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The Bizarre History Of This Illinois Post Office Will Leave You Baffled

Going to the post office is the most boring thing ever, and I dread it. But there is a place that I’d actually get excited about mailing from. No, this is not an ad for stamps.com. I’m talking about the Englewood Post Office.

Englewood can be a lil’ creepy in its own right, but this post office makes it even creepier. A lot of people say it’s haunted. There is the unusually cold temperature, reports of strange voices, and phantom touches. Eeek.

So is this real?? Well, it’s easy to see why people might have these experiences, particularly because of the history of the post office. It all started when a medical student named Herman Mudgett – better known as H.H. Holmes – moved to town.

Holmes arrived in Chicago in 1886. He began work at a drugstore and was an excellent employee. He offered to buy the shop from the owner on payments. Curiously, the owner was never seen again following the sale. After taking possession of that building, Holmes purchased the lot across the street that the post office now sits at. This became his “castle.”

The building was quite large at three stories tall and a block long. On the bottom floor were retail shops. But the rest of the “castle?” It was a maze of different rooms that eventually became torture chambers. During the construction of the building, employees were frequently dismissed, reportedly for unsatisfactory work. But the real reason the contractors were fired so regularly was that Holmes wanted to be the only person who knew all of the home’s secrets.

For the longest time, people had no clue anything nefarious was going on. But then people started realizing there was weirdness here. As it turned out, Holmes had been torturing and killing visitors (mostly women) in the home. He was a complete sadist, using racks, leaving victims to starve to death, or dispatching them in a number of gruesome ways. There were rooms that locked from the outside with gas nozzles on the inside. The basement held a large vat of acid, several lime pits, and a cremation oven – all meant to dispose of bodies.

Holmes was caught in 1894 and hanged for his crimes in 1896. Before he died, he confessed to 27 murders – but in actuality, there could be up to 200. Yes, you read that right. Holmes was one of the first documented serial killers in the United States.

A fire broke out in the house in 1895 under mysterious circumstances. The building was restored and remained in use (but not as a murder trap) until it was finally demolished in 1938. The city purchased the lot and built a post office on it. Here is what it looks like today:

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Have you visited the Englewood post office? What do you think? Are the ghosts of Holmes’ victims still hanging around the property?

Laura
The Midwest is the best.