The desire to engage in a lavish party wearing extravagant costumes and being spoiled with no less excessive delicacies grows stronger by the day as the pandemic keeps forcing everyone to stay isolated from each other.

Still, then again, such craving has long been in existence since before the current time of quarantine and mask mandate.

Now and then, the news tells stories of how the irresponsible breaks the rules and arranges for secretive yet exorbitant parties with no regard for both new and old normal.

However, no matter what they do, it is unlikely to match the level of evil that the old-school surrealist parties once boasted.

If you think 21st century Halloween affairs are as elaborate as they come, well then you are in for an introspectively humbling history lesson of the infamous Marie-Hélène de Rothschild’s surrealist ball held at Château de Ferrières in 1972, several years before the manor was donated to the University of Paris.

Everything about the ball, from the invitation to the costume, from the meals to the servants, was so ostentatious it harbored conspiracy theories.


10 /10 Château De Ferrières

Baroness Marie-Hélène de Rothschild and her third-cousin/husband Baron Guy de Rothschild, threw a party called “Diner de Têtes Surrealistes” on December 12, 1972, at the fabulous Château de Ferrières, the largest and most luxurious 19th-century manor in France.

It was the house where Guy and his sisters grew up. During World War II, the estate was seized by the Nazis and remained empty until 1959, when Guy and his wife decided to reopen it.

Since then, the property became a regular venue for themed parties attended mainly by aristocrats before it was donated to the University of Paris.


9 /10 A Party On Fire

Every guest invited to Diner de Têtes Surrealistes was instructed to wear black tie and long gowns – which at first seemed nothing out of the extraordinary – but then the directive continued with “surrealist head.”

The invitation was printed in reverse, so the invitees might need a mirror to decipher the message.

Many of the guests were members of royal families throughout Europe, in addition to the couple’s personal friends, including Audrey Hepburn and Salvador Dali.

The venue, Château de Ferrières, was bathed in orange floodlights as if it was on fire.


8 /10 Some Dresses

Diner de Têtes Surrealistes translates to “Surrealist Heads Dinner,” which was no figurative speech.

Marie-Hélène de Rothschild hosted the party as a fallen stag, with an almost too-real animal head decorated with towering antlers; added to the perversity was a couple of pear-shaped giant diamond teardrops.

Famous perfumer Hélène Rochas wore a gramophone, while Audrey Hepburn came up with her head trapped in a birdcage.

Baron Alexis de Redé had a confusing multiple-faces hat, designed by Salvador Dali, who didn’t appear to wear any decorative head himself.


7 /10 Fur-Covered Dinner Plates

Several servants dressed as fallen cats in many different staged poses welcomed the guests upon entering the manor.

The guests would have to navigate themselves through a maze of cobwebs, following the leads of the cats to their tables, which were set in the most outrageous arrangements.

The dinner plates were covered with fur, the fork was replaced with dead fish, plastic baby dolls and taxidermy tortoises were all over the place, and the dessert was made entirely of sugar in the shape of a nude woman mounted on a bed of roses.


6 /10 Eyes Wide Shut

The 1999 erotic mystery film “Eyes Wide Shut” featured a party scene resembling the supposed atmosphere of Diner de Têtes Surrealistes.

Many believed that film director Stanley Kubric was well aware of the Surrealist Ball and used it as a reference point.

During the inquisitor sequence, the character Bill Harford (portrayed by Tom Cruise) was confronted by a scantily clad lady wearing a mask.

In another sequence, all the masked guests in the party were gazing up at her – a scene that undoubtedly looks to be taken directly from the Rothschild’s surrealist ball.


5 /10 Satanic Rituals

More than four decades later, all over the internet, some people are still unconvincingly trying to draw some unnecessary symbolisms that they thought the ball represented.

For example, the pieces of plastic baby dolls placed on the dinner table were supposedly referring to human sacrifice; and the orange floodlights which made the manor shine like a fire were a warning sign that the building was a place for satanic rituals.

The party was conventional, but no evidence to support such conspiracies.


4 /10 Occult Symbols

The Rothschild family has been subjected to several conspiracy theories over the centuries with unsubstantiated allegations, such as how the family provoked wars for their financial gain and exert control over the world’s financials.

The 1972 Rothschild Ball was no exception; conspiracy theorists have pointed out some occult symbols starting with the invitation.

Reverse printing was said to be a symbol of inversion, a belief about devil-worshipping. There has been no evidence that any satanic ritual took place.

3 /10 Human Sacrifice

Many others claim that the ball was full of Illuminati and Freemason imagery, such as the manor’s checkered floors.

Black-and-white checkered floors are indeed symbolic of the Freemasons, but then again, the origin traces back to Ancient Egypt, in which the symbol represented duality – good and evil – of life.

Some used the disturbing plastic dolls as the basis of their allegations that everyone who attended the ball was part of a group that approved human sacrifice.

For sure, dismembered dolls looked scary, but broken mannequins are not that uncommon in clothing stores either.

Wikimedia Commons

2 /10 Unfiltered Conspiracy Theories

It does seem that the conspiracy theories about the Rothschild will not go away anytime soon as long as famous figures like Alex Jones and Louis Farrakhan keep pushing their unsubstantiated words about the family.

One Jordanian TV analyst once declared that the Rothschild played a role in the assassination of six presidents.

An easily accessible platform like YouTube, which purportedly filters anti-Semitic contents, is in reality full of such remarks with millions of views.

For conspiracy theorists, everything that any of the Rothschild family members did or did must be sprinkled with hidden agenda.


1 /10 A Charm That Defies Description

Marie-Helene de Rothschild, who forever would be remembered as one of the most creative, imaginative, sophisticated pasty hosts, died on Friday, March 1, 1996, at 68.

For most of her adult life, her activities became significant parts of Europe’s exclusive social circles and inspiration for jet setters after her.

During her last ten years, she had cancer and incurable degenerative rheumatoid arthritis. Her husband once said that she had a great appetite for life, spontaneity as ever-changing as the sea, and a charm that defied description. 

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