Herman Webster Mudgett—or H.H. Holmes as he styled himself, was born in Gilmanton, NH, and is generally acknowledged as America’s first documented serial killer. He was possibly also the country’s most prolific, with final tallies varying widely into the triple digits due to his infamous Murder Castle, which was basically a death factory under the guise of a hotel in 1890s Chicago. He was eventually captured and executed in 1896 at the age of 36 in Philadelphia, PA.
Today, the home of his birth still stands. The tall, white-paneled house is set prominently in the center of the town. According to a shingle tacked to the outside wall of the private residence, the house was built in 1825. Across the street sits a pair of similarly white-paneled and historic buildings. One of those is Gilmanton Academy, where Holmes attended school before leaving the area for medical college and marriage. It now houses town offices and the local historical society museum. The other is Gilmanton Community Church.
Adapted with Permission from The New England Grimpendium by J.W. Ocker
- The New England Grimpendium: http://www.amazon.com/New-England-Grimpendium-J-Ocker/dp/0881509191/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1279457058&sr=8-1
- Herman Mudgett's childhood home via Google Maps Street View: https:[email protected],-71.414356,3a,75y,272.82h,94.49t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sxnJRms-mpxfcDtTLfHXT6A!2e0