With good reason it has been argued that Rasputin, an unordained Russian mystic and holy man, who helped discredit the tsarist government, leading to the fall of the Romanov dynasty in 1917, was a vampire.

Contemporary opinions variously saw Rasputin as a saintly mystic, visionary, healer, and prophet, or as a debauched religious charlatan. Historians can find both to be true, but also much uncertainty: accounts of his life have often been based on dubious memoirs, hearsay, and legend.

Grigori Rasputin (1916)

The murder of Rasputin has become legend, some of it invented by the very men who killed him, so that it becomes difficult to discern exactly what happened. However, it is generally agreed that on December 16, 1916, having decided that Rasputin’s influence over the Tsarina made him too dangerous to the Empire, a group of nobles led by Prince Felix Yusupov, and the Grand Duke, Dmitri Pavlovich  apparently lured Rasputin to the Yusupovs’ Moika Palace, where they served him cakes and red wine laced with a large amount of cyanide.

According to the legend, Rasputin was not affected, although there was enough poison to kill ten men. Maria Rasputin’s account says that if her father ate poison, it was not in the cakes or wine, because after the attack by Guseva, he had hyperacidity, and avoided anything with sugar. She expressed doubt that he was poisoned at all.

Determined to finish the job, Yusupov worried that Rasputin would live until morning, so that the conspirators wouldn’t have time to conceal his body. He ran upstairs to consult with the others, then came back down and shot Rasputin through the back with a revolver. Rasputin fell. When Yusupov went to check on the body, Rasputin opened his eyes, grabbed Felix by the throat, strangling him, and then threw him across the room and took off. As he made his bid for freedom, the rest of the conspirators arrived and fired at him. After being hit three times in the back, he fell. As they neared his body, they found he was trying to get up so they clubbed him into submission. Then after wrapping his body in a sheet, threw him into the icy Neva River. (Other accounts says he was not dead when he fall into the Neva but he received two silver bullets in the chest and was eventually defeated because of the running water flaw of the vampire.)

Three days later the body of Rasputin — poisoned, shot four times, and badly beaten — was recovered from the river and autopsied. The cause of death was drowning. His arms were apparently found in an upright position, as if he had tried to claw his way out from under the ice. In the autopsy, it was found that he was poisoned, and that the poison alone should have killed him.

Subsequently, the Empress Alexandra buried Rasputin’s body in the grounds of Tsarskoe Selo. After the February Revolution, a group of workers from Petrograd uncovered Rasputin’s body, carried it into a nearby wood and burned it.
Weeks before he was assassinated in December 1916, according to his secretary Simonovich, Rasputin wrote the following:

I write and leave behind me this letter at St. Petersburg. I feel that I shall leave life before January 1. I wish to make known to the Russian people, to Papa, to the Russian Mother and to the Children, to the land of Russia, what they must understand. If I am killed by common assassins, and especially by my brothers the Russian peasants, you, Tsar of Russia, will have nothing to fear for your children, they will reign for hundreds of years in Russia. But if I am murdered by boyars, nobles, and if they shed my blood, their hands will remain soiled with my blood, for twenty-five years they will not wash their hands from my blood. They will leave Russia. Brothers will kill brothers, and they will kill each other and hate each other, and for twenty-five years there will be no nobles in the country. Tsar of the land of Russia, if you hear the sound of the bell which will tell you that Grigori has been killed, you must know this: if it was your relations who have wrought my death, then no one in the family, that is to say, none of your children or relations, will remain alive for more than two years. They will be killed by the Russian people. I go, and I feel in me the divine command to tell the Russian Tsar how he must live if I have disappeared. You must reflect and act prudently. Think of your safety and tell your relations that I have paid for them with my blood. I shall be killed. I am no longer among the living. Pray, pray, be strong, think of your blessed family. -Grigori