The creepy story of Blanche Monnier at the beginning of the 20th century

You have always overcome chilling events that to us are incredible. This happens with the story of Blanche Monnier, a young French aristocrat who was exposed to tragedy. The dire situation he suffered was caused by his own parents.

Newspaper with news from Blanche Monnier
News of the publication of Blanche Monnier in the press of the time. Press cordon. Image from «El País»
What caused the Blanche Monnier tragedy?

In 1876, Blanche was 26 years old and a very attractive woman who belonged to the French aristocracy. He had a very active social life and showed his youth. It was also the goal of all eyes and the goal of men to get married.

His parents were conservatives and staunch defenders of the monarchy and kings. They didn’t want anything to do with the Republicans. Charles Emile Monnier was dean of the Poitiers Faculty of Letters and his son Marcel, Blanche’s brother, was prefect. At that time, the attractive young woman met a lawyer who was much older than her and fell in love with him. But her parents didn’t like this man. Because he didn’t come from the bourgeoisie and was also the son of a Republican.

Suddenly the young woman disappeared without a trace from the places she visited. His family said he was in boarding school in England. A short time later, they said he had gone to spend time on a farm with relatives in Scotland. Blanche’s father died in 1882, and the lawyer she was in love with died in 1885. Little by little everyone forgot about the young woman.

An anonymous report informs the police

On May 23, 1901, the Attorney General of Paris received an anonymous communication. She informed him that something “extraordinarily serious” had happened in the Monnier house. He said that a woman was locked up on the upper floor of the mansion. That she was “almost starved” and “lived on her own filth”.

The Monniers had an excellent reputation and the mother was also honored by the Good Deeds Committee. Because of this, the prosecutor had doubts about the complaint. He also fulfilled his obligation to examine and visit the villa.

The police discovered a terrible scene on the upper floor of the house. The room was dark. They found a malnourished woman sitting on a bed. There was a foul smell in the place. The remains of his feces and vomit covered the floor of the room.

Marcel, the young woman’s brother, identified her as Blanche Monnier. Her family locked her in this windowless room for 25 years to prevent her romance with the lawyer. They all got on with their lives. Little by little they ignored his care. Only now and then did they feed him leftovers and never clean his room.

A very sad ending for an innocent woman

When they found her, Blanche Monnier weighed 24 pounds. Her mother was arrested and confessed to being guilty. Annoyed with the romance, they decided to keep her locked up until she changed her mind. The young woman never regretted it and left her trapped in this dark room forever. After so long, the woman had gone mad. She was 52 when they found her.

the blanche monnier story
Mademoiselle Blanche Monnier: By Photo of the Day at Whale Oil; originally published in 1901 by L’Illustration and various other publications, Public Domain,

Marcel was sentenced to 15 months in prison for complicity, and his mother died two weeks after her arrest. Blanche Monnier died in Blois Psychiatric Clinic in 1913. It was never known who sent the famous obituary to the Attorney General.

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