The Man in the Mirror

TITLE: The Man in the Mirror

AUTHOR: Graham Towers



Herman Mudgett, better known as H.H. Holmes, was made famous by the Hearst newspapers as one of the first modern American serial killers. Handsome, charming, and intelligent, he was the first iteration of a certain kind of monster unseen again until Ted Bundy and Hannibal Lecter surfaced nearly a century later.

Seemingly motivated as much by greed as by anything else, Holmes killed most of his victims in the hotel he had built in Chicago at the time of the 1893 World’s Fair. The so-called “Murder Castle” had doors that could only be opened from the outside, gas pipes for asphyxiating his guests, and stairways that led nowhere. In the basement, he had acid baths and equipment for stripping the flesh from skeletons that he would then sell to medical schools.

Once a guest checked in to the hotel, he or she was completely in Holmes’ power. This story imagines the fates of two of his guests trapped in the ultimate spider-web.


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Graham Towers received his M.A. in English and M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Chapman University in 2012. He lives in Los Angeles, where he works in television.

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