According to most sources, the photograph you see here was reportedly taken in 1909, during an era where staged photographs of the recently deceased were a common practice, and at the time considered a dignified way of honoring the dead.
The passing of more than a century has obscured most of the stories behind these macabre but fascinating postmortem images, and the identities of the corpses depicted in these photos are now largely lost to time… but there are a few eerie and even frightening exceptions.
This particular photo, for example, has managed to acquire an ominous reputation over the course of 108 years, and while its backstory is still disputed today and will likely never be fully corroborated, the most frequently-shared account is incredibly chilling… because it claims the woman depicted in this image died after purposely drinking massive amounts of her own blood in an occult ritual.
The most detailed accounts available identify the woman as Loana (or Ioana) Constantinescu, a 27-year-old woman from the Romanian city of Timisoara. Loana is rumored to have been a devout practitioner of Zoroastrianism — one of the world’s oldest organized religions, originating in ancient Persia and still practiced by millions today, though mostly in East Asia. In Western Europe, however, Zoroastrianism is far less common.
Within Timisoara’s majority Christian population, Zoroastrians were often looked down upon as witches, and Loana was reportedly persecuted and ostracized by the people of Timisoara — particularly a pair of ministers who spread rumors that the young woman worshiped Satan and drank the blood of local children.
The panic continued to escalate until a mob of hysterical vigilantes descended on Loana’s home on October 21, 1909, dragging her into the street and beating her severely. She survived the vicious attack, but was hospitalized with severe blunt-force injuries and lacerations. For reasons unknown, the woman checked herself out of the hospital less than two days later, despite her extensive injuries, and returned to her home.
By the following morning, she was dead.
The real mystery begins with the widely-documented claim that Loana’s demise was not the direct result of the vigilantes’ attack, but from a bizarre ritual suicide, during which the woman reportedly made multiple cuts to her arms and legs, then drained a massive amount of blood into a sacramental goblet. While there is no official death certificate available, the medical examiner allegedly claimed the cause of death was a combination of extensive blood loss and internal shock from ingesting such a large quantity of blood, which likely triggered cardiac arrest.
When city authorities discovered the woman’s body, they also found an altar in her home adorned with strange occult symbols, effigies and ritual herbs.
But the tragic and macabre story of “Loana the Bloodthirster” doesn’t end there… in fact, some might say the truly horrifying part began in the few months following the poor woman’s demise.
According to locals, the pair of ministers who deliberately spread rumors of Loana’s consorting with Satan were stricken with a rare blood-borne illness, and both died less than a year after Loana’s suicide. Other members of the vigilante group were met with untimely deaths as well: it’s claimed one of the main perpetrators was crushed to death by a falling tree, while a man who helped organize the attacking mob perished in a fire which totally destroyed his farm — claiming the lives of his wife and child in the process.
But according to more recent accounts, this alleged curse didn’t even end with the deaths of Loana’s tormentors… there have been multiple reports of strange phenomena surrounding the online circulation of her postmortem photograph.
In 2012, Redditor cyandiehowl claimed to have contracted a kind of “sympathetic stigmata” after sharing the photo on a discussion thread, and posted images like the one above, showing bruises and cuts on his arms — which allegedly appeared overnight.
A few years later, Pinterest user damoclesblak described having lucid nightmares and bouts of sleep paralysis for several nights after pinning the image. In those dreams a pale, ghostly figure resembling Loana stood over her bed brandishing a small knife, and with a faint smile on her face began making a slicing motion in the air above her head. The user claims the dreams ceased immediately after she removed the image from her board.
These are just two examples, but the reports continue to circulate. We still don’t even know if the woman in the photo is actually Loana Constantinescu… or if such a person even existed.
All we know for sure is that the haunting image may have an unsettling or even physically uncomfortable effect on a handful of people who have shared it online… so if you intend to do the same, you may want to reconsider.