Top Stories

People Share The Creepiest Thing They Found While Exploring Abandoned Buildings

"I'm just going to leave and never come back, that cool?"


Thanks to all the fine folk on Reddit that shared their stories. Sources hyperlinked in usernames.

1. Me and friend are under this old train bridge out in the middle of nowhere checking out the graffiti under it. I'm checking out this piece next to a pile of rolled up old carpet. Suddenly I hear "can I help you?" I look down and see a dudes head sticking out of one of the carpet rolls, about gave me a heart attack. Turns out its some homeless guy that lived under there, he was wrapped up to stay warm. Dude ended up being chill, we explained we were just looking at graff, he said he was just worried we were gonna hurt him. After chatting with him he went back to sleep and we went on our way.


2. Broke into an abandoned mansion in my hometown. Place has been empty for as long as I can remember. It stands on a massive property on the side of a busy road, and there is a big lake behind the house. I went in broad daylight, the property and hedges are large enough that I wasn't immediately visible from the road. Broke in through a back window. The majority of the house was dark, most of the windows and French doors had been boarded up. House was really creaky, like an old ship. There was a lot of really ugly late 60s/early 70s furniture, everything was gold or brown or orange. Found some mail in a front room, all dated around August 1995, so I figured that's when the former owners must've left, for whatever reason. In another room I found a kid's toys- but they didn't look old, they looked like someone had just been playing with them recently. In the kitchen, I found some empty cans of beans that also looked relatively new, and in the pantry, there were urine soaked sofa cushions someone had been using as a bed. This is when I started to get freaked out, because obviously someone had been there somewhat recently, but they didn't seem to be there.

I went up to the second floor. The floor of the upstairs hallway was so warped that it was curved in a rainbow shape, and was hard to walk down. In the last bedroom at the end of the hall, I found a room full of birthday cards. I mean hundreds of birthday cards. They all, in some way or another, were wishing someone named Eric a happy birthday, only that they were all written by the same hand. Most seemed to have been written with the same pen, even.

Finally, I went up to the third floor. The hallway was so warped I had to brace myself against the wall. I had barely started when I heard movement from a bedroom a little ways down- it sounded like slapping and dragging. I stood as quietly as possible until a pair of filthy hands came out of the doorway and a man began to pull himself across the threshold into the hall. He wasn't groaning- I can't think of a word, but it was far more aggressive than groaning. I bolted, ran all the way down the stairs and back out the window I came in. I looked back but didn't see anyone following me.

This happened in Suffolk County, Long Island back in June 2009, and no, not in Amityville. The mansion has since been torn down and the lot remains empty.


3. My friends and I went into an old WW2 bomb shelter in some woods when we were about 10 years old. In them we found very explicit drawings in pencil of cartoon characters naked doing sexual acts. Like Kim Possible, every Simpsons character and some Family guy ones too.


4. There's an old abandoned mental asylum near where I live which is pretty creepy.

It's got a pretty depressing history, (history meaning the stories other kids told me).

Anyway the asylum is huge and because it's pitch black, it's so easy to get lost, it's like a labyrinth inside, makin git very confusing and disorienting. It smells weird, and is filled with relics from the past, like hospital beds machines etc.

But the scariest thing that happened to me personally was the last time I went. Me and my friends walked into a dark room, and the entire ()

and the entire floor was missing, apart from a small patch directly in front of the door. As I was walking in, I almost fell completely down the hole, which was like a 2 storey drop, I was probably like half an inch from really messing myself up.


5. A family everyone in the neighborhood disliked moved out without telling anyone, nearly a year later people started exploring their old trailer. Me and two other friends were bored and high when we decided to get in on the urban exploring, we went at night with flashlights. We had a full five minutes (I think) of running around the old trailer before everything went to hell.

We were poking around the master bedroom when we heard cars or trucks coming down the gravel driveway, one friend dived into the closet and the other followed him, there was an open window leading to the back deck that we could have used but panic set in and I didn't want to abandon my friends. We sat there cowering while at least six people speaking and yelling in Spanish tore apart the trailer for the copper and stuff in the walls. We don't know how long we were in there, the time estimates ranged from an hour to 3 hours, but it was long enough for them to take most of the metal siding from the trailers exterior and bust up all the walls we ran past afterwards. One friend knew Spanish and would whisper translations, it was just them screaming to tear down this or that along with instructions to duck down when a car passed on the street, sprinkled in between were laughter and curses. One said something and they all laughed really hard, she told us he said he'd [mess] up any cops that showed and translated all the banter of specifically how they'd kill the cop, we told her to shut up after that. They weren't dumb teenagers, these were grown men who joked about murder while tearing apart someones home for scrap metal.

The three of us hiding in a nasty closet while a bunch people scavenged the house was the most terrifying abandon building experience I've ever had.


6. I went into an abandoned elementary school with some of my friends once. There was actually a homeless dude jerking off in the bathroom. I was 14 and had never seen a penis in real life before. The school is in walking distance of my house and I avoid it at all costs, even now.


7. I always go in numbers and every time we leave a place we assume is completely abandoned, we always scream out, "if anyone is here let your presence be known."

Then 75% of the time we hear a yell or clapping. Then we freak the hell out, then try to convince ourselves that we didn't really hear anything.


8. I was exploring this really awesome abandoned Victorian-era mansion-turned-mental-asylum. It had everything; a stone ballroom, indoor fountain, huge staircase at the entrance that looked straight out of Resident Evil, a tower, patient rooms, the works. What made it even cooler was that I had stumbled into the place totally by accident. I had been exploring a nearby building on a whim and as it turned out it connected to the mansion.

I had been in there for at least an hour, maybe more, and I only had a few rooms left to explore. I walk into a big one on the top floor of the place and the first thing I see is a sign that says ()

something along the lines of "WARNING: Extremely high levels of asbestos in this area. Respirators must be worn. If you have been exposed go to [nearby hospital's ER] immediately."

I immediately sprinted the hell out of there, threw my clothes in the wash first thing when I got home, and took a really long shower. I also never went exploring again without having a P100 respirator on first.


9. There's an old abandoned slaughter house outside my hometown my friends and I used to go exploring in. One day during midday we where wondering around the upstairs when we heard people on the main floor talking. Kind of spooked we quieted down and looked for some cracks in the very old floor boards to try and spy on the people downstairs.

What we saw where three older guys (older than us, still in high school), they where smoking put of a pipe and after they finished they entered one of the rooms near the back of the plant leaving the door ajar. We slowly made our way down the stairs moving as quietly and as fast as we could. After making it to the main floor I decided I wanted to see what they where doing so I slipped away from my friends heading to the car to try and get a peek. I moved 15 or 20 yards down from the front of the door and hid behind a stack of old planks and gravel.

I looked in and could see that they where smoking again, and were fooling with a bunch of containers (some boiling) and with tubes. Holy crap I thought to myself, we got some real life meth heads here. Then I realized that they probably wouldn't take kindly to my prying eyes and began moving out and back to the car. As I'm moving and trying to keep an eye on them, I knocked over some stuff (I honestly can't remember what). I remember scurrying to try and catch the stuff before it hit the ground. I failed. There was a loud crash and a "THE F___ WAS THAT?". I bolted as fast as I could to the car screaming "START THE CAR!", I jumped in the car and we peeled out. As the dust from the gravel road cleared I could see them standing by the door.


10. On Angel Island in San Francisco Bay, there's an abandoned WWII military base including an old hospital. You can explore the buildings, but the lower floor staircases have been removed so you can't go up onto the upper floors and potentially get hurt. Well, being reckless 15 year olds, my friends and I decided to boost the most nimble guy up to the second floor so he could see what it was like up there. Apparently it was mostly like the rest of the hospital, except there was a room on the third floor that was padlocked shut and had "keep out" painted on the door. Yes there was photographic evidence so he wasn't just messing with us. I have no idea what they'd need to keep locked up on the theoretically inaccessible third floor of an abandoned hospital, and I'm not sure I want to know.


11. Been exploring all kinds of things for years, on and off.

In actual buildings, structurally questionable stairs or floors. You learn to tread carefully really, really fast, and give things a good eyeball before putting weight on them. Nearly went through a few floors/stairwells as a teenager exploring abandoned factories/buildings that dated back years.

With tunnels and stuff, "bad air" is the scariest thing ever. CO2 concentrates in deep spots with poor ventilation, so its fairly easy to blunder into a place where you find yourself "out of breath" a lot but still "breathing". If that happens, double back as fast as possible. High concentrations of CO2 also tend to elicit a "fear" response, so if doing tunnel/underground exploring and you find you are suddenly feeling extra jumpy and short of breath, back the hell out.

Another very scary thing with tunnels and such is the (Continued on the next page!)

"rotten eggs" smell of H2S (hydrogen sulphide), which is an absurdly poisonous, smelly gas. If you smell it, and suddenly can't smell it anymore, its time to get the hell out to fresh air. The most insidious thing about hydrogen sulphide is that it "numbs" the receptors that smell it at higher concentrations, and it is easily going to kill you stone dead. Some old tunnels like disused sewer systems will contain this stuff.

Finding empty houses that seem to just have been left "as-is" for a few years is always creepy as hell, also usually smells either funky ("musty") or bad (rotting stuff, food, etc) depending on the vintage of the house.

Only had one experience with "abandoned" farmland, but stumbling across animal bones while already a bit spooked is sure to get the heart pumping for a bit!

While exploring things is never going to be a risk-free endeavour, usually the most "risk" or the scariest thing is going to be getting picked up by the police or site-security. Usually you can talk your way out of these situations quite readily, just don't get arrested with any tools on you, or else it probably will go south!

I have never been prosecuted or charged with anything for exploring physical locations, the worst was threats of prosecution and it taking a few weeks to get my camera back - sans photos for "whatever reason" - from the police. That incident being entirely my own damn fault too - I was not particularly careful about avoiding being spotted getting into the place (an abandoned shopping centre in an urban location, beside a busy road, with CCTV).


12. I love to explore the abandon Titan Nuclear Bases in Colorado. I have had a few really terrifying experiences down there. A link to some pictures are at the bottom.

1. We were held up at gunpoint. While at the end of a really long dark tunnel we saw a light at the other end. As to not scare the crap out of anyone, we try to make our presence known when we see other explorers. We yelled down the tunnel and they yelled back telling us they were coming to us. When they got there, they all had guns. 3 in total, one had a shotgun and the other two small pistols. They told us to drop all of our gear (including lights and phones) and to step away. Not wanting to die in an abandoned silo, we complied. They took everything we had and slowly backed away, guns still drawn. I know the place pretty well because I go down there a lot but getting out in the pitch black was VERY nerve wreaking and dangerous. If it was anyone else but us (since we knew this place inside and out) they most likely would have seriously injured themselves or even died.

2. In this complex are missile silos that go 10 stories into the ground. Most of them are filled up with water and other nasty stuff. Around the sides of these silos are all the old pipes and air ducts hanging off the walls. Being the dumb guys we are, we like to climb on them to get to otherwise inaccessible rooms. My buddy held the light for myself and one other. As we climbed, my friend lost his footing and fell about 30 feet into the water below. He didn't surface for about 15 seconds, the 15 longest seconds of our life. He was able to grab some pipes and climb up to us and we helped him out. He left everything he had besides his pants and shirt there because we didn't know what all could be in that water. He had cut his leg pretty bad on something in the water and we rushed to a hospital. We got there in time to get the cut cleaned and luckily it did not get infected (we did not tell them we were exploring the silos, we told them he fell at a construction site. I know this was probably stupid but we did not want to get in trouble). He got a really bad cold for the next few weeks.

3. We like to take people down there who have never seen it and give them tours. We even mapped it out and studied the history of it to give them a real cool experience. We were taking a few girls down there. In total there were 6 of us. We get down into one of the main rooms from which there are multiple tunnels branching off. Right at the entrance to the tunnel that led to the silos, there was a hatch door that had broken off the wall and was laying on the ground. There was a decent size puddle of blood on it. We touched the blood (with gloves on) and it (Continued on the next page!)

could not have been more than a few hours old. There were splotches of blood leading away from the puddle. The most unnerving part was that it led DEEPER into the complex, not out of it. We (being the idiots we were) decided to follow it. It led to one of the silos that did not have much water in it. It dropped about 50 feet into the ground before being too dark to see. The blood was covering the ledge right next to the drop, the rope that chained the drop off, and a bunch of the pipes on the walls. We looked all over for the source hoping that no one was injured. We couldn't find anything so we noped out of there real quick.

4. I went down there alone once, and only once. Adjacent to the circular silos are these circular rooms that are three stories with each floor connected by a ladder. Outside of one of the rooms was a bunch of water filling a tunnel. Something about this water was... off. It was much darker and seemed to be more still than any of the other water there. You would drop things in it and though a greenish haze see them ever so slowly sink to the bottom, sometimes just staying suspended above the ground by whatever the fuck nasty chemicals are in the water. Inside the room on the top floor was this huge demonic painting. It depicted a girl with her rib cage exposed and her organs falling out, forming the head of another girl below with arrows going through it. There were goat skulls and all sorts of creepy stuff. I went there alone just once. I sat in that room in the pitch black for about an hour and just listened to the silence. The vibes i got were super crazy. Nothing really happened but i had never felt more hopeless, alone or scared in my entire life. I left after about an hour.


13. There was a man living in the last one, it was something ripped straight out of a horror movie. He just saw us, rose to his feet and bolted it at us, screaming his head off.


14. I went into the old hospital in my city which has been demolished now, it was huge! Here it is when it was running. Anyway we went down some stairs, like service stairs which were metal and obviously the public didn't use when it was open. As we descended we came across a dark room, we used our torches and looked around we noticed a small bedding area, and above that on the wall there was spray paint which said "WE ARE THE THINGS THAT GO BUMP IN THE NIGHT" and we heard this almighty crash, I've never noped out of somewhere so quickly.


(Continued on the next page!)

15. There is this small town in the mountains on the way to a ski resort I used to work at and a lot of people go to. It's probably the weirdest town ever. One way in and way out by a bridge over a river that basically surrounds the town. Basically you go there during the day and the place is a ghost town. No one out. Once night falls, you start to see ladies pushing strollers walking their dogs, etc. There is this old bed and breakfast there that has been abandoned for years. It was built in like 1890 or something like that. It was an Inn for families to stay that had husbands that were loggers back 100 years ago. Story goes that there was this girl Alice, that had a husband who died logging. She got word that he had been killed in an accident. She proceeded to hang herself in the attic of the Inn (was able to find old newspaper articles and archives that proved this true). A lot of people used to say they saw her walking the halls some time after she died. Employees that worked the bed and breakfast before it closed in the '90's reported lots of weird things happening. We used to go there and try and scare ourselves. I kid you not, one time we were shining flashlights in the top window, and slowly one of the curtains opened and stayed open for a few seconds then slowly closed. Note that the top floor no longer existed because it collapsed years earlier. There was no way anyone could be on the top floor. Pretty creepy. We got older and then started going there and breaking in and drinking and whatnot. Experienced many weird noises but nothing that weird.


16. I was hiking with some friends, in a place near Payson, way north of Phoenix. It was about 11pm, and we had gone on a camping trip, and were just hiking way out in the pine trees.

Two of my friends, mind you, stayed by the campfire.

We swore, we still swear to this day, that we heard what sounded like those two friends having a conversation. It was so distinct, we almost made out what they were saying. We weren't too creeped out by this at the time, we were more creeped out by the constant feeling that something was in the forest, watching us.

We walked back to the campfire, and our friends weren't there. We then walked a mile up to where the cabin was, and they were inside, watching The Simpsons.

We asked them if this was some dumb prank, and they were baffled, they had been in the cabin since we decided we wanted to hike.

I don't know if I believe them, but that constant feeling that there were 3 of us in the forest, when I know there were only leads me to believe something weird was happening.


Brilliant Ideas That Were Poorly Executed

Reddit user thespacecowboyy asked: 'What was a brilliant idea but poorly executed?'

Pile of recycling
Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

The key to being a successful entrepreneur is having one brilliant idea.

A catalyst to spark inspiration and creativity, something you know that everyone in the world will want, that corporations will try to buy, and competitors will try to mimic.

Of course, the other key to being a successful entrepreneur is having that idea successfully executed.

No matter how brilliant your idea was, if it falls short on execution even the tiniest bit, then its chances of success are all but doomed to failure.

Keep reading...Show less

Prices have gotten out of control on too many things. Did anyone ever think eggs would cost more than a college education?

Whenever people are in times of financial peril, the first thing we do is budget.

And what is number one on slimming the budget?


Well, after cable and entertainment.

How do we make a dollar last when it comes to the daily menu?

There are many ways and tricks of the trade.

College students are well-educated on this issue.

Long nights of study and months and months of Ramen can be the key to a successful college career.

There are the basics in budget cuisine, but people have gotten creative over time.

It doesn't have to be the end of our taste buds.

Keep reading...Show less
Person conducting a Google search
Photo by on Unsplash

Whether it's because of morbid curiosity or looking up epic ways to beat the serial killer while writing a suspense novel, some of us have had some interesting internet search histories that we'd rather other people not see.

But kids who have access to the internet for the first time might have the weirdest interest search histories of all.

Keep reading...Show less

In the saga of King Henry VIII, Anne of Cleves holds her secrets tight. She gave him no children, they were married for barely half a year, and most surprising of all, she survived. Legend has it that Henry fell in love with Anne’s flattering portrait, took one look at her in real life, and divorced her. But what was the real truth behind Henry's disgust? Read on to find out.

1. She Was A Born Rebel

Henry VIII's future wife Anne of Cleves came from stubborn stock. Her father John, Duke of Cleves, was one of the bad boys of the Protestant Revolution, and openly ticked off the Pope and other Catholic monarchs left, right, and center. Accordingly, he raised Anne and her sisters and brother to think deeply and to think for themselves. But Anne had one more secret weapon on her road to Henry VIII.

2. She Was Perfect For Henry In One Way

File:Catherine of Aragon as Mary Magdalene.jpg - Wikimedia

See, while Anne's family was scandalous among a certain set, she was exactly what Henry VIII was looking for. Ever since he had divorced his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, Henry also despised Catholicism and the Pope. So when Anne started to become a marriageable age, Henry's eye fell right on her. Only, he didn't get the response he was hoping for.

3. Her Mother Disliked Her Suitor

Anne was extremely close with her mother, Maria of Julich-Berg, and their woman-heavy household—Anne did, after all, have two other sisters—was something of a haven for the young girl. Indeed, when Henry first began courting Anne, the matron of the family tried to prevent the union, saying she was "loath to suffer her to depart her". But that wasn't even the worst part.

4. Her Husband Was A Creep

We all know that Henry VIII was mega lecherous during his day, but most people don't understand just how bad it was for poor Anne of Cleves. While the 24-year-old Anne was relatively mature for a royal bride, Henry VIII was still practically double her age and almost 50 years old when he was sniffing at her skirts. Oh, and there's more.

5. Henry Wanted To Marry Her Sister

File:Enrique VIII de Inglaterra, por Hans Holbein el Joven.jpg

Though Anne's tragic tale with King Henry has gone down in history, few people know the whole disturbing story of their courtship. For one, Henry didn't just court Anne as his bride—he also considered her younger sister Amalia as his potential Wife #4. Maybe if he'd actually chosen Amalia, the disaster that was his fourth marriage never would have happened.

But then again, the beginning of their official courtship wasn't any better...

6. Her Future Husband Was Shallow

In the late 1530s, Henry sent his court painter Hans Holbein on a creepy mission. Still deciding between the two sisters, he told him to go paint both Anne and Amalia so he could decide which one he liked best. He also gave Holbein a very specific instruction: Paint the girls accurately and don't flatter them, because he needed a beautiful queen. Well, this is where it all started to go wrong.

7. She Tried To Hide Herself

File:Hans Holbein the Younger - The Ambassadors - Google Art

When it came time to do portraits of the Cleves sisters, Hans Holbein ran into one big difficulty. Both Anne and Amalia kept their faces covered with veils, as per the modest German customs of the time. The painter had to wheedle his way in and gain their trust before Anne and her sister finally revealed their faces and let themselves be painted. Spoiler: This was a big mistake.

8. She Beat Out Her Sister

After Holbein returned and Henry saw both portraits of the women, he obviously went with Anne over Amalia—but his motives were very far from romantic. Many historians agree that the choice probably had less to do with looks, and more because as the elder daughter, Anne had more hereditary rights than her sister. Aw, true love. Maybe THAT's why it unraveled so fast.

9. She Got Lost In Translation

Henry's "don't flatter" directive to Holbein goes against the common story that the painter deceived the king and painted a beautified portrait of the actually homely Anne. Even so, as any online dater can tell you, you can't tell everything from a picture—especially not chemistry. And let's just say, when Anne walked into the room, Henry was not pleased...

10. She Had A Meet-Ugly

File:Henry VIII by Joos van Cleve.jpg - Wikimedia

Almost as soon as he met her, Henry's reaction to his bride was chilling. He pretty much immediately complained about her looks, and blamed not only Holbein for supposedly glowing her up too much, but also his chief Minister Thomas Cromwell, who urged him to marry Anne and kept talking up her beauty. And since this is King Henry we're talking about, he did not hold back.

11. Henry Dealt Her A Cruel Insult

Henry's exact response after actually seeing Anne has gone down infamy. He apparently grumbled, "She is nothing so fair as she hath been reported". Still other sources claim he called her a "Flanders Mare," an infamous nickname that has stuck with poor Anne ever since, though as we'll see, that little moniker has another origin entirely. Yet despite King Henry's horrible reaction, the royal wedding was already in the works. There was no backing out now.

12. She Became A Queen Of England

Queen Victoria's small diamond crown, copy fake replica fa… |

On January 6, 1540, Anne of Cleves married King Henry VIII at the Royal Palace of Placentia, despite all his protests and misgivings. On the day of the wedding, Henry gave his new queen a ring that he had inscribed with her new motto: "God send me well to keep". It could have been a fairy tale day, but Anne's nightmare was just beginning.

13. She Made A Horrible Second Impression

Once the unhappy couple finally married, there was still the dreaded wedding night...and alhough it was a chance for Anne to rise in Henry's estimation, it went horribly. On the morning after the wedding, the king reportedly complained, “I liked her before not well, but now I like her much worse". So what actually happened? Well...

14. She Was A Total Novice In The Bedroom

When her ladies questioned Anne about her night with the king, Anne's reply was revealing in all the wrong ways. She told them, “When he comes to bed he kisseth me, and he taketh me by the hand, and biddeth me 'Good night, sweetheart'; and in the morning kisseth me and biddeth 'Farewell, darling.'" So...just kisses then. Did poor and sheltered Anne even know how to consummate her marriage?

There is a fair chance that Anne believed these smooches were all it took to seal the deal. Henry, meanwhile, had more embarrassing complaints.

15. She Had "Evil Smells"

File:Wenceslas Hollar - Anne of Cleves (.) (State 2).jpg

It wasn’t just about Anne's inexperience in the bedroom. After all, Henry VIII liked his wives innocent and pliable. Instead, Henry accused Anne of even worse sins. He claimed that in addition to how little he was attracted to her, she also had “very evil smells about her" that he caught a whiff of at the most inopportune times. Then he really took it up a notch.

16. Henry Claimed She Was A "Loose" Woman

Henry also threw Anne's virginity into question, which was a serious allegation during a time when a woman's worth was all about her "purity". Henry's evidence for this? "The looseness of her...tokens". As you might tell from his way with words, Henry was a poet and songwriter in his youth. Whatever the truth, though, Anne was in for her biggest humiliation yet.

17. She Had A Previous Lover

File:Portrait of Francis de Lorraine, 2nd Duke of Guise (1519–1563

After their disappointing meeting and wedding night, Henry was desperate to get rid of Anne, so he came up with an ingenious plot. In 1527, an 11-year-old Anne had been briefly betrothed to another man, Francis of Lorraine. Though her parents quickly canceled the match, it would bite her in the well-clothed back in January 1540, when Henry struck out HARD.

18. Her Husband Tried To Slander Her

Henry and his councilors, looking for a way to weasel their king out of his ill-fated match, tried to use Anne’s childhood pre-contract to Francis of Lorraine as “proof” that she was not free to marry. Um, guys, we've all had exes. And maybe even this accusation wasn't enough, because they soon took the divorce proceedings to a disgusting climax.

19. She Was In A Courtroom Drama

Henry held a full-blown trial for his annulment from Anne, and it was an absolute three-ring circus. You see, the king wanted to cut off the marriage on the grounds that they had never consummated the union. Easy enough, right? Well, wrong. Because while Henry wanted to claim he hadn't slept with Anne, he didn't want anyone to think he was impotent. To prove his vigor, he resorted to an incredibly crude claim.

20. Her Name Got Dragged Through The Mud

File:Henry VIII and the Barber Surgeons, by Hans Holbein the

Get this: Henry hired a doctor to come in and defend his, er, male desires. According to the medic, His Majesty experienced an entire two “nocturnal pollutions” (i.e. wet dreams), even as he slept with Anne for days without consummating the marriage. In other words, the king was not impotent, it was only the marriage itself that was bad. He just needed you to know that. Worst of all, it worked...

21. She Had An Infamous Divorce

In the end, Henry VIII got what he wanted yet again, and they officially annulled their short and ugly union on July 9th, 1540 after just six months—the briefest of his many marital adventures. I'm betting Anne was pretty relieved to leave the marriage with her head still squarely attached to her shoulders. Yet in reality, this was just the start of Anne and Henry's sordid history.

22. She Gave Henry A Tragic Gift

silver diamond ring on white surfacePhoto by Kazzle John Delbo on Unsplash

After the annulment was official, Henry and Anne had to go through the very awkward stage of giving their possessions back to each other. Anne’s wedding ring was one of the very first items to go...and she returned with a stroke of genius. When Anne sent it back, she told Henry to break it apart, since it was of little worth. Do I detect some shade? If she wasn't angry yet, though, Henry's next move must have incensed her.

23. Henry Double-Crossed Her

Even as he was married to Anne of Cleves, Henry committed a cold-hearted betrayal. Certain that Anne wasn't The One, Henry started immediately casting about for his next wife. He quickly honed in on the young Catherine Howard, and married the new girl within a few weeks of his annulment from Anne. Yep, sounds like Henry. Only, Anne must have learned a thing or two, because her reaction to this was as Machiavellian as they come.

24. She Played The Game Of Thrones

In public, Anne held no hard feelings about Catherine Howard replacing her on the throne and in the royal marriage bed. For the New Year in 1541, Anne even gifted her ex-husband and his new wife two fine horses, and also joined the couple for dancing. Smart girl, Anne—but as we'll see, eventually even Anne couldn't play nice. For now, though, she had a bigger scandal to deal with.

25. People Thought She Had A Secret Lovechild

gold and red cathedral interiorPhoto by Tom Podmore on Unsplash

Just because Anne was free of Henry doesn't mean she was free of controversy, and soon a dark rumor started going around the castle. In November 1541, people started whispering that Anne of Cleves had given birth to a secret child. Just to thicken the plot, some sources even said it was King Henry VIII's own son. This had disturbing consequences.

26. Henry Opened An Inquest On Her

Though the baby scandal was almost definitely a rumor gone wrong, the crown still took chilling action. Henry launched a serious investigation into the whispers and even detained two people for alleging that Anne was Henry’s true wife after all, and they had consummated the union. Then, soon enough, Anne was in deep trouble again.

27. She Was Friends With Benefits

File:AnneBoleynHever.jpg - Wikimedia

In 1542, Anne found herself in hot water with King Henry VIII once moe. By then, the king believed Queen Catherine Howard had been unfaithful to him, and the poor girl was awaiting execution for treason, just like Anne Boleyn before her. Not content to suffer through yet another of his breakups on his own, Henry lashed out at Anne of Cleves in a cruel way.

28. Henry Sent Her An Enraged Letter

Since they were still on friendly terms, mostly thanks to Anne's desire to keep her head, Henry thought he could use Anne whichever way he pleased. The hurting Henry sent Anne a terse letter, ordering his ex-wife to return a royal ring that Catherine Howard had given to her as a gift. Way to strike at two exes in one swoop. But the mess was just getting started...

29. She Tried To Become Queen Again

History has tended to paint Anne as a humble and shy woman, but the truth is much different. When Henry finally executed his fifth queen Catherine Howard in 1542 for adultery, it was Anne who harbored a dark secret. She may have viewed the execution as less of a tragedy and more of an opportunity. After all, the spot of "Queen" was now open for business again, and Anne jumped at the chance.

30. She Made A Doomed Power Play

File:Unknown woman formerly known as Catherine Howard.png

There are more than a few hints that after Catherine Howard's violent demise, Anne of Cleves held some hope of re-marrying Henry and convincing him she could be just as good of a wife as she had been a friend these past years. For one thing, Anne's brother even tried to pressure Henry into taking her back. Instead, it all blew up in Anne's face.

31. Henry Replaced Her

Just when Anne thought her time had finally come as the permanent Queen of England, Henry went and chose Catherine Parr as his sixth wife instead. But it got even more mortifying than that for Anne. Parr was an English widow who was actually a few years older than our girl. Ouch, that's one's gotta hurt...and Anne did not take the news well.

32. She Sniped At Henry's New Wife

File:Wenceslas Hollar - Catherine Howard (.) (State 2).jpg

We don’t know how exactly Anne reacted to Catherine Howard's execution, but she reportedly detested the idea of the upstart Parr as her "replacement". Anne did think of herself as the more attractive option, and she also remarked, “Miss Parr is taking a great burden on herself," somehow insulting both Parr and Henry in the same comment. Masterful, Anne.

33. She Was Uneducated

Anne had a perfectly functional education for a European princess, and she was even innately clever enough to become fluent in English within a very short time. Except there was one huge thing missing. Unfortunately, growing up, her conservative family discouraged Anne from frivolities such as music, singing, and dancing. This was actually more of a problem than you might think.

34. She And Henry Were Fundamentally Incompatible

Although Anne was accomplished in her own right, Henry was a lifelong geek of the arts—including all the things Mommy and Daddy Cleves forbid Anne from taking part in. So even if Anne could speak to the king in English, the pair probably had very little to actually talk about. Reminder, guys: emotional chemistry is just as important as physical chemistry. Still, Anne knew how to make up for her deficiencies...

35. She Made Friends In High Places

File:Darnley stage 3.jpg -

Like the cunning woman she truly was, Anne got along with all of Henry’s kids. She even sent gifts to the king’s heir, the future Edward VI, was close with the future Queen Mary I, and also made an impression on the future Elizabeth I, to whom she left part of her jewelry collection when she passed. After all, Anne clearly knew where power flowed from...and it paid off.

36. She Earned Her Retirement

Anne's later life was the picture of idyllic living in many ways. Leveraging her friendship with Henry's children, she enjoyed good favor in court under his daughter Queen Mary I, and eventually retired to a quiet life away from the city. According to one source, the middle-aged Anne was "courteous, gentle, a good housekeeper" and generous to all her servants. That's more than Anne Boleyn could ever say.

37. Henry Forced Her To Convert

Despite her notorious reputation, Anne made surviving King Henry VIII look easy. But, well, it wasn't. In order to marry him in the first place, she had to agree to more than a few trade-offs. Besides going to live far away from her beloved mother, Henry also insisted she convert to Anglicanism when she married him. Anne, without any other option, obediently agreed. But the minute she could, Anne asserted her dominance.

38. She Did Exactly What She Wanted

File:Westminster Abbey St Peter.jpg - Wikimedia

In the end, Anne's attention to Henry's children didn't just provide her with a comfortable old age, they also allowed her to do what she darn well pleased after Henry passed. Anne was so close to Queen Mary, she likely even attended the young queen's coronation at Westminster Abbey, and she converted back to Roman Catholicism for the Catholic queen. Take that, Henry.

39. She Got A Strange Severance Package

Henry proved to be a generous ex-husband to Anne of Cleves, even though most of his ex-wives couldn't say the same. After she agreed to the annulment, Henry hooked Anne up with a severance package that included great manors, estates, and a sexy royal income. Not bad to keep your head and your financial independence. But that wasn't all.

40. She Was A Sister Wife

File:King Henry VIII from NPG (2).jpg - Wikimedia

After their divorce, Henry kept the random acts of kindness rolling. He ruled that Anne would be England’s highest-ranking lady, with only the King’s wife and daughters ahead of her in precedence. He even adopted her in name as “the King's Beloved Sister". Did that make up for all the torment he must have put her through? Gonna go with "no". Still, there is one cruel story about Anne that Henry had nothing to do with.

41. She Wasn't A "Flanders Mare"

Anne’s oft-repeated and cruel nickname, “The Flanders Mare,” did not originate from Henry VIII, much as I'd like to blame him for everything. In fact, it didn’t even originate from the Tudor period. The name only emerged in the late 17th century, when the history of Henry VIII grew into a legend. Anne luckily never knew about the hurtful moniker during her lifetime.

42. She Was A Monet

File:Queen Anne of Cleves Wellcome V0048328.jpg - Wikimedia

It’s the question we’re all here to learn: What did the legendary “ugly one” of Henry’s wives really look like? Was she really that ugly? Or was she secretly hot and just awkward? The answer probably lays in “attractive enough, I guess?” Though Anne was tall with pretty blonde hair, she also apparently had a "solemn face” that aged her beyond her 24 years.

43. She Was A True Survivor

Anne “survived” her term as Henry VIII’s fourth wife, but others suffered a much darker fate. Henry had Thomas Cromwell, the engineer behind the match in the first place, executed for treason on the same day he married his fifth wife, Catherine Howard. The man Anne had to thank for her crown lost his head on July 28th, 1540.

44. She Was Caught In A Political Scandal

The big plot hole in all this is: If Henry disliked Anne so much, why the heck didn't he get out while he still could? He was a super-powerful King of England; surely he could snap his fingers and the wedding would be off. Well, it all goes back to the fact that Anne and Henry were a political match. There was simply no way to call the wedding off without offending his German allies.

45. You Can Still See Her Portrait

File:Anne of Cleves, miniature by Hans Holbein the Younger.jpg

Anne of Cleves' strange, tragic story all starts and ends with that first painting of her by Hans Holbein. Believe it or not, although so many other Tudor artifacts are lost to the sands of time, you can still see the original painting to this day. Oddly enough for its very English history, it hangs in the Louvre museum in Paris.

46. She Was Related To Henry

Even from her far away homeland, Anne was a distant cousin to Henry VIII. Like all his wives, Anne of Cleves is a descendant of King Edward I "Longshanks" of England. Yep, King Henry sure did have a type when it came to his six wives. Edward was Anne's nine-times great-grandfather, for those who care to keep an exact count.

47. She Lived Longer Than Her Ex

Henry VIII and wives vector illustration | Public domain

Anne of Cleves is the longest surviving of Henry VIII’s wives, and she not only outlived his other queens, but also the king himself. On July 16, 1557, just months shy of her 42nd birthday, she passed on in her adopted country of England, mostly likely from cancer. When the former queen passed, her family gave her a heartbreaking tribute.

48. She Got The Last Laugh

As Queen Mary I’s beloved “aunt,” attendants buried Anne of Cleves in the legendary Westminster Abbey, albeit not in a very prominent place. But Anne had one more trick up her sleeve. Despite her annulment, her grave reads “Anne of Cleves, Queen of England". Even more impressive? Anne of Cleves is the only one of Henry's wives to be buried in Westminster Abbey.

49. A Stranger Surprised Her

Anne is now infamous as Henry’s rejected queen, but modern historians suggest a more disturbing reason for his disgust. Anne’s first meeting with Henry was a diplomatic blunder: Making their way to London, Anne’s party stopped on New Year’s Day 1540 at Rochester, where she took time to look at bull-baiting from the window. Suddenly, an old burly stranger entered the room—and everything went horribly wrong.

50. She Had A Horrible First Meeting

File:Hans Holbein d. J. - Henry VIII and the Barber Surgeons

You see, this stranger was really Henry VIII in disguise. He had wanted to creep in and get a sneak peek of his new bride-to-be. He also expected that she would see through his costume via the power of “true love”...or something along those lines. Guess what? This was not a good idea. When Henry approached Anne, her response made his blood run cold.

51. Henry Tried To Role-Play With Her

Depending on the account, either Henry tried to get Anne's attention and she politely ignored him, or he outright tried to kiss and grope her. Which, uh, understandably caused the young woman to ring the alarms about a strange dude harassing her. Either way, it was utterly disastrous. Henry left the encounter angry, embarrassed, and possibly ready to take revenge...

52. Henry Scorned Her

File:Henry VIII Ditchley Portrait after Holbein.png - Wikimedia

Some historians believe that this ill-fated early encounter between Anne of Cleves and Henry VIII sealed her fate. According to them, Anne's lack of enthusiasm for Henry (even in disguise) made the king put up his defenses. If she was unimpressed with him, he may have decided to be unimpressed with her no matter what. And the rest, as they say, is history.