H.H. Holmes on the Record

The murderous H.H. Holmes of Murder Castle / Devil in the White City fame had countless aliases – H.H. Holmes is only the best known of them. Tracking down his other names and activities has been one of our biggest jobs here at Weird Chicago.

Very little of him exists in the public record that we can be sure is actually him. The most certain include these two:

A census report from when he was 9, under his real name – Herman Webster Mudgett:

A bit more interesting is one from 10 years later, when he was living with Clara Lovering, his first wife (as far as we know – he married a handful of women, including, most likely, some that we don’t even know about). His age here is listed as 22, meaning he’d aged 13 years in a decade. Either he was lying (as he often did) or the census taker was wrong (as they often were).

He left her in short order, but remained married to her, at least on paper, all his life, and apparently even visited her in 1895, shortly before his arrest.

Of course, the census form that would be MOST interesting would be the one from 1890, but that one was destroyed in a fire and only exists in fragments.

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