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Bluebeard is one of the ghosts haunting the Haunted Mansion.

History

Biography

Bluebeard, who died in 1440, was a wealthy but murderous man, who killed six out of his seven wives (Penelope, Abigail, Anastasia, Prudence, Phœbe and Eugenia) from 1434 to 1439. Eventually however, his seventh wife, Lucretia, saw through his pretenses and killed him instead.

Bluebeard's ghost eventually moved to the Haunted Mansion (as one of the "famous ghosts from all over the world"), bringing his burial crypt with him; it was added to the Mansion's graveyard, where it can currently be seen.

Origins

The character of Bluebeard or Le Barbe Bleu comes from a French fairy-tale of the same name which was recorded in the 18th century by Charles Perrault. He was an aristocrat who lived in a grand palace and was distinguished by having a dark blue beard. The reasoning behind Bluebeard's blue beard is unknown but in his story he is likened to being an ogre and a fairy while it's also possible that he was a normal human who dyed his hair blue as a sign of his nobility or some fantastical mutation that caused it to be so. He is also described as being immensely hideous although some revisions of the story change it so that he is handsome and suave.

During his first marriage, Bluebeard came to murder his first-wife for an unknown reason and proceeded to keep her severed head in a room in his palace, hanging from a meat-hook. In the years that followed, Bluebeard's next five wives each came to enter the chamber against Bluebeard telling them the room was forbidden and when each did so he murdered them and added their heads to his collection. When Bluebeard's seventh wife (here named Lucretia) discovered the room he attempted to murder her but chose to let her meet with her sister Anne one last time. Anne and Priscilla proceeded to plot against Bluebeard and successfully kill him before he had the chance to kill her.

The tomb attributing Bluebeard died in 1440 correlates with the theory that the character was based on the historic 15th century murderer Gilles de Rais. Gilles was a nobleman and the Baron of Retz who fought alongside Joan of Arc and retired into a life of wealth. Following the year 1432 he was accused of depleting his wealth on grand hedonistic parties, occult rituals, and murders. After an investigation he was executed by hanging in 1440.

Trivia

  • Bluebeard bears strong similarities to the character of Captain Gore who he likely inspired; as they were both wealthy murderers who killed their wives after the wives discovered that their husbands were secretly criminals, something which they learned by exploring a room which their husbands forbid them to enter. In the Ghost Gallery story, Bluebeard was even said to have been a pirate captain.
  • The original fairy tale character was implied to be French, based on the traditional Bluebeard fairy tale. However, judging from the name of his wives and the fact that his epitaph is written in Old English, the setting seems to have been changed to England in this version.
  • In the original fairy tale, Bluebeard was killed by his seventh wife's brothers rather than the bride herself.
  • The aforementioned Old English is a faulty recreation based on clichés ("lyeth" would be a singular, and cannot be used with "Loving Wives" as the grammatical subject).
  • The wife who killed Bluebeard is named Lucretia, which might be a reference to Lucretia Borgia, a historical figure known for having murdered many of her relatives.
  • He is very similar to Constance Hatchaway, as both are murderers, both had many spouses, and both killed most of their spouses. Also in the original fairy tale, Bluebeard murdered his wives via decapitation.
  • In concept art for Tokyo Disneyland's Haunted Mansion his tomb was going to be featured in a "Burial Crypt of Famous Villains" along with those of Nero, Dracula, Jack the Ripper, Medusa, and Attila the Hun.
  • Bluebeard's appearance in the attraction is possibly a reference to a never built Pirates of the Caribbean themed shop intended to have been built in New Orleans Square which would have been called Bluebeard's Den.
  • In the unofficial Ghost Gallery storyline, Bluebeard was said to have been a notorious 15th century pirate who was the focus of many a sailor's tale. In the 18th century, Bluebeard's crypt was stolen by the pirate Captain Francis Xavier who moved it into his then lair the Haunted Mansion as a trophy. Bluebeard's own ghost seemed to have made the move along with his crypt as tales say his ghost can be seen drinking rum with that of Xavier's.
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