Tragedy often strikes when least expected, and sometimes only pictures can capture the startling horror. Unlike the morbid photos taken of victims, the vast majority of pre-tragedy photos never hint at carnage and confusion. Instead, these images possess an eerie otherness, as if they are tensed in preparation for the disasters to come. Some pictures taken before such events may even seem pleasant or harmless in appearance, like normal-looking photos with terrifying backstories.
The more haunting pictures immortalize some unlucky subjects right before their passings - like daredevil Robert Overacker, who went over Niagra Falls in a stunt that took his life. Although not all who perished on this list were daredevils. Many were regular, everyday people who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.