Sweeney Todd

In case you are not familiar with the tale, Sweeney Todd was a “fictional” character in a book titled A string of pearls published in 1846 in London.  His “Character” was that of a mad man barber who dispatches his customers by pulling a lever on his barber’s chair.  The victim falls backward through a trap door and into the basement below where they would meet their demise, either due to the initial fall or by Todd finishing them off later with his straight razor.  In some versions of the story the throat of the victim was cut prior to the fall, and in some others.  Todd had a partner, Mr. Lovett, which helps him to dispose of the bodies by baking them into meat pies and selling them on the streets of London.  There is however controversy on whether the story was or was not fictional.  I propose that it was based on fact as there are other similar “urban legends” that existed elsewhere for example:

A Barber/Wigmaker of the Rue de la Harpe in Paris was said to have done the exact same thing in 1824 based on the first hand account of the Parisian Chief of Police.

Gilbert Paul Jordon arrested 10/23/1987 Barber/serial killer, target: Native American female prostitutes.  Born 12/12/1931 released from prison 7/7/2006.

I span the occurrences for two reasons; 1. There were too many in between and, 2. To prove a point.

My thought pattern came from a conversation between my husband and I about the true meaning of the Barber’s Pole.  Let me fill you in, The Barber’s pole dates back to the 8th century in Europe.  In the Middle Ages the barber not only groomed his clients, but he was a surgeon as well.  Often performing another service, blood letting, the process of draining excess blood from a sick person to help them recover.  This is where the symbol was derived.  The patient would wrap his hand around a pole and squeeze until his veins would dilate the barber would then slit the patients wrist and the blood would flow down the pole and into a catch basin below.

Now, with the understanding of the Barber’s Pole symbolism, and countless records of murderous barbers throughout history and from every continent, I ask you:  What better place for a Vampire to have hidden in plain view for centuries?

Advertisements

2 responses to “Sweeney Todd

  1. Pingback: Sweeney Todd | lyngibsonauthor

  2. Pingback: Sweeney Todd 2007 Review