Murder Castle Ghosts

On October 5th, 2012, Llewellyn Press published three new "e-singles" about Chicago ghostlore. One, Inside the Murder Castle,  details my time in the basement of the post office that stands on a portion of the grounds where the old H.H. Holmes "murder castle" once stood. There've always been rumors that there's still some original "castle" structure down in the basement. I've written about this extensively before; what I've found is summarized in the post The Murder Castle Today.

While down there in the basement in 2012 with the crew of H2's Haunted History, I collected a bunch of audio and video for a possible new podcast. I never really expect to get anything all that mysterious on these things, but now and then I do come across something I can't explain. In this case, the audio recorder picked up a voice that sounds like a little girl singing. It's louder than my own voice in the recording, and, unlike most "EVP," requires no imagination for you to hear it. Neat!

Here's what I got - including the strange "ghostly" voice recorded in the basement, as told in the book.

Video footage of the basement:

 Some people call spooky audio recordings like this "E.V.P. (electronic voice phenomenon)." On TV, the "EVP" guys are usually the ones saying "are there any spirits here who have a message for me?" I keep hoping there'll one day be an episode where a ghost says "Yes! Your wife said she wanted you to pick up milk on the way home!"

Most of the time, when someone plays me an "EVP" file, I have to use a lot of imagination to hear what they're talking about. But now and then we do get something I can't help but think is pretty cool - like this thing from the basement.

This is the audio file recorded in the tunnel in the basement of the post office at 63rd and Wallace - one of few parts of the building that would overlap with the castle's original footprint. I'm whispering the names of the three people I'm most confident were killed there, including 8 year old Pearl Connor. Could the "singing" voice be hers?

Now, I don't make grand claims stating that this is ghostly girl who has come back to life or never crossed over or what have you, especially given that it sounds to me as though she's saying "Sorry Beefalow," which doesn't mean anything. It sounds like the worst Chef Boyardee product ever to me. One suggestion is that the voice is trying to say "buried deep below" or "why did she go?"  But I've no idea what that voice could REALLY be, and any claims I made would just be me talking out of my ass.     Here's a recipe for sorry beefalow!

For more audio, there's a new podcast containing audio recorded at various points around the "castle" site.

And here are two odd photos from the basement. They were taken more-or-less in succession, though I paused after the first one to make sure there was nothing blocking the lens that could cause that shadow. I still assume it's a camera thing, but with data from this location so hard to come by, I feel like I ought to post it.

A third shot shows the shadow receded even further. Any good explanations for this, photo experts? Could it be an aperture thing? I was using a Canon EOS5, for the record.

Now, I'm on the record as saying I think most of the stories you hear nowadays about what went onin the castle are way exaggerated. The number of people suspected of being killed there ranges from 3-8, not 200-400. There was no medieval torture chamber down there, and really very little reason to believe that HH Holmes actually even killed any World's Fair patrons who happened to stay the night in the place - all of that came from 1890s tabloids and 1940s pulps. It wasn't a hotel in the modern sense of the world; there was no lobby or front desk, and people stayed there for months at a time, not just overnight. They paid rent. In interviews conducted with people who lived there, police were able to get together a pretty good list of people who had lived or worked there and disappeared.

 But 3-8 ought to be plenty of murders.

For a whole lot more on the eyewitness accounts of what the castle was like, diagrams, and more, see our newly expanded full-length ebook:

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And, of course, there's always room for a shameless plug for my book, which covers reported hauntings on the site more extensively:

Some of our most popular posts on the subject of Holmes:


HoodedMystery said...

Hi. Did you hear the girl while you were recording while you were there or after just in the recording?

Adam Selzer said...

Only when playing it back. If it was audible at the time, i didn't notice it.

Anonymous said...

In regards to the shadow photos, I've seen this before. It took a while to figure it out but I finally understood why this happens. Our wedding photos had this a number of times and we were wondering how it happened... Until I saw my Dad's finger just lightly covering the flash. It creates a dark wash over the photo but only in a certain area. This may not be the case with your pictures, but I figured I'd throw the idea at you.

Anonymous said...

I read that he confessed to 27 killings.

Adam Selzer said...

He did confess to 27, but a few of the people he confessed to killing were still alive, and a few others don't seem to have been real people to start with. See our "The Confessions of HH Holmes" ebook in the book catalog, which analyzes the various versions of his confessions. Police supsected him of killing 9 or 10 people, and the confession only really added one possible name to the list in the end.

AbbyCheer2013 said...

what if she said "Chicago unbelievable" as if welcoming you lol

Adam Selzer said...

LOL - if she said my name or something I'd have to assume it was a hoax.

kitten said...

It sounds like the little girl is saying "Sally, shes below" is there any reason for a Sally to be there?
You did ask if someone you might not know was down there.. just a thought

Adam Selzer said...

Hi, Kitten! "Sally, she's below" sounds more like it to me. No word on a Sally ever having been in there, but who knows? Also, if we're making the broad hypothetical leap that this is a ghost, one is to assume that it lacks vocal chords, and, hence, may not able to make the exact sounds it was going for.

kitten said...

Hi, thank you for answering me. I don't know if I believe in ghosts but who can really say.
I was reading about H.H.Holmes & came upon this. I found it very informative & you made me laugh with the "Sorry beefalow" & your recipe..(Don't think I will try it though..LOL.)
I was just trying to see what I could make of it. I thought it sounded like, "Sally, she's below" & wanted to see if you could hear it too. Very interesting.
Thank You,

Jeff said...

It sounds like the little girl is saying "Sorry, Theodore"
Was Pearl associated with a Theodore?

Adam Selzer said...

Jeff: I can't think of any offhand. The closest thing that comes to mind would be Holmes's daughter Lucy, whose middle name was Theodate (after Holmes's mother), but she was a bit younger than Pearl and may or may not have known her, and, anyway, probably didn't go by her middle name. The only other person we really know of who was her friend was Cora Quinlan, the daughter of Pat, the castle janitor, who told reporters that Pearl was very nice.

Dean Thompson said...

Hi Adam... Having been to this location myself and also did some voice capturing work, not in the basement, I was able to get a woman screaming...I did not hear it at the time however I felt that it was a live person in a passing car. Regarding your capture...I was able to hear: "Sorry, he's below"...I also do a lot of voice reversing with some I was about to reverse your audio and heard: "This is one crazy house". Great capture and thanks for sharing. Dean from Ghost Head Soup


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