In 1893, Chicago held the World’s Columbian Exposition to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s arrival in the New World. The entire expo covered 690 acres of awe-inspiring waterways with lakefront access and emphasized sculpture and architecture. The fair was even illuminated at night, creating a magnificent and picturesque “White City.” The celebration showcased astonishing exhibits of technology, art and music, and featured attractions such as the world’s first Ferris wheel.
A few years before the World's fair, Herman Webster Mudgett, better known as Dr. Henry Howard Holmes, or now more commonly referred to as H. H. Holmes, had taken a job as a pharmacist. Holmes was attractive, charming, and charismatic – all qualities that would help Holmes go unnoticed while operating as an insurance-swindling con artist. It was rumored he eventually assumed control over the Pharmacy by killing the original owner. Holmes procured cadavers to collect on false life insurance claims. He used his fraudulent money to purchase an empty lot to build the three-story World’s Fair Hotel, now known as “Murder Castle.” Some guests would check-in, but not all of his guests would check out.
The hotel was constructed to deceive and torture unsuspecting victims across a labyrinth of disorienting passageways to sealed rooms, airless chambers, rooms with gas fixtures, doors to brick walls, and trapdoors to the basement. Rooms in Holmes’ Murder Castle included other elaborate horrors like cellar pits containing acid and quicklime, torturing devices, an array of surgical tools, and a crematory. All of the castle’s rooms were connected to an alarm system to alert Holmes if anyone tried to escape. Holmes would then sell the victims’ skeletons to medical institutions or even on the black market. It took a collective effort to pull off all the schemes necessary to secure the land and obtain the building permits, not to mention the numerous frauds committed to the funding of this project.
Explore rooms and collect evidence while battling backstabbing overnight guests and evading Holmes in his thrilling house of horrors. The base game plays 2-6 players with 15-20 min per player for most games.
The 2nd Story Expansion expands gameplay to 1-7 players and includes Automa and Play as Holmes modes.
The castle can be built differently each time using modular room tiles inspired by the original castle's blueprints and illustrated by the very talented Holly Carden.
Trapdoors, greased chutes to the basement, brick walls, and seeping gas are just some of the booby traps you'll encounter as you travel throughout the castle.
Because Holmes knows the layout of the castle and all of the castle's elaborate horrors, he can appear in any room with only a moment's notice.
Draw from 79 event cards to gain a competitive advantage or to wreak havoc by sabotaging other players.