People die every single day of either natural reasons or unfortunate mishaps. These deaths on this list are some of the most gruesome deaths that history has ever saw, and some will just down right freak you out.
1. General Bui Thi Xuan
The statue dedicated to General Xuan.
General Xuan was a Vietnamese general during the Tây Son Rebellion and learned martial arts as a child and grew up to be one of the strongest woman in Binh Khe District, Binh Dinh Province. In her later years of life, she had rescued Trâ `n Quang Diêu from a tiger and soon after she had rescued him, they ended up getting married. The duo teamed up together and took on many battles, winning the majority of them. Rumor was that she even trained elephants so they could be used in the battles and because of her victories and training abilities, she became known as one of the five principal women in the Tây Son Dynasty.
She later followed king Canh Thinh to Nghê An, where she commanded over 5,000 troops to fight against the Nguyê~n forces in Trâ`n Ninh. In the year 1802, in the second month of the year, the Nguyê~n forces were victorious, and General Xaun met up with her husband in Nghê An. But, their meet up didn’t last for too long because they were unfortunately caught and captured by the Nguyê~n forces. Both of them were sadly executed: her husband was skinned alive while her and her teenage daughter were crushed to deaths by elephants that she trained. The liver and the heart of the now deceased general were consumed by her enemies.
2. Ben Cochrane
What a tinder wolf looks like.
In April of 1922, Ben Cochrane was working one day as a person who needed to trap animals. As he was working, he was approached by large tinder wolves that evidentially attacked him. People rushed to the scene when they didn’t hear back from Cochrane and when they arrived at the scene, their hearts sank as they only saw the bones of Cochrane left at the scene with a rifle next to him. As the team of responders further investigated the scene, they saw that the butt of the rifle had been severely damaged and there were bones of 11 tinder wolves scattered around the scene. Upon looking at the bones of the tinder wolves, it was discovered that seven of them had died from being shot and four of them had been clubbed to death. The weapon that was used to club the wolves was the rifle Cochrane had, hence why the butt of the rifle was so damaged. The reason why Cochrane had died was because the rest of the pack viciously attacked him and overwhelmed him, becoming too great and powerful for him to kill all of them by himself.
3. Grigori Rasputin
What the self-proclaimed holy and mystic man looked like.
Source: All That Is Interesting
Grigori was a Russian mystic and was a self-proclaimed holy man. The reason why Grigori is on this list because people believed that his influence over Tsarina had made him a prime threat to the empire and that he needed to be taken care of immediately so nothing bad happened to the empire. So, a group of nobles, that was led by Prince Felix Yusupov, the Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich, and the right-winged politician Vladimir Purishkevich, came up with a plan to execute Rasputin in December 1916. The plan was to kill him as quickly as possible and the only way they could do that was by luring him to the Yusupovs’ Moika Palace. The plan was set and ready to go, so when December 17th came around, Rasputin was brought to Yusupov’s mansion and was murdered. He took three gun shot wounds to various parts of his body, including one that was a close shot to his forehead. No one really knows what else happened at the mansion and what else occurred before Rasputin was shot, but people who have read Yusupov’s memoirs have more information about the death of Grigori.
Yusupov wrote that he invited Grigori to his mansion and brought him to the basement where he offered him tea and cake that were laced with cyanide. After eating a copious amount of laced cakes and drinking three glasses of wine (that were also laced), Grigori showed no signs of distress whatsoever, leaving Yusupov in disbelief. He angrily went upstairs and took a revolver from Dmitri to finish off the killing of Grigori; and, when he returned downstairs, he told Grigori to look at the crucifix and say a prayer, and then shot him in the chest. Thinking that Grigori had been successfully killed now, they drove to Grigori’s apartment with Sukhotin wearing Grigori’s coat and hat to make it look like he had returned home. When they returned back to the palace, they went to check on Grigori, who leapt from his seat and started to attack Yusupov, who ended up freeing himself and fled up the stairs. Grigori was hot on his heels and chased him upstairs, making sure he never lost sight of Yusupov. Before he had his second chance of attacking Yusupov, Grigori was stopped dead in his tracks after being shot again by Purishkevich, making Grigori collapse on a snowbank. Quickly, Purishkevich and Yusupov wrapped Grigori in cloth, drove him to the Petrovsky Bridge, and dumped him into the Malaya Nevka River.
His body was found a short while later and the Tsarina Alexandra buried his body so he could finally rest peacefully. Not long after being buried, his body was uncovered again after the February Revolution when a group of Saint Petersburg workers found the remains. They took the liberty of uncovering the remains, bringing them to a nearby set of woods, and setting them on fire. Rumor has it that while Grigori’s body was burning, he sat up in the fire and looked at the men who set him ablaze and started to move and escape the flames, horrifying the bystanders.
4. Frank Devereaux
A drawing depicting what the battle between Frank and the bear may have looked like.
Source: Cable Wilde
Frank suffered an unfortunate death in 1883 because he was killed by a bear. Eight miles from Cheboygan, Frank’s body was found and identified after missing for some short time. After rescue teams flooded the area, they concluded that he was in a bear fight that ended fatally for both him and the bear because the bear was lying dead beside Frank. The way Frank’s body was sitting, though, was unsettling for members of the search teams because he was postured up against a log after the battle against the bear. Indications of an intense struggle were clearly visible to all of the people at the site, except the wounds on Frank’s body were the most prominent: on his left side, his cheek, arm, side, and leg were gnawed so badly that you can almost see the bones pointing out of his body; one of his shoulders was completely dislocated; one of his eyes were almost gouged out; his stomach was almost completely torn open; and there were visible scars and claw marks all over his body from the bear. On the bear, though, the only wound they found was a gunshot wound through the shoulder, which aggravated the bear and made him attack Frank.
5. Captain Lawrence Edward Grace “Titus” Oates
Captain Oates was an English army officer and later became an arctic explorer. He unfortunately died during the Terra Nova Expedition when he became afflicted with gangrene and frostbite. People believe that his death was an act of self sacrifice because during the expedition, his health was rapidly declining and the three companions he was with walked slowly and cautiously because of his ill health. Captain Oates felt like he didn’t want to continue holding back his three companions and wanted to give him a chance at surviving the horrific blizzard they were stuck in, so he left his tent during the middle of the night, walked out into the raging blizzard, and died during his selfless walk. His three companions set off to finish their return home mission but eventually died nine days after Oates because they were so malnourished, cold, and weak from being trapped in the blizzard for so long. Their frozen bodies were found by a search body, however, no one was ever able to find Oates’ body.
6. Mikhail Panikakha
The statue created for Mikhail in honor of his actions.
Source: Commons Wikimedia
Panikakha was born in 1914 to a peasant family in Novomoskovsk Uyezd of Yekaterinoslav Governorate. In the year 1939, he was drafted into the Red Army and became a sailor in the Pacific Fleet. When World War II started, he volunteered to go into combat and was assigned as a private to the 883rd Rifle Regiment of the 193rd Rifle Division. On October 2nd, Panikakha was helping his fellow troops to ward off the German army, but they started to become over thrown when the German’s sent tanks in. When he looked down to see what weapons he had left, he became discouraged when he realized that he threw his last two grenades already and only had two Molotov cocktails left. He was set on fire when he raised a bottle to throw it and a bullet slammed into it, making it explode all over Panikakha. He ignored being set on fire, took the last cocktail bottle he had, jumped out of the trench and threw it to the nearest German tank. The German tank instantly set on fire and because of that, the other tanks retracted and left the battlefield. He was recommended a hero by his commanding officer, but was not awarded until May 5th, 1990. He was awarded with the Hero of the Soviet Union award as well as the Order of Lenin. In the year 1942, he was also awarded the Order of the Patriotic War 1st Class for his actions during World War II.
7. Vincent Coleman
Vincent, pictured left, and the explosion on the right.
Vincent is remembered as one of the heroic figures during the Halifax Explosion because he gave a message to an oncoming train to stop and remain out of range before the explosion. He was a train dispatcher for the Canadian Government Railways and was born on March 13th, 1872. On December 6th, 1917, 45 year old Vincent and Chief Clerk William Lovett were working at the Richmond station where they received word that there was a crash between the French munitions ship, SS Mont-Blanc, and a Norwegian ship, SS Imo. The French munitions ship, though, was carrying deadly cargo of high explosives, meaning they were bond to explode at any second because of the collision. Moments after the collision, the SS Mont-Blanc caught fire and the crew abandoned the ship, leaving Vincent in a panic mode as he tried to figure out what trains were going to be coming into Halifax.
The reason why Vincent grew into such a panic state was because the French ship had drifted from the middle of the channel to the pier, while remaining on fire, and beached herself on the shore in a matter of minutes. After being warned about the deadly cargo on the ship, Vincent flew into action and started to send a telegraph to the No. 10 overnight express train that was coming in from Saint John, New Brunswick and was carrying over 300 passengers. Lovett and Coleman quickly evacuated their station, but Coleman returned and continued to warn trains all the way to Truro in order to stop them from any closer to the scene. Coleman’s morse was code message was this: “Hold up the train. Ammunition ship afire in harbor making for Pier 6 and will explode. Guess this will be my last message. Good-bye boys.” His message stopped the No. 10 train, saving the lives of 300 people, but unfortunately, Coleman lost his due to the explosion.
An old drawing of Blackbeard.
Source: Thought Co
Edward Teach or also known as Edward Thatch adopted the name Blackbeard because he became one of the most notorious English pirates to ever sail the seas. He operated around the West Indies as well as the Eastern Coast of Britain’s North American Colonies. He was a shrewd and calculating leader, and loved the use of force on the people that he would ambush and rob and relied heavily on him being extremely fearsome figure of the seas. Even though the modern adaptation of the pirate made him out to be a person that harmed and murdered the people he robbed, there is evidence showing that he never harmed or murdered a person. In fact, he became a romantic figure for a string of literature after his death. Blackbeard met his death in 1718 off of the shores of North Carolina during a bloody battle with British soldiers that were sent from Virginia. Rumor has it Blackbeard received five musket ball wounds and 20 sword lacerations during the battle, which lead him to his bloody and gruesome death.
9. Dominick “Sonny Black” Napolitano
Sonny Black, a.k.a. Dominick Napolitano, pictured with some of his friends.
Dominick, also known as Sonny Black, was an American Mafia caporegime in the Bonanno crime family. He became well known in history as the person who almost got made because he let an FBI agent, named Joseph D. Pistone become an associate. Naplitano was ordered to be killed because of the infiltration of Pistone. On August 17th, 1981, he was brought to a meeting in the basement of the Bonanno associate Ron Filocomo, and upon his arrival, gave his favorite jewelry and his keys to his apartment so his pet pigeons could be taken care of to his favorite bartender because he knew he was going to be killed. When Napolitano arrived at Filocomo’s house, he was pushed down the stairs into the basement and shot to death by Filocomo and another member with .38 caliber revolvers.
10. Michael Malloy
Iron Mike, the man who could not be killed.
Also nicknamed Mike the Durable or Iron Mike, Michael was a homeless Irish man who lived on the streets in New York City between the years 1920 and 1930. His death isn’t just a death, though, it was a murder that was premeditated because there were various attempts to kill him for life insurance fraud. All of the events that eventually lead up to his death started in January, 1933, where he became homeless and an alcoholic. In his life, there were five men that were acquainted with Malloy, who’s names were Tony Marino, Joseph “Red” Murphy, Francis Pasqua, Hershey Green, and Daniel Kriesberg. These men plotted to kill Malloy by taking out three life insurance policies on him and then making him drink himself to death. Thanks to a corrupt insurance agent, their first part of the plan became a success and if Malloy died from an accidental death, they would gain $3,500 from his death, which would be $61,000 in the year 2011.
To execute the second part of their plan, Marino gave Malloy an unlimited credit for the speakeasy he owned so he could drink himself to death. Even though Malloy drank for the majority of his waking day, he never once died from over intoxication. Marino then replaced the alcohol with antifreeze so that way Malloy would die, but Malloy would simply drink until he passed out, wake up, and return to the speakeasy to continue his drinking spell. When the five men realized that Malloy was not dying from the antifreeze, they started to substitute the alcohol with different things, including: turpentine, horse liniment, and rat poison. Despite all of these things added to Malloy’s alcohol, Malloy continued to live and continued to drink for the majority of his days.
After those attempts failed, the group of men started to soak raw oysters in wood alcohol and created sandwiches that had spoiled sardines in it and was mixed with poison and carpet tacks. After the food creations didn’t kill him, the five men decided it was best to freeze Malloy to death. They let him drink and pass out, carried him outside to a park, dumped him in the snow and poured 19 liters of water, or 5 gallons of water, onto Malloy’s chest. The temperature outside was -14 degrees outside. Thinking that Malloy was dead and frozen, the men returned to the speakeasy and the next day, Malloy appeared in the doorway and sat down for his drink. After all of these failed attempts, they decided to hit Malloy in Green’s taxi going 45 miles per hour. This attempt landed Malloy in the hospital with multiple broken bones and for three weeks the boys assumed that Malloy was dead and was frustrated that they still couldn’t collect the policy on him. Three weeks later, Malloy walked into the speakeasy, sat down at the bar, and asked for his drink.
Finally, on February 22nd, 1933, after Malloy passed out for the night after his drinking spell, the five men crept up behind him and took him to Murphy’s room, put a hose in his mouth and connected the other end of the house to gas from a jet. They turned it on and stood by as the gas was starting to drip inside of Malloy’s body. After an hour of gas pouring into his body, Malloy had finally died. Police caught wind of Iron Mike from going to speakeasies throughout the town, and when they heard that a Michael Malloy had died that evening, they had the body examined and thoroughly analyzed. The five men were put on trial and convicted of the murder of Michael Malloy and four of them were sentenced to be executed while one went to prison. Green was the only one to be sent to prison while Kriesberg, Marino, Pasqua, and Murphy were all killed by sitting in the electric chair.
11. Giles Corey
An old drawing of Giles Corey during trial.
Source: History of Massachusetts
Giles and his wife Martha were accused of witchcraft during the Salem Witch Trials. When he was arrested, he refused to give a plea stating whether he was guilty or not guilty, making him subjected to execution by pressing in an effort to force him to plea, but he died two days after being subjected because of torture. According to the law during the trials, a person who refused to plea could not be tried. So, whichever person decided to not give in a plea, they were subjected to “peine forte et dure”, which means during this process a person is stripped naked and a heavy board was laid on their body, then, rocks and boulders were added to the board. This was how people were “pressed” to make a plea. As Giles suffered from this process, not once did he cry out in pain or vein, nor did he make a plea.
For the next two days, people would ask Giles what his plea would be and each time he responded to them with “more weight”, meaning more heavy stones and boulders were placed on his body. The police chief often would stand on the boulders and look down at the bulging eyes of Giles, hoping that maybe he would get something out of him from that, but Giles never once gave a plea. Rumor has it that during his pressing, Giles’ tongue was pressed out of his body, but the police chief used his cane and forced it back into his mouth. During his long and torturous days, three mouthful of bread and water were given to Giles, but on the last day of his life he cried out “more weight!” and died right then and there. Another rumor was that just before his death, Giles cursed the Sheriff and the townspeople.
12. Ben Salomon
The hero dentist.
Source: National Review
Ben Salomon will always be remembered as a hero because of the actions he did. He was a dental surgeon for the United States of America Army and was placed on the front lines during World War II. However, when the Japanese started to overrun his hospital, he decided that he would sacrifice himself and save the wounded before the Japanese came and killed them. He stood as a rear-guard, took action, and allowed the safe evacuation of the ill and wounded as he shot and killed 98 Japanese army men before he was killed during the Battle of Saipan. In 2002, he finally received the Medal of Honor and became part of the only three dentists to receive such an award. The other dentists were Alexander Gordon Lyle and Weeden Osborne.
13. Balthasar Gérad
Balthasar assassinating the leader.
Source: Execute Today
Balthasar was the assassin of the Dutch independence leader, William I of Orange. He became the prime suspect of the shooting of the Dutch independence leader, making him have an immediate examination before the city magistrates. During the questioning, Balthasar showed no remorse of killing the leader and gave an eerie quote that said, “Like David, he had slain Goliath of Gath.” When he was being tried, he was sentenced to be brutally killed by the courts people, even bystanders. The city magistrates decided that Balthasar would have his right hand burned off by a burning hot iron, his flesh would be torn off from his bones with pincers in six different places, he should be quartered and disemboweled alive, his heart torn form his chest and flung in his face, and to be beheaded.
The torture that Balthasar received before his execution was just as brutal as the execution sounded. The first night being held, he was forced to stand on a pole and was lashed frequently by a whip. After the whipping, honey was smeared all over his wounds and a goat was brought to Balthasar’s body where it was supposed to lick the honey off of the wounds with its rough tongue. The goat refused to do so, which lead people to tie his hands and feet like a ball so he had a difficult time falling asleep. The following three days included: Balthasar being hung from a pole with his hands tied behind his back, a weight of 300 metric tons were attached to each of his big toes and left there for a half hour each, after the half hour was up, Balthasar was fitted for shoes that were made of well-oiled uncured dog skin and were made to be two fingers smaller than his feet. After he was fitted for the shoes, he was brought and sat in front of the fire, where the shoes would dry and shrink, crushing his feet and destroying them. His shoes were then removed and the half broiled skin was torn from his body, which was followed by the branding of his armpits. After his armpits and feet were destroyed, he was dressed in a dress that had been soaked in alcohol, burning his entire body from all of the wounds and scars he had. Lastly, burning bacon fat was poured over his body while nails were stuck between his flesh, feet, and fingers. All reports say that Balthasar remained completely calm during these torture methods.
14. James W. Robinson Jr.
James W. Robinson Jr.
James was an American soldier and a posthumous receiver of the Medal of Honor. He received this medal because during his services, James was killed in battle but died under heroic circumstances. He saved his team of men while being lit on fire and took several bullets to his body, all while he was destroying a machine gun nest so the men on his team could safely evacuate the area and finish completing their mission.
15. Klaus Störtebeker
The infamous German pirate.
Klaus was known as Germany’s most famous pirate. He was also an incredibly strong leader and was the best representative of a companionship of privateers named the Victual Brothers. The Victual Brothers were soon hired during a war between Denmark and Sweden so they could fight off the Danish and supply the Swedish Capitol, Stockholm, with provisions. After the war, the Victual Brothers proceeded to carry out the capturing of passing merchant ships for their own benefit and renamed themselves as the Likedeelers. In 1401, a Hamburgian fleet, which was led by Simon of Utrecht, caught up and overcame Klaus’ fleet of men. The crew of 74 men were brought in to Hamburg where they were put on trial for the crimes they had committed over their life. Even though Klaus promised to give the jurors a long gold chain that was so incredibly long, it could wrap around the whole entire town, in exchange for his life, he was still tried with his fleet of 73 men and was sentenced to be killed by beheading. One of the most famous legends that circulate around Klaus was that he asked the judge to let the amount of men go that he walks by after being beheaded. Supposedly, Klaus’ body got up from the ground and walked past 12 men before the body was tripped by the executer. Those 12 men were beheaded as well as the other men of the fleet.
16. Ishikawa Goemon
A painting depicting Goemon boiling in the pot and holding his son over his head.
This semi-legendary Japanese outlaw hero stole gold and other valuable items in order to help out the poor and make them somewhat rich so they weren’t left to fend for themselves. Him and his son decided to take on the mission to assassinate the Warring States period warlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi, but after he failed the assassination, him and his son were boiled alive in public. There were many variations as to why Goeman was being boiled alive, but one of the most famous ones was that he was being sentenced to being boiled alive with his young son because of his failed attempt of assassinating Hideyoshi, and Goeman at first tried to save his young son from being boiled. He held his son above his head, but then he plunged the young boy into the cauldron of burning hot water so he could be killed as quickly as possible. He grabbed the lifeless body of his son and held him above his head again in defiance of his enemies, but he soon sunk into the cauldron, succumbing to the pain and injuries that were being afflicted onto his body.
17. King Agis III of Sparta
What Sparta looks like today.
Source: Greek Boston
Agis the third was the eldest son of Archidamus the third and was the 21st Eurypontid King of Sparta. He fought a battle against Macadon and became severely wounded, commanding his men to put him down so that way they could have enough time to retreat. As his men were retreating, Agis killed seven of the enemies, even though he was close to death, but then the Macedonians decided the best way to kill the king was to throw javelins at him.
18. Justin Strzelczyk
Justin during one of his football games.
Source: American Sports Net
Strzelczyk was a linebacker for the Pittsburguh Steelers who was unfortunately killed in a horrific automobile crash. After there was a hit and run accident in New York, police started to chase Justin’s pick up truck at 40 miles per hour. Justin continued to increase his speed and tried to out run the cops, which ultimately lead to his death. Going 90 miles per hour, Justin crashed into a tanker truck that was carrying corrosive acid, leaving an explosive scene. The scene was so unimaginable and explosive that they described it as if an airplane crashed where the tanker and Justin’s pick up was. Justin didn’t make it out alive from the crash and died at the moment of impact, but the driver of the tanker made it out alive with some minor injuries.
19. Ferdinand Magellan
A drawing of Ferdinand.
Ferdinand was a Portuguese explorer who helped organize the Spanish expedition to the East Indies in 1519 to 1522. The way that Ferdinand was leading the expedition, though, was an uncharted area on the maps, but that didn’t stop him from continuing on with the mission. After the ship had departed, a battle erupted and Ferdinand was unfortunately killed during the battle. His death, though, was a shock because before taking his last breath, Ferdinand had been shot with a poison arrow, took a spear to the face, and had a copious amount of other injuries that would had killed any other man almost instantly. The explorer took on these injuries from the natives that started the battle so that way his men had enough time to escape the battle and return safely from the trip so the legend of Ferdinand can continue on.
20. Saint Lawrence of Rome
A painting of Saint Lawrence.
Saint Lawrence was one of the seven major deacons in Rome, Italy. Since he was deacon in Rome, his responsibilities included looking over the material goods of the Church and the distribution of alms to the poor. At one point, the Prefect of Rome demanded to see the alms in which St. Lawrence had distributed to the poor, so he brought them forward to the Prefect and promised them that this was the alms and treasures they were looking for. The prefect was so angry at St. Lawrence for his actions that he demanded a great gridiron to be prepared with burning hot coals placed underneath it so St. Lawrence can lie on top of it and become roasted alive. The martyr lied on the burning hot gridiron and accepted the agonizing pain, but after a short while, according to the legend, St. Lawrence shouted out to the public that he was ready to be turned over to the other side because he was feeling well done on the side he was lying on.
21. Maximilian Kolbe
What Maximilian Kolbe looked like.
Source: Word on Fire
Maximilian was a Catholic priest during World War II and decided to help Jewish people escape the Nazis. He started harboring Jewish people and hiding them from the Nazis, keeping them safe from the public and any harm that may be afflicted upon them. However, he was soon caught and was sent to Auschwitz for sheltering a copious amount of Jewish people. During his time at the horrid concentration camp, a prisoner escaped from the camp and because of this action, ten prisoners had to starve to death in a hollow, concrete tube. One of the elected people started to cry and exclaimed that they had a wife and kids, so Kolbe spoke up and took his place so the man could be with this family. For the next two weeks, prisoners inside of the tube started to slowly die from being famished, making Kolbe and three other men survive the torturous tube. Even though they survived two weeks without food, the remaining prisoners were brought out of the tube and were killed by being injected with cabolic acid. When it was his turn to receive the injection, he didn’t fight like the rest of the men, but instead, he gave his arm to the prison guard and never once made a fuss over it.
22. Julius Caesar
A painting of Julius.
Thanks to the hit movie Mean Girls, the pun “that we should totally just stab Caesar” was born. He was a roman politician and general who played a major role in the events that lead up to the demise of the Roman Republic and the rise of the Roman Empire. Caesar gained control over the government and started to a program of social and governmental reforms, which included the creation of the Julius calendar. He was also deemed the Dictator in Perpetuity, which gave him even more authority than before. However, even though Caesar held all of this power, the underlying political conflicts that had been issues for years were still major issues and were left unsolved, so during the Ides of March, Julius Caesar was assassinated by a group of rebellious senators. Finally, after being stabbed 23 times and not dying, Caesar was killed and a series of wars started to break out, making the Constitutional government of the Republic never to restore fully. However, Caesar’s adopted heir Octavian, also known as Augustus, gained power and defeated all of his enemies, leading everyone into the start of the Roman Empire.
These people listed have faced some of the most brutal deaths in history. Some have been deemed heroes because of their actions before their deaths while others were brutally killed because of their wrongful actions. No matter what the cause, all of these people crossed over to the other side in some horrific and gruesome ways that are sometimes bone chilling to think about, especially the stories about people being brutally tortured for days.