Thought Catalog

20 Of The Most Ghastly Suicide Methods Ever

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Flickr / Aralynn!
Flickr / Aralynn!

1. Blowing your head off on live TV.

In July 1974, Florida morning TV talk-show chatterbox Christine Chubbuck announced to her viewers, “In keeping with Channel 40’s policy of bringing you the latest in blood and guts, and in living color, you are going to see another first—attempted suicide.” She then pulled out a revolver and shot a bullet into her skull. (See also “R. Budd Dwyer.” Actually, don’t see that footage if you can avoid it, because you’ll never erase it from your brain.)

2. Handing out fliers announcing you’ll kill yourself at a public lecture—and doing it.

In 1878, George W. Burleigh distributed fliers announcing that he’d kill himself at the end of a lecture at Chicago’s Thornton Hall. He packed the house, delivered his speech, and then blew out his brains.

3. Jumping into 50 tons of molten iron.

In 1854 at the Farnley Ironworks near Leeds, England, George Towler jumped blithely into a furnace containing 50 tons of liquefied iron. All that could be retrieved of his remains was a piece of his charred spine.

4. Jumping into a boiling vat of beer.

In January 1866, Manhattan brewery worker Charles Haefner stepped into a copper kettle of boiling beer then slowly lowered himself into it. After hearing him scream, workers rushed over and pulled him out of the kettle, but he died later in the hospital of severe burns.

5. Jumping into 50 gallons of vinegar.

Benjamin Natkins of Morristown, NJ, drowned to death in 1932 after diving head-first into a fifty-gallon barrel of vinegar.

6. Jumping into a live volcano.

Beginning in the 1930s and ending in the 1950s, an estimated one thousand or more Japanese people willingly jumped to their demise into the searing lava of Mount Mihara, a popular tourist destination.

7. Jumping into a steamroller’s path.

In 1877, Englishman George Perks loudly proclaimed “Where that will go, I will follow” before hurling himself in front of a steamroller’s path, upon which he was squashed flatter than a bloody pancake.

8. Self-decapitation via rope and automobile.

In 2008, as part of a cockamamie scheme to wreak revenge against a much younger wife who’d dumped him, British businessman George Mellin tied one end of a rope to a tree and the other end around his neck. He then hopped into his sports car and floored it, ripping off his own head to the horror of onlookers.

9. Handcuffing yourself to a tree.

A schizophrenic Welshman named Richard Sumner handcuffed himself to a tree in the woods one day in 2002 and threw the key just out of his reach. Scratch marks on his wrists indicated he struggled to break free, but he died from exposure after four days.

10. Stepping into a tiger’s den.

In 2012, a depressed Singaporean named Nordin bin Montong slipped into an enclosure housing three white tigers and began taunting them with a broom. They tore him to pieces.

11. Flying your commercial airliner into a frickin’ mountain.

In March 2015, 27-year-old Andreas Lubitz locked himself into the cockpit of a Germanwings commercial jet and purposely drove smack-dab into the French Alps, killing himself and all of the other 149 passengers onboard.

12. Shoving a red-hot poker down your throat.

In a Leeds, England, hotel lobby on December 23, 1856, George Barker placed an iron poker into the fireplace, allowed it to glow red-hot, and then rammed it down his throat, charcoal-grilling himself from the inside-out.

13. Lighting a stick of dynamite and placing it under your hat.

One April day in 1922, Felix Bourg of Tiranges, France, lit a stick of dynamite, placed it under his hat, and took a few steps before his head was blown clean off his shoulders.

14. Self-decapitation via a time-released guillotine.

Thirty-six-year-old English businessman Boyd Taylor reportedly spent three months constructing an eight-foot-high guillotine fitted with an electric jigsaw. One night in 2003, he swallowed a handful of pills, laid himself down in bed, flipped on the device, and drifted off to sleep before his self-cessation machine tore his head off his neck.

15. Gassing yourself via an elaborate timed device.

In 1929, a frustrated Austrian inventor named Carl Czerny fashioned a device wherein a piece of string was tied to a revolving wheel on one end and a cork on the other end. He turned on the device and went to sleep. As was his plan, the cork was eventually pulled out of his apartment’s gas piping, at which point the room filled with lethal fumes and killed the sleeping inventor. Unfortunately for Czerny, his last invention was his most successful one.

16. Constructing a machine that hacks your head to pieces.

In 1877, a man named George Wheeler constructed a suicide machine even more elaborate than Carl Czerny’s or Boyd Taylor’s. It involved a series of springs, pulleys, and gears connected to a spinning wheel on which were affixed an axe-head and numerous small blades. When police found him, his brains were dripping out of his skull.

17. Puncturing your heart with an electric drill.

In 1987, an elderly man in Chichester, England, named Joey Boothroyde took a power drill and ripped a fatal hole straight into his heart.

18. Shooting yourself in the head with a nail gun.

Londoner Raymond Farrell—let’s pause a minute and give props to the suicidal creativity of the depressed inhabitants of the British Isles—fatally shot himself in the head with a nail gun in August, 1992.

19. Hammering two nails into your head.

In May, 1987, D. R. Widdison—yet another UK resident who couldn’t be satisfied just gulping down a handful of pills or jumping off a bridge—ended his life amid this vale of tears by hammering two five-inch nails into his dome.

20. Walking into the Olympic flame.

During the Olympic games of 165 A.D., a Greek Cynic philosopher named Peregrinus delivered an oratory about bringing “a golden life to a golden close.” He then stripped naked and walked calmly into the Olympic flame, which burned him to a golden crisp. TC mark

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