As I said before, I think my next book is going to be a bit darker than any of the stuff I have done previously. I wouldn't say that it's going to be horror, but it's definitely going to be creepy. Something like the Twilight Zone or the stories that Roald Dahl wrote for adults. I decided to head to the library to get some ideas... books on ESP, mind powers, hauntings, murders...
And Rasputin came into my mind. I didn't know much about him so I picked up Rasputin: Satyr, Saint or Satan by Douglas Myles.
It breaks down like this...
From a young age Rasputin was able to cure animals and people merely by touching them.
He was clairvoyant.
He was a religious wanderer, who believed in religious salvation through sin. This meant that sex was a purifying act and that there was nothing wrong in finding pleasure in it. These ideas naturally brought him into conflict with the Orthodox Church which believed that sex was for procreation only.
Rasputin also didn't believe that wedding vows meant anything in the eyes of God. There were lots of orgies and apparently women could not resist his animal magnetism (or his rather large penis)(which was supposedly cut from his body when he died and is now on display at an erotic museum in St. Petersburg)(though there is some debate as to whether it is actually Rasputin's penis or a sea cucumber).
He became connected with the Tsars because their son was a hemophiliac and Rasputin was the only one who could stop the bleeding. This brought him into conflict with all the doctors who hadn't been able to help the child.
His resulting close relationship with the Tsars brought him into conflict with all their advisors and many others with political ambitions.
He was also a pacifist who foresaw that World War One wouldn't be good for Russia or any country involved. This brought him into conflict with all the military men who believed that a good war would boost the economy and restore national pride (this despite the fact that Russia didn't have enough guns for its troops)(the strategy was to wait for one of your comrades who had a gun to die and then take his gun as he would no longer have any use for it)(was recognizing the flaw of this strategy proof that Rasputin was clairvoyant?)
He was difficult to murder as well (poison, stabbing, shooting, drowning, who knows what else).
How much of this is true... I don't know. But it's definitely the stuff to make a story out of.
Or a classic bit of disco.