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Macabre Moments From History We May Have Been Better Off Not Knowing

July 26, 2021 75.4k views10 items

Historically, there are many moments that can be deemed creepy and macabre. Over the years, there have been numerous events that have astounded the world and had many questioning our fellow humans' morality. Some moments sound so incredibly disturbing and atrocious that, at first glance, they seem unreal. Yet, despite how much we might want certain events to be untrue, it doesn’t change the fact that they occurred.

In this list, we have sourced a few of the most macabre moments from history we may have been better off not knowing. 

  • Photo: Unknown / Wikimedia Commons / Public domain

    Delphine LaLaurie Was A New Orleans Socialite And Serial Killer Who Tortured And Murdered The Enslaved

    There is perhaps no person from the 19th century more wicked than socialite and serial killer Delphine LaLaurie. Her cruelty began after her third marriage, when she took control of the enslaved workers at her husband’s estate.

    Although LaLaurie's sadism and mistreatment of the estate’s servants was well known, the police would not act - as it was not a matter they addressed during the era. This changed in 1833 when it was discovered that LaLaurie had whipped a young slave girl while chasing her off a roof, ending the child's life.

    Reportedly, the police found the body that LaLaurie had tried to hide, and she was subsequently fined and made to sell her slaves. LaLaurie had her close friends and family buy the enslaved workers, which were then returned to her mansion.

    In April 1834, the people of the town finally became aware of her torture chamber when a fire broke out at her estate. A mob descended upon LaLaurie and her husband, causing them to flee to Paris, where it is believed she passed after being disgraced and rejected from high society.

  • Photo: Josef Pavlik / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA 3.0

    An Accident In An Oil Rig's Decompression Chamber Resulted In Gruesome And Explosive Deaths

    One of the worst saturation diving accidents in history occurred on the Byford Dolphin drilling rig in a decompression chamber. During this accident, a dive tender and four deep-sea divers lost their lives.

    Saturation divers live underwater for several days to several weeks. They live in special pressurized tubes after they are lowered to the correct depth in a diving bell. This allows the divers to complete long jobs deep underwater without having to decompress to return to the surface every day and risk illnesses such as the "bends." They only have to decompress once, after the job is done.

    In this unfortunate instance in 1983, four divers and a diver tender perished when a faulty airlock caused a dramatic change in pressure. The almost instant pressure shift caused the five men's blood to reach its boiling point within seconds, causing one man to be torn apart.

  • A Small American Town Experienced A Horrific School Shooting In 1927

    The Bath School massacre took the lives of six adults and 38 children. The man responsible for this crime was Andrew Philip Kehoe, a Michigan electrician. It is believed that Kehoe’s political humiliation and financial troubles led to him bombing the school and killing his wife at his home.

    According to reports, Kehoe placed explosives in the school basement, which detonated on May 18, 1927. The explosives decimated the entire north wing of the Bath School. Kehoe then set off numerous firebombs at his property, burning his wife’s remains.

    Lastly, Kehoe returned to the school, where he set off a suicide bomb that took the lives of himself, the school’s superintendent, and two other people.

  • Photo: Studio Dupras et Colas / Wikimedia Commons / Public domain

    20,000 Orphans Became Mental Patients Because Of The Canadian Government

    In the 1940s and '50s, the Canadian government received federal subsidies for the building of hospitals and orphanages, but the subsidies for hospitals were significantly higher than those for orphanages. Under the leadership of Maurice Duplessis - the premier of Quebec in the 1930s, '40s, and '50s - many healthy orphaned children were deliberately misdiagnosed as mentally incompetent.

    Some 20,000 orphans were misdiagnosed and placed in mental institutions by the Canadian government during this era. Their diagnoses led to them being sent to psychiatric hospitals and confined, where they were abused and treated inhumanely.

    Their cruel and unjust confinement allowed the Canadian government and the Catholic Church to gain significant funds.