Famous Witch: Catherine Monvoisin, aka La Voisin

(Paris vers 1640-Paris 1680).

Fille de M. Deshayes et épouse d’Antoine Monvoisin, elle était à la fois sage-femme, avorteuse, devineresse et sorcière. Consultée par des personnes de haut rang, elle fut compromise dans l’affaire des Poisons, condamnée par la Chambre ardente et brûlée vive (22 février 1680).

– from Larousse

Catherine Monvoisin (maiden name Catherine Deshayes, and popularly known as “La Voisin”), was a French sorceress, who was one of the chief personages in the infamous “affaire des poisons” which disgraced the reign of Louis XIV.

Her husband, Monvoisin, was an unsuccessful jeweller, and she took to practising divination techniques such as chiromancy and face-reading in order to retrieve her and her husband’s fortunes. She gradually added the practice of witchcraft, in which she had the help of a renegade priest, Etienne Guibourg, whose part was the celebration of the “black mass,” a parody of the Christian mass.

La Voisin was eventually caught up in the Poison Affair (“L’affaire des poisons”), a murder scandal in France during the reign of King Louis XIV which launched a period of hysterical pursuit of murder suspects, during which a number of prominent people and members of the aristocracy were implicated and sentenced for poisoning and witchcraft.

The furor began in 1675 after the trial of Marie-Madeleine-Marguerite d’Aubray, the Marquise de Brinvilliers, who was forced to confess to poisoning her father and siblings. She was sentenced to death and, after torture with the water cure (being forced to drink sixteen pints of water), was beheaded and burned at the stake. This case drew attention to a number of other mysterious deaths, and many fortune-tellers and alchemists suspected of selling not only divinations, séances and aphrodisiacs, but also “inheritance powders” (i.e. poison), were rounded up and tried.

La Voisin’s testimony implicated a number of important individuals in the French court, particularly the king’s mistress, the Marquise de Montespan, who she claimed had bought aphrodisiacs and performed black masses with her in order to gain the king’s favour. La Voisin was convicted of witchcraft and poisoning and was burned in public on the Place de Grève in the centre of Paris in 1680.

– from Witchcraft and Witches

catherine-monvoisin

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True Crime Podcast: Sword and Scale

I was hanging out with Satan’s Niece this past week, and she was telling me some intriguing true crime stories that she had learned from a podcast called Sword and Scale. I checked it out and listened to a podcast about the background and trial of a murder of a successful executive who was killed by her angry, recently separated husband. The podcast’s mix of narrative told by an expert with sound clips from individuals touched by the crime was well done. I’ll be making a point to listen to more!

Sword-and-Scale

Love and Murder

Valentine’s Day is coming up and what better way to celebrate than to Google “love triangle ghost stories”?

I found these 5 Gruesome Real-Life Murders That Inspired Spooky Ghost Stories that include some real heartbreaks! To hell with love! haha

19th centuryJakub Schikaneder (1855-1924), Study of a recumbent woman for the painting Murder in the House, (1890), National Gallery in Prague

Leatherface: Origin

Leatherface is my favourite horror movie villain. He’s a mad, merciless, messy killer.

Did you know that the real-life killer who inspired The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’s Leatherface, Ed Gein, also inspired two other famous horror movie villains? According to chasingthefrog.com, his crimes also inspired Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho’s Norman Bates and The Silence of the Lamb’s Buffalo Bill.

Hooper, Tobe. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Bryanston Pictures, 1974.