Ancient Voodoo followers soaked a burial hut in the blood of 40 people

For 280 years, the state of Dahomey existed on the territory of West Africa. It was located on the lands of the modern republics of Benin and Togo, and was known for its active participation in the slave trade. It is believed that from the 17th to the 19th century, approximately two million slaves were exported from this state. In addition to this, the state had a cult of rulers – each king made sacrifices to his ancestors. Warriors played a large role in the state, they were trained from early childhood. Then they participated in numerous conquests, thanks to which Dahomey subjugated a number of small states on the Atlantic coast. A particularly cruel ruler of Dahomey was King Gezo, at whose palace there were two burial huts built in honor of his father. There were rumors that a solution with human blood was used during the construction of the structures. This was recently scientifically confirmed.

Ancient followers of voodoo soaked a burial hut with the blood of 40 people. Structures in the African city of Abomey, where cruel rulers once lived. Image source: Photo.

African King Gezo

The palace of King Gezo is located in the city of Abomey, which in turn is located in the African republic of Benin. Hundreds of years ago, it was the capital of the state of Dahomey, in the history of which there were twelve cruel rulers. They ruled from the 17th to the early 20th centuries, and the ninth of them, King Gezo, is considered the most brutal. He ruled the state from 1818 to 1858 and left behind a long trail of human blood.

According to historical data, King Gezo gained power by force – he overthrew his older brother Adandozan. During his reign, the slave trade flourished in the state. Slaves were prisoners of war taken during military campaigns against neighboring African tribes. In the mid-1850s, the British tried to convince the king to stop the slave trade, but no one would listen to them – this business brought in a lot of income.

African King Gezo. African King Gezo. Image source: Photo.

African King Gezo. Image source:

King Gezo treated not only the slaves harshly, but also the rulers of the conquered tribes. According to the scientific publication IFL Science, the alley leading to his palace was paved with skulls and jaws of killed enemies. And his throne, as is commonly believed, stood on the skulls of four defeated enemy leaders.

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Voodoo blood sacrifices

But the creepiest thing about this king is the burial hut he dedicated to his father. As was said at the beginning of the article, the cult of the ruler was active in the state, and each king considered it his duty to regularly make sacrifices to his ancestors. In Africa, especially before the beginning of the 20th century, the voodoo cult was very popular. Voodoo followers believe that sacrificial blood combines the life energy of the killed with the power of the invisible spirits of Loa.

Judging by the results of scientific research, King Gezo offered the blood of more than 40 people as victims. Most likely, the victims were prisoners of enemy settlements. Their blood was added to the mortar, that is, the burial hut at the king's palace was literally soaked in human blood.

Bloody Voodoo sacrifices. Blood red walls of King Gezo's burial hut. Image source: Photo.

The blood-red walls of King Gezo's burial hut. Image source:

For many years, reports that the structure was built using a solution of human blood were considered legend. But recently, evidence appeared in the scientific journal Proteomics that this is true.

As part of the scientific work, scientists used modern equipment to determine the exact composition of the mortar. Indeed, scientists found clear traces of human blood in the solution. They also found traces of wheat in the composition, which seemed strange to them – this crop began to be grown on these lands only many years after the death of King Gazo. But the researchers took into account that the ruler had good connections with France, and the wheat could have been delivered from another country.

The authors of the scientific work noted that after the death of King Gazo in a battle with warriors of the Yoruba people, a ritual was performed in Dahomey with the sacrifice of about 500 people. It is possible that the discovered blood was shed during this terrible ritual.

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Everything written above may be shocking, but in ancient times, sacrifices were commonplace. For example, in the Mexican state of Puebla there is a huge pyramid of Cholula, which is also soaked in blood. If you want details, read our article “The largest pyramid is located in Mexico and has a bloody history.”