People Describe The Creepiest Historical Facts They Know


Things I wish I could forget....

The past is riddled with horrors. It's not often the history books go into detail, and for good reason. Until college it feels like we get the Disney version of history, but actual history mimics an Anne Rice novel. There is so much bloodshed and trauma it's no wonder the world is in chaos today. It can be startling once you uncover some heinous truth. That's why I try not to read.

Redditor u/PHYPHTIN_official was excited to know what things from the past we all want to try to forget by asking....

What are some CREEPY historical facts?

The Butcher

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We still don't know the identity of the Butcher of Kingsbury Run (aka the Cleveland Torso Murderer) who terrorized Cleveland's Third Ward in the 1930s. And because he was so good at dismembering his victims, only two of them (out of at least 13) have been identified either.


"ghost ship"

The Carroll A Deering is known as the "ghost ship" of the Outer Banks.

100 years ago, the unmanned schooner drifted ashore with no sign of its crew. The only living thing found on the ship could unfortunately not offer a word of explanation: a grey 5-toed cat who was completely unharmed and lived to bestow a progeny of its 5-toed ancestors on the islands.


 USS West Virginia

3 sailors survived the sinking of the USS West Virginia at Pearl Harbor, only to die 16 days later, due to the lack of air. The Navy knew they were there, but couldn't get to them. Imagine being a sailor stationed on the wreckage hearing them bang out Morse code on the hull, knowing that you couldn't do anything.

They ended up trapped in a store room, that had food, water, and flashlights. They ended up suffocating because the air ran out.



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A lady who convinced everyone she was giving birth to animals. Eventually it turned out she had miscarried, and was stuffing rabbits, etc into herself and then pretending to give birth.


Residential schools.

Heartbreaking rather than creepy :( basically kidnapping indigenous children from their families, forcing them into awful facilities where they were tortured for speaking their native languages and anything else you can think of relating to their own cultures.

The saddest thing is that these programs didn't end until 1966.


An Ugly Lineage

The Black Dahlia case plus the Zodiac case both Killers have never been caught or found out about.


There's a brilliant true crime podcast called Root of Evil that follows the great granddaughters of a man believed to be the black Dahlia killer. They have recordings their mother, his grand daughter, made about finding out about the messed up crap their great grandfather did. At one point they talk to their great uncle who was a cop that actually investigated his father for the murders. Even excluding the black Dahlia murders, it's still a super interesting story about a truly screwed up family, highly recommend.



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There was a man called Tararre who had a bodily mutation that made him extremely hungry all the time. If you looked down his throat, you could see directly into his stomach. In his lifetime he tore a live cat in half with his bare hands, ate multiple pieces of human corpses, and most terrifyingly of all, ate a baby. The scariest thing was Tararre didn't see anything wrong with his actions because his only motive to do anything was for literal tonnes of food.



During the 1918 flu pandemic also known as the Spanish flu, the simptons were horrible, your lungs would start to get holes in it not allowing the patient to breathe, killing him or her, your skin would turn blue because of lack of oxygen, and when nurses moved the body? There would be a cracking noise from the body. Graves would hold about 8 bodies in them because of how much deaths the were, there were more deaths during the 1918 flu pandemic then both WW1 and WW2 combined.



I don't remember the year and if this is crappy enough but I think is something

A group of Argentinians and Uruguaian rugby players where traveling on a plane when it exploded and crashed on the andes mountain range.

They spend three months on the crash site.

The creepy part is that when the rations of bread and chocolate run out. They started eating the dead bodies of their friends. And for making creepier the guy who has a little knowledge about medicine recommended what are the best parts to eat raw.


Those we never speak of....

In Sao Paulo state, Brazil, there was a relatively huge group of Japanese immigrants that don't accepted Japan was defeated in WWII and they just went to the countryside streets killing other Japanese immigrants with katanas because they don't agree with them about it (they would call regular Japanese immigrants as makegumi - people who are losers. Yeap).

I've been growing up listening about those stories, and I was always terrified. They were cruel and kind of sadistic. A real slice of complete fanatism into the Brazilian colony. This group don't exist anymore (tbh for more than 6 decades I think) and even then my mother (she is Japanese-Brazilian) doesn't feels comfortable even to SAY THE GROUP'S NAME OUT LOUD in her OWN HOUSE. NOWADAYS.

And they just don't exist anymore. Gosh Tbh I was so terrified about them when I was a kid listening to my mother's stories, that has passed through generation to generation in a really dark tone (this is somehow a taboo to colony until now in Brazil), that I think I can't write the name of the group here too lol. I don't really know to explain, I just know that when you manage to listen the survivors' stories it is like... Real damn cold horror.


Look Away....

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When French revolutionary Maximilien Robespierre realized he was to be executed, he attempted suicide by shooting himself in the mouth. He was unsuccessful, and when they took him to the guillotine the executioner ripped off the bandage holding his wounded jaw together causing him to scream in agony before the crowd until he was silenced by the blade of the guillotine.


Beyond the Fortress....

There was this one fortress in Russia that the Germans were assaulting during WWI, and the Germans knew the Russians didn't have gas masks, so they gassed the place up. When the Germans thought the Russians were all dead they went inside, but were attacked by surviving Russians that looked like zombies, with their faces torn off and distorted by the gas, as well as cloth covering parts of their bodies and so the Germans retreated out of fear.


USS Indianapolis.....

When the Portland-class heavy cruiser USS Indianapolis was torpedoed by the submarine I-58, the sailors that survived were left adrift in the Pacific Ocean for several days and hundreds died from dehydration, hypernatremia, hypothermia, delirium, and shark attacks. Of the 895 men that survived the initial sinking, just 316 survived to be rescued.

The captain's story in the aftermath was also a sad one. The Navy attempted to court martial him for the sinking as they asserted he had failed to zigzag, but this was later proven to have been irrelevant and there was evidence the Navy had put the ship in harm's way by failing to report submarines in the area, not providing an escort, and taking four days to rescue survivors despite three SOS signals being received.

Though his sentence was remitted, some families of the dead men still blamed him and would harass him for years, sending him mail with messages such as "Merry Christmas! Our family's holiday would be a lot merrier if you hadn't killed my son" and he was burdened with guilt for the rest of his life.

He would commit suicide 23 years later, his standard-issue revolver in one hand and a toy sailor in the other. All because the US Navy screwed up and needed a fall guy.



In 1905, French physician Dr. Gabriel Beaurieux witnessed the beheading of a man named Languille by guillotine.

After, he wrote "Here, then, is what I was able to note immediately after the decapitation: the eyelids and lips of the guillotined man worked in irregularly rhythmic contractions for about five or six seconds. I waited for several seconds. The spasmodic movements ceased.

The face relaxed, the lids half closed on the eyeballs, leaving only the white of the conjunctiva visible, exactly as in the dying whom we have occasion to see every day in the exercise of our profession, or as in those just dead.

It was then that I called in a strong, sharp voice: 'Languille' I saw the eyelids slowly lift up, without any spasmodic contractions

Next Languille's eyes very definitely fixed themselves on mine and the pupils focused themselves.

I was not, then, dealing with the sort of vague dull look without any expression, that can be observed any day in dying people to whom one speaks: I was dealing with undeniably living eyes which were looking at me."


Justy for Fluffy!

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The great cat massacre in Paris in the 1730's, when cats were killed. Apparently everyone found it absolutely hilarious, with a mock trial for the supposed crimes he cats had committed. The event was part of a revolt, and is seen as incredibly morbid nowadays.


Brass Bull....

There used to be a form of execution called the brass bull where someone would be locked inside a hollow statue of a bull made of brass. They would light a fire under the bull and the person would be burnt alive by the scorching metal. In the bulls head there was a special kind of horn that made the victims screams sound similar to a bull.


Hey Anne....

When Anne of Cleves was brought to London to meet her future husband, King Henry VIII, he decided to do this thing where he snuck around and tried to mack on her. Supposedly, even though they'd never met, she was supposed to recognize him as her one true love. She was all "Who the hell is this nasty old dude trying to get on me?" and he was kind of insulted by that. He ended up divorcing her later, without ever consummating the marriage.



In 1963 an American man used a pay phone to call a British newspaper, he told them to call the U.S. embassy for some "exiting" news, then he hung up, the man has never been identified. 30 minutes later president John Kennedy was shot and killed.


Eyes Wide Open. 

Fatal Familial Insomnia is an inherited disease caused by a mutation in the PrPc protein ( cellular prions considered common to all cells that do not manifest any harm to the body).

The disease usually starts in middle age. Initially, it is difficult to sleep, progressing to intense insomnia , hallucinations, delusions and dementia. This is because the thalamus (responsible for controlling sleep-wakefulness and aiding the response of the senses) is compromised. Evolution is fast and invariably leads to death. The median survival time from the onset of symptoms is 18 months.

It is usually caused by a mutation in the Prcp protein . It has two forms: fatal familial insomnia, which is autosomal dominant, and sporadic fatal insomnia (sFI), caused by a non-hereditary mutation. The diagnosis is made from the study of sleep, tomography (PET) and genetic tests.

Fatal insomnia has no known cure. The first recorded case was in an Italian man, who died in Venice in 1765. He survived 9 months without sleep.


Falling Corpses....

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Katyn massacre. Soviets executed 21 000 Polish soldiers, cops and border guards. Their families (60k people) which were there were sent to Kazakhstan. POWs were brought to forests, tied and shot in the head from behind. Corpses were falling to ditches.

After the job Soviet command decided to plant forests in places of executions to make them harder to find. When Polish government in exile asked Stalin what happened to those POWs he said "IDK, they probably escaped to Manchuria". Germans discovered it in 1943 which made Poles break diplomatic relations with the USSR. During the executions NKVD officers used German pistols to blame Nazis.



If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at

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