People Share The Creepiest Historical Fact They've Ever Learned

Knowable

They never mentioned that in school....

History is riddled with issues and information we'd all be best probably not being privy to. Some facts are just too salacious and macabre. They weren't kidding about curiosity and that cat. We should learn from the cat. Some knowledge is not necessarily power.


Redditor u/xavierdc wanted to discuss what knowledge some people have happened upon that they wish they had not by asking... What is the creepiest historical fact you know?

Pray tell....

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

'Wendigo Psychosis' 

The ancient Gauls used to collect the heads of their fallen foes and would display them in their homes. Particularly worthy opponents would have their heads embalmed in cedar oil to preserve them so they could be displayed for years.

In 1878 a Plains Cree American native named Swift Runner killed and ate his family, he accounts for one of many recorded cases of 'Wendigo Psychosis' a mental illness (or is it?) related to the Wendigo myth where people believe themselves to become possessed by a Wendigo and suffer from an irresistible craving for human flesh.

Starting in 1764, in Gevaudan, France, a creature reported as a gigantic wolf with blood red fur killed as many as 113 people, and injured many more. Some were eaten, but some were killed and left to rot. Some victims were decapitated, and others had their clothing ripped off. The problem was serious enough that Louis XV took notice and dispatched professional hunters to find the beast. It was finally killed by a hunter named Jean Chastel, who used a silver bullet to deliver the killing blow. SaltiestRaccoon

Claimed. 

Long ago when Samurai were common, they would loudly announce their names before killing their target. They did this so that no other warriors could claim their kill, since everyone in the area would've heard them say their own name. Sometimes after beheading their enemy, they'd keep the head and sell it to a Shogun for proof of their job, and since heads were worth so much Sen, thieves would often break into rich homes to steal severed heads. Inquisicole

smashed and smooshed....

In England, during the 1800's, some cemeteries were filling fast so coffins were stacked on top of each other. Some previously buried coffins were smashed and smooshed to make them all fit. Some of the grave diggers contracted diseases from handling diseased corpses. Three years ago, I discovered my 4th great grandfather was buried in an old cemetery in a town I lived in. The cemetery has no headstones, records were lost.

Many years ago, a road was built over a section of it. The road is behind a McDonald's store and looking at maps part of the McDonald's car park may also be part of the cemetery. I have driven over that road and into that car park so many times to go through drive thru. I may have driven over an ancestor to buy fast food! I haven't been haunted by him yet, so that's nice. JoeCarthy

A Pooped Genius.

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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart loved poop. This is a letter he sent his cousin:

Well, I wish you good night, but first poop in your bed and make it burst. Sleep soundly, my love.

Weird guy. Cool music I guess. lognostic

You can't make this stuff up. 

Sir Hugh Despenser the Younger was "punished" for backing the wrong nobles in a power struggle, with execution by torture while tied near the top of a ladder leaning against an urban building while a crowd of onlookers watched. The torturer was a surgeon who had to stand near the top of an adjacent ladder while surgically cutting out Sir Hugh's liver. There's an actual painting of this called "The Execution of Sir Hugh Despenser the Younger." You can't make this stuff up. Jugmentor

Mouth Issues. 

Before "proper" dentures came about in the mid-1800s, dentures were made using teeth taken from deceased soldiers and fitted into denture pieces. :) FreshBootyInspector

Children as well. Sir_Quackington

Walled In. 

So many people died making the Great Wall of China, they never removed the bodies from the site. Pretty sure the bodies became part of the Great Wall of China. It's supposed to protect, and yet, so many people died creating it. _Fengo

the house in new orleans... 

the story of delphine lalaurie. literally terrifying what she did. she would always host house parties, and at every single party she would end up going upstairs and coming down in a completely different dress and nobody knew why until the house caught on fire on day. she was caught with slaves suffering through some of the worst torture imaginable. the story is actually really interesting, the show 'american horror story' covers it in a very enticing way. but delphine's home still remains in new orleans and you can actually tour it. bunnyh0pp

"Attack of the dead men"

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August 6, year 1915, Osowiec fortress. After poisonous bombardment from germans around 500 of Russians charged once again with the last strength they had. This event was called "Attack of the dead men". Germans didn't expected them to reincarnate and charge at them. Just imagine some Russian, charging at you, trying to shoot while his body slowly rots. SeemsNormalToMe

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