Posted on: March 27, 2016

We’re all familiar with tales of vampires preying on other people to take their blood, but this is an unusual case of a young woman who actually died after drinking her own blood.   Ioana (sometimes also referred to as Loana or Leona) Constantinescu lived in the town of Timisoara, western Romania.  Ioana practised the religion of Zoroastrianism, an ancient religion, which had it’s heyday centuries ago.  It’s struggle for survival into the modern world is probably not helped by the fact that one cannot convert to it, you have to be born into it of Zoroastrian parents.

From what I can gather – bear with me, religion’s not my strong point – a core tenet of Zoroastrianism is a belief that through doing good deeds one can ensure happiness in life, and keep chaos at bay.  A belief that you might think would strike a chord with other religious-minded people, but not so.  Ioana seems to have been targeted by two Christian preachers and their wives, who tried to organise a petition to get her removed from the neighbourhood.  Their aim was to “drive out the devil from their midst”, and “cleanse the northern gods from amongst us”.

Rumours were spread that Ioana was a witch, who incited fear in the neighbourhood, and that she worshipped Satan.  Things came to a head at daybreak on 21 October 1909, when the 27-year-old woman was dragged from her home by a mob, and set upon with sticks and fists, resulting in her being hospitalised.

The next day Ioana checked herself out of hospital and returned home, where she was found dead on 23 October.  It is said that she had spent the previous two days continuously drinking her own blood out of a communion glass, possibly after cutting herself with a knife on her legs and wrists.  It was a ritual she called “the communion of the saints”.  Witnesses who found her body said they also found an altar, spread with herbs and incense, and esoteric symbols were drawn everywhere.   A coroner’s verdict concluded that Iona had committed suicide “by purposefully ingesting large quantities of her own blood”.

An eerie photograph of Ioana, lying dead on her sofa, often crops up on those sites which specialise in things like The Creepiest Photo’s EVER!  I’ve read people denouncing it as a hoax, saying that the attractive young woman looks rather unblemished for someone who had recently been the victim of a severe beating.   But I’m not so sure.

There is a creepy follow-up to this story.  The two ministers and their wives both died before the year was out.  One couple perished after a fire broke out in their barn, and the other two were crushed by a tree that fell on them whilst they were out having their walk.   Did Ioana have her revenge from beyond the grave?



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