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Ivan the Terrible admiring his sixth wife, Vasilisa Melentyeva.  Source: Public Domain

The Eight Wives of Ivan the Terrible and Their Horrific Fate (Video)

Ivan the Terrible , infamous for his tyrannical rule over Russia , had a complex romantic history with eight wives, each facing distinct and often tragic fates. Anastasia Romanova, his first wife,...
Pressing execution. Source: YouTube Screenshot / Weird History.

Pressing: One of History's Most Painful Deaths (Video)

Throughout history Europeans have come up with some of the most excruciating and slowest methods of torture . Of them all pressing to death might just be the worst. Dating back to the 13th century in...
British Library document reveals Thomas Cromwell engineered Anne Boleyn’s demise. Source: YouTube Channel / Smithsonian Channel.

Shocking Papers Prove Anne Boleyn Conspiracy (Video)

In the year 1536, a pivotal event in history unfolded as Henry VIII ordered the execution of his second wife, Anne Boleyn , at the Tower of London. This act, notorious for its brutality , stands as...
Punishment in ancient Japan was brutal. Source: YouTube Screenshot / Crazy Histories.

Shocking Punishments in Ancient Japan! (Video)

Medieval Japan , often romanticized for its samurai culture, had a dark side characterized by brutal punishment and oppression. Peasants faced a grim fate in a society dominated by samurai overlords...
Queen Mary I of England. Source: Yuri A/peopleimages.com / Adobe Stock.

The Ruthless Things Queen (Bloody) Mary Did (Video)

Queen Mary I of England, often known as " Bloody Mary ," ruled during a turbulent period in history. She is infamous for her brutal persecution of those who did not follow the Catholic faith. Mary's...
The execution of Margaret Pole. Source: Baxter’s History of England c 1789-90, published 1796.

Henry VIII's gruesome execution of Margaret Pole (Video)

Amid the tumultuous reign of Henry VIII , the tragic narrative of Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury, unfolds. Descendant of the Plantagenet lineage, her life interwove with the religious turmoil...
Executioner with axe. Source: Dziurek/Adobe Stock

Jack Ketch Executioner - Boiled Body Parts in His Kitchen (Video)

Exploring the dark and gruesome history of Jack Ketch , the infamous executioner of 17th-century England, reveals a chilling narrative. Ketch, a civil servant paid for his grim task, gained notoriety...
Medieval torture device, the rack. Source: Bildergarage / Adobe Stock.

Anne Askew - Stretched on the Rack Until Her Tendons Snapped (Video)

In a turbulent era under Henry VIII's rule, Anne Askew's tale unfolds as a beacon of unwavering courage in the face of oppression. Born into privilege, she embraced Protestant beliefs and shared her...
Guillotine. Source: zef art / Adobe Stock.

Blood and Blades: The Gruesome Reality of Witnessing the Guillotine (Video)

The guillotine - a so-called "humane" killing machine - was used to execute countless individuals during the French Revolution . Its swift, efficient method of death sparked a shift in public...
A man prepares for his execution. Source: jahorimine / Adobe Stock

Stories from the Gallows: Executions Exhibition Reveals Tragic Tales of Death

The Museum of London Docklands is hosting Executions , a major exhibition exploring the capital’s history of public punishment, from the first recorded public execution in 1196 to the last in 1868...
There are many Christian martyrs, whose deaths were often evilly innovative. Shown: The central panel of the altarpiece of St. Sebastian. Source: Public Domain

Six Supremely Sadistic Deaths of Christian Martyrs

Standing up for what you believe in isn’t always easy. The early Christians are a prime example of this. They faced centuries of persecution at the hands of various Roman rulers. These early...
Man hanging from an execution rope, a very technical method of execution. 	Source: zef art / Adobe Stock

The Gruesome History of Botched Executions

Capital punishment (death by execution) has been a part of human society since time immemorial. Even though it is a practice as old as human civilization, perhaps the most surprising thing about...
Historic illustration of execution by elephant. Source: Pixaterra / Adobe Stock

Execution by Elephant Was a Brutal Form of Capital Punishment For 2,000 Years

Elephants are one of the smartest and most powerful animals in the world. It is no wonder then that these magnificent beasts were exploited and trained to be brutal executioners. Death by elephant is...
George Spencer was hanged in 1642 for allegedly fathering an ugly pig. Source: Jo / Adobe Stock

17th-Century Scandal! One-Eyed Man Hanged for Fathering an Ugly Pig

George Spencer has gone down in history for being the second person executed in Connecticut, USA. His crime? Allegedly fathering an ugly piglet.Records paint an unflattering image of George Spencer...
A caged pig. Source: Jasmine / Adobe Stock

Medieval Justice: Pig Was Tried in Court, Sentenced and Executed for Murder

In the Middle Ages, animals were put on trial just like human beings. A wide range of crimes could be committed by these animals including murder, being an accomplice in bestiality , and damage of...

King Aelle and the Blood Eagle: Ritual Sacrifice in Viking Age Britain

Thanks to recent attention in popular culture, the story of King Aelle’s violent death at the hands of Ivar the Boneless in a type of ritual killing known as the “blood eagle” is well-known. The...
Viking helmet and shield covered in blood, from Blood Eagle execution.	Source: Sergio / Adobe Stock

Brutal Viking Blood Eagle Execution ‘Could’ Have Happened

Scientists have calculated that victims' screams would have stopped before their lungs were drawn through their backs. This is after discovering the brutal ‘Blood Eagle’ could have happened. Ancient...
A 16th century German man named Peter Stumpp was allegedly a werewolf!

Germany’s Brutal Werewolf Belt and The Gut-Wrenching Execution of Peter Stumpp

Fans of the supernatural may have noticed a curious line in William Peter Blatty’s book The Exorcist. While talking about Satanism: "Well, there's William Stumpf, for example…a German in the...
Roman executions at the Colosseum were a gruesome affair, as depicted in The Christian Marturs' Last Prayer by Jean-Léon Gérôme. Source: Public domain

Roman Executions in the Colosseum: The Stories of Laureolus and Androcles

Public order in ancient Rome was a priority for the elite, who contrived a range of gruesome punishments for purportedly serious crimes deserving the death penalty. As a result, a day of fun and...
Dr Sahar Saleem placing the mummy of Seqenenre in the CT scanner.

CT Scans Reveal Ceremonial Execution of Pharaoh ‘Seqenenre the Brave’

A professor of radiology from Cairo University has uncovered new and fascinating details about the death of the famed Egyptian Pharaoh Seqenenre-Taa-II (or Seqenenre the Brave), who ruled the...
The Gruesome Story of Tyburn Tree, London’s Infamous Gallows

The Gruesome Story of Tyburn Tree, London’s Infamous Gallows

In the modern day and age, crime is no less present than it was several hundred years ago. Sure, the world did become a lot more civilized, but criminals still exist. But the truth is, that while...
‘Anne Boleyn in the Tower’ by Édouard Cibot. (Public Domain)

What Happened to Anne Boleyn’s Heart?

Anne Boleyn is arguably one of the most famous women of the Tudor period. She was the second, and most notorious, wife of Henry VIII (whether she deserves her reputation, though, is a matter of...
Scotland's Beheaded Queen, Mary Stuart, Made Immortal by Irish Digital Artist

Scotland's Beheaded Queen, Mary Stuart, Made Immortal by Irish Digital Artist

Earlier this week I wrote an Ancient Origins news piece about Irish based artist Matt Loughrey who runs a creative visualization studio and the website mycolorfulpast.com , which bridges a gap...
Ancient gladiator and image representative of the Flavian amphitheater        Source: Luis Louro/ Adobe Stock

The Flavian Amphitheater that Bought Emperor Vespasian’s Popularity

Amphitheaters were a large part of the Roman culture and they were built in many of their cities across their empire, such as El Jem in Tunisia, Nimes Arena in France, and Leptis Magnus in Libya...

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