him, as the bullies had intended, the skeleton fascinated Herman and he soon became fixated on death (Spikol) He found comfort in the woods surrounding his house where he would often experiment on animals, dead or alive (H.H. Holmes Bio…). “Herman’s experiments fed his keen intellect and strange desires” (H.H. Holmes Bio…) for finding out what made the body run.
Graduating high school early, Mudgett enrolled in medical school at the University of Michigan when he was only 19 years old. It was no coincidence that the particular university he chose was known for its human dissections (H.H. Holmes Bio…). It is believed he paid his tuition by taking life insurance policies out on cadavers stolen from the school lab and then arranging the bodies to look as though they had died in an accident (Dahl). After graduating, Mudgett had a reputation for shady business dealings and frequently skipped town when he began attracting unwanted attention. He was a common swindler and often made outlandish claims, such as claiming he had invented a machine that turned water into natural gas (Dahl). Eventually however, in 1886, he was able to settle down after landing a job at a drug store in Chicago under the alias Henry Howard Holmes (Dahl).
Holmes worked for the drug store’s owners, Mr. and Mrs. Holton. After Mr. Holton lost his fight with cancer, Mrs. Holton agreed to sell the business to Holmes at a considerably low price in exchange for her permanent lodging in the apartment above. However, after Holmes failed to pay, Mrs. Holton took legal action against him. Soon after this incident, Mrs. Holton was never seen...

Find Another Essay On Herman Webster Mudgett: H.H. Holmes

The Devil in the White City use of different plots - English - Final Essay

1342 words - 6 pages rampage. Holmes chose to murder whomever he pleases under the name, Herman Webster Mudgett. Holmes’ justification of murder is that people are born to kill, on page 9 it states, “I was born with the devil in me. I could not help the fact that I was a murderer, no more than the poet can help the inspiration to sing.” Proving that evil always exists where good resides. Daniel Burnham differs from Henry H. Holmes in various ways. Burnham felt sorry

Analysis of Larson, Erik. The Devil in the White City

716 words - 3 pages escape from their everyday lives that seemed to be filled with darkness. Herman Mudgett, better known as Dr. H. H. Holmes, is one of the first urban serial killers in America. The Columbian Exposition presented an opportunity for him as well. His claim of being the devil is seen when he uses the Fair to lure his victims. The highlight of his gruesome exploits was his hotel that he used for his unsettling murders. He exemplifies the true

mind and crime

2142 words - 9 pages , Personality disorder, Psychotic disorder, and Sexual sadism. Many in our society seem to believe in the theory that a person with a mental illness is more likely to become a criminal. There have been notorious criminals in our society that have proved this theory. For example in the year 1886 a man named Herman Webster Mudget (also known as H.H Holmes) began his killing spree. The crimes he committed were mostly fraud, forgery, and real estate

Capital Punishment: The social, Moral, and Historical Aspects of This Controversial Topic

1621 words - 6 pages killer, Herman Webster Mudgett’s was executed because he operated a hotel that he called the “Murder Castle,” and entice women, through sexual relationships, to take out life insurance policies with him as the primary beneficiary. Once he had them involved, he tortured and killed them, dissected their bodies, and sold the skeletal remains to medical schools for research. Mudgett confessed to twenty-seven murders, but it could have been more, he

Sociological Aspects of "The Devil in the White City"

2023 words - 9 pages himself. It is one of the most attended events ever recorded, and its success made our entire country proud. The other half of the story was about a charming yet determined man called H. H. Holmes. His birth name was originally Herman Webster Mudget. He changed his name later on in life due to one of his scandals. The overall theme of good and evil can be seen by comparing Holmes’ story with Burnham's story. Holmes represents the evil part of the

When the Bubble Burst

1539 words - 6 pages By the time I arrived state side from my second tour in the Middle East the housing bubble had already burst. I noticed a drastic change in the way that many of my friends and family were living. Several of my friends that worked in real estate had sold their boats and seconds houses. My own stock portfolio had lost a third of its value. My sister and her husband had defaulted on their home mortgage leaving them scrambling for a place to live. I

phase diagram

4456 words - 18 pages Introduction: Chemical equilibrium is a crucial topic in Chemistry. To represent and model equilibrium, the thermodynamic concept of Free energy is usually used. For a multi-component system the Gibbs free energy is a function of Pressure, Temperature and quantity (mass, moles) of each component. If one of these parameters is changed, a state change to a more energetically favorable state will occur. This state has the lowest free energy

Revolutionary Work of Art

1890 words - 8 pages Walter Benjamin emphasizes in his essay, “The Work of Art in the Age of its Technological Reproducibility” that technology used to make an artwork has changed the way it was received, and its “aura”. Aura represents the originality and authenticity of a work of art that has not been reproduced. The Sistine Chapel in the Vatican is an example of a work that has been and truly a beacon of art. It has brought a benefit and enlightenment to the art

Enlightenment Thought in New Zealand Schools

1594 words - 6 pages In this essay I will be looking at how the political and intellectual ideas of the enlightenment have shaped New Zealand Education. I will also be discussing the perennial tension of local control versus central control of education, and how this has been affected by the political and intellectual ideas of the enlightenment. The enlightenment was an intellectual movement, which beginnings of were marked by the Glorious Revolution in Britain

Psychological Egoism Theory

2240 words - 9 pages The theory of psychological egoism is indeed plausible. The meaning of plausible in the context of this paper refers to the validity or the conceivability of the theory in question, to explain the nature and motivation of human behavior (Hinman, 2007). Human actions are motivated by the satisfaction obtained after completing a task that they are involved in. For example, Mother Teresa was satisfied by her benevolent actions and

How Celtic Folkore has Influenced My Family

1587 words - 6 pages Every family has a unique background that influences the way they live and interact with other people. My parents, who emigrated from Ireland to the States with my three brothers in 1989, brought over their own Celtic folklore and traditions that have helped shaped the way our family operates and lives. One aspect of folklore that has helped shape my family dynamic is the Celtic cross—both its background and what role it has played in our lives

Similar Essays

H. H. Holmes Essay

949 words - 4 pages H.H. Holmes, born Herman Webster Mudgett on May 16, 1861 in Gilmanton, New Hampshire, is widely regarded as one of America’s first serial killers. Among a multitude of insurance scams and frauds, Holmes constructed a three story “hotel” that essentially served as an intricate death maze with over 60 rooms and 51 doors placed in walls, ceilings, and even floors. This torturous creation came to be known infamously as the “Murder Castle.” It is

Brilliant Serial Killer Jack The Ripper

1674 words - 7 pages It is widely debated over whether the infamous Jack the Ripper is none other than Herman Webster Mudgett, the deranged, murderous, and somewhat brilliant serial killer who went by the alias of Dr. H. H. Holmes. The Ripper was able to evade captivity in the Whitechapel district of London in 1888, killing five victims from August 1888 to November of 1888. Whitechapel was a low income area of London where unemployment and poverty were extremely

What Do Serial Killers Achieve In Murdering Other People?

769 words - 4 pages “ I was born with the devil in me. I could not help the fact that I was a murderer, no more than the poet can help the inspiration to sing”(Larson, 109). Those were the exact words of the American serial killer Herman Webster Mudgett also known as H.H.Holmes. The FBI states that a serial killer is any one who kills three or more people with an premeditated murder (Morton). It is nearly impossible to find two serial killers with

Commentary Of The Devil In The White City By Erik Larson

783 words - 4 pages never called it quits. Little did they know that evil lurked only a few steps away. Another path the story told was of a man who was excited about the significance of the fair. He called himself Henry H. Holmes but was born Herman Webster Mudgett. Dr. Holmes was a charmer, he was handsome and convincing. He had dark hair and his striking blue eyes caught the attention of many women. John L. Capen said, “They are blue. Great murders, like great