Weird History
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Unusual Deaths: Bizarre Deaths During The Middle Ages

Updated October 29, 2019 231.6k views8 items

Similar to the strange deaths that took place during the Renaissance, a number of bizarre perishments occurred during the Middle Ages including some of the most unusual ways of passing imaginable. Though many are disputed — and why wouldn't they be as they are pretty out there to say the least — these stories could not be made up.

There are plenty of strange ways to pass, and these might be the strangest ways of all. For example, take the unfortunate soul that allegedly combined a wicked case of indigestion with uncontrollable laughter. Then we have a ruler who perished when molten silver was poured into his eyes, ears, and throat.

Plenty of gluttons made the list as well, including one who enjoyed his favorite meal so much that it was his demise and another who was not only reportedly drowned in a vat of liquor but also had his corpse shipped in a barrel of brandy because he loved the bottle so much.

Think strange deaths are just in the 21st century? Think again! As these tales show, people have been passing from all sorts of unheard of ways for centuries.

  • Sigurd Eysteinsson, also known as Sigurd The Mighty, reportedly passed after acquiring an infection in one of the most bizarre ways. He allegedly strapped the head of a defeated foe to his horse's saddle, forcing the teeth of this head to graze against his leg as he rode. The ride was apparently long enough to break the skin and cause the infection.

  • Al-Musta'sim
    Photo: Maître de la Mazarine / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain


    Al-Musta'sim, Caliph of Baghdad, was allegedly slain during the Mongol invasion of the Abbasid Caliphate. Hulagu Khan got creative with the Caliph as he opted to wrap him in a rug and have him trampled by horses.

  • Béla I Of Hungary
    Photo: Luigi Giarrè/Vincenzo Stanghi / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    Béla I of Hungary reportedly perished when his throne's canopy collapsed upon him. Though not much is known about the actual incident, some believe that foul play may have been involved. For those wondering, he was succeeded by Salamon of Hungary.

  • Edward II Of England
    Photo: Cassell's History of England / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    After being deposed and imprisoned by his Queen consort Isabella and her lover Roger Mortimer, Edward II of England was rumored to have been slain by having a red-hot iron inserted into his anus. Other rumors exist including that he was suffocated or strangled instead.

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