Once upon a time, in the heart of France, lived a man named Bluebeard, so named for his striking blue beard. He was wealthy but frighteningly ugly and had been married several times, but no one knew what had become of his previous wives.
Bluebeard decided to marry again and proposed to a beautiful young woman, the neighbor’s younger daughter. She was initially afraid due to the rumors about his previous wives, but she accepted his proposal after being wooed by the grandeur of his wealth.
After their wedding, Bluebeard needed to travel and left his wife the keys to the castle, allowing her to open any door except the one to a small, private room. Overcome by curiosity, the young wife opened the forbidden door one day and was horrified to find the bodies of Bluebeard’s former wives.
She dropped the key in shock, and it was stained with blood. Try as she might, she couldn’t clean the blood from the key. When Bluebeard returned and discovered the blood-stained key, he knew his wife had disobeyed his orders.
Bluebeard was furious and planned to behead her, but his wife begged for one last prayer. He granted her a few minutes. The young wife called her sister Anne and asked her to signal their brothers who were due to visit them.
Just as Bluebeard was about to kill his wife, the brothers arrived. They killed Bluebeard and saved their sister. Bluebeard’s wife inherited all his wealth and used part of it as her dowry to marry a kind man who helped her forget her terrible ordeal. She used the rest of her wealth to reward her brothers and help marry off her sister Anne.
The tale of Bluebeard serves as a warning about the dangers of unchecked curiosity and the violation of trust in relationships.