ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Strangest Bizarre Deaths Throughout History

Updated on November 30, 2017
Annie Wright profile image

Throughout my nursing career, I've seen many pass away, some expected, while others weren't expected.

Franz Reichelt Jumps Off the Eiffel Tower

Just before he jumped to his death, February 4th 1912
Just before he jumped to his death, February 4th 1912

A Thought About Sudden Death

Some accounts of these deaths will seem so unreal that they cannot be true, but unbelievably these deaths really did happen. What has caused these weird deaths? Are these bizarre deaths fact or fiction? In truth, all of these bizarre and strange deaths did occur, but the circumstance was even weirder when the death occurred. Death comes in many ways even the most bizarre ways can be unbelievable. Some pictures in this article are very old, and there is no higher resolution available.

"To fear death, my friends is only to think ourselves wise, without being wise: for it is to think that we know what we do not know. For anything that men can tell, death may be the greatest good that can happen to them: but they fear it as if they knew quite well that it was the greatest of evils. And what is this but that shameful ignorance of thinking that we know what we do not know? "


The Death of Franz Reichelt

Franz Reichelt Death Jump From Eiffel Tower With First Ever Parachute Suit On January 4, 1912

Can you imagine the horror when Franz Reichelt realized that his homemade designed parachute suite isn't working after jumping off the Eiffel Tower about 187 feet to his death which was filmed? The very earliest parachute that was designed was in 1617, by Croatian Faust Vrancic (who jumped from a Venice tower in 1617 wearing a rigid-framed parachute), however; they were designed to be open before the jump, unlike Reichelt design where the parachute suit was closed then opened when he jumped to his death when his suite didn't work out as planned.

The parachute suit was designed using silk and rods canopy using 320 square feet of fabric then it opened when he jumped. He was advised to use a dummy to test the suit but he refused to state that "I want to try the experiment myself and without trickery, as I intend to prove the worth of my invention."

He leaped but when the parachute suit started to open it was much too late, he fell to the frozen ground to his death which left a six-inch indent on the ground. Injuries that he received from the fall were a broken spine, and skull, his right arm, and leg crushed, plus he was bleeding from his ears, mouth, and nose while his eyes were wide open in a terror frozen state.

Franz Reichelt, Before The Fatal Attempt / Eiffel Tower

Franz Reichelt, before the fatal attempt 1912
Franz Reichelt, before the fatal attempt 1912 | Source
 Eiffel Tower, seen from the champ de Mars, Paris, France
Eiffel Tower, seen from the champ de Mars, Paris, France | Source
 Louis Lépine who, as the Prefect of Police (Préfet de Police), was ultimately responsible for the permission being granted, issued a statement making it clear that while the police routinely gave permission for experiments to be performed from the E
Louis Lépine who, as the Prefect of Police (Préfet de Police), was ultimately responsible for the permission being granted, issued a statement making it clear that while the police routinely gave permission for experiments to be performed from the E | Source

Plato Quote


“For to fear death, my friends, is only to think ourselves wise without really being wise, for it is to think that we know what we do not know. For no one knows whether death may not be the greatest good that can happen to man.”

― Plato, Apology

Death by Molasses

On January 15, 1919, Boston, Massachusetts twenty-one people died while some died later from injuries and infections along with 150 people who were injured by a massive wave of molasses. Around 1.98 million gallons (7.5 million liters) of molasses came pouring from the ripped to shreds cylindrical that held the thick syrup tearing apart steel sending slivers of steel everywhere with large rivets.

Along the way in the Boston North end, it crushed freight cars, the firehouse Engine 31 had torn the building from its foundation, then further along over on Atlantic Avenue, it almost lifted a train right off its tracks. The molasses was traveling 34.2 mph (55 kilometers) with a wave of 24 ft. 7 inches high (7.5 meters high) at fifty meters wide during its peak, while it stretched some 90 meters from into the street but thinned out to ½ to 1 meter deep.

The more people, dogs, and horses struggled to free themselves the more they sank further down. United States Alcohol Co. had not paid attention to the structural instability over the years as they had frequent leaks that the courts faulted them. The scientist had an idea of the cause of destruction from the molasses since around July 13 of that year where the tanks had been full to near capacity so it was a good chance it fermented which caused carbon dioxides to raise the pressure inside the cylinders that exploded.

Old Newspaper

Molasses Article
Molasses Article

Death by Robot Arm

Ford Motor Company casting plant in Flat Rock, Michigan on January 25, 1979, had the first person killed by a robot a man named Robert Williams who was 25-year old. Weird as it sounds this robot with extending arms that was designed to retrieve casting from a five-story machine on the shelves but it malfunction giving incorrect information to the workers. The robot machine has a one-ton cast mounted on rubber wheels that use mechanical arms for placing the casting on the different shelves. Robert Williams had to climb up on the racks to get parts, but somehow the robot arm swung around hitting him in the head, he died as a result which he became the first person killed by a robot.

General Motors - Old Timer

Oldie But Goodie
Oldie But Goodie | Source

Death by a Cannibal

Now, who in their right frame of mind willing lets another person kill them so they can feast on the victim remains. As bizarre as it sounds, this really happened in March 2001 when the victim Bernd-Jurgen Brandes answered an ad stating be prepared to be slaughtered and eaten needing a well-built male.

The cannibal Armin Meiwes forty-one-year-old from Rotenburg, Germany who worked as a computer technician had placed the ad because he had a fantasy since he was a child from watching horror shows. Meiwes actually cut the victim’s private parts off and then cooked them up so the two of them could share the feast, however, afterward; he attacked the victim by stabbing him in the neck continuously until he died.

Later on, Mr. Meiwes placed another ad and a student saw the same ad again so he alerted the police of the advertising for a well-built male to be eaten. The police arrested Armin Meiwes in Dec. 2002, but at the time, there were no laws on the books about cannibalism. At the trial, the recording that Meiwes recorded (two hours of the event), using a camcorder will be used as evidence against him even though the defense will argue that no murder was committed since the victim willingly agreed to let Armin Meiwes consume his body. There is a website where people post or comment about wanting to be consumed by someone or consuming someone.

10 Terrifying Human Cannibals

Suicide by Decapitation

Now to commit an act so horrifying to cut one’s own head off with a chainsaw to make a point is going overboard to the extreme limits. What could this person be thinking? Mental health issues are definitely present with David Phyall a fifty-year-old man. He was from Bishopstoke in the UK, living where a block of flats (apartments) that was being prepared to be demolished, however; he refused to leave even when the courts ordered him to evaluate.

There had been eleven offers to give him a new home, which he refused; the following might be disturbing to some. David took an electric chainsaw which he rigged to a timer and tapped the trigger with the chainsaw confined to the table so when the timer went off the chainsaw cut about three quarters into his neck leaving the blade still embedded into his neck which gives the appearance he planned his suicide. His parents had gone to see him but found that doors locked so they had a police officer use a crowbar to get inside and came face to face with the horror of his death in the manner he chose to end his life to make a point. November 20, 2008, when his body was found he had been dead for a few days prior to being discovered.


A Stihl chainsaw
A Stihl chainsaw | Source

Death Quote

"But that the dread of something after death,

The undiscover'd country from whose bourn

No traveller returns, puzzles the will

And makes us rather bear those ills we have

Than fly to others that we know not of?"

William Shakespeare

Death by Arthropod Body Parts

Giant cockroaches do not sound very tasty, but he wanted to win that prize of an ivory-ball python and he was the winner but it cost him his life. Edward Archbold was thirty-two years old from West Palm Beach, Florida who entered the contest in Deerfield Beach, Florida at the Ben Siegel Reptile on October 6, 2012. Earlier in the night, he signed up to eat supper, a worm contest to try to win another prize. Shortly after he won the cockroach contest, he became ill, then started vomiting, and collapsed, and then medics were called but pronounced dead later. "During the competition, Eddie was eating so many live roaches he had to cover his mouth to keep them from crawling out, swallowing some of them whole and still alive. He ate more than 60 grams of meal worms, 35 three-inch-long 'super worms' and a bucket of discoid roaches, according to the Miami Herald."

An autopsy determines what he died from and the cause of death was arthropod body parts choking him to death. His death was ruled an accident. Now, this bizarre death and rare type of death is not completely unheard of since there are contests where people do consume weird stuff in order to win a prize.

Giant Cockroach / Ivory-ball Python

Giant Cockroach
Giant Cockroach
Ivory Ball Python
Ivory Ball Python

Death by a Falling Cow

You are at home sleeping in your own bed when suddenly a 3000-pound cow comes crashing through the roof. Now how could this cow get on the roof of a house? The house sat next to a steep hillside that was adjacent so the cow was able to climb up on the roof, however; the roof was not strong enough to handle the cow weight. All of a sudden, the cow came crashing down some eight feet landing on top of a 45-year-old Brazilian man named Joao Maria de Souza on July 13, 2013, who went to the hospital with a fractured leg.

A few hours later, he died from the injuries, but his brother said he thought he died from waiting too long to be treated but the hospital denied doing anything wrong. Yet his mother said she did not raise him to die from a cow crushing him while sleeping in his own bed. His wife Leni and the cow were not hurt in the accident. Nearby, is a farm is where they think the cow escaped from but no one came forward to claim the cow. Charges may be filed against the owner if they located them but at this time, no one has claimed the cow.


The Cow
The Cow | Source

20 Of The Most Unusual Deaths

Death: Possessed by Snake

This is one of the weirdest deaths that leading to the death of a son. A father ends up killing his own son while the mother just stands by and does nothing to help her son. Maybe this family should have had some mental help before this happened because it is hard to believe that a son thinks he is a snake and the mom and dad actually believe he is possessed by a snake. This all started in the early morning hours on January 18, 2013, at Takuya Nagaya parents’ home in Okazaki City in the Aichi Prefecture area.

Takuya went to his parent’s home to tell them he was being possessed by a snake when he quickly started behaving strangely erratic and violently claiming he was a snake so his mother became concerned and yelled for his father Katsumi Nagaya for help. So the father had this idea to beat the snake out of his son and this went on until evening when Takuya became limp and was rushed to the hospital but it was too late he later died from his injuries. Katsumi admitted that he head-butted his son and bit him to drive the snake out that possessed his son but repeatedly assaulted him as evidence showed. The police had not filed charges yet, but need to determine the mental status of the father.

5 Photos of People Laughing in the Face of Death

Death by Beer Tsunami

Back in 1814 on October 17, a bizarre event took place and hit with a force so powerful that is called a beer tsunami better known as the London Beer Flood of 1814. Now how could such a strange thing as beer flooding and taking at least eight lives happen? A few days later a ninth victim died. The Horse Shoe Brewery and Great Russell Company were alongside each other with the brewery on the corner that had a twenty-two-foot-high wooden fermentation tank barrel, which at the time was installed on the property.

This wooden barrel of a tank, held tightly together using big massive iron rings. There were over 3,500 barrels that this monstrous vat held which contained brown porter ale. St. Giles, London suffered an industrial accident when the beer was released on Tottenham Street with waves as high as 15 feet, some 32,000 gallons of beer slammed the street even blasting open more vats. This occurred in the cheapest housing area and within minutes, it hit George Street and New Street. Beer and debris flying everywhere as it wiped out houses and in one house, a wake was in the process killing all four people.

A few were lucky enough to be rescued from the beer flood and saved and later on more houses collapsed due to the damage of the beer tsunami. The wall of the Tavistock Arms pub collapsed, trapping a young barmaid. The accident, when taken to court, was ruled An Act of God.

London Bridge Flood Brewery

Death by Sweet Tooth

In 1858 in the UK one of the most bizarre events took place killing at least twenty people and poisoning two hundred or more who became violently ill from eating the sweet lodgers’ made by William Hardar known as Humbug Billy to the locals. Arsenic was mistaken for sugar and not discovered during the process of making the candy even though it looked off. The candy was made by John Appleton which he produced about forty pounds, then Humbug Billy sold it at the Green Market in central Bradford.

Back then, sugar was very high dollar since it had to be imported so only the very rich could afford such a luxury. Sugar cane could not grow in the British climate, making it so valuable that it was kept locked in caddies (small box for storing). Dying for a Humbug, the Bradford Sweets Poisoning 1858 is what it is known as. West Indies supplied Britain with the sugar, so the trading ports began to grow rich from the sugar trade business.

The arsenic poisoning had been an accident since back then it was much more relaxed in rule and guidelines, however; because of the poisoning a new rule came about in how ingredients, mixes were handled called the 1860 Adulteration of Food and Drink Bill. Then the Pharmacy Act 1868 became stricter on how pharmacists and druggies handled the selling of medicines and poisons then the sugar tax was abolished in 1874, therefore, making it affordable for everyone.

Old Sign For Sweets

A caricature by John Leech, published in Punch magazine in November 1858, illustrating the Bradford poisoning case.
A caricature by John Leech, published in Punch magazine in November 1858, illustrating the Bradford poisoning case.

Death by a Helicopter Blade

This must be one of the freakiest accidents on record. How do you not see a moving helicopter blade when you just got out of the helicopter? The crew cannot explain what happened either. Boris Sagal (58-years-old) a film director was working on his latest film “World War III”, in the third day of shooting when this bizarre accident occurred. He had just arrived back at the Mount Hood Resort of Timberland Lodge parking lot after a day of shooting the background scenes with his film crew on May 22, 1981. For unknown reasons he just walked into the blade of the helicopter suffering head and shoulder injuries, then he was immediately flown sixty miles to Emanuel Hospital in Portland, Oregon for emergency surgery but some five hours later he died from his injuries.


Born  October 18, 1923 (1923-10-18) Yekaterinoslav, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union Died  May 22, 1981, Portland, Oregon, United States
Born October 18, 1923 (1923-10-18) Yekaterinoslav, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union Died May 22, 1981, Portland, Oregon, United States

Mark Twain (1835 - 1910)

"I came in with Halley's Comet in 1835. It is coming again next year, and I expect to go out with it. It will be the greatest disappointment of my life if I don't go out with Halley's Comet. The Almighty has said, no doubt: 'Now here are these two unaccountable freaks; they came in together, they must go out together."


April 21st, 1910, died of a heart attack, day after comet came closest.

17 August 1896 - First Pedestrian Killed by a Car - Bridget Driscoll (London, UK)

A motor car knocked Bridget Driscoll of Croydon, down running over her head that caused her to quickly die. There were no warning signs to watch out for the cars, no horn was sounded to alert the pedestrain but Mrs.Driscoll did hold her umbrella out to tell the driver to stop. The driver was driving in a zigzag fashion in front of the Crystal Palace where the accident occurred. One person who saw the incident said the car was going as fast as a galloping horse. The driver-passenger said she saw no warning signs up.

 Bridget Driscoll, the first victim of a car accident. (Her picture is circled)
Bridget Driscoll, the first victim of a car accident. (Her picture is circled) | Source

Which One

Which bizarre death do you think is the strangest?

See results

"Those who have lived a good life do not fear death, but meet it calmly, and even long for it in the face of great suffering. But those who do not have a peaceful conscience, dread death as though life means nothing but physical torment. The challenge is to live our life so that we will be prepared for death when it comes."

— Unknown Source

© 2016 Anna Haun

What Did You Think Of The Article - All Comments Welcome

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)