Rumpelstiltskin is a scary fairy tale. It is based on an old German folktale called “Rumpelstiltzchen” which was collected by The Brothers Grimm. The 1857 version of the story features the weirdest suicide ever. Note: In Germany, Rumpelstiltzchen is the name of a goblin, similar to “rumpelgeist” which means “rattle ghost” or “poltergeist”.
The story begins with a man who boasts that his daughter can spin straw into gold. When the king hears this, he locks the girl in a tower, gives her a spinning wheel and some straw and tells her that if she doesn’t spin the straw into gold by morning, he will kill her.
“Get to work now. Spin all night, and if by morning you have not spun this straw into gold, then you will have to die.”
The girl gives up all hope and starts crying, but then an imp appears and promises to help her in return for her jewelry. He helps her twice, but on the third day, the girl has no jewelry left, so he makes her promise to give her firstborn child to him.
“Then promise me, after you are queen, your first child.”
The king is impressed by the girl’s ability to spin straw into gold, so he marries her. But when their first child is born, the imp returns to claim his payment.
Suddenly he appeared in her room and said, “Now give me that which you promised.”
The girls offers him all the wealth she has if he lets her keep the baby. The imp has no interest in her riches, but says she can keep the child if she is able to guess his name within three days.
The girl eventually manages to find out that his name is “Rumpelstiltskin” and when she guesses correctly, the imp flies into a rage and tears his own body in half.
“The devil told you that! The devil told you that!” shouted the little man, and with anger he stomped his right foot so hard into the ground that he fell in up to his waist. Then with both hands he took hold of his left foot and ripped himself up the middle in two.