There have been many variations made of this frightening story throughout history. I wager that it is one of the oldest, being that there is a note of truth that runs through it. This is one of those stories that feels real regardless of its magical aspect. I have read a number of these variations and they do not move too far away from one another.
Bluebeard is a man--or at least he looks like a man--who is very fond of women. He falls in love and wants dearly to spend the rest of his life with each woman he has a crush on. The man is extremely charming and kind, and woman cannot help but fall for him. Bluebeard is remarkably loyal too. He will never, ever fail to love and honor his dear wife. This is a fact, and it is very important to note that this aspect of Bluebeard is caused by a very severe mental corruption. You see, he expects the same in return.
Once he is married, he always gives the new wife a tour of his very lavish estate. And I must be clear that this mansion of his is wonderful. The woman will live in luxury for all of her days. He will give her anything and everything she desires. She is enthralled by her new life and looks forward to many good days. In the middle of the tour, she is shown the door of some old room and told that she must never ever enter into it. She will not even be allowed to take a peek inside. It should remain locked for eternity, and she is never to unlock it.
Despite the latter, he will give her a key to the door before leaving on a long trip. Once again, she is allowed to go anywhere she wants, but she is not allowed to open that one door. As you might expect, the curiosity gets the best of her. She looks inside--thinking that there will be no harm in having a peek.
The inside of this mysterious room varies from version to version, but the basics of it is that it contains the bloodied--often beheaded--remains of the former wife. We're talking bathtubs filled with blood that never ever dries up. It is a cesspool of chaos and gore in this room. A true horror. In her fright, the woman always drops the key into the liquid blood. She attempts to wash it, but the key was enchanted. It cannot be cleaned.
When Bluebeard returns, she is asked to return the house keys. She comes up with a few delaying tactics but eventually gives up the bloody keys. This, of course, is a death sentence. The woman is taken to that room to receive a similar fate. Bluebeard does not kill her angrily. It's more of a disappointment to him. He takes care of the deed and moves on to the next woman and likewise tests her loyalty. Often the story ends when one woman can signal someone to come to her rescue, usually at the very last second. Thusly, we have the Bluebeard formula.
People like Bluebeard have existed since the beginning of time. Fiction has reproduced him more times than are countable. We are aware of him, but more often than not, we'd like to pretend he doesn't exist. He is a frightening example of sociopathy, paranoia, and obsession. He is alive and real to this very day. He is a living demon who cannot be turned right or left in the course of his life. The strange thing is... he will be forever loyal to you if you are loyal to him. He will be the world's best husband to the perfect girl. He will not cheat. He will never, ever cheat.
In the hit TV show "Gotham," Bluebeard was wonderfully represented by a character named Jason Skolimski (also known as The Ogre.) This man was a sociopath that met up with women and expected perfect loyalty from them. If they failed at this--even slightly--he would take them to a special bondage chamber where he would torture them until finally killing them. The chamber, of course, is similar to the hidden room of Bluebeard's mansion. You still get the idea that he would be the perfect husband if the woman played entirely by his rules.
In the video game "Outlast: Whistleblower," we found a particularly terrifying version of Bluebeard in the way of a man named Eddie Gluskin. Eddie was not as subtle as many Bluebeards were often shown. He was a psychopath who saw everyone as women who were disloyal to him. He would capture men and women and talk to them in a pleasant voice about how women need to know their place in a relationship... right before he would cut holes into them. His realm was one not dissimilar to the gory room that you were not supposed to enter. The difference was that it was everywhere rather than locked away. He still enjoyed storing the bodies away as Bluebeard did.
Bluebeard is one of the oldest horror stories ever written. It is very likely based on real events. It resonates with us very harshly even to this day. Beware of monsters that look like handsome men!
Thank you for reading this scary blog of mine. If you enjoyed it, you can comment below, or you can email me at email@example.com. Don't go in!
|From Gotham: Jason Skolimski (The Ogre)|
|From Outlast: Eddie Gluskin|