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H.H. Holmes – America’s First Serial Killer was from NH

HH Holmes Childhood Home

Two weekends a month we head out on the road to see what we see, reconnect as a couple and simply enjoy the freedom of being out on the road with no responsibilities what so ever. Most of the time we rarely have a plan in mind and other times we plan our road trip adventures. Some weekends we simply look up random New England historical facts or unique places to visit in New England. One particular weekend we happened upon the story of H.H. Holmes, who was America’s fist serial killer. Come to find out the childhood home of H.H. Holmes, born as Herman Webster Mudgett, is still standing in Gilmanton, NH.

HH Holmes Childhood Home

Childhood of H.H. Holmes

Raised by Methodist parents, H.H. Holmes was a child who would often get the rod as discipline and often times was sent to the attic for disciplinary action. When this man misbehaved as a child he would be put up into the attic, the window you can still see in the photo above, as a form of punishment. In this attic is were it is said that he would have his own experiments on live animals and often keep them to gaze at when he had a moment. In his childhood he certainly enjoyed some grotesque hobbies that one may see now as a future concern. With that being said, H.H. Holmes attended school in the small town area just across the way. These are now town offices and such in Gilmanton, NH.

H H Holmes School House in Gilmanton NH

H.H. Holmes Making a Name in Chicago

It’s no wonder that H.H. Holmes eventually took off to be his own person as an adult. Leaving the Gilmanton, NH history behind him, he went from the little boy Mudgett to Henry Howard (H.H.) Holmes and started to create a name for himself in Chicago.

It is also said that Mr. Holmes never took a life of anyone from NH, it is only in Chicago where the serial killer side of this man starts to play out. With a medical degree, H.H. Holmes was able to work in a pharmacy which gave him complete access to medications and such other tools necessary to pursue his serial killing career.

H.H. Holmes – A Charming Man

It is said that H.H. Holmes was a rather charming man, which makes sense as to why he was able to sell this fake cure all medications and tonics to the locals. As he worked his charm and started making a lot of money, H.H. Holmes set eyes upon the vacant lot just across from the pharmacy he worked at. Eventually he purchased this land and built a large castle upon it. Everyone admired this castle that H.H. Holmes built yet not a soul knew the depths of the tunnels and hidden chambers that were deep within the walls of this gigantic castle. As H.H. Holmes continued to have people close to him disappear and once letting in a partner who got a little too close, ultimately it was a life insurance scam that put him under the radar for the local detectives.

H.H. Holmes Caught

Eventually Pinkerton National Detective Agency who’s slogan was “The Eye That Never Sleeps” tracked H.H. Holmes down regarding a life insurance policy scam. The detective at this agency found the three Pitezel children asphyxiated in a trunk, it was time to connect the dots. There were far more dangers going on with H.H. Holmes than just your average life insurance fraud, he was a real serial killer. Within time Holmes was found guilty of many murders and even confessed to 27 which he later recanted. This was a very calculating man full of intelligence even if a cruel and twisted man. On May 7, 1896 H.H. Holmes was hung but before he died he did write his own book and requested that he be buried encased in concrete. Purchase his book on Amazon today.

H.H. Holmes Castle Burns

If you are in the Chicago area and want to see his castle, well you won’t have much luck. The castle that was once this huge majestic, yet creepy view during this murder trial was burnt to the ground by arson. Perhaps the locals simply didn’t want their city to be remembered in this way or perhaps they were angry, no one quite knows. One thing is for sure, you can still see the childhood home in Gilmanton, NH of H.H. Holmes. Consider taking a little trip and seeing the view of a world where America’s first serial killer was born and raised.

My Thoughts About this Experience

It was really neat to sit there, parked across the street from this home. We sat there for quite a while just chatting about H.H. Holmes, looking up at the window that once was the attic he sat in. We peered out the window to the place he attended school. Sitting there just thinking about once upon a time, back in the day when H.H. Holmes was little boy Mudgett, going to school and being a kid.

I have to say this was a pretty cool experience and we learned a lot about the history of this person.

The History channel will be featuring H.H. Holmes in a new series, something along the lines of wondering if H.H. Holmes could have in fact been Jack the Ripper. Click here to visit the History channel to learn more.

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24 thoughts on “H.H. Holmes – America’s First Serial Killer was from NH”

  1. Michal Markowich

    What a history! fascinating facts, yet quite sad about all those people who lost their lives

  2. Janell Poulette

    I love reading stories like this! What interesting upbringing he had, and scary life he lived!

  3. Annemarie LeBlanc

    That must have been so eerie driving past the house where H.H. Holmes grew up and seeing that attic window where he was sent for punishment. I would say all that hurt, resentment, and punishment he received from his parents made him do those bad things when he grew up to be an adult. Scary.

  4. Our Family World

    I have not heard of this story until now. I feel sorry for him. I don’t believe that some people are born evil. The circumstances they grew up in, the hurt, the punishment, have taken a toll on the poor boy.

  5. Somehow those creepy scary people are interesting. I always wonder where life went wrong with them and what they were thinking to be so horrible.

  6. Shannon Gurnee

    That is kind of crazy, interesting and scary at the same time. I hadn’t heard of him before – is that terrible?

  7. This is very cool. The story adds a very mysterious and spiritual feeling to the house, and I love that.

  8. I have a friend who does research on this type of topic. Isn’t it crazy how people like that become so famous?

  9. I think this is really interesting. It’s pretty cool to read about this but also a little terrifying if you imagine what he has done before he was caught.

  10. I had never heard of HH Holmes before. How neat. I couldn’t live in a house knowing the history like that!

  11. OMG, that would be so eerie to live in this house knowing the history of who lived there before! A little too morbid for me!

  12. I am morbidly fascinated by serial killers. Reading about H H Holmes is really intriguing but also scary!

  13. Oh wow, I remember reading a little bit about this person. Very scary! I didn’t know you could actually go and see his old home.

  14. Thank you for such an interesting read, I have to admit I do have a strange curiosity about serial killers and such like.

  15. This was such an interesting read. They say that some people are born evil, but I truly believe that it’s put into them by the world around them.

  16. Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle

    That is both interesting and super creepy. I definitely want to read more about him.

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