The Devil in the White City

Over the years here at The Witching Hour, we have shared various posts about the notorious serial killer (not America’s first) Dr H. H. Holmes who gained infamy during and after the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Illinois. Links to those previous posts will be at the bottom of this entry.

Hulu is currently adapting Erik Larson’s novel The Devil in the White City, for a limited series release. As yet there is no air date, but we will remain on the look out for it. For those unfamiliar with the book, it’s the story of the men who gathered to plan and then build the Exposition. If you are familiar with Holmes’ story, you know that it is against this fair that he performed his most dastardly deeds of luring young women who traveled to Chicago to find work at the fair into his “hotel” where they were subsequently murdered.

While I am looking forward to at least giving the series a try, I have low expectations for this adaptation based on previous experience. Still, we won’t know until it’s tried.

Previous Posts on Holmes

America’s First Serial Killer
H.H. Holmes’ Murder Castle
H.H. Holmes’ Exhumation
Linking H.H. Holmes to Jack the Ripper
H.H. Holmes Letter Found

 

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*Cascading Curses* James Dean: Destined to Die Young

When one unfortunate event begins a series of tragic coincidences it has the tendency to evolve into a curse. The more coincidences that are involved, the more likely people are to believe otherworldly factors have come into play– the circumstances are just too unwieldy to be anything but the result of a curse!

A series of tragic events that link back to the death of a young up-and-coming actor have managed to achieve a level of curse that only a series of coincidence of this magnitude can afford.

James Byron Dean lived life in the fast lane, so it comes as no surprise that this “Rebel Without a Cause” spent his last moments of life behind the wheel of a car.
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Historic Emmitt House destroyed by fire

Again with the lack of respect!!! I’m starting to hate people.

WAVERLY — A historic — and believed to be haunted — landmark in downtown Waverly was destroyed by fire Monday night.

The blaze at the Emmitt House restaurant at the corner of U.S. 23 and Market Street caught fire about 9 p.m. Monday. The Pike County Sheriff’s Office confirmed the building appeared to be a total loss.

U.S. 23 through Waverly was shut down to allow firefighters from several departments in Pike and Ross counties to battle the blaze. The conditions they worked under were far from ideal, with temperatures dropping from 0 degrees when the initial calls came in about 9 p.m. to 6 below at 11 p.m., with a wind chill factor of 31 below.

“It’s been an uphill battle since we got here,” said Waverly Fire Chief Randy Armbruster, who estimated there were about 60 firefighters from various departments on the scene. “It (the cold weather) has taken a toll in trying to get a handle on it.”

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Exorcism of 1949 continues to fascinate St. Louis

ExorcistThe real story behind the book and 1973 horror film: The Exorcist

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Saint Louis University junior Zach Grummer-Strawn has never seen “The Exorcist,” the 1973 horror film considered one of the finest examples of unadulterated cinematic terror. He’s only vaguely familiar with the monthlong 1949 demon-purging ritual at his school that inspired William Peter Blatty’s novel and later the movie.

But just in time for Halloween, Jesuit scholars have joined a whole new generation of horror buffs in St. Louis to recount the supernatural incident. The university hosted a panel discussion Tuesday on the exorcism, which involved the treatment of an unidentified suburban Washington, D.C., boy. About 500 people crammed into Pius XII Library, with some spilling into the library aisles, leaning against pillars or sitting on desks.

“I’d like to believe it’s the real thing,” said Grummer-Strawn, a theology and sociology student from Atlanta. “But you just can’t know. That’s part of why we’re here. It’s the pursuit of truth. And it’s such a great story.”

The university scholars and guest speaker Thomas Allen, author of a 1993 account of the events at the school’s former Alexian Brothers Hospital, emphasized that definitive proof that the boy known only as “Robbie” was possessed by malevolent spirits is unattainable. Maybe he instead suffered from mental illness or sexual abuse — or fabricated the entire experience.

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