If there’s one thing we’ve learned from access to the internet, it’s that if a story sounds too weird to be true, there’s a good chance that it’s not. For example, we know that despite the contemporary rumors (and that Boney M song), Rasputin did not carry on an affair with the Empress of Russia. But the more intriguing story was that of how Rasputin died. He survived poisoning, gunshots, beating, and drowning, only to succumb to freezing -or the cumulative effects of all the above. But how do we know all that? There’s only one written eye witness account.
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…besides Rasputin (who wasn’t really in a state to do much), who would want history to remember him as a badass? His killer, of course. Felix Yusupov, Russian aristocrat and one of the conspirators, later wrote a series of highly sensationalist books about the murder. But he realized that publishing the story of him, a prince, shooting a common holy man in the back of the head because he didn’t like the guy would make him come off as a bigger wang than the one Rasputin was packing.
So instead, Yusupov turned Rasputin into a demonic Terminator who could not be killed, even returning from the dead to attack his assassins, making Yusupov look like a real-life Van Helsing instead of a common backstabber.
Read the rest of that story and four other historical myths that don’t hold water. Now, the article at Cracked isn’t saying that these stories are completely false, but it does shed light on the lack of evidence that they are true.