The book – Devil in the White
Holme’s story sounds horrible. Apparently, (click to see full article)
The house, or “The Castle” as it was called, was completed just in time for the 1893 World’s Fair. It contained over 100 rooms. The first floor was occupied by shops and boutiques, and the third floor housed his personal offices and living quarters. The middle floor would prove to be one of the most terrible real-life houses of horror imaginable.
The mansion’s middle floor was filled with doors that opened to brick walls, stairways to nowhere, an elevator without a shaft and a shaft without an elevator.
There was an airtight and soundproof vault, torture chambers, dissecting tables, a crematorium, chemical vats, quicklime pits, and human-sized greased chutes leading from the living quarters to the cellar.
Peepholes were everywhere. The bedrooms were equipped with asphyxiating gas pipes connected to a control panel in Dr. Holmes’ closet, so he could murder his guests at will.
Dr. Holmes was also said to have an “elasticity determinator,” a machine he claimed could stretch experimental subjects to twice their normal length in order to produce a race of giants. Those who viewed it (and lived) said it appeared to be a medieval torture rack.
Holmes, a charismatic and charming doctor, had little trouble collecting his victims. He repeatedly advertised his “boardinghouse” and attracted many unassuming young women. Repeatedly they willingly walked into his “Castle,” but not out. The poor girls would be tortured until they delivered all their possessions to him, then murdered. Their bodies would be thrown down a chute into vats of acid and lime, then cremated.
This was one of the better sites I found on the “murder castle” story: