In 2015 I watched a documentary on Netflix titled H.H. Holmes: America’s First Serial Killer. I took notes, fascinated, wanting to do something with this savagely strange killer…a couple years, an MFA degree, and some publications later, I finally found precious time to sit down and research Holmes for my next poetry collection, The Devil’s Dreamland: Poetry Inspired by H.H. Holmes, which should be out later this year.
So until then, let me offer you some Valentines, H.H. Holmes style, while I continue researching and writing and dreaming in the darkness. Who better to do romance than a serial killer doctor who had three wives at once, courted mistresses, and stuffed some of them into trunks after killing them?
Actually, a couple years ago the Pittsburgh ScareHouse featured a Holmes “murder hotel” theme in their Basement that I went to for Valentine’s Day. You had to sign a waiver before entering since the Basement allows the actors to touch you. Thus, I was electrocuted, blindfolded, shoved in a safe, slightly strangled, chained up by the H.H. Holmes actor, and more! It was great!
Please enjoy these love notes from my muse, this strange, manipulatively charming,
swindler of a man…or, of a devil, as he would have you know….Try these out on your loved ones and let me know how it goes.
*Roses are red, your lips are blue, I’ll hide your body so well, and poison your daughter, too. For Julia and Pearl
*I want to strip off your clothes and your skin
*With a body like that, you’d make a beautiful research cadaver
*I’ve never met anyone like you. Be my fourth wife? No, it’s okay, I left them alive and only killed the mistresses. I swear!
*Love isn’t refundable, now sign your property and life insurance over to me
-(Holmes was a notorious conman and loved money)
*What’s the key to your heart? *pulls out dissection knife*
*Love is like chloroform, sweet-smelling at first, but then you wake up naked and chained in the basement…
P.s. Artist Holly Carden designed this cool as hell illustration of the Murder Castle here. You should check it out.
The doctor and I bid you farewell, for now. We can’t wait to invite you back into the nightmare dreamland later…