B2 High-Intermediate US 58 Folder Collection
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Hello and welcome back to the Most Amazing Channel on the internet.
I am your host Rebecca Felgate, and today we are talking about the dark and scary origins of your favourite fairy tales!
Before we get into the video, why don't you let me know what your favourite fairy tale is!
Honestly, I love hearing all of these.
I don't know what my favorite is.
I think maybe "Sleeping Beauty," but now I've found out what the origin is—not so much.
I look forward to reading all of them.
Also, while you're down there, why don't you like this video and share it with a friend.
If you guys want to connect with me on social media, there's a link to my Instagram in the description box.
Coming in at number 10 we have "Pinocchio."
All Pinocchio wants to do is be a real boy, but that is not happening in Carlo Collodi's original version of the tale.
In the 1800s' version of the tale, Pinocchio kills Jiminy cricket by throwing a hammer at him.
Why?
Well, he's angry at the cricket for being a bit of a know-it-all, so he batters him.
He doesn't even really feel that bad about it, to be honest.
He then falls asleep by the fire and his feet burn off, but it's alright because good-old Gepetto builds him some new ones.
Then, naughty Pinocchio is hung from a tree and suffocates.
The moral of the story: disobey and die.
One way to scare the kids into good behaviour, I guess.
Coming into number 9, we have "Sleeping Beauty."
So the original tale of "Sleeping Beauty" is a story called "The Sun, Moon, and Talia" and is, like sleeping beauty, about a princess that falls into a deep sleep.
OK, at first the similarities are on point.
Instead of being prophesied to prick her finger on a spindle and spinning wheel, it's flax and hemp that are a problem.
The girl does get flax stuck under her fingernail and falls into a deep sleep.
Her rich father has her enshrined in a mausoleum in the woods, where one day an older king from another kingdom finds her.
He then rapes her corpse, then leaves her.
She then gives birth, and fairies look after her babies, until one day, one of her kids sucks the flax out from under her fingernail and she wakes up to 2 surprises.
She names her kids Sun and Moon as they, like the celestial bodies, are a mystery to her.
The rapey and older king returns to find her awake and they fall in love, which is really weird.
The only problem is, other than the rape, is that he has a wife.
His wife then finds out and orders her chef to cook her husband's kids and kill the mistress, but he manages to find out first and kill her.
The king, Talia, Sun, and Moon live happily ever after.
Isn't that nice?
Coming in at number 8 we have "Cinderella".
"Cinderella" is a heartwarming rags-to-riches tale.
And yeah, the version we know today is sad what with Cinderella being an orphan and everything, but beyond that, Cinders does get a benevolent fairy godmother who helps her deal with her sisters and wicked stepmother.
It all works out alright in the end, though.
That slipper fits and she marries her prince.
OK, sure, but in the origin version, her ghastly sisters chop parts of their own feet off to be able to fit in the slipper.
The prince only finds out when he finds blood in the shoe.
Eventually he does find out that Cinderella is the true owner of the slippers and they get married, but that isn't all.
Doves peck out her older sisters' eyes.
Hip hip hooray!
Coming in at number 7, we have "Snow White."
So, we all love a bit of Snow White, right?
In the story we know and love, Snow White is a princess with a wicked stepmother who forces her out of her home, because she's jealous of her beauty.
She meets 7 kindly dwarves in the woods who take care of her, but when the wicked stepmother finds out she's still alive, she tries to poison her.
Later, she's awoken by a prince with a true love's kiss.
Things weren't so cutesy in the original Brothers Grimm Tale.
Snow White is indeed cast out, but the wicked stepmother, Queen of the Kingdom, asks a huntsman to murder her in the woods and bring back her heart and lungs so she can eat them.
The huntsman does spare her, but the queen finds out and eventually tries to kill her 3 times.
Eventually, she gatecrashes Snow White and the prince's wedding, and is then forced to put on a pair of burning hot iron shoes that have, like, been in a fire all day and then she's forced to dance in them until she dies.
Her flesh is immediately badly burned, but she eventually drops dead of exhaustion.
Honestly, that sounds more like the origin story behind the "Red Wedding," not a beloved fairy tale.
Coming in to number 6, we have "The Goose Girl." I hadn't heard of "The Goose Girl," but I hear
it's a very popular tale in Germany and Eastern Europe, after doing a bit of research.
It's a bedtime fairy tale and its origins are the stuff of nightmares.
To cut a long story short, in the original tale, a deceitful maid is thrown into a barrel
with spikes and rolled around till she dies.
Ah, some classic medieval torture.
That does sound particularly grim. Is it worse than being hung, drawn, and quartered
or better?
What about being pulled apart by horses?
Coming in to number 5, we have "Hansel and Gretel." There are kind of two twisted origin stories here
that merged to create one tale told verbally for hundreds of years, but first written down
by the Brothers Grimm.
So, back in medieval Germany, where the tale is set, there were wide-spread famines and
people simply could no longer provide for their children. So they abandoned them, leaving
them to die alone in the woods, possibly from starvation, or maybe by being savaged
by animals.
This is legit, it happened in history.
The next part of the tale comes from the story of a pair of rival bakers.
One of them had the misfortune of being a woman.
Katharina Schraderin was well known for her incredible gingerbread in her German village
in the 1600s.
A competing male baker became jealous of her success, so played on a timeless trend of
smearing the woman with nasty rumours.
What could he do in the 1600s?
Well, he called her a witch.
In accusing her, he convinced others to track her down.
The posse rounded her up and burned her to death in her very own baker's oven.
Right.
Coming in to number 4, we have "Mulan." The original "Mulan" was written by Chu Reno
and was called "The Ballad if Hua Mulan."
Any ballad can't be a good thing.
Hua Mulan was a legendary Chinese woman.
In the ballad, like in the fairy tale, she disguises herself as a man in order to join
the army and she falls in love with Luo Cheng.
When she comes back from war, she discovers hat her father has died and her mum has
remarried.
Not only that, the man who waged war in the first place has called for her to be his
concubine, so basically a sex slave.
Instead of doing that, she commits suicide.
But before she does, she gets her sister to dress as a man and send a letter to Luo Chang.
Her sister does, but then ends up sleeping with him herself.
Horrifying.
Coming in to number 3, we have "Red Riding Hood." The story of "Red Riding Hood" that we know
and love today, includes a grandma, a wolf, and a little girl, and a hunter.
Despite a few darker undertones, the story has a happy ending and Red Riding Hood is
reunited with her grandma and the bad wolf is killed.
Not so much in the original, however.
In the earliest versions, which were said to originate in Italy and were said to be
named things like "The Story of Grandmother" or "False Grandmother," actually things are pretty gnarly.
In these early versions, while it was usually a wolf that did the taunting, some actually
had vampires or ogres after the little girl.
In the origin tales, the wolf does kill the grandmother and then gets Red Ridinghood to unwittingly eat
her body and drink her blood.
He then strips the girl naked, forces her to burn her clothes and then makes her get
into bed with him.
In most of the old stories he eats her, but in some, well, it's worse.
Coming in to number 2, we have "The Pied Piper of Hamlin." So we know the story of the Pied Piper.
It's a popular, but admittedly dark, fairy tale in which a town in lower Saxony, Germany is infested
with rats, as it probably would have been in the Middle Ages.
Enter the Pied Piper, a man with a magical pipe who does a deal with the town mayor to
lure all of the rats away.
He does this successfully and the town is rid of the rodents, however, the mayor refuses
to pay, so the Pied Piper uses his magic pipe to lead away all of the town's children
in revenge.
Well, it turns out the dark origin here is that, it's actually true.
Surviving town records from the church in Hamlin say that in the year of 1284, on the day
of Saint John and Paul on June 26, "by a piper, clothed in many kinds of colours, 130 children
born in Hamelin were seduced, and lost at a place of execution near the 'koppen'."
It is thought the children were taken as part of the children's crusade, and the whole
business with the rats was added later.
Some even say that the real piper was a peadophile who abducted the children in their sleep.
Finally, honestly, I don't think it gets darker or scarier than this, we have Ariel, the little mermaid. Hands down, the origin story to "The Little
Mermaid" is absolutely horrifying!
Hans Christian Andersen's original tale was gruesome.
I hope you're ready for it.
Instead of a princess mermaid falling in love, exchanging her voice for legs and marrying
a prince to live happily ever after, the origin was fraught with bad decision-making and utter
heartbreak.
The mermaid is indeed a princess and does indeed save the life of a prince she falls
for.
She also makes a bargain with a sea witch in exchange for legs so she can meet him.
Only the original version is much more intense. The sea witch takes the mermaid's tongue
and gives her legs. Every time she walks, though, she feels the pain of walking on knives, and sticking her legs through swords.
Unfortunately, this has the effect of making her feet bleed regularly.
She's told if she doesn't secure the love of her prince, she will die.
She meets the prince, who asks her to dance for him, which she does even though it causes
her pure and utter agony.
He then falls in love with someone else, breaking her heart.
Her mermaid sisters have her back, they sell their lovely hair to the sea witch for a knife that offers the mermaid
a way out.
If she kills the prince and drips his blood on her legs, she can end her pain and become
a mermaid again.
Sadly for her, she loves him way too much and instead, as the witch promised, she dies.
She simply seizes to exist.
Right, not so great, then.
So guys, that was the top 10 scary fairy tale dark origins. What did you think to that?
I'm honestly so shocked that some of our best-loved stories came from such horrible tales and fables! We
used to be so dark, oh my goodness! Although, I do love a good fairy tale chat. So do let me know what your favourite is and maybe we can the comment section a friendlier place.
Thank you guys for watching this video. Do make sure you leave a thumb's up, share it with a friend, and I am your host, Rebecca Felgate, I'll see you in the next video. Bye!
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Top 10 Scary Fairy Tale Dark Origins

58 Folder Collection
jeremy.wang published on May 13, 2020
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