The Hull House’s Hellish Guest

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The Hull House’s Hellish Guest

Hull House's Hellish

The Hull House in Chicago was constructed by Charles J. Hull in 1856.  In 1889, Nobel Prize winner Jane Addams and Ellen Starr Gates took over the home in order to educate and improve the lives of European immigrants.  The house, unfortunately, was located in the darkest corner of Chicago.  The local area was home to brothels, saloons, dope peddlers, druggies, and hoodlums.

Hull House's Hellish

(images:tamarackgold/flickr)
Jane Addam’s Hull House

Not deterred by what surrounded them, the woman pressed on, determined to make a difference in their community.  They opened the settlement house.  It was specifically aimed at the plight of local women, although they never closed their doors to the homeless or hungry.  Working through Hull House, the women strived to provide education and protection to anyone who entered its doors.

Little did they know how influential their decision to open the house would be on one woman in particular.  A devout Catholic girl married an atheist, against her families wishes.  The woman became pregnant and her husband declared that he would sooner have  Devil baby than be surrounded by the photos of Christ.  With that he ripped a photo of the Holy family off the wall.

The father got just wish.  The woman gave birth to the child of the Devil himself, complete with horns, cloven hooves, pointed ears, diminutive tail, and scales covering his skin and tail.  Moreover, the demon child came out of the womb speaking on birth, complete with strings of profane language.  Even worse, the child’s mother, fearing for his soul, was insistent the baby be baptized.  When they reached the baptismal font, they realized the shawl he was wrapped up in was empty, the child bouncing over the backs of the pews.

Destitute and feeling like she had no other options, the woman took the child to the Hull House, rang the bell, and quickly rushed away.  Jane Addams shortly answered the door and was surprised to see the tiny bundle.  She quickly brought the child inside.  Not knowing what to do with the demon baby, and unable to control him, she kept him locked in a deep attic of the Hull House.Hull House's Hellish

Unfortunately, it did not take long before news of the demon baby’s arrival spread.  The Hull House was visited at all hours of the day by physicians, nurses, clergyman, and curious public.  Each time, they were sent away and the rumors were denied.  Hundreds of people came to catch a glimpse, even offering to pay admission.

The story told each time was the same, the a badly deformed infant was dropped off by an immigrant mother who could not afford to care for him.  The baby was kept on the upper floors of the house, but unfortunately, due to complications from his birth, the child quickly died after just a short time at the Hull House.  Although the first part of the story was fabricated, later reports indicate that the demon baby did die shortly after arriving at Hull House.

Hull House is still open to the public and is named a historic site.  Many visitors come from all over to tour the influential home.  Hundreds can attest to the great works that came as a result of Jane Addams’ vision.  Men, women, and children were given a second chance due to the mansion and the women’s generous spirits.  However, there are still reports that visitors still see the face of the demon baby, hovering near the second floor of the building, often pressing his face against the glass.

Megan Borchert
Megan Borchert
Lover of all things unusual, Megan is a staff attorney for the state of South Dakota. When she's not stuffed in an office writing case synopses, you can find her at home with her army of Schnauzers, snuggled up with some strong wine and a good book.

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