Everyone has a fear of death, even just a little bit, no matter who that person is. It’s the great unknown, what some people consider to be the final journey in life. It can also be incredibly, unbelievably weird. Here are some of the weirdest deaths that actually happened.
1. The “Unbreakable” Glass
Garry Hoy died in probably one of the most ironic ways possible. A lawyer in Toronto, Ontario in Canada, Hoy was giving a tour to visitors of the Toronto-Dominion Centre, in downtown Ontario. While on the 24th floor, he jokingly threw himself against the window to demonstrate how it was entirely unbreakable.
Unfortunately for Gary, the glass was indeed breakable, at least on the 24th floor, and he plummeted to his death 24 stories below.
2. The Unlikely Suspect
Clement Vallandigham was an attorney in the 19th century with an interesting life and an even more interesting death. He was first arrested during the Civil War for vehemently refusing to accept President Abraham Lincoln’s leadership and causing public disturbances with his speeches. Later, he was exiled to Canada, somehow ended up running for a government position in Ohio after he snuck back in to the country and began his own law practice.
It was while he was representing a client on trial for murder that he died. While demonstrating that it was possible the victim shot himself in the head with his own revolver, Clement Vallandigham attempted to prove the victim had accidentally shot themselves by demonstrating it to the jury.
During his demonstration, Vallandigham ended up accidentally shooting himself in his stomach in the same manner as the victim and died, ultimately proving his point.
His client ended up being found innocent.
3. Another One Bites the Dust
In the 1900s, physician Jesse William Lazear believed that the Yellow Fever virus was transmitted through mosquito bites. He decided to prove this fact by allowing what he believed were diseased mosquitoes to bite him while under quarantine to prove his point.
Unsurprisingly, he became grossly infected, and then died from Yellow Fever. But, hey, at least he helped solve the problem. Now, he is part of the Yellow Fever display in the University of Virginia’s Health Center Library due to his research.
4. I Believe I Can Fly
In Austria, Franz Reichelt was a tailor who fervently believed that he finally invented a device that could make men fly, or at the very least, assist aviators in surviving a fall; it was a large, hooded contraption with fabric that functioned as a type of wings.
Because Franz Reichelt was convinced that he figured out the specifications for the device but couldn’t replicate his earlier successes with the dummies he threw off his 5th story apartment.
Convinced the device needed a higher altitude, he decided to test it by jumping off the Eiffel Tower.
It didn’t work.
Go big or go home, I guess.
5. A True Actor
Apparently, some people at BBC decided to bring back live TV dramas. The idea itself sounds intriguing enough, except for the incident where a live death happened on camera.
In 1958, actor Gareth Jones was playing a character who was scheduled to have a massive heart attack. It was a dramatic and overwhelming portrayal, mostly because he wasn’t acting. Jones, the man who had to play a man having a massive heart attack, had a massive heart attack.
The rest of the cast improvised the rest of the play, so at least they finished it. Talk about commitment.
6. A Clumsy Death
According to Time Magazine, Austrian Burgomaster (town mayor), Hans Steininger, has become a sort of folk legend. He is known as the man whose beard was so long it was constantly underfoot. And this was in the most literal sense possible.
According to records, there was a large fire and Steininger, who usually kept his beard in a pocket, ran around with it hanging freely. His demise came when his beard got caught on his toes, causing him to fall and break his own neck.
He was killed by his own beard, which is still on display today at the District Museum Herzogsburg in Branau.
7. The First Person Ever to Die Like This
Mary Ward was an Irish pioneering engineer scientist who was doing important things in her community. However, she is more well remembered for being the first person to have ever died in a car crash. While this may not be as strange of a death as the others, it stands out as being unique because it was the first of its type.
Mary died while she was driving with her family on an experimental steam-powered car, or a “road locomotive engine.” She fell under the wheels and was killed almost instantly.
8. The Other First Person Ever to Die Like This
While Mary Ward was officially the first person to have died in a car crash, Bridget Driscoll of Croydon, London was the first pedestrian to have ever been killed by a car. A company was offering demonstration rides on its new car going 4mph, with some claiming the driver was driving recklessly, zigzagging into Driscoll. She was killed in 1896 by a “fast” moving vehicle.
9. Probably the Most Ironic Death
During the American Civil War, General John Sedgwick was killed by a sniper after saying the words “they couldn’t hit an elephant at this distance.” However, those were not his final words. They were his second to last words, as his last words were agreeing with others of his platoon that even at this distance it would be a good idea to dodge.
If only you had dodged sooner, General Sedgwick. If only you had dodged sooner.
10. Modern Times
Only a decade ago, one of the most ridiculous, and honestly disgusting, deaths occurred in 2008. An Irish woman, no name given, voluntarily had sex with a dog after meeting a man from a fetish site, and then died hours later.
Now, the exact reason for this death is not actually known, but many have speculated that it was due to her having a severe allergic reaction.
11. A Flood of Beer
In 1814, there was a gigantic vat of beer fermenting in central London. The brewery was owned by Meux’s Brewing Company. It was located in one of the poorer communities of Victorian London, which had inspired Charles Dickens’ novels.
At around 6 PM on October 17, 1814 the already insecure state of the metal bearings disintegrated, causing the walls of the brewery to explode and flood the crowded housing centers nearby. In the end, it’s believed that the flood of alcohol caused 8 recorded deaths, and not by its consumption.
12. Breaking the Drinking Record
Andre the giant was rumored to drink a total of seven thousand calories worth of alcohol every day. Now, while this didn’t really kill him, if anyone else attempted it, it would most definitely kill them. Unfortunately, other humans have drunk to death before; some notable exceptions being F. Scott Fitzgerald, Amy Winehouse, and Jeff Hanneman, all who suffered from a form alcoholism.
Although Andre the Giant was the sole exception due to his gigantism, these drinking habits are not to be admired or attempted by the average human. If you are worried and want to know how to help a loved one with alcoholism, then make sure to contact a medical professional for the correct steps to take.
13. A Gallon A Day Keeps the Doctor Away?
Health nut Basil Brown believed that drinking an entire gallon of carrot juice a day would make him healthy. However, as much of a fanatic (read: addict) as he was, he didn’t realize that it can actually kill him. According to the coroner, the amount of carrot juice he had was indistinguishable from alcohol poisoning; his skin was yellow at the time of death. I honestly don’t know what’s worse: drinking yourself to death by alcohol, or by carrot juice.