Devil Baby of Hull House
The Inspiriation for Rosemary's Baby
By: Daniel Cumerlato
doctor stopped and stared. The horror that filled his eyes was
enough to startle anybody in any situation. The height of this
horror is a scene that places the doctor at the wide-open legs
of a pregnant mother. His hesitating hands reaching forward to
remove a baby the mother was sure was ready to come out.
hear the expected crying, but instead only a low gurgling sound
filled the room. The doctor shook his head, as if waking from
a nightmare, then reached out and took hold of the unseen infant.
What's the matter?" a nurse asked as she approached the bed.
She peaked around at the baby. "Don't worry ma'am, all is
stared with unblinking eyes at the nurse as she looked at the
doctor and finally the small creature that he held in shaking
hands. The nurse's jaw dropped down and her eyes clouded over.
In a moment, she was on the ground and the mother was screaming.
stood and revealed the child cradled in his arms. A monster writhed
within the scratched and bloodied arms of the terrified physician.
It was larger then a one year old child, its skin like a reptile's,
both scaly and rough. Sharp horns jetted out of its head on either
side and a thin, long object swayed in the air, the tip shaped
like a two-pronged fork, swayed about the infants head.
Her son, she
thought, I love him no matter what he is or becomes. The child
seemed to look right into her soul with its glowing red eyes.
the early 1900's, the Devil Baby of Hull House was Chicago's answer
to the urban legend. People from everywhere made their way to
the Hull House in search of the monster baby that could not be
caught. They truly believed that this thing scurried through the
halls of Hull, attacking workers and borders alike, not discriminating
in its havoc of the innocent.
founder of the Hull House was livid with anger at the rumors of
this creature and its association with her hard work for the good
of all women. She was an old-fashioned type who didn't believe
in such foolery and would hear nothing of it. She shamed all those
who stood at her doorstep in search of just one glimpse of the
a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931 (she would die only
four years later at the age of 75) was a well-respected and legendary
Chicago woman. One great article described her as, "a natural
leader, and, in spite of her frequent illnesses, she was at the
forefront of the struggles for women's suffrage, immigrant education,
health care, children's rights, housing, peace and progressive
This is not
the legacy she envisioned for the Hull house, which was named
after real-estate developer Charles Hull for whom the building
was built in 1856. It was converted into a home for "down-on-their-luck"
mothers and immigrants alike just after Charles's death in 1889.
Then, almost 24 years into her life's work, she was disrupted
with the legend of The Devil Baby.
of the Rumour
The baby was
a product of a loud-mouthed man. This is the conclusion of two
different, yet related stories that help explain where the Devil
Baby came from. Instead of the birds and the bees, we have the
bats and the snakes as this baby boy was conceived directly from
tells of a disappointed father who would give anything for a boy,
these thoughts running through his head as the dozen daughters
he never wanted run around him playfully. He would reach the end
of his temper when the cursed words came spewing from his dry,
rather have the devil in this house then another daughter to disturb
my rest!" His wish came true. Not the one for a boy, but
the one for a devil as the mother went screaming to insanity in
the birthing room.
story takes us to the home of two people that follow different
religions. This is never a good mix and their once peaceful lives
would be the price. One day, the wife was in the mood to celebrate
her God. She placed a very tasteful and lovely picture of her
lord Christ upon the wall of their home. Upon seeing this, her
husband through up his arms in a rage and screamed, "I'd
rather have the devil in this house", bringing his hands
down on the picture and tearing it from the wall. The mother would
suffer through the birth of Satan for that deadly mistake.
are to blame for the Devil Baby, this being the one common factor
between the two stories. These men were angry due to unhappy lives
and a vendetta against the world.
Devil Babies of Satan
belief is that we are all born with original sin. This sin is
carried over from the defiance of Eve when she ate the apple.
Tempted by the devil, Eve bit into the forbidden fruit against
the wishes of God. This caused a domino effect, causing Adam and
Eve to be banished from the Garden of Eden and bringing forth
a vengeful lord.
was a mixture of pain, hatred, death and the loss of hope, all
poured into our world and shaping it to grow into what we see
around us now. It is a spin off of this Augustine (A.D. 354-430)
belief that created the image of the Devil Baby of Hull House
in the minds of many.
With big budget
films that crave for the story lines of legends in the past, it's
no surprise that this legend would find itself on the silver screen.
It would be from the mind of Roman Polanski that the story of
Rosemary's Baby would be told. His first American project from
an American horror story, and what is considered to be the worst
nightmare of every expecting mother.
neighbours, a very calm and considerate husband (here's the real
stretch), to the craving for raw and bloody meat, this poor woman
was at the mercy of her spawn. Although no details of the Devil
baby's mom's pregnancy were made known in the legend, I'm sure
it's not too far off from the events of this movie.
Fear for the Ages
Fear is a
great way to get people to do what you want. This legend could
be a lesson for many different moral and religious rules. Baptize
you baby, don't deny Christ, be happy with what you got and don't
live next to odd old people in the city. But no matter how you
take it, the Devil baby is one of the most frightening legends
because of what it focuses on, our children.
In my opinion,
the legend is just that, only a legend and not true. I feel sorry
that a great woman like Jane Addams had to even address such a
falsity, tarnishing her career with a rumor. This not only shows
the power of a rumor but also that nobody's safe from the them,
or the claws of the evil Devil baby.
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