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Murder Castle (Work in Progress)
by Jason D. Blevins (sylven_1999@yahoo.com)

Rated: R   Genre: Horror   User Review: **
Starts with city workers excavating the cellar of murder castle in 1895. Working on a tunnel that would run under 63rd St. They uncover a large metal lined chamber and one of the workers strikes a match to help them see better. This results in an explosion that decimates the chamber and hurts some of the workers. Flash to modern day Hollywood. Producers of a new reality show about hauntings argue with the young stars and crew about their next project. One of the writers, a new writer at that, young female, interrupts with an idea of checking out the “Murder Castle” notorious prison and torture hotel of H.H. Holmes. Idea is accepted but she is to accompany the young crew and stars so she gets to direct her idea for person. Flash to a mid twentieth century postal building, now abandoned. The crew heads into the tunnel excavated in 1895 in search of the entry point to the cellar bellow the site that used to hold the “Murder Castle”. After searching the tunnels they finally find a locked steel door leading to the now surely collapsed underbelly of the old structure. After breaking in they find an amazingly clean and used tunnel. After entering they find the door behind them locked trapping them inside. So begins their descent into the world of H.H. Holmes Ghost as he torments them in this other-dimensional existence within the house of horrors he had built with toil and materials paid for by others he deceived, and steeped in the blood of those he slaughtered.

This screenplay is copyrighted to its author. All rights reserved. This screenplay may not be used or reproduced without the express written permission of the author.


Camera pans around five men working with picks, shovels and
barrows removing and transporting the blue clay they are
excavating from a tunnel they are digging.
Suddenly the sound of a pick on metal draws the attention of
three of the five men as two move barrows full of dirt back
out of the tunnel.
The three remaining men recoil from a horrible stench
emitting from the large metal tank they have unwittingly ran
(With eyes watering from the
overbearing stench) Bring a light
over here Chuck, between the smell
and the dust I can't see what
we've got.
(Digging in his pockets) I think
I've got some matches here Clay,
just a second.
Chuck approaches Clay and the other man and strikes a match
so they can better see the obstacle. Suddenly a blinding
explosion and the tunnel partially collapses on top of the
The men can be heard choking on the dust and chemicals from
the explosion. Suddenly the two other men appear and begin
to dig their co-workers from under the rubble.

Blinking through the dust and chemical vapors Clay looks
towards the area where the tank had been and sees a blurry
vision of a man. A man in his mid thirties with a partial
beard and piercing blue eyes. The image grins widely and
evilly and then fades out into a blue vapor.
Opening credits start to roll with creepy music and the
following quote. accompanied by a deep voice reciting the



"I was born with the devil in me. I could not help the fact
that I was a murderer, no more than the poet can help the
inspiration to sing -- I was born with the "Evil One"
standing as my sponsor beside the bed where I was ushered
into the world, and he has been with me since."

H.H. Holmes

Credits continue to roll...
Camera pans around a huge meeting room. In the center six
people sit at a large conference table whispering among
themselves. William Buckley enters the room and the
whispering stops.
Hello all and thanks for coming.
Bill moves to the head of the table and sits. He then slips
a file folder to his right in front of Frank Sawyer. Frank
opens the folder and begins to peruse the contents.
Tanor Williams leans back in his chair deeply sighing and
places his hands behind his head.
      (Rather arrogantly)
So Bill what you got on the spook
shoot for us this week?
Frank closes the folder and looks seriously from Bill to
Well Tanor, according to these
figures from your last episode we
might have a pink slip for you and
your crew.


mutters, moans and other sounds intermingle from the crew of
Ghost on Demand. Bill clears his throat bringing the
crescendo to an abrupt halt.
Your a little premature on that
Frank but I agree that we need a
real ass kicker of an episode to
bring us out of this rut.
That's why I've decided to let you
guys decide your own fate, by
letting you choose the direction
of the next episode along with a
little help.
Bill pushes a button on the phone on the conference table in
front of him.
      (speaking into
Mary please send Ms. Vincent in.
The room gets quiet and the camera pans the room to see Ms.
Judy Vincent enter dressed in nice casual suit and carrying
a small black leather satchel.
Hello everyone, Thanks for
inviting me to attend this meeting
Mr. Buckley.
Jude takes a seat at the opposite end of the conference
table from Bill.
I'd like you all to meet Ms. Judy
Vincent our hottest new young


bill begins this part of the meeting by introducing the crew
of Ghosts on Demand one by one.
Ms. Vincent this is Charles
Edwards one of Ghosts on Demands
paranormal investigators.
      (with a seductive
Call me Chas Ms. Vincent, all my
friends do.
      (with a wink)
Nice to meet you Chas, and please
you can all call me Jude, all my
friends do and most of my enemies
as well.
      (gesturing to
And this is Allison Franks another
of our paranormal investigators
and quite the psychic as well.
      (Offering her hand)
Nice to meet you Jude.
Allison seems to momentarily stiffen and her eyes slightly
glaze over as their hands meet in greeting. Suddenly she
jerks her hand away and looks down into her lap leaving Jude
slightly puzzled at her odd behavior.
      (with a grin)
Don't worry Ms. Vincent that
always happens when she has a
psychic link with someone. Imagine
what that does for impressions on
first dates.


Allison looks up and smirks at Erwin. Erwin just grins back
in response.
      (Gesturing to
And that is Erwin Bates The crews
resident computer geek.
      (Clearing throat)
Hr mm... That's technical adviser
on my business card.
Everyone in the room chuckles.
      (gesturing to
This is Chris Benton, Cameraman
and sound technician for the crew.
      (with a southern
Nice to meet you ma'am
      (Gesturing towards
Our lovely co-star Eve Bingham.
       half-heartedly at
Hope you have some super hot ideas
in that brain of yours else we're
all going to be in the
unemployment line together
      (To Eve)
Don't jump the gun we're not dead


      (gesturing at
And the star of Ghosts on Demand
Tanor Williams.
Nice to meet you Ms. Vincent, but
considering the stockpile of ideas
I have that have so far been
rejected I doubt we'll need your
help. thanks anyways.
The room gets deathly quiet and Bill starts to address Tanor
but Jude interrupts.
      (rather heatedly)
Nice to meet you as well Mr.
Williams. I'll assume your
colleagues here accept your
confidence in your writing ability
and so I'll just take my ideas
The other members of the cast all start interjecting at
Ms. Vincent starts to rise gathering her satchel in the
process. Bill slams his hands palm down on the desk
bringing order to the chaos that has erupted.
      (In an authoritive
Sit the hell down! Everyone! That
includes you Ms. Vincent.
Bill glares around the room meeting each crew members eyes
in turn. finally stopping on Tanor.
Tanor I hired Ms. Vincent to
"help" you write the next episode
and she's damned well going to
help you or I'll replace your


                       BILL (cont'd)
arrogant little ass with some
other punk who thinks he knows
everything there is to know about
ghosts, telivision and reality!
Tanor starts to reply anger flaring in his eyes then thinks
better of it and leans back in his chair sighing resignedly.
Fine you're the boss.
      (speaking to Jude)
Ok Ms. Vincent let's hear some of
your ideas.
      (standing and
       addressing the
       entire room)
Well... I really only have one
idea. The Murder Castle in
Chicago, IL. No one has addressed
it yet and it's one of the least
known and yet most horrific crime
scenes in American history.
Great Idea Ms. Vincent. Only one
problem. The castle burned down!
Yeah it did, but the tunnels under
63rd street lead to the basement.
H.H. Holmes secret torture
chamber, his funerary, his
dissecting room. He tortured,
dismembered, burned and steeped in
acid a good portion of his victims


Come on, the tunnels might lead to
where the basement used to be but
the castle collapsed into the
basement when it burned. There's
no way there's anything left in
there and even if there is it's
buried under tons of rubble.
      (examining her
       manaceured nails)
I'm not digging out an entire
basement I don't care what the
ratings might be.
Jude opens her satchel and pulls a photo from it.
      (Passing the photo
       to Erwin)
This photo was taken last week by
a friend of mine whom I had do
some investigating down in those
tunnels. There is a large steel
door where the basement would be.
I checked records and the post
office now standing at 63rd and
Wallace has no basement on the
building plans. So why the door?
Why not a wall if there is nothing
behind it?
      (Studying the
This door has some serious locks
on it. How you plannin' on
gettin' the key ma'am?
      (Taking the photo
       from Chris and
       studying it)
Let me see that. There are


                       FRANK (cont'd)
actually three locks on this door
and there could be a dead bolt on
the inside. I can handle the
outside locks but the deadbolt I
can't bypass.
Come on Bill, we're talking about
breaking and entering, criminal
trespass, and that's even if we
can get through the door.
      (grinning widely)
Trust me Tanor I can get us past
the three locks on the outside.
Yeah? How?
      (grinning ear to
Let's just say I haven't always
been just another pretty face on
the boob tube.
      (looking from Jude
       to Frank and back)
Ok Ms. Vincent you're on. Don't
let me down or like Eve said
you'll all be on my shit list and
more than likely in the local soup
Bill dismisses the meeting and Judy starts to smile, then
thinks of something. She looks down at the picture and
starts in her seat. On the face of the door she sees a
faintly glowing outline of a skull. She blinks and looks
back and the skull is gone.


      (putting her hand
       on Judes shoulder
       as she passes,
       startling Jude in
       the process)
We need to talk and sometime soon.
Jude just nods in response and quietly gathers her
belongings before exiting the room.
Camera pans around a small bar in the Englewood Hotel.
Finding Allison sitting alone at the bar sipping a glass of
white wine and smoking a Virginia Slim. In walks Jude and
noting Allison at the bar steps up and takes a seat beside
her and greets her.
Hello Allison.
      (slurring her
       words slightly
       from too much
Hello Ms. Vincent
      (Interrupting and
       still smiling)
Jude Please,
Jude, sorry. Where are the


I seen them out in the lobby I
think they're heading over to that
comedy club where some of the
Saturday Night Live guys started.
A tall man in a flannel shirt and jeans appears behind them.
Jude starts and then jumps from her seat hugging the man
while Allison watches in surprise.
      (studying John
       from head to toe)
I take it you know this Handsome
hung... I mean young man.
This is John Giamati my friend
that took the picture of the door.
He'll be leading us into the
tunnels tomorrow morning. John
this is Allison one of the
paranormal investigators on the
      (smiling and
       taking Allisons
       offered hand and
Oh yea what's the name of that
show anyways? Ghostbusters?
HaHa, the show is Ghosts on
      (Taking the
       offered seat
       between the two
       ladies as Jude
       moves over)
Well sorry to tell you ladies but


                       JOHN (cont'd)
tomorrow morning what you'll more
than likely be filming is Rats and
winos on demand.
      (to Allison)
John here is obviously a skeptic.
It's not that, I believe there are
horrible dangerous things lurking
around down there. Cept most of
them are carrying only a horrific
stench and a bottle of Mad Dog.
Jude chuckles and playfully punches John softly on the arm.
He's also a bona fide smart ass.
      (speaking directly
       to John)
Most of the others think we'll
find nothing but a tunnel blocked
by rubble from the Murder Castle
behind that door.
John orders a beer from the bartender before responding.
      (Taking a sip of
       his beer)
Actually I think your friends
might get a surprise. I did some
re-search for Jude here yesterday
and found some statements from
workers that helped clean up the
mess from the castle. They stated
that it was one of the strangest
things they'd ever seen.
Apparently the floors of the
castle were separated from the
basement by 7 feet of earth and 3
entry points. Two chutes, one in


                       JOHN (cont'd)
Holmes's personal apartment and
one in a trapped closet room,
supposedly to transfer bodies to
the basement and one narrow
staircase leading to a trap door
into his apartment led into it.
All three were blocked with rubble
but they were sure the basement
was still fully intact. That's
probably why the city had workers
put that door up. (pausing) Well
that and to trap any left over
chemicals from the tank that
exploded during the excavating of
the tunnel.
I read about that, supposedly none
of the city workers in the
explosion were killed.
yup, no city-worker ghosts down
there, sorry to the folks just
tuning in.
Allison takes a drag on her cigarette and drains her glass
of wine gesturing to the bartender to pour another.
John gets up from his seat and finishes draining the last of
his beer.
Well ladies I have to excuse
myself, have to get rested up for
tomorrow mornings rat hunt.
      (standing and
       hugging John)
Ok bud, catch you in the morning
bright and early.


Allison waves to John as he exits the room and sits back
down. She notices Allison following Johns exit with a large
smile on her face.
Damn girl that ones quite the
We tried that once, didn't work
out, too much distance between us,
him from Chicago, me from New York
and now in Hollywood. I'm too
flighty for his fancy.
I think if I had something like
that I'd simply build me a nest in
whatever tree he picked to roost
both girls have a good laugh, then Jude finishes her drink
and stands.
Well I'd better hit the sack
Allison. You said before you
wanted to talk to me some time.
      (Her look turning
Some other time Jude.
OK, night then.
Camera pans to see Jude walk out of the bar and then back to
Allison who sips her wine and takes another drag from her
cigarette with a puzzled look on her face as if there is
something she can't quite place.


camera pans over the front of the building to find John
standing with hands in pockets pacing back and forth. A van
pulls up to the curb and the staff of Ghosts on Demand
exits. Exiting the front seat Jude hurries over to John and
greets him.
      (Grinning and
       speaking to Jude)
I take it this is the friend you
were talking about. The one who
plays Indiana Jones in the sewers
of suburban Chicago for you? Must
be one helluva a friend.
Camera pans to the cast gathering equipment from the back of
the Van. Erwin and the some of the others go up to John for
Chris gets the camera from the van and starts prepping it
for action as Tanor walks up to him.
      (speaking to Chris
       as he attaches an
       earpiece with
You ready to roll scooter?
Chris nods and points the camera at Tanor who puts on his
best 6 o'clock news face. Chris holds up three fingers then
lowers one at a time to the action cue.
      (Looking into the
Hello and welcome to another
episode of Ghosts on demand. today
we seek entrance to the famous
Murder Castle's basement torture
chamber where H.H. Holmes tortured
and disposed of numerous victims
of his deranged fits of fancy.


      (Approaching and
       yelling at the
What the fuck do you think your
doing you arrogant bastard!
      (Lowering the
       camera and
       rolling his eyes)
Here we go again bud. Beware the
wrath of the chic from the garden
of eden.
      (Grinning and
       watching Chris
       walk towards Jude
       and the others
       now gathered
       around John as he
       speaks to Eve
       without looking
       at her)
Hey we're on a schedule here
      (Fuming mad and
       speaking to Tanor)
Fuck you, I'm not your God damned
sidekick you preppy little prick.
      (Approaching and
       saving Tanor from
       Eves verbal
We need to get moving, John says
we don't want to be down in these
tunnels after dark and it's
already 10.
Tanor and Eve join the crowd now gathered around John.


      (finishing up the
John, this is Tanor Williams and
Eve Bingham the stars of the show.
      (Offering her hand
       to John and
       looking at Tanor)
Notice the plural on that?
      (Offering his hand
       to John in turn)
So what's the plan?
      (Pulling a
       backpack off and
       and retrieving
       flashlights from
       it while
       addressing the
First off everyone has to stay
close down there, I'm not afraid
of ghosts but like I told Jude and
Allison last night there are
things down there that are worth
being afraid of. I have
flashlights enough for each of us
We can't have too much light,
it'll screw up the camera lighting
and kill the shows atmospheric
      (With a deadpan
Yeah well better dead lighting and
effects than injured or dead cast
or crew members. This isn't a


                       JOHN (cont'd)
game. I'm sure all of you have
been in some precarious places
before, dealing with cobwebs,
spiders and rotting floorboards
but this is different. Some of
the cities less desirable have
taken up residence down there and
they don't take kindly to
strangers invading what they
consider home.
      (with a nautious
You mean "people" actually live
down there... in the dark?
      (nodding to
That's right and although most of
them are simply old bag men and
women there are sometimes drug
deals and other things that go on
in the dark underworld here in the
windy city. So just be sure to
stay close and keep your
flashlight where you can easily
reach it. If there is any
confrontation down there let me
handle it.
Camera pans around John and the others as he hands out the
flashlights. Camera zooms in on Frank as he takes the
offered flashlight.
      (speaking lowly so
       the others can't
If it's really that dangerous I
hope you brought more than


      (looking at frank
Don't worry I always come prepared
for the unexpected.
      (addressing the
       entire crew and
       gesturing to an
       open manhole next
       to the sidewalk)
Ok ladies and gentlemen this way
to the gates of hell.
The camera zooms out and the crew begins it's descent into
the storm drain tunnels.
Camera pans around the dark damp tunnel to show the members
of the crew descending a ladder. Camera then pans around to
show garbage littering the tunnel and zooms in on a rat
chewing stuffing from the arm of a filthy and mangled toy
baby doll. The camera zooms in on the dolls remaining eye.
As the eye stares blankly towards the encroaching group
eerie music begins to play in the background. Jude turns on
her flashlight and spies the doll as the beam sweeps over
it. She approaches the decrepit doll as the eerie music
builds. Suddenly the music peaks as the rat hisses and
lunges at her foot. Jude screams and drops the flashlight.
scrambling backwards she trips and falls directly into the
watery drain running down the middle of the tunnel. The
others hurry over to her and John helps her flailing and
still sobbing form from the water.spying the still hissing
rat with his flashlight and then turning the beam on Jude's
now filthy and wet person.
      (Grinning ear to
       ear and speaking
So how does our fearless writer
like her new job so far?


Jude just stares blankly still shuddering and wipes some
filth from her hands on her now soiled jeans.
      (approaching Tanor
You won't be grinning if one of
those rats bites you. The rats
down here carry a disease called
Epitobonease. Within fifteen
minutes the flesh around the wound
will quickly starts to deteriorate
and fall from the bone. Then it'll
start to spread. Boils will form
all over your body and then start
to burst. Within an hour it will
have invaded the marrow of your
bones and in twelve hours the only
thing left will be a hollow
Tanor stares blankly at John and then searches the face of
the others who return the stunned look. Suddenly Erwins
sullen facade breaks into a grin and then laughter. The
others join in even though a couple still look slightly
      (Learing at John)
So the ladies knight in not so
shining armor has a sense of humor
as well.
John grins back and shrugs his shoulders as he turns to
Jude. then zooms back to Tanor as he turns his back,
suddenly a crescendo of scary music, as Tanor's flashlight
shines directly into the face of one of the filthy denizens
of the tunnels. Tanor screams, emitting a sound like a
little girl, The camera zooms to Tanor stumbling back into
the filthy waterway where Jude had landed earlier. John
whips the flashlight bean quickly to the man standing in
front of them then to Tanor as he stands from the water and
slings his arms flinging water in front of him. John starts
laughing and the others join in.


      (smiling and still
       chuckling as he
       approaches the
       man and speaks to
Sorry about that Fred, these
Hollywood types can be a bit
      (staring at John
       with a stern face)
You got it?
      (reaching into his
Sure do, just as we agreed.
John retrieves two brown paper bags from his backpack and
hands them to Fred. Fred opens one of them and pulls the
neck of a bottle out just enough to read the label. He then
opens it and takes a long swig.
      (screwing the cap
       back on the
       bottle and
       sliding it back
       into the brown
       paper bag)
We agreed on six not two.
Two now, two when we reach the
door and two more when you return
us here safely.
Fred nods his head in agreement then turns and starts
walking down the tunnel deeper into the subterranean world.
John turns and motions with his flashlight for the others to
follow and begins following Fred down the tunnel. The camera
zooms to Tanor as he picks his flashlight up and glares at
the others backs as they walk away. He then, although
obviously reluctant, begins to follow.


camera zooms to Jude and Allison walking side by side down
the slime ridden tunnel.
      (Turning to
So you ready to talk yet?
      (After no response
       she lowers the
       beam of her
       flashlight which
       sweeps over Johns
       rear view, she
       then smiles)
So I would say how's the weather
but I would guess you're admiring
the view instead?
      (Turning from the
       view just long
       enough to flash a
       smile at Jude she
There are some things that you
probably already know and some
things that you don't want to know
my young lass.
      (without the smile)
Trust me, I might be young but I
know more and have seen more than
you could possibly imagine.
      (with her accented
       laugh responds)
Trust me Ms. Vincent you don't
know or haven't seen near as much
as my gift tells me you will
encounter before the next break of


Judy half smiles at Allison and then shines her flashlight
forward once again continuing the travel down the long
Fred and the rest of the crew finally arrive at the door and
John hands Fred one more bag.
Our deal was for two when we
reached the door, just because I'm
dirty, smelly and undesirable to
your fucking little society
doesn't mean I'm an idiot.
Fred suddenly hears scratching from inside the door and
begins to back away.
      (approaching Fred)
What's wrong bud?
Fred scuffles a few steps backwards and then scrambles down
the tunnel and out of site.
Chas walks up behind John and puts his hands on his
Don't worry I can handle things
from here.
Chas begins to inspect the locks on the door, then turns
back to John and grins.
      (winking at John)
Look on the bright side pal, you
can keep the rest of that Mad Dog
for yourself.


Chas rummages around quickly in a small pouch he pulls from
his pocket he selects a number of small tools and goes to
work on the locks. click after click echoes in the long
tunnels corridors as he tears into the locks.
The handsome young dog still has
Yeah well move over and let the
big dog take care of things from
Tanor walks up and quickly shoves the door open.
As the door swings inwards a foul stench causes the entire
crew and their guide to recoil.
      (moving forward to
       the lead position
       while covering
       his mouth and
Stand back.
The group walks into the short tunnel and pass into the
adjoining basement chamber. Torture devices covered in
dust, debris and cobwebs litter the chamber. Trevor motions
to Chris who quickly scampers forward with camera in hand
passing John whom reaches out to stop him. Tanor slicks his
hair back quickly and starts to speak into the cameras lens.
      (spaking into the
Hello viewers, my breath is taken
away, I can't believe it, the
actual implements of H.H. Holmes
devious mind are right here behind


Tanor turns quickly and while walking forward gestures
around at the implements of torture. Suddenly H.H. Holmes
(the blue ghostly one) steps towards him with a huge grin
and eyes wide in welcome.
Tanor screams as the camera pans to him falling through the
rotten floor boarding into a pool of liquid. The rest rush
to his aid and see nothing but are all still all holding
their hands over their faces recoiling from the stench.
Slowly a mostly skeletal body with bits of flesh still
clinging to it and wearing tannor's quickly deteriorating
clothes floats to the top of the pool.
The scene slowly blurs to black as the others pass out from
the overwhelming effects of the gas in the room.
Jude wakes in a small bed with bright sunlight bombarding
her eyes as the shades are drawn back by a young woman
wearing late 19th century servants clothing. Jude blinks
the sun from her eyes and surveys her surroundings. The
room is furnished in late 19th century furnishings. Not
luxurious, the room is simple yet clean.
Where am I? What happened.


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From manny rivera Date 1/3/2009 **
Great idea but I think you can do better. Pretend you're the audience, you need something that's gonna keep them entertained. Also think about a title change, sounds a bit like a 80s slasher flick.

From David Chase Date 8/14/2008 **1/2
I like the premise of this, especially since a lot of people don't know the story of HH Holmes. There are some issues, and I will gladly rate this higher when it is complete if some things are worked on. The dialogue is a little unbelievable at times, and generally goes on longer than necessary. Also, there's way too much going on in the brackets. These should be used sparingly, and only to enhance the dialogue. Try to avoid large chunks of text, keep it as tight as possible and cut anything that doesn't move the story forward. The slug lines have too much info as well. For example, just use INT. TUNNEL - DAY, and then describe the tunnel in the action description. I would also avoid all of the camera references and music, these are things that the director and people making the movie will decide upon. Stick to telling the story and you'll do fine. I'd really like to read more, as I think you have the makings of a good story here.

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