Bluebeard is the villain in a European folktale made famous by Charles Perrault in his tale Barbe bleue. According to the story, Bluebeard married several women, one after the other, and murdered each of them. He threw their bodies in a special room inside his castle. He married yet again and gave his new bride the keys to the castle, telling her that she might go anywhere in the castle except for that one room. While Bluebeard was away, however, his young wife's curiosity got the better of her and she opened the door to the forbidden room. There she discovered the remains of Bluebeard's previous wives. When Bluebeard returned, he realized that his wife had found out his secret and told her that she must prepare to die.
The story has several different endings. In one version, the young wife killed Bluebeard with his own sword. In another, her brothers came to her rescue and killed him. The theme of the story of Bluebeard—the penalty for being too curious—appears in the folktales of many countries.