“Most famously, the fairies were wrongly fingered as the chief suspect in the disappearance of Bridget Cleary, a 26-year-old cooper’s wife, in 1895. According to the transcript from the Irish Crime Records, which is kept in the National Archives, she went missing on the night of March 15. She had been killed by her husband Michael Cleary, her father Patrick Boland, her aunt Mary Kennedy, her cousins Patrick, William, James and Michael Kennedy, and John Dunne, and two men named William Ahern and William Simpson, and her body secretly buried. One week later, after an extensive search, her body was found by police about three quarters of a mile from her house.“After Bridget became seriously ill, her family said that she had been abducted by the fairies and replaced with a fairy changeling. To drive the changeling away, they tortured her over a number of nights. Bridget died of her injuries. It was a most extraordinary and unusual case, particularly because folk custom and legend about fairy changelings clearly indicated that fairy changelings should never be harmed, only threatened: if the fairies had the real person with them, they may retaliate harshly if the humans harmed the changeling they had left behind.”
(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
If you want to have an experience of true horror, watch this video:
And then listen to this podcast:
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!
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
Jakub Schikaneder (1855-1924), Study of a recumbent woman for the painting Murder in the House, (1890), National Gallery in Prague
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.