Like F. Scott Fitzgerald said, “The rich are different from you and me.” For instance, when they throw freaky parties, Audrey Hepburn and Salvador Dali show up instead of your dumbass friends. One of the aforementioned rich people, Marie-Hélène de Rothschild, threw a party in 1972 that was so different; it still inspires the dark theory that behind the doors of their mansions, the ultra rich are occultists engaged in unspeakable acts of Evil.
Marie-Hélène’s “Surrealists Ball” was held on December 12, 1972, and its combination of opulence and elaborate, odd imagery is said to have inspired the ritual orgy scenes of Kubrick’s EYES WIDE SHUT as well as the nightmares of a generation of conspiracy theorists. One of the party’s attendees, aristocrat and banker Alexis von Rosenberg, documented the party, and conspiracy theorists maintain that his photos and descriptions are hard evidence of the occult customs of the top levels of the Illuminati.
Guests were invited to the ball via invitations that could only be read in a mirror, supposedly because backwards writing is big with Satanists.
When they arrived at Château de Ferrières (you might recognize it as the setting of Roman Polanski’s THE NINTH GATE), guests found the entire place bathed in moving orange lights, to suggest that it was on fire… or perhaps that they were entering Hell itself??
Once inside, servants dressed as cats surrounded guests. According to von Rosenberg, guests then “had to pass through a kind of labyrinth of Hell, made of black ribbons to look like cobwebs.”
Once they made it through the maze, guests could meet their hosts, Marie-Hélène de Rothschild and Baron Alexis de Redé. The “teardrops” of Marie-Hélène’s crying stag mask are actual diamonds.
Each table’s centerpiece featured a dismembered baby doll resting on the lap of some weird demon-thing.
The place settings featured dishes covered in fur. I’m not sure of the occult meaning of substituting a fish for a fork, but it’s probably shocking. Plus, how many glasses do you even need? Rich people, I swear.
Guests dressed in costumes suggested by great works of surrealist art… or Satan himself. Check out this nod at Magritte’s Fall of Man. Another example of occult symbolism, or a rich lady showing off her useless MFA?
And these artsy get-ups…
As the clock struck midnight, the guests of Baroness Rothschild gathered for a ceremonial orgy where local girls (kidnapped specially for this occasion) were chained to stone altars and ritually slaughtered to slake Baphomet’s endless thirst for the blood of virgins…
Okay, I made that last part up. There was no ritual slaughter (that we know of). There was a naked manikin on a table covered in roses, though. Nothing creepy about that at all.
Also: Audrey Hepburn wore a mask made out of a birdcage…
…and Salvador Dali posed in front of his own painting of Mae West. (Dali didn’t wear a costume because he already personifies surrealism.)
We may never know the true story of what went on that evening at the Rothschild’s mansion. Are these photos proof that the rich and famous are actually mad occultists? That this cadre of hyper-rich haut-monde habitués was actually made up of evil priests and priestesses? Or was it more like a rich people dress-up party where the jet-set gathered to show off their proto-cosplay?
Either way, you will never attend a party as awesome as this one.