Sometimes, it’s a good idea to listen to your intuition; other times, it’s best to just call the doctor.
Whether it’s through dreams or in our waking life, many people claim to have a connection to the spirit world. Often, messages from deceased relatives urge us to make a life change for the better or simply assure us that they are happy in the afterlife.
However you receive the message, it is often up to you to interpret it’s meaning. For one man, his childhood experience with the supernatural (and the way he interpreted it as an adult) would literally haunt him for the rest of his life.
Some people say that true love transcends all obstacles. In any other case, that would be romantic, but in the case of deranged doctor Carl Tanzler – it’s just really really creepy.
It began the late 1800s, when young Carl Tanzler was visited by the spirit of his deceased ancestor, Countessa Anna Constantia von Cosel. The vision supposedly revealed the face of his one true love.
No one could have predicted that German immigrant, Carl Tanzler, would take his late ancestor’s message about true love to such gruesome extremes.
Find out what really happened on the next page…
For many years later the image of a raven-haired beauty would haunt his dreams.
Little did he know that their paths would eventually cross years after he had married and fathered two children.
It was after abandoning his family in Zephyrhills, Florida for a radiology position in Key West, that he met his “soulmate.”
When Tanzler (now calling himself Count Carl von Cosel) laid eyes on the Cuban-American Maria Elena Milagro de Hoyos, he knew that she was the one he had been waiting for.
Unfortunately, the beautiful 22-year-old woman was diagnosed with tuberculosis – a disease for which there was no cure in the early 1900s.
Despite being unqualified to treat her, Tanzler managed to bully his way into her family home, where he treated the young woman with ‘specially-made’ tonics, elixirs and medicines.
Desperate to cure her, and win her affections, Tanzler showered her with gifts and declared his love for her.
Sadly, she succumbed to her illness in October 1931.
Normally, this would be the end of the story. Not for Dr. Tanzler. In fact, this is where the real story begins… read the rest on the next page.
Now thoroughly derranged by the loss of his ‘soulmate,’ Dr. Tanzler convinced her family to let him purchase a stone mausoleum in Key West Cemetery for her remains.
With her parents’ permission, he hired a mortician to prepare her body and lock her inside.
For two years, Tanzler would visit Hoyos’ grave every night until he lost his job. And then, suddenly, he stopped.
What her family didn’t know was that Tanzler had a key to the mausoleum and he had stolen her body from the graveyard.
He whisked away her decomposing corpse to an old airplane that he had repurposed into a makeshift medical laboratory.
He taught himself some rudimentary embalming techniques then set about preserving his true love forever. He used plaster of Paris and glass eyes to maintain the integrity of her face and then inserted coat hangers and other wires to stabilize her skeleton.
Her torso was stuffed with rags to preserve it’s shape and he continued to apply mortician’s wax to keep her face “alive”.
For seven years, Tanzler wrapped the corpse in a dress, gloves and jewelry, then slept next to the body in his own bed.
It wasn’t until Elena’s sister paid an unexpected visit to Tanzler’s home that he was finally exposed. An autopsy revealed the frightening details of the derranged man’s work, which lead many to believe that he had done much more than sleep next to the deceased woman’s body.
While he was charged with desecration of the grave site, the crime had passed the statute of limitations at the time and his case was dismissed.
Elena’s corpse was preserved and kept on display at a local funeral home for thousands to view, before she was finally laid to rest.
Still mourning the loss of his ‘soulmate,’ the now-free doctor created a life-sized dummy of Hoyos, which he kept in his bed until his death.
Years later, in 1952, he would die alone in his home at the age of 75 years old. It would be three weeks before anyone discovered his body.
While some pitied him for being a hopeless romantic, many more where shocked and disgusted by what he did. What do you think? Was he deranged or just delusional?
[h/t BlumHouse / ATI.com]