Human beings are cruel.

Humanity tries its best to sweep that all under the rug, but like dust, truth spreads when you dig deeper.

There are some historical facts and stories that could make one's skin crawl.

And you thought a late-night Dateline NBC episode could give you nightmares.

Redditor DaredevilDude36 wanted to share some sordid details about the past. They asked:

"What is the creepiest historical fact?"

I don't know much about history... so here I go learning.

Death Fear

tales from the darkside 80s GIFGiphy

"Male mummies are found to better preserved because female bodies were not sent for embalming right after their death for the fear of necrophilia."


"mummy brown"

"In the past, people used mummies for everything from medicines to colors to paint with. There was even a tonic to drink that had ground up mummies as part of the ingredients. As for painting, the color was called 'mummy brown.' It became in such high demand that, in some instances, the remains of executed criminals were mummified and used to satiate the demand of artists."


Stocking Up

"In WW1 there was a Hungarian man that said he was stocking up on oil and was sent off to war. His towns people needed it and opened up the cans to find several dead women in there apparently he also tried to suck their blood and he was never seen again."


The Yellow Tiger

"Zhang Xianzhong, also known as Yellow Tiger, was the leader of a seventeenth-century peasant revolt which conquered the Chinese province of Sichuan at in the end days of the Ming Dynasty. There he lived the life of a warlord, in constant battle, and eventually descended into madness and barbarism wherein he turned upon his own people in merciless slaughter."

"He would pile the heads, hands, ears and noses of those he had killed, so as to better keep count of his murders. In Chengdu, there was erected a stele to commemorate his murders. It has come to be known as the Seven Kill Stele, and read: Heaven brings forth innumerable things to nurture man. Man has nothing good with which to recompense Heaven."


Oh Cleo

Elizabeth Taylor Cleopatra GIF by 20th Century Fox Home EntertainmentGiphy

"Cleopatra was the product of four consecutive generations of brother-sister marriages."


History is really littered with scandal. How is so much of this left out in school?


"The Leather Man was an individual who would walk the same 360 mile route between the Hudson and Connecticut Rivers approximately every 30 days for 30 years. He was named Leather Man because of the hand sewn leather clothes he wore and the fact that he never spoke to anyone other than shopkeepers for supplies and would never divulge anything about his past. He is believed to be French or Quebecois because a French bible was found on him when he died. When his grave was recently exhumed to test his DNA, no remains were found."


No Air

"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."


"To add to this: if I’m remembering correctly, they couldn’t get the cut open the ship to get them it could flood the whole ship, and they couldn’t use a torch as it was covered in oil, it would cause a massive explosion. Marines who were in the immediate area would hear them banging on the hull, they’d cover their ears to block out the sounds."


During the Famine

"I live in a city named Halifax in the province of Nova Scotia, Canada. During the potato famine in Ireland thousand of immigrants would land here first before heading on to other parts of Canada. Many did not survive the crossing so mass graves were dug. One day workers who had been loading bodies into these graves went to lunch and upon their return found one person had crawled out."


It Worked

"Berlioz's 'Symphonie Fantastique' was written by him for the woman he was relentlessly stalking and harassing. His idea was to basically reveal to her that he had written it for her after she attended the performance, which he had pressured her into attending. Somehow, that crap worked, and I believe they married... don't believe the marriage lasted. They literally did not speak the same language."


Painful on Purpose

"Vlad III, better known as Vlad the Impaler. It's said that when he impales the Ottomans, he'd use a stick with a dull tip to impale them from the anus through the mouth STRAIGHT UP. And from what I've heard, he used sticks that has dull tips because it would push the organs aside rather than stabbing through."

"So they won't just die right away but they would have to suffer painfully. I can't imagine being a soldier marching through a forest of my comrades moaning in pain, knowing that if I make one mistake, I would end up with them suffering their fate."



"Probably not the creepiest but still disturbing. Japanese warriors during many battles used to behead enemy generals/higher ups and present it to their lord/general at dinner as an 'entertainment' after winning the battle."


"The ancient Celts would embalm the heads of the enemies they had slain in battle and nail them above the entry of their house, or keep them in a chest to show to guests."


To Shore

"The Raft of the Medusa. In 1816, France sent a ship called the Medusa to go reclaim the French African colony of Senegal. The captain was appointed based on politics rather than merit. Captain Dumba** ended up running the ship onto a sand bar and refused to dump the cannons in order to make the ship light enough to get back into sea."

"The giant raft they built to hold the ship's cargo was eventually used to float the 147 people who couldn't fit onto the lifeboats. The idea was that the lifeboats could tow the raft to shore. The lifeboat folks, including Captain Dumba** and the governor, decided to cut off the raft and leave everyone for dead while they sailed to land. After two weeks, there were only fifteen men left alive on the raft and boy, did they have a story to tell."



"Not really creepy more like.. gross. One of the King Louis. His servant said that he had so much lice that when he would eat, clumps of lice would just fall onto his food. Apparently washing your head/hair was 'unhygienic' back then. I don’t know much about lice or medieval times, or which King it was, this was just something I heard from several people and I never thought it was fully true. I thought it was something I could share on this question. Again I’m so sorry and just wash your hair, people!!!!"


Trial and Tribulation

"One of the creepiest events I tell students in my Western Civilizations class is the ecclesiastical trial of Pope Formosus around 875 AD. This event was called the Synodus Horrenda, also known as the Cadaver Synod. Formosus had been dead for 7 months, but the new Pope, Pope Stephen VI, found it necessary to exhume Formosus' body and bring it to the papal court to answer for accusations of perjury and acceding the papacy illegally."

"Granted, the Catholic Church has gone through many strange things over the course of its history, however, this event always gets a reaction, especially when the Jean-Paul Laurens painting is shown."


full of absolute psychopaths...

"Ancient Japan was full of absolute psychopaths, for example during the Sengoku period if a daimyo won a battle a lot of them would order the executions of entire villages, women and children included, just to send a message to their rivals that they weren't to be f**ked with. Nobunaga Oda and Masamune Date were both definitely noted for this. Absolutely unnecessary, they cared more about their own reputation and flexing than they did about the lives of an entire village."



"The assassin of US President James Garfield, Charles J. Guiteau, had a long history of priapism and phimosis. This resulted in chronic pain because his foreskin was so tight that it would not and could not retract normally. A group of doctors claim the severe pain led to a form of insanity that led him to kill the president. At Guiteau's autopsy, he was found to also have an advanced case of balanitis and balanoposthitis with a significant accumulation of smegma. Go figure. A dirty *ick killed a president."


The Emporer

"The first emperor of China Shih Huang Di wanted to live forever so he was looking for the elixir of immortality. His doctors were given a choice find it or die.. Anyhow soon he discovered a liquid that is considered to be it... Thus he drank it daily... Not knowing his magical liquid was actually Mercury and it was slowly poisoning him... He died of Mercury poisoning..."


Pure Evil

"Madame Delphine LaLaurie was a wealthy socialite in New Orleans Louisiana who happened to be a most disturbing sadist and serial killer with a secret torture chamber in the attic. She tortured and killed her servants and was found out because of a fire that started in her house."



"The Einsatzgruppen has always freaked me out. They were the Nazi death squads that went around and shot people into mass graves. But they started to go crazy having to look people in the eye and shoot them, so the high command came up with the idea for death camps."

"The whole series of events is basically the worst game of dominoes ever. Edit: Also, I think the cost of bullets was too high - another contributing factor to developing gas chambers. While we are on the topic: they used to suffocate people in vans with exhaust pumped in."


History is gruesome. It's like real life horror movies.

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