From the animal activist who was eaten alive by a bear to the girl who was tortured by her own carer, these may be the worst deaths in history.
Ideally, we all die peacefully in our sleep in old age after living a long and fruitful life. The sad reality is that it often isn’t, and most of us should count our blessings if it’s just over quickly.
The deaths shown here do not fall into any of the above categories. Many of them were long and interminable. All of them caused immense pain to the victim. Some have been tortured and murdered, others have met brutal fates at the hands of Mother Nature, and others have fallen victim to horrific circumstances.
These harrowing deaths could serve as a reminder that things could always be worse, that we shouldn’t take life for granted, or perhaps another sense of life affirmation. But at the end of the day, there’s no denying that all of these disappearances are haunting – and far worse than any horror movie.
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Giles Corey: The man who was crushed to death after being accused of witchcraft
The Salem witch trials were, to be frank, a low point in American history. According to Smithsonian Magazine, more than 200 people have been accused of practicing “devil’s magic” in colonial Massachusetts. As a result, 20 people were executed for being “witches” in the early 1690s.
There was, however, one particularly bizarre and particularly cruel death among those killed in Salem: Giles Corey, an elderly farmer who was stripped naked and forced to lie on the ground with a plank covering his body, as heavy rocks were placed on him. one by one in a few days.
The circumstances surrounding Corey’s death are equally unusual. Years before, Corey had been tried for killing his farmhand Jacob Goodale after the young man allegedly stole apples. At the time, the city didn’t want to jail one of its most prominent farmers, so they hit Corey with a fine and, presumably, a stern warning not to kill anyone else.
Understandably, Corey fell out of favor with some townspeople, including Thomas Putnam, who would play a key role in the witch trials.
When witchcraft hysteria first hit Salem in early 1692, 80-year-old Giles Corey reacted like many other townspeople: confused and terrified. In March, Corey was convinced his own wife Martha was a witch and even testified against her in court. But soon after, suspicion also fell on him.
In April, an arrest warrant was issued for Giles Corey. He had been accused of witchcraft by many “afflicted” girls in the area – including Ann Putnam, Jr., who was the daughter of Corey’s nemesis Thomas Putnam.
Giles Corey’s examination began on April 19, 1692. Throughout the process, Ann Putnam, Jr. and the other “afflicted” girls mimicked his movements, supposedly under his magical control. They also had many “crises”. Eventually, Corey stopped cooperating with authorities altogether.
The punishment for remaining silent, however, was brutal. A judge ordered strong and harsh punishment – a method of torture that involved piling heavy rocks on the defendant’s chest until he pleaded or died. And so in September 1692, Corey will literally be crushed to death by stones.
Over the course of three agonizing days, stones were slowly added to the plank of wood resting on Giles Corey. But despite the torment, he still refused to enter a plea. The only thing he said was this: “No more weight.”
One onlooker recalled seeing Corey’s tongue “pop out of his mouth”, after which “the sheriff with his cane stuck it in again when he was dying”.
So why would Corey suffer one of the worst deaths in history – especially when others accused of being witches were simply hanged? Some believe Corey did not want a guilty verdict attached to his name. But others believe he wanted to prevent the authorities from taking his land so that his surviving family members would be left with something after his death.
Anyway, he was able to ensure the prosperity of some of his relatives. But his wife Martha was not one of them. Found guilty of witchcraft, she was finally hanged just days after the horrific death of her husband.
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11 Of The Worst Deaths In History And The Stories Behind Them
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