22 Of The Most Gory, Gruesome Deaths In History

It takes guts to die a death as gory as these men from Ask Reddit.

axe that caused a gory death
Unsplash / Ian Keefe

1. Michael Malloy

“Basically this dude was a drunk homeless guy living in New York City during the 1920’s I believe. His five “friends” all took out life insurance policies on him and then preceded to give him unlimited drinks at their bar, hoping he’d die of alcohol poisoning. When day after day he’d wake up and come back for more drinks, they swapped his alcohol with antifreeze. He drank this for multiple days before they switched it to turpentine, and then straight up rat poison. Yet still he’d come in, drink the rat poison until he passed out, and then wake up the next day to drink some more. Eventually they got tired of this and began feeding him sandwiches with tacks and broken glass in them, which he happily ate. Sick and tired of losing money trying to kill mike, they gave him drinks until he passed out, dumped him outside in a snow bank, and soaked him in water, assuming that he’d freeze to death. Yet the next day, here comes mike strolling into the bar asking for a drink. So they then proceeded to run him down with a car at 45 mph, abandoning mike in the street. Mike was moved by authorities to a hospital where his broken bones were treated to. They thought he had died and went to collect the insurance money, however the company informed them that they could not. Three weeks later mike, at this point out of the hospital, strolled into the bar, asking for a drink. So, finally, they got him all drunk and unconscious and ran a tube pumping gas down his throat. He died after nearly an hour of being suffocated.” — Quail_eggs_29

2. Balthasar Gerard

“At his trial, Gérard was sentenced to be brutally – even by the standards of that time – killed. The magistrates decreed that the right hand of Gérard should be burned off with a red-hot iron, that his flesh should be torn from his bones with pincers in six different places, that he should be quartered and disemboweled alive, his heart torn from his bosom and flung in his face, and that, finally, his head should be taken off.

Gérard’s torture was also very brutal. On the first night of his imprisonment Gérard was hung on a pole and lashed with a whip. After that his wounds were smeared with honey and a goat was brought to lick the honey off his skin with his sharp tongue. The goat however refused to touch the body of the sentenced. After this and other tortures he was left to pass the night with his hands and feet bound together, like a ball, so sleep would be difficult. During the following three days, he was repeatedly mocked and hung on a pole with his hands tied behind his back. Then a weight of 300 metric pounds (150 kg) was attached to each of his big toes for half an hour. After this half hour Gérard was fitted with shoes made of well-oiled, uncured dog skin; the shoes were two fingers shorter than his feet. In this state he was put before a fire. When the shoes warmed up, they contracted, crushing the feet inside them to stumps. When the shoes were removed, his half-broiled skin was torn off. After his feet were damaged, his armpits were branded. After that he was dressed in a shirt soaked in alcohol. Then burning bacon fat was poured over him and sharp nails were stuck between the flesh and the nails of his hands and feet. Gérard is said to have remained calm during his torture. On 14 July 1584, Gérard was executed.” — Ua_Tsaug

3. Ishikawa Goemon

“Was sentenced to death (along with his infant son) and boiled alive in a huge iron kettle while holding his infant son above the water, and when he couldn’t hold his son up any longer, he plunged his child under the water to kill him as quickly as possible. He then stood up, held up his dead boiled son to show his executioners what they had done, before he himself collapsed and died.” — lazlounderhill

4. Grigori Rasputin

“He drank wine and ate cake laced with cyanide and then asked for some more without any signs of distress, got shot in the stomach and dragged across a courtyard to then attack the person attempting to kill him, man gets free and shoots Rasputin again, wraps him in a cloth and then tosses him in a freezing river where it’s not known what exactly killed him at that point.

After his body was recovered by some workers from Saint Petersburg they tried to cremate his body which started to move around a bit while it was being burned, supposedly trying to sit up or stand straight up. The reason is likely because the cremation was performed by people who hadn’t done one before and didn’t cut the tendons which means tendons shrunk when heated causing his body to sit up and move around randomly.” — nerfpirate 

5. Blackbeard

“They shot him like five times and stabbed him a bunch before he died, then they cut off his head to make sure he was dead, hung it on the bowsprit, and sailed off.” — emthejedichic

6. King Agis III Of Sparta

“He fought a battle against Macadon and was fatally wounded. He demanded that his men put him down so that he could personally buy them time to retreat. Despite being close to death from many wounds already, he managed to kill several enemies before the Macedonians decided that the safest way to deal with him was to just throw javelins at him.” — vandunks

7. Giles Corey

“A victim of the Salem Witch Trials, he refused to plead guilty to witchcraft, so in an effort to get him to change his plea, they pressed him to death, which means he was basically sandwiched between two boards and then had boulders placed on top of him until he was crushed to death.

It took two days, and the only thing he said the whole time was ‘more weight.’ Fuckin badass.” — Slut4Tea

8. Justin Strzelczyk

“Aside from only having one vowel in his last name (not counting “y”), Strzelczyk also had only one great defining moment. After a hit-and-run accident in New York, police chased his pickup 40 miles, during which Strzelczyk flipped off troopers and at one point threw a beer bottle at them. In the end, Strzelczyk crashed head on at 90 miles per hour into a tanker truck carrying corrosive acid, leaving an explosive scene police compared to an airplane crash. Strzelczyk didn’t make it out alive, but he did, literally, go down in a ‘blaze of glory’, and you gotta respect that. And for those concerned, the driver of the tanker escaped with only minor injuries.” — AdolfHipstler

9. General Bui Thi Xuan

“When Tay Son dynasty fell, Bui Thi Xuan and her family were captured by their enemies. She had to see her husband and her little daughter being executed heinously. She was crushed to death by elephants trained by herself; however, till dying, she was not scared anymore. She looked at the elephant’s eye, made them hesitate and then turned back. The enemies had to burn the elephant’s tails so that they became angry and killed their trainer. Legend said that before her execution, she had worn white sink around her body in order not to be naked after dying like previous women. Her heart and liver were eaten by the enemies because they thought that they could become as brave as her.” — duytandao

10. Ferdinand Magellan

“In the early 1500s, a Portuguese explorer led an expedition to the East Indies through an I chartered passage. Upon departure, a battled ensued with the natives in which he was killed, but not before enduring a poison arrow to the leg, spear in the face and arm (plus other injuries) in order to hold off he natives and allow his remaining crew to escape alive. Pretty epic story.” — GotToBeKD

11. Klaas Stoertebecker

“He was a German pirate. They caught him and sentenced him to death (after he offered the city a chain of gold that reached around the whole city once). The mayor promised him that everyone of his crew (72 dudes) that he could run by after being beheaded will be free. Legend says he ran by 11 of them before the hangman tripped him.

The mayor beheaded all 72 sailors anyway, cause he was a dick.” — blurio

12. Frank Devereaux

“Frank Devereaux in 1883. The body of a bear was found next to his with the ground around them trashed in a large circle. It’s assumed they fought to the death with their bear hands.” — cheetah611

13. Saint Laurence Of Rome

“Was executed by roasting on a giant grill. Allegedly, his last words were: ‘Turn me over! I’m done on this side.'” –Tennents_N_Grouse 

14. James W. Robinson

“So I think the Medal of Honor Recipient James W. Robinson went out ‘manly’ by taking several bullets and being lit on fire by tracer ammo while assaulting and destroying a machine gun nest.” — Vladtheman2

15. Maximilian Kolbe

“Maximilian Kolbe, a Catholic priest sent to Auschwitz for sheltering escaping Jews.

A prisoner had escaped, so 10 others were selected to starve to death in basically a hollow concrete cube. One of the selected cried out that he had a wife and children, so Kolbe stepped forward to take his place. When he and three others were still alive after two weeks, he was injected with cabolic acid. When it came to his turn, he gave his arm over without a struggle.” — HollyDunmer 

16. Ben Cochrane

“Ben Cochrane was working as a trapper in Manitoba in 1922. He was alone by a river when he saw the wolves approach. They were massive timber wolves, coming from all sides. He had no hope of escape. The only chance Cochrane had was his rifle and the few bullets he carried with him. He fired at the wolves, but doing so failed to scare them away. So he fired again and again, killing seven of them before his last bullet was spent. Cochrane didn’t stop there. As the wolves pounced, he turned the gun around and beat them with the rifle stock, pounding against their heads. He managed to kill four before he’d smashed his weapon into bits against their skulls. At last, the wolves overpowered him.

They tore his body to shreds.’All that remained to tell of this grim northland tragedy were the trapper’s bones,’ the papers reported when his body was found. ‘But the bones of eleven huge timber wolves which were found near the spot where Cochrane had been attacked, bore testimony of the unfortunate man’s fierce struggle for life against overwhelming odds.’” — Majestic_Dildocorn

17. Ben Salomon

“Ben Salomon, a United States Army dentist who was killed on Saipan in 1944. When the Japanese overran his position, he provided covering fire to enable evacuation of the wounded from his medical tent. His body was found, slumped over his machine gun, with a pile of 98 dead Japanese infantry in front of him.” — Strix780

18. Julius Caesar

“Getting stabbed 23 times and still standing and only losing the will to live when you see your bro has betrayed you.” — Barack-YoMama

19. Dominick “Sonny Black” Napolitano

“He was the mobster that became close with undercover FBI informant Joe Pistone. Once it was found out Joe Pistone was working for the FBI, Sonny knew he was going to be killed, even though he was just as clueless as everyone else about Joe being undercover.

Instead of leaving town or becoming a rat in order to protect himself, Sonny went out like a soldier. When he got that phone call to attend a meeting he knew it was a setup for his murder. Sonny gave his keys to a friend and said his goodbyes. Sonny showed up to the “meeting” and was ordered at gunpoint to enter the basement. He got on his knees and the first shot didn’t kill him. He then said make the next one count.

And to think these are men considered to be part of the most ruthless criminal organization in American History. These guys created a lot of the disgusting torture methods used today. So to show up to your own murder not knowing in which crazy way it could end is just insane.” — ThaloGreen

20. Mikhail Panikakha

“He was a soldier fighting with the Russians at the Battle of Stalingrad (WWII).
Out of antitank grenades and about to be buried alive under a piece of German armor, Panikakha grabbed a pair of Molotov cocktails and leaped out of the trench. As he went to light the first Molotov a bullet struck the bottle, causing the flaming liquid to burst all over him. Despite being engulfed in a column of fire, Panikakha picked up the other Molotov and climbed on top of the tank, smashing the bottle on the engine compartment. The tank, along with Panikakha, exploded almost immediately. The Germans reportedly retreated after this in fear of more suicidal Russians.” — play_Tagpro_its_fun 

21. Captain Lawrence Edward Grace “Titus” Oates

“Apologize if anyone else already had it: Captain Lawrence Edward Grace ‘Titus’ Oates. died during the Terra Nova mission in the Antarctic in 1912. The man had gangrene and frostbite, and knew he was slowing down the expedition and was endangering his teammates. According to Robert F. Scott, the last words Oates said before going off to kill himself (by exposure, BTW, not some quick end) was, ‘I am just going outside and may be some time.’ There’s a great painting about it called A Very Gallant Gentleman, done by John Charles Dollman a year later.” — GalegoBaiano

22. Vincent Coleman

“Vincent Coleman, a train dispatcher in Canada during to Halifax train disaster in 1917. A munitions ship near Halifax collided with another ship, caught fire, and drifted to shore. It was certainly going to explode, and Coleman started to evacuate, but he remembered that a passenger train with 300 people on it was scheduled to arrive shortly. He went back to his station, sent a message to the train, and the train stopped a few stops before. Coleman died along with 2000 others in the explosion.

Here was the message he sent: ‘Hold up the train. Ammunition ship afire in harbor making for Pier 6 and will explode. Guess this will be my last message. Good-bye boys.'” — cavsfan212 Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Holly is the author of Severe(d): A Creepy Poetry Collection.

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