Great Russian Cellar Stories

A Night At The Opera: Crowded Cabin Scene

The granddaddy of all the great Russian cellar yarns is of course, “Mass Murder in the Cellar.” It was a dark and stormy night. At the Ipatiev House of Special Purpose, in the wee hours of July 17, 1918, the Russian imperial family were all herded down into the scary cellar. With the royal family were Eugene Botkin, Anna Demidova, Alexei Trupp and Ivan Kharitonov, who had chosen not to desert the Romanovs. They all crammed into the small cellar, a room measuring 17 feet by 14 feet. Into this cramped space came also a bunch of Bolsheviks. It was like the crowded cabin scene in the Marx Brothers movie, A Night At The Opera. Anyway, in the Ipatiev cellar yarn, everybody gets shot except the Bolsheviks who escape any ricocheted bullets. This Ipatiev cellar yarn is much beloved by many historians. (Background: “If You Can’t Trust a Bolshevik…”, Ersjdamoo’s Blog, September 6, 2014.)

Another of the great Russian cellar stories involves the murder of Grigori Rasputin, staretz (wandering holy man) and close adviser to Tsar Nicholas II. There are at least three versions of the Rasputin murder tale. The most commonly told version involves cyanide cakes, a shooting by Prince Felix Youssoupov, a beating, more shooting, and an icy plunge into the Neva River, with Rasputin still miraculously alive in the river.

Soviet Russian Soldier Jumpstyle/Cossack Dance is not a Crime!

A different version of the Rasputin murder in the cellar story is given by author Gary Null, who may or may not be the same Gary Null born in 1945 and author of books advocating alternative medicine and naturopathy. In the Gary Null version of this Russian cellar tale, the initial attack on Rasputin occurs not in the cellar or basement, but on the ground floor of Prince Youssoupov’s palace. Like the amazing Ipatiev House story, again the action takes place in the wee hours of morning. It was a dark and bitterly cold December night. Rasputin arrived by car at the palace, accompanied by Youssoupov, Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovitch, and Vladimir Purishkevich, a leader of the radical monarchist right. In a large salon on the first floor, an unnamed young man emerged from behind curtains and shot Rasputin in the eye. Thereupon, Youssoupov, Dmitri Pavlovitch, and Vladimir Purishkevich drew out their own pistols and together they shot Father Grigori ten times. Rasputin’s bloody body lay on the floor. [1]

“What shall we do with him?” asked “curtain man.”

It was decided for the moment to drag Rasputin “into the dank basement of the old building.” Rasputin was tossed onto a pile of coal. The conspirators went back upstairs. [1]

Then, after about a half hour, Rasputin regained consciousness! He was still alive! Partially paralyzed, the holy man crawled out a window then inched his way to a stone wall. There he was attacked by dogs which roamed the palace grounds. Nonetheless, the partially disabled Rasputin climbed onto a bench and began to scale the 6-foot high wall. By this time though the conspirators, alerted by the dogs, came out and tied Rasputin’s arms behind him. Tossed into the back seat of a car, the Russian staretz realized the bonds were loose. He began working on them. In the meantime, the car reached a bridge over the Neva River. Still alive, Rasputin was thrown into the icy water. He struggled for awhile, and at last expired due to either the extreme cold or by drowning. [1]

Orlando Ballet’s 2011 “The Nutcracker” Russian Dance with Arcadian Broad dancing

Another cellar synopsis of Rasputin’s death is told by Maria Rasputin, his daughter. This time the cellar is a comfortably furnished basement in the Youssoupov palace. (Caution: This version is rather gruesome.)

Rasputin arrives in the wee hours, when evil deeds abound. Accenting the sinister hour was the cold: the winter of 1916 was the harshest in memory in St. Petersburg. Rasputin is first given not cyanide cakes but, by mistake, opiated cakes. [2]

When the “cyanide” did not work, Prince Youssoupov went upstairs and returned with a revolver. “Say your prayers, Rasputin,” ordered the evil prince. Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovitch and a Dr. Stanislas Lazovert followed Youssoupov into the basement. After them came Vladimir Purishkevich and a Captain Ivan Sukhotin. The conspirators came at Rasputin en masse and held him down. “May God forgive you!” cried Rasputin. [2]

Some or all of the five men sodomized the Russian holy man. Sated, Prince Youssoupov fired a single bullet into Rasputin’s head as the staretz struggled to his feet. He fell onto a bearskin rug, but was not dead. “What do they want of me?” he groaned. [2]

At this point the five men began kicking and punching Rasputin as he lay on the floor. One of them, possibly Dr. Lazovert, castrated Rasputin and tossed his bloody penis across the room. (A servant later took possession of Rasputin’s severed male organ.) [2]

The conspirators went back upstairs to relax after all the excitement. Meanwhile, downstairs in the subterranean subconscious cellar, Rasputin struggled to get upstairs and escape. The assassins thought they heard a noise in the hallway and went to check. “My God,” Youssoupov cried, “he’s STILL ALIVE!” [2]

Outside in the snow, Rasputin was given the coup de grâce by Vladimir Purishkevich, with four pistol shots. Rasputin’s body was driven to Petrovski Ostrov (Petrovski Island) where, from the top of a bridge, the corpse was thrown into the river. [2]

But recall that one of Youssoupov’s servants had secretly retrieved the castrated Rasputin’s bloody penis. In 1968, in Paris, a group of Russian émigrés possessed and revered the mummified organ as a holy relic. [2]

——- Sources ——-
[1] The Conspirator Who Saved the Romanovs, by Gary Null. New York: Pinnacle Books, 1973
[2] Rasputin: The Man Behind the Myth, by Maria Rasputin and Patte Barham. Prentice-Hall, 1977

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About ersjdamoo

Editor of Conspiracy Nation, later renamed Melchizedek Communique. Close associate of the late Sherman H. Skolnick. Jack of all trades, master of none. Sagittarius, with Sagittarius rising. I'm not a bum, I'm a philosopher.
This entry was posted in Rasputin, Romanov family, Russia and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Great Russian Cellar Stories

  1. Pingback: What Really Happened in the Cellar | Ersjdamoo's Blog

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