5 Crazy Historical Figures More Terrifying Than Any Horror Movie Villain

Just when you thought King Joffrey from Game of Thrones couldn’t get any worse… There were actually real-life tyrants back in the day who make King Joffrey look like an amateur compared to these evil scoundrels.

1. Phalaris of Agrigento Roasted People Alive In a Hollow Bull Statue

Image credit: How It Works

Let’s start with Phalaris. Phalaris (dictator of Agrigento, Sicily around 570 and 554 BC) had this hallow bull statue that was a given to him by an artist named Perillos.

Sadly for Perillos, he would have never guessed the demented bloodthirsty tyrant would use this as a torture device. 

When Phalaris received the bull, he wanted a demonstration from the artist himself. Phalaris then locked Perillos into the contraption that had a trap door installed under the belly.

As if being trapped inside a metal bull wasn’t scary enough, Phalaris would then light a fire beneath the belly of the bull so that whoever was in it would literally roast inside. 

To make matters worse, the bull’s mouth had an acoustic device that would convert screams from the inside into a drawn-out mooing sound to the outside.

After Perillos had the scare of his life inside of his own creation, Phalaris went ahead and through him off a cliff. People grew tired of him, had an uprising, and roasted Phalaris in his sick contraption. Karma took care of him, don’t worry.


2. Emperor Tiberius Enjoyed Bladder Burst Executions and Fish Attacks


This is Emperor Tiberius of Rome. He was absolutely insane. His torture technique: He tied the genitals of males with lute strings (preventing them from going to the batroom), then forced heavy amounts of wine down their throats until their bladder would inevitably burst.

He was a very jealous king as well. He was so jealous of his grandson, Nero, and his popularity that he declared him an enemy of the state and sent an executioner to stand at his door and carry nooses and hooks — enough to terrify anyone.

Nero got the hint and committed suicide. As for his other grandson, Drusus, who was gaining popularity was well, well, let’s just say he was starved to death in 9 days by his own grandfather, Tiberius.

As for fish torture: There once was a fisherman who presented Tiberius with a large, freshly-caught carp, only to have his face scrubbed raw with the fish’s sharp scales by the king’s guards.

3. King Goujian of Yue Confused Opponents by Forcing His People to Cut Their Own Throats


Here’s a king by the name of Goujian, who would order convicted criminals to not only fight in his war, but to slit their throats down to the bone in order to confuse the enemies.

Basically, Goujian would march a line of unarmed men to the front of his army and commit this act in full view of the enemy… He would do this over and over as a type of dramatic effect to scare is enemy.

So you’re probably wondering how these people were convinced to take their own lives… well, because they were convicted criminals.

They would either die with honor or get taken out by the massive army behind them, either way they were doomed.

4. Pope Innocent VIII Allegedly Drank the Blood of Children


Although historical records are murky, here’s the tale of Pope Innocent VIII, a prominent religious leader of the 16th-century. The crusade waging, witch blaming, forceful converter fell mysteriously ill in his later days as aged people tend to do.

No one could find a cure for what was wrong with the pope, but then again, we’re talking the days when people would apply leaches and mercury on their bodies in hopes of being healed.

Anyways, doctors thought drinking human blood would miraculously cure the Pope. So… the doctor found three ten-year-old boys and brought them to the Vatican to serve as donors.

Apparently, the doctor never quite learned how much blood you could actually take from a human, because he drew so much blood from the boys that the procedure killed them. Long story short… the Pope died a few days later.

5. James Jameson Fed a Little Girl to Cannibals

Yes, that James Jameson, the heir to the Jameson Irish Whiskey fortune back in the late 19th century. Basically, he took a trip to the Congo, and during one of the nights he asked his interpreter about cannibalism. Since he was quite fascinated by the idea, he bought an 11-year-old slave girl and handed her over to the locals.

As they were, well….. you know.. Jameson sat back and grabbed his sketch book, drew rough sketches of the event, and then retired to his tent. So think of that the next time your taking a swig of some of that old whiskey.


So if you think of all the bad stuff going on in the world today…. just remember this post. Make sure to give this a share on Facebook before you. (h/t Cracked)

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