The Devil Baby of Hull House

hullhouse2The legend of Hull House is commonly known to the people of Chicago. Hull House was a settlement house back in the early 1900s for immigrants. A woman gave birth to a child whose father was the devil. The mother, disgusted by the child, abandoned the baby at Hull House. The owner, Jane Addams, hid the baby in the attic and raised the child. The child died at a young age. Now, if you look into the second floor window of Hull House, you will see the face of the devil look back at you.


Liz from Chicago, IL

Since the above reader submitted story was rather short, ULO looked for another version of this tale and found this account posted here: 

hullhouse1In 1889, Jane Addams founded Hull House as a shelter for hapless women and children in one of Chicago’s worst neighborhoods. A rumor spread through the Italian immigrant population that a devout Catholic woman hung a picture of the Virgin Mary on her wall and her atheist husband tore it down, proclaiming he’d rather have the devil himself in residence. Soon after, the woman became pregnant and gave birth to a hideously deformed child-some say with scales, horns, and cloven hooves. To spare it from community torment, she left the creature at Hull House.

Here the stories diverge. One claims members of the Hull House staff took the infant to be baptized, but that it danced and laughed and broke away from the priest before the ceremony was completed. Thereafter it was incarcerated in the upper floors of the house, where its ghostly image can still be seen in the upper windows. Another version states Addams herself planned to baptize the baby after the priest refused, but when she turned her back on it whilst making preparations in the church it vanished and was never seen again.

Stories of the Devil Baby (which are allegedly the basis for the film Rosemary’s Baby) persisted for years, people would come to Hull House demanding to see the child. Jane Addams devoted forty pages of her autobiography to debunking the story, but did report therein that footsteps were heard and an apparition seen in one of the upper rooms.

Written by Sharon C. McGovern