The Murder Castle

176mm x 250mm

Riso Printed

Hand Sketched


Adobe Indesign

Adobe Photoshop

This project looks into the true story of an American Serial Killer called Henry Howard Holmes.


This publication focuses on a hotel he built which was designed to murder its guests. The construction started in 1887 and was completed in 1890 with the first guest arriving soon after.


The Hotel, which is now dubbed as The Murder Castle, had doors which would open up to brick walls and staircases which would lead to nowhere. All the rooms, each the same size, would have a gas line and a hidden trash chute which would lead to the basement.


All these factors would confuse the guests and lead them into the basement. In the basement, Holmes would torture and ultimately kill his victims. He would douse their bodies in acid and construct skeletons to be sold across universities in America for medical purposes.


It is said that he did this because when he was in high school he was severely bullied; one traumatic incident involves him being locked up inside a science lab where three students stood behind a skeleton and scared him. Selling the skeletons of his victims can be seen as a way of him taking control of this fear.


Holmes was later found guilty of the murders in 1995. However, the actual murder count varies between 27-200 because there was never enough evidence. Holmes gave various contradictory accounts of his life, initially claiming innocence and later that he was possessed by Satan. 


© 2020 By Janvi Parekh