Monday, April 26, 2010

The Horror of Hull House and the Story Behind Rosemary's Baby

One of the most haunting and bizarre stories in Chicago history is the story of Hull House.   This story is so odd, that it was taken by Hollywood and fashioned into a movie called Rosemary's Baby.  As in most cases,  the real story is nothing like the movie, but it is none the less fascinating for the differences.  

Jane Addams was an amazing woman.  She was responsible for so much good that the world will forever be in her debt.   One of her major contributons to history was to initiate many of the child labor laws that were inacted in the late 19th century.  She also founded Hull House.  Designed by architect Charles Hull,  Hull house was rented and renovated by Ms. Addams as a sanvtuary for youg girls who had lived hard lives.  She eventually built an entire complex around Hull House to better serve the community.

Oddly,  Hull House isn't most known for any of the good that happened there.  It is most famous for the devil child that was supposedly born there.   According to legend,  there was a party at Hull House one night and a particularly handsome man showed up for the party.  All the girls were taken in by him and fought for the opportunity to dance with the dapper stranger.  It was easy for him to seduce one of the young women and it wasn't long after that night that she found herself pregnant.   The man vanished and was never heard from again, but the stories surrounding him grew into legend.  Visitors at the party that night claimed that they had seen the man lose a shoe and that his foot had been a cloven hoof.   Others said that he had done impossible dancing feats and that he had hypnotized the young girls into falling madly in love with him.

The gossip grew as the baby in the young girl grew and by the time the baby was born,  everyone was breathless with anticipation.  The young woman was allowed to raise her baby in the sanctuary of  Hull House, but the rumors had turned ugly.  People claimed the baby had horns and looked like the devil.   Strangers started knocking at the door demanding to see the devil baby.  Finally, the truth defused the gossip and the baby and mother were left to some degree of peace.  Over time, many different devil baby stories have been linked to Hull House,  much to the annoyance of Ms. Addams who even wrote a book about the situation. 

There are those that still claim satan's spawn was born at Hull House, despite the lack of any proof of such an occurence.  Others say the ghost of Hull House is most likely the ghost of Mrs. Hull, who died in an upstairs bedroom of the house. Those that say the devil's spawn was born in the house also report to witnessing an evil in the house.  Many claim that the lights still flicker on and off on dark nights and that ghostly apparitions can be seen gazing out at those that walk by often see shadows of the devil that once wandered the old house.  Today,  Hull House is a museum.  It is closed on Mondays and Saturdays, but can be visited by the public any other day of the week.  The picture to the left is a photograph of a ghost that was taken at Hull House.  On a personal note,  this is perhaps the creepiest place I have written about and one of the odd places that actually gave me a bad feeling.

3 comments:

magikalseasons said...

What a fasinating tale! Loved the movie but who knew the background.

Above the Norm said...

What a great story about Hull House and the supposed devil baby. It is always interesting to find out where some of the movies and books get their ideas from.

Anonymous said...

I live on the UIC campus and never knew this was haunted.. awesome