At times, the world we live in can be quite disturbing. Like when a Soviet scientist tried to breed human-orangutan hybrids. Or when a Disney fan club had that odd meetup in the 1930s. Those two things are both equally bad. And there are many more surprisingly creepy historical events. Here are some of them.

Champawat Tiger

In the early 1900s, a single tiger killed more than 400 people. It took place in a region of southern Nepal and northern India. People in this region have always known of the danger of wild tigers. However, tigers are typically wary of humans – usually only attacking when desperate. But every now and then, a tiger gets a taste for human flesh, and begins to actively hunt people. One of such tigers emerged around the turn of the century. The attacks seem to have began in the Nepali village of Rupal.

Hunters were sent in to put an end to the attacks. But this was no ordinary tigress, and she was able to outmaneuver them. As time went on, more and more were attacked by her, lone villagers dragged deep into the jungle and eaten. So many went missing that the Nepalese military was sent in to kill her. But they too were outmaneuvered. She was just too intelligent. By night she would change location, running over great distances to prey on unsuspecting villages. Then during the day she targeted women and children who strayed too far alone.

By 1907 hundreds had been killed by this highly intelligent beast. So British hunter Jim Corbett was called in to deal with it. Born in India, Corbett was an experienced tiger hunter, often being called on in situations like this. If a tiger of leopard was preying on humans, he was your best bet to handle it. But even he was nearly killed by the Champawat Tiger. With the help of 300 locals he lured her into a trap.

After cornering the tiger, he shot her twice – in the chest and shoulder. But it barely seemed to affect her. She got ready to charge when Corbett fired one last shot, killing her. On her body they found evidence of old gunshot wounds. Locals believe this original gunshot is what caused her to hunt humans. So if you need another reason to fear tigers, one of the most creepy historical events was triggered because a tiger got angry.

Great Cat Massacre

Speaking of cats, 1700s France was a good place for them – until is wasn’t. Going into the 1730s, poverty was widespread in Paris. But a new trend among the rich was keeping pet cats – and being French, it was all about who could get the most cats and make them look as fancy as possible. This led to a situation where cats were being treated better than most humans. So one day, a group of workers rose up against their cat loving overlords. After capturing cats, they held mock trials before killing them ritualistically.

Details of the event are few and far between, but it seems like a lot of cats ended up being given the death penalty. Usually they were hanged by the neck as if they were human. The owners were horrified by this, but the workers themselves found it hilarious. We don’t know how many cats were found guilty, or what the consequences of the event were, but historians remember it as the great cat massacre.

The Real Frankenstein

In 1799 a mad scientist tried to create a real life zombie. That scientist was Dr. William Thornton, and the zombie was George Washington. Washington died on December 14th of that year, and when it happened, people basically panicked. But one of his close friends proposed bringing him back from the dead, claiming it might be possible to manually restart his bodily functions. He suggested a complicated operation that involved warming up the body. and physically pumping air into his lungs. Then, a transfusion would let lambs blood flow into his veins. In theory this could kick start the heart and bring Washington back to life, according to Dr. Thornton, at least.

But as Thornton readied himself for this groundbreaking operation, Washington’s widow stepped in to cock block him. She believed it was better to let the dead rest. Clearly, she was insane. And it’s a shame, because this was 19 years before Mary Shelly wrote Frankenstein.

Human Skull Cannons

One of the most creepy historical events unfolded in 1565. In that year, the Ottoman Empire sought to invade Malta, a small Mediterranean island. It was not their first attempt to take the island, but this time they were determined. For four months Malta was besieged – and despite being outnumbered 5 to 1, it stood strong. As a result, the invaders resorted to psychological warfare. After one especially bloody day of fighting, the bodies of fallen knights were beheaded by the ottomans. Then their headless corpses were tied to wooden crosses and floated towards the island.

The purpose of this was clearly to intimidate the Maltese knights, but this was the 1500s. People weren’t really scared of anything back then – not even dragons. So the knights responded in an equally grizzly way. Rounding up their own captives, they killed each of them. One by one the prisoners were beheaded, and this was only step one. Next, the heads were loaded into cannons and shot at the enemy. Apparently they were surprised by this, but I don’t know why they would be.

The Mother of Rabbits

This next one might surprise you to find it among other creepy historical events, as it is more weird than creepy. In 1726 doctors across England were baffled. A woman called Mary Toft had reportedly given birth to rabbits. At first nobody believed this claim, but a respected doctor soon came to examine her. Under his care, she gave birth to several more dead rabbits. With his own eyes he saw the births happen, defying all he knew about biology.

All of a sudden, people started believing the claim, and the king sent his personal doctor to investigate. That doctor was the famous Nathaniel St André, and he too came to believe it. And so Mary Toft was taken to London for further study. But under close watch, no more animals were birthed. And under pressure, she confessed it was a hoax.

But if doctors had watched her give birth to rabbits, how could it not be true? Well it’s thought she inserted the dead animals into herself beforehand. As you’d expect, this resulted in national mockery, and in the fallout, several doctors had their careers destroyed. That’s a true story, and it’s where I end this article.

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