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The Horror and Occult of Russia’s Anti-Christ, Rasputin

Grigori Efimovich Rasputin was born in 1969 into a peasant family who survived by farming and the courier service that his father provided. Since there was less opportunity for education for those living in poverty, it is believed that Grigori was illiterate until he was older. During his youth, he was a petty criminal but had a revelation during his late twenties when he was motivated to go on a spiritual pilgrimage. It was at this point that he spent several months at St. Nicholas Monastery which was several hundred miles from his home. Upon his return, he was apparently a changed man and wandered for years as a Strannik or, “holy wanderer,” with a small group of loyal followers.

His Return as a Holy-Man

Ecstatic Ritual of Khylysts by Radeniye
Ecstatic Ritual of Khylysts by Radeniye

Once he returned home he created a church in the basement of his family’s basement; something that would later be considered the beginning of his religious blasphemy. It is believed that Rasputin had actually created a church in the name of the fringe sect of the Russian Orthodox Church by the name of Khlysty. The root of the word Khlysty, khlyst translates to the Russian, “whip”–the followers of Khlysty didn’t worship God or the Holy Spirit through the conventional means, by attending church or studying scripture, instead they believed they could communicate directly with their higher power.

Sinning to Be Rid of Sin

These ritualistic gatherings entailed Rasputin’s acolytes gathering in his would-be church to sing strange hymns and take part in orgies and various other sexual acts. Practicing self-flagellation and these orgies were designed to help believers attain grace by performing sinful acts, a belief that a willful practice of sin within ritual performance was ridding them of their sin altogether.

It was said that there would be one man and one woman designated to be physical representations of Christ and the Mother of God. Of course, these practices were never endorsed by church officials and his group of Khylysts were oftentimes persecuted by the mainstream Russian Orthodoxy. While this wasn’t an extremely long-lived part of his pursuit of spiritual enlightenment, he would continue the acts later in life, even after being accused by many women of assault and even rape.

Rasputin’s Infamy

This holy man’s charisma and influence are what led to his infamy in the early 1900s and he became one of the most well-known monks within monastic circles as a mystic with enormous power. He gained influence over the royal family in 1905, after having journeyed to St. Petersburg and befriended the Russian aristocracy, then cemented his status as a spiritual guide, healer, and eventually the political advisor to Nicholas II and the Czarina, Alexandra.

Rasputin was officially endeared to Alexandra and immediately caused them to form a significant bond, was his ability to heal her sick son, Alexei. Diagnosed with hemophilia, the inability to clot after an injury that drew blood, which was an incurable disease at the time. Rasputin, having the reputation of a healer was called to help heal Alexei after an internal hemorrhage would have meant his inevitable death. Two days after Rasputin’s faith healing, Alexei somehow made a full recovery which caused Alexandra to place her full trust in this strange, mysterious holy-man.

Being Seen For What He Was

Those who were outside of the immediate royal family could see his malignant hold over the Czar and Czarina and believed he would be the downfall of the Romanov family. These Russian court members referred to him as the Mad Monk and believed he was an immoral man who sought only to meddle in the affairs of royalty. This distrust spurred them to have him surveilled regularly, which revealed to them his true nature; they even created detailed records that took account of the many prostitutes he engaged with, as well as his lust over money and alcohol–they were of course published and circulated in newspapers which caused the people of Russia to oppose him as well.

The naysayers were right though, Rasputin’s hold over the Russian royal family brought the entire country to unrest during World War I. Rasputin even endeavored to make things worse when he told Nicholas II to take control over his military forces because he would otherwise face defeat. Unfortunately, following his advisor’s words proved to be a ruinous move for the Czar. Within the calamity of the First World War, the Czar was away at war, which gave Rasputin full opportunity to seize control over Russia’s government and the rich. This lowered his reputation as well as that of the royal family in such a way that even Alexandra, who was half German, was accused of being a German spy. Rasputin himself was regularly accused of using hypnosis to bend the wills of others and was said to have, “satanic eyes.”

The Many Assassination Attempts

There were so many attempts made against Rasputin’s life, but the final attempts were what proved to make him famous for being the man who would not die. In Moika Palace, Prince Yusupov and politician Purshkevich came together in an effort to take him down; he was given cakes and wine laced with lethal amounts of cyanide, but even two hours after eating the cakes and drinking the wine Rasputin didn’t seem to be affected by the attempted poisoning. It was at this point that Yusupov shot Rasputin several times in the chest, which after an elaborate attempt to cover up the shooting, found that this crazy monk was still alive. He even managed to escape outside, at which point he was shot in the back, then thrown into an icy river. When his body was recovered and an autopsy was performed, it was revealed that Rasputin only succumbed to death after drowning and by any of the other failed attempts.

Rasputin: The Mad Monk (1966)

Hammer Film Productions came out with this largely fictionalized story that features only half-truths about some of the events that led up to Rasputin’s assassination. The film shows us Grigori Rasputin, the Russian peasant who is a self-proclaimed mystic, holy-man, and healer; he had gained a powerful position of influence with the royal family prior to the Russian Revolution and World War I. Interestingly enough, the character of Yusupov within the movie had to be changed for legal reasons, since the real Yusupov was still alive when the film was released.

Rasputin: The Mad Monk IMDB listing

Who Is the Real Rasputin? – Russia’s Own Anti-Christ

The mystery of one of Russia’s most historically notable and powerful men, Rasputin, is often regarded with skepticism yet undeniable uncertainty. Shiver gave us a good in-depth look into Rasputin’s life and the kind of control he really had over the royal family.

https://youtu.be/c1rJZO_c4Go

The Mysterious Life and Death of Rasputin

The experts at TEDEd gave us their best explanation of the life and death of the holy-man Rasputin and how they believe he became the man who wouldn’t die.

Was He Truly an Occultist?

Widely considered to be the anti-Christ by the people of his day, it is speculated that Rasputin was deeply immersed in the occult, consorting with demons and eventually being possessed by them himself. Skeptics have found other theories to explain his inability to die after so many attempts, but it doesn’t account for Rasputin’s prophecy of his own death.

Categories
Featured Haunted Places Horror Mystery and Lore

The Urban Legend of Frenchtown Road – Central, Louisiana

By: Ezekiel Kincaid

Railroad tracks Frenchtown road

The Tetromet Chronicles is one of my forthcoming books from Stitched Smile Publications. It is a collection of shorts which center around an evil entity called the Tetromet. The stories were inspired by an urban legend I grew up with. In this article, I am going to share with you the portion of my book which talks about this urban legend and how it has influenced these stories and me as a horror author. I hope you enjoy.

For most writers, myself included, stories begin with one simple idea or moment of inspiration. Then they evolve into a grand universe. My Tetromet stories are no different. I grew up in the small town of Central, Louisiana, which is on the outskirts of Baton Rouge. I am also one of those privileged folks who got to grow up in the best decade ever–the 1980’s. What made this decade so fascinating in the world of horror was the obsession with urban legends and Satanism.

As a kid who was raised in church, I remember this well. I heard people go on and on about the dangers of 80’s rock ‘n roll (Anyone out there remember the documentary Hell’s Bells? No? Okay, never mind). I’m not here to bash church or rock ‘n roll, because both have played positive influences in my life. My point is, the topics of Satanism and Satanic cults were all the buzz in the 80’s.

I can’t help but remember a radio show my mom used to let me and my brother listen to after she picked us up from school. The name of it was “Talk Back” and Bob Larson was the host. He would debate Satanists and cast demons out of people right there on the radio show. I remember one show with clarity. A Satanic cult abducted the daughter of one of its members and planned on sacrificing her to the devil on Halloween. Yes, I know, trope, trope, trope, and more trope.. Since then, Bob has been proved a fake, but as a young kid it sure seemed real to me! I even went and saw him in person when he came to a church in Baton Rouge during the late 80s! I’m not questioning the sincerity or reality of Bob Larson’s faith, I’m just pressing the point about Satanism being the buzzword in the 80’s.. It was in the movies, on the radio, in the music, and talked about in churches and barber shops. Such bombardment couldn’t help but have an influence on my mind as a horror writer.

Now, back to the urban legends…

In Central, there’s a haunted road. It goes by the name Frenchtown and was known for its ferocious curves. Toward the end of the wooded road, it opened up a little, and ahead of you would appear a bridge. This bridge was a once functional railroad trestle. The foreboding, rusty structure would glare down at you, covered in satanic graffiti. Near this bridge was where most of the paranormal activity had been reported. But it’s not just about the bridge. Rumors of a Satanic cult in the woods near the bridge, along with a witch who lived in the last house on the left (yes, Wes Craven would be proud) are the prominent legends which once swirled around this trestle. It was said that if you crossed under the bridge, the cult members would kidnap you and drag you back to their lair. In the forest behind the bridge was where the rituals took place. Some have even reported seeing dead cats hanging from underneath the trestle.

With new construction, and the addition of a BREC park, Frenchtown road has changed somewhat, but still retains its curvy, wood laden scenery. During the height of Satanic rumors, graffiti not only tattooed the bridge, but the road before the bridge. People recall such words as “Go back now” and other symbols from Satanism and witchcraft being spray painted on the road. Having been out there myself in the 80’s, 90’s, and even early 2000’s, I can attest that this part of the legend is true. Town folks also said there used to be “Welcome to the Gates of Hell” spray painted across the side of the bridge. The road was indeed marked, and as you can see from the pictures below, so was the bridge. Over the years, well-meaning people have spray painted over most of the markings in an attempt to exercise the place of its demons. If you go today, you can still catch a glimpse of these symbols when you view the bridge up close.

Check out the pictures I took below:

Road under railroad tracks
Railroad support beam

On this beam you can make out “Portel [SIC] to hell”. “Portel” is written diagonally, and “to hell” vertically.

satan graffiti written on railway support

“Satan”

death graffiti on railway support

This is the side of the trestle where it used to read “Welcome to the Gates of Hell” You can still make out he word “OF” to the right and also a faint “H”.

abandoned road

Now, let’s move on to the good stuff, shall we? I want to talk about the types of paranormal phenomenon and strange encounters people have reported happening at the end of Frenchtown Road. My personal favorite is the one about the school bus getting hit by the train which used to run across the bridge when the tracks were operational. Don’t ask me how in the world a school bus got up there–its urban legend so facts and physical improbabilities don’t matter! I’m just telling the story. So yeah, a school bus got hit by a train and killed all the kids. If you turn your car lights off under the bridge for a few seconds, then flip them back on, bloody hand prints are supposed to appear on the windshield.

In continuing with the theme of vehicles, the most reported phenomenon was if you turned your vehicle off under the bridge, it wouldn’t start again. One person relayed to me the story of how he and a few of his buddies took some girls out to the bridge one night in the early 90’s. They wanted to give them a good scare, so they told the story about turning off the car engine and it not cranking again. They killed the engine. When the guy tried to start his car, the engine wouldn’t turn! The dudes panicked, in a macho way of course, without letting the girls see the fear in their eyes. After fifteen minutes of unadulterated terror, a bright light appeared in the distance. It was a spotlight, and it was headed toward them at a rapid pace. The angst in their heart escalated as the phenomenon continued. As the light grew closer, they realized it was just a hunter coming to help them. He had heard them trying to start the car.

Another man also told a similar “no start” story. His took place in the late 80’s. Instead of the bridge, he had the nerve to pull his car into the witch’s driveway. After killing the engine, he went to start the car and back out, but the engine wouldn’t crank! Still another person reported their car dying, and then someone coming out of the woods and burying an axe into it. I could go on with multiple accounts similar to these, but you get the idea.

Other reports include people seeing dead chickens hanging in the woods near the bridge, owls flying into windshields, dead cows, upside down crosses with burn marks in the field, stones in the shape of a pentagram under the bridge with burnt animals in them (I witnessed this myself), and car radios flashing 666. I’ve also heard from several people who said they have been chased away by vehicles, a crazy cat lady, and a creepy bald guy in a trench coat.

In my research, I’ve discovered Frenchtown Road has had reports of all types of different phenomenon and urban legends associated with it besides devil worship and cars that won’t start. Below is a detailed list of what I found through conversations, social media posts, and local articles.

  1. People laying on the bridge smoking weed. They hear something banging on the bridge piling below them. They go down to check it out and nothing is there.
  2. A man hung himself from a tree. People have reported seeing his ghost.
  3. Many reports of people hearing chanting coming from the field and woods.
  4. People seeing “watchers” staring at them on either side of the road.
  5. Another legend was about a man who murdered people and dismembered them. The body parts were found buried in the woods at the end of Frenchtown road.
  6. Reports of seeing people involved in casting spells, performing rituals, reading Satanic bibles, and carrying black crosses.
  7. Legend of a little girl who was run over by a train on the railroad trestle. Now, whenever a train comes, you can hear her scream.
  8. One person swears they got pushed into a huge hole that wasn’t there a few minutes earlier.
  9. A group of friends reported that they were all standing in the field, when one of their cars, which was off and locked, started flashing its lights.
  10. Some groups that have gone out there reported hearing the train, the screams of the little girl, and seeing the train lights… but no train would ever come.
  11. Demonic animals have also been spotted. One was said to have yellow eyes, boney, distorted skin, and was growling.
  12. There is a noticeable change in the air when you get close to the track. It cools off (I’ve experienced this one myself).
  13. At the last house on the left, red lights flash in the window.
  14. Lights in the woods have supposedly chased after people.
  15. Dead body found in the water.
  16. One person reported something jumping in the back of a truck. The passengers turned around to look and nothing was there.
  17. Radio goes off when getting to bridge, then comes back on when leaving.

As one can see, there are quite a number of reported eerie happenings. However, the most popular was of a Satanic cult and witch. This is the theme I went with in my Tetromet shorts. If you will bear with me a moment longer, I want to tell you a little bit about the Tetromet series.

First, it’s more than just stories about a Satanic cult at the end of Frenchtown Road. The stories span a time frame of around 200 years, and each one is different. Some are atmospheric, some are gritty, and others are twisted. They are listed in chronological order, but there are major gaps in the storylines of each. Why? Because just about every one of these stories will be developed into a novel, so don’t expect answers right away nor all the pieces to fit. This is not the point of the collection. The point is to introduce you, the reader, to the main characters of the series and the driving story lines. When the books come out, all the dots will be connected, I promise.

I hope you have enjoyed this little piece of history. I can’t wait to get this book in the hands of my readers!

About Author Ezekiel Kincaid

Twitter: @EzekielKincaid
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ezekethefreak/
Website: https://ezekielkincaid.wordpress.com/
Books and other anthologies
https://www.amazon.com/s?k=ezekiel+kinciad&ref=nb_sb_noss_2
Free reading can be found on Stitched Smile’s WordPress site
https://stitchedsmilepublications.wordpress.com/
And Horror Bound
https://www.horrorbound.net/?author=5de80c37c09a8973f9c333cf