1. A Prince Beheaded His Cousins
Margaret of Anjou, the ruthless medieval queen, once let her son Edward to decide how to execute his cousins. His choice was brutal, and unsurprisingly not well received. It certainly wasn’t a decision that not really one that should be left to a young adult.
Apparently, Prince Edward took after his mother, as he demanded that the two men behead, ignoring his dad’s pleas for mercy. His mother was a hard-faced lady and obviously passed down her hardened nature to her son. There’s a mother-son duo I wouldn’t want to cross.
2. Edgar Allan Poe Met A Chilling Fate
Poe was found wandering the streets of New York in a fugue state a few nights before he was found unconscious on the sidewalk, with all his belongings gone. As he lied dying, he kept screaming “Reynolds”, repeatedly. Nobody knew who he could have been referring to.
We still do not know who he was referring to until today. He was wearing someone else’s clothes—and as he lay dying, he kept shouting a single word: “Reynolds.” Could this Reynolds have something to do with how Poe ended up in a gruesome state in the first place?
3. A Queen Gave A Brutal Punishment To Her Sisters
As queen Isabella, AKA the “She Wolf” of France, caught her sisters-in-law having sexual relations with knights, she enacted an extremely gruesome punishment to ensure this wouldn’t happen again. When Isabella told her father what she suspected, he went after the cheating noblewomen with a vengeance…
He spied on the knights and after seeing enough, he publicly accused everyone and had them all arrested. Castrated men were drawn and quartered, while women had their heads shaved and spent the rest of their lives in prison. Isabella was the cause of such a horrific fate. She didn’t get her name for nothing.
4. Marcus Aurelius Was A Sadist
There was an interesting gladiator dilemma Marcus Aurelius faced when he was Roman Emperor. Faustina, his wife, fell in love with a combatant and confessed her passion to her husband over the gunfight. What was the emperor’s solution? In order to get her to strip, Faustina was ordered to make love to the gladiator in question, who was then fatally attacked while on top of her.
The emperor forced Faustina to accept one more shocking request despite the brutal act Marcus Aurelius had committed.
Later, she was forced to bathe in her husband’s blood, clean up quickly, and then seduce him.
5. Karma Got This Biblical King
As punishment for accusing and executing his wife of adultery, King Herod preserved her body in honey and performed disturbing acts with it for many years afterward.
A mysterious illness eventually claimed his life. Because of what he had done to his body, his illness was both gruesome and fitting.
Aside from paranoid delusions, rage, and arteriosclerosis, Herod died in 4 BCE from a brutal and agonizing illness that modern doctors are still unable to diagnose. It was so painful that the king attempted suicide at one point. People in Judea called the illness “Herod’s Evil.”
6. Henry VIII’s Wife Had A Literal Black Heart
At the time, Henry VIII’s wife Catherine of Aragon’s death was utterly mysterious. Her embalmer noticed that the corpse was in excellent health except for the blackened heart. Catherine’s ghastly condition, coupled with her chilling premonitions of her own demise, led people to believe she was about to die.
After witnessing Catherine’s strange condition, those loyal to Catherine and disloyal to Henry and Anne Boleyn started whispering that Henry and Anne had poisoned Catherine in a chilling act of self-service, causing the Dowager to die poetically from a broken heart. Historians of today, however, hold a very different view.
According to most experts, Catherine passed away from cancer of the heart rather than foul play, because sometimes it can turn the heart black. Even so, it’s tragically poetic given the circumstances of Catherine’s life and her reign as a queen.
7. The Marquis De Sade Was Infamous For A Reason
Throughout the castle walls of the infamous author Marquis de Sade, he committed horrors in the name of his hedonistic fantasies, but he couldn’t hide his secrets forever. His servant fled the castle in terror. Upon returning home, the terrified girl recounted her story, and it chilled her loved ones to the bone.
De Sade, it turned out, hired only the most attractive young women and men to work in his castle and then forced them to participate in his salacious bedroom activities, one of which was whipping. In addition to his twisted fantasies, he also hired a constant stream of young sex workers.
8. The Queen Who Lost Her Beauty
Queen Alexandra of Denmark’s iconic beauty calcified into a monstrosity as she grew older-yet her death was even more horrific. As a result of her aging face, Alexandra began wearing elaborate veils and wearing heavy makeup. The fashionistas who once followed her every move now call her “enameled.”
A burst blood vessel in her eye left her nearly blinded. Once she succumbed to a heart attack, she was little more than a shell of her once-glamorous self. It was a very sorry sight for her family to see.
9. Genghis Khan Offed His Own Brother
As a child, Genghis Khan’s father died and the tribe abandoned his family, driving them into poverty on the barren Mongolian steppe. This was only the beginning of his nightmare. Begter, Genghis’ half-brother, then began to assert his power as the eldest child, attempting to become Hoelun’s wife.
Young, ruthless Genghis was not pleased with this, and he exacted cold-hearted revenge. With the help of another brother, he murdered Begter when he was 10 years old.
10. Henry VIII Rejected Anne Of Cleves For An Awful Reason
Henry VIII married Anne of Cleves almost immediately after seeing her portrait. When they met, his stomach dropped: she was unthinkably ugly, he said. Modern historians suggest a more disturbing reason for Henry’s disgust with Anne.
Making their way to London, Anne’s party stopped at Rochester on New Year’s Day 1540, where she watched bull-baiting. When an old burly stranger entered the room, all hell broke loose. This stranger was actually Henry VIII.
Getting a sneak peak at his bride-to-be was his goal. Furthermore, he expected her to see through his costume by the power of “true love”. This was a bad idea. He froze when he faced Anne. Henry tried getting Anne’s attention and was ignored, or he outright groped and kissed her, which caused the young woman to ring the alarms about a strange dude harassing her.
Either way, it was a total disaster. Henry left the encounter angry and possibly ready for revenge in the form of, “I never liked her anyway.”
11. The Austrian Emperor Was A Cradle Robber
One aspect of Emperor Franz Joseph’s life still makes historians uneasy. Franz Joseph was out for a walk near his summer palace one day when a beautiful blonde caught his eye. The Emperor and Anna Nahowski fell in love after meeting covertly in the park for months. Anna and Franz Joseph were both married, but that wasn’t even close to being the scandalous part.
In actuality, Anna was only 14 when she met Franz for the first time, and he was 45 at the time. It was one of the biggest age gaps the times had ever seen- it was well and truly looked down on.
12. Henry VIII Once Got Heartbroken
Henry VIII married Jane Seymour just weeks after he executed his previous wife, Anne Boleyn. Whether she knew it explicitly or not, she knew she had two choices: bear him a son or die. Tragically, she would die from complications during childbirth just 11 days after giving birth to Edward VI.
While she never got to see her son on the throne, an inscription on her grave pays heartbreaking tribute to him. The inscription is as follows. “Here is Jane, a phoenix who gave birth to another phoenix. / Let her be mourned, for birds like these / Are rare indeed.” Jane was also the only one of Henry’s six wives to be buried in a royal fashion.
13. Gandhi Liked To Tempt Himself With Young Women
Gandhi is seen today as a symbol of peaceful protest and understanding. However, there is another side to him. Gandhi became increasingly obsessed with lust at the age of 36, while married. Gandhi would sleep naked with young women to train and “perfect” his control over his desires.
One night, he committed an act so heinous that his own employee quit on him forever. Gandhi performed this sleeping act with his own grand-niece Manu. The stenographer left in disgust.
14. Tsar Nicholas II Was A Freak In Bed
As a result, she was privy to all of Europe’s dirty little secrets since she had affairs with the most powerful men. La Belle Otero revealed in her memoirs how she had seduced multiple royals, including princes and kings. One of her conquests was the last tsar of Russia, Nicholas II—and when it came to revealing the disturbing details about their romance, she didn’t hold back.
Despite being fond of him, she also described him as timid and frightened, with a rank body odor. Even La Belle Otero was surprised at his choices in the bedroom.
15. The Indestructible Man
An iron rod was rammed through the head of a railroad worker named Phineas Gage in the 19th century. In one of the strangest medical anomalies in history, Gage lived another 12 full years despite having most of his left frontal lobe destroyed. Gage’s story does have one more bitter twist, however.
In spite of the fact that he technically was still alive, his friends spoke of how his behavior from this point on had changed dramatically, describing him as “no longer Gage” and telling them he was violent and moody.
16. Xerxes’ Got His Mistress In Trouble
The mighty warrior king Xerxes was known as a notorious womanizer. Although he had many wives, he still could not keep his affair in his pants – he even had an affair with his own niece at one point. While this is incredibly horrifying on its own, things took a much darker turn when his wife found out about this.
In spite of the fact that she could not punish her husband-he was, after all, the King of Kings-she still devised a plan to exact her chilling revenge. The girl’s mother was mutilated by Xerxes’s wife when she heard about Xerxes’s affair with her daughter. So that’s it then.
17. Noblewomen Drank While Pregnant
After her sudden passing at 23 years old, the Duchess of Berry was scandalized by her constant pregnancies and miscarriages. Six pregnancies we know about are miscarriages for the Duchess. Why did she have such horrible luck as a mother? Today’s historians think they know why.
It didn’t stop the Duchess Of Berry from partying despite constantly being pregnant. She figured that as long as she could stand (or waddle), she could go out. Her latest pregnancy did not stop her from attending parties and consuming more than her fair share of alcohol.
18. Alexander The Great’s Mother Was Ruthless
As beautiful as she was cruel, Queen Olympias, mother of Alexander the Great, was one of the greatest historical figures of all time. When she had imprisoned a rival queen, she infamously sent the girl three items: a cup, a rope, and a sword — and then she asked the girl a truly chilling question.
As you can see, the cup contained poison, the rope was a noose, and the sword was deadly sharp. It was the only thing Olympias wished to know about the girl: how did she wish to die? From the accounts of the history, it seems that she chose to hang herself, although during the very last moments of her life she cursed Olympias.
19. A Modern Prince Had A Lovechild
The Duke of Kent, Prince George, was a notorious bad boy. His high-flying life took a sinister turn when he fell for the dangerous Kiki Preston. Preston introduced Prince George to his drug of choice and dragged him into a world of addiction as “the girl with the silver syringe.”. However, that wasn’t all. Both of these rebellious lovers guarded a terrible secret all their lives.
George Preston and Kiki Preston allegedly had a child together while partying, using drugs, and hanging out with threesomes. He was adopted by Harper & Brothers publisher Cass Canfield in 1926 when he was just a year old. Despite the lack of evidence that George acknowledged the birth, even his brother Edward did not attempt to deny it years later.
20. This Queen Of France Got A Petty Revenge
The famed Madame de Montespan was vain to the core, and her chief mistress, King Louis XIV’s wife, truly believed that she should be queen above his wife. After all, she was the kind of girl with the looks, the wit, and the pedigree to succeed. Although de Montespan ended up outliving the true queen, Maria Theresa, the story of the duo does not end there. After death, the queen finally managed to deliver the insult she had never been able to deliver to her rival while she was alive.
She also left a special ring to the other object of the king’s affections, Madame de Maintenon. A gift was given to thank de Maintenon for putting a wedge between the king and de Montespan. A very touching gesture, isn’t it?
21. Louis XIV Might Have Slept With His Sister-In-Law
Prince Philipe of England married Princess Henrietta of England, who even converted to another religion in order to please him. Prince Philipe of England returned the favor by sleeping with many men. In the beginning, Henrietta seemed to forgive him; after all, when they had their first daughter, there were rumors that Princess Henrietta had repaid her adultery, and that the baby was not Philipe’s at all. It’s getting juicier, but it doesn’t stop there.
King Louis XIV, Phillipe’s own brother, and even the Comte de Guiche, Phillipe’s very own ex-lover, are a few candidates for being the father of Phillipe.
22. This King And Queen Begged Forgiveness
As King Charles II lay dying, he sent for his wife, Catherine of Braganza. Catherine’s response was heartbreaking. She couldn’t bear the thought of seeing her husband die. She asked to remain away from him, but added that she wanted to “beg his pardon if she had offended him in the past.” Charles’s reply, however, broke her heart even more.
Catherine’s note was read by King Charles, who did not even appear to be angry at all. He was entirely repentant, and he cried out, “Alas poor woman, how poor you are!” Did she ask for my forgiveness? My mother begs you from the bottom of my heart, take back the answer you gave her.”
23. The New York City Hoarders
A call was made to the New York City police in March 1947 about a terrible odor that was emanating from a Harlem apartment. Their horror was utterly excruciating when they opened the door when they arrived at the house and were horrified by what they found inside. It was the home of two brothers, Homer and Langley Collyer, who lived there and hoarded compulsively. Despite the fact that Homer’s body was found crushed under his own junk, Langley was still missing.
There was no sign of him in the junk for weeks, even though the police sifted through it intensively. However, they found his body not far away from the remains of his brother.