There have been many major events that have shaken the world to its core. Tragedies and mysteries alike have cost the lives of many innocent people. Oftentimes, the uncertainty surrounding these occurrences is cause for both alarm and fear. Many people don’t know what to think of these crazy stories about events that have happened in the past. There have been so many unexplainable happenings, it just leaves you scratching your head, and sometimes, catching your breath. Over history, backstories have been passed on from person to person. One has wonder if these backstories are legends made up by people or if there are actual first-hand witnesses who relayed these stories before entering their own graves.
When it comes to these cases, “fate” is often a word that is liberally tossed around. People don’t know exactly why things happen, and they reach for reasons to settle their nerves. But sometimes, there is no settling the nerves when it comes horrific and incredible stories that send you through spine-tingling journeys. Make no mistake about it: coincidences are a difficult pill to swallow when looking at chaotic events. They loosely piece the puzzle together in order to settle our own feelings of nervousness over what we have seen. The eerie stories that surround some of these events have been chronicled and passed down over many, many years. These are 15 Horrible Tragedies With Eerie Backstories.
Close to one of the worst disasters in human history, the 1986 meltdown of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant located by Pripyat, Ukraine, still ranks as an incredible atrocity that no one has seen since. The entire area remains abandoned over 30 years later. People who worked at the power plant began to experience crazy nightmares and sightings just prior to the meltdown. They saw creatures described as a bird and another as a headless man. The creature had a 20-foot wingspan and crazy red eyes. The creature would later be referred to as the Blackbird of Chernobyl. The people who saw the bird had intense nightmares and received threatening phone calls. All of these insane occurrences happened right up until the morning until April 26th, 1986 at 1:23 AM when a reactor exploded and changed Russia, and the world, forever. Some people took the creature as a warning and escaped. Others were not so lucky.
14. One World Trade Center
One World Trade Center is located in the same place where the epic tragedy took place back in 2001. With many innocent lives falling with the crashing steel, some have claimed that the new building harbors spirits and ghosts from the past. An oddity of One World Trade Center is the sounds that emanate from the building when there is a steady, stiff wind. The strange sounds are attributed to the wind but they mirror the sound of eerie wailing. The sounds can be heard echoing all around One World Trade Center, and some people nearby are convinced these are from the spirits of those who lost their lives there. Others have even asserted that they’ve heard strange whispers in the wind surrounding the structure. Whatever the truth is, the sounds have clearly spooked those who walk the street by One World Trade Center.
The photo above is of students from Columbine High School. Back in 1999, 12 students and one teacher were gunned down by two senior students, Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris. The killers were 17 and 18 respectively. For nearly an hour, from 11:19 am to 12:08 pm, Klebold and Harris, armed with an arsenal of weaponry, began the spree of killing. There were 21 students injured aside from the 13 people killed (not counting the two mentally disturbed students themselves). As everyone smiles in this photo, in the very top left of the picture, Klebold and Harris can be seen pointing their fingers like guns at the camera. The photo is eerie and disturbing in the sense that these two demented teenagers knew they were about to kill as many of their peers as they could.
12. Pearl Harbor
December 7th, 1941 was a day of infamy back in 1941. Make no mistake about it: during the 20th century, this was one of the most traumatic occurrences ever on US soil. A well-devised sneak attack at Pearl Harbor, in Hawaii, was both a gut shot and a wake-up call for all US citizens. The sneak attack by the Empire of Japan killed 2,403 US troops and wounded 1,178. A ton of aircraft and ships went down as well. This thrust the US into WWII. In 2011, a tourist, Susan De Vanny, visited the dramatic memorial site. While at the site, she took quite a few pictures. Once Susan headed back to her hotel, she started to sift through the photos. It was there that she encountered a shocking discovery. One of her photos displayed a distorted face of what appeared to be a young sailor staring back at her. Susan was convinced it was a face from the past, the ghostly image of a sailor that had died on the battleship Arizona. She was able to match up the image and confirm her suspicions, and she, along with many others, believes it was a message being passed on from the other side.
11. Jonestown Mass Suicide/Massacre
The year was 1978 when the Peoples Temple founder, Jim Jones, led so many of his followers in a mass suicide for the ages. 909 people, a third of them children, died on that sad day. Jim Jones led a cult of people that preached against racism. Appealing to African Americans in particular due to his views against racism, the Christian sect began in Indianapolis back in the 1950s and drew a multiracial following wherever they landed. From there, it moved to Northern California, finally settling in San Francisco in 1971. But with accusations of fraud and abuse, Jones moved his congregation to the South American nation of Guyana. In 1978, there were reports of many abuses that were relayed by former members to U.S. Congressman Leo Ryan, a California Democrat. He arrived with journalists to see what was going on. Everything seemed fine on day 1, but a member begged for defection which was a big red flag as to what was going on. Then there were more that wanted out of Guyana. Soon, Ryan and his team were attacked by one of Jones’s lieutenants. Ryan and his traveling group thus quickly fled to the airstrip and their chartered planes. But before they could board, they were ambushed by Jones’s “soldiers” and killed. Then, Jones quickly got his congregation together and forcibly poisoned all the children. Then the adults were told, some at gunpoint, that they had to drink the punch. (Never drink the punch!). Aside from a few members who were able to escape into the jungle amid the chaos, the rest perished, and the photo above is what the Guyana authorities found when they arrived on the grounds.
10. Beware of the Queen
The Queen Mary is a famous ship (or infamous depending on how you look at it). Many years ago during World War II, members of the HMS Curacoa encountered a terrible tragedy when the Queen Mary sailed right through their ship, killing 200 men. Since then, there have been many ghost sightings. After this incident, nearly 50 other passengers lost their lives on the Queen Mary over the years. What’s more, a 2011 incident featured a woman who fell over 75 feet off the deck of the Queen Mary down into frozen waters below. Her boyfriend attempted to grab her and succeeded for only a few moments before being unable to hold on. She fell, and he followed her in shortly later, but she still passed away in a hospital. Many employees over the years have attested that they have seen ghosts on the ship. After the woman plummeted in 2011, an old woman claimed that she saw a dead person standing next to the bartender. Others have heard the screams of those who were killed on the HMS Curacoa. No matter how you shake it, the ghost stories of the Queen Mary are legendary.
9. The Titanic
What’s amazing about the Titanic is almost every facet of what happened that fateful journey. First off, the weather was absolutely perfect. No rain, wind, or fog to speak of on that night. In addition to that, there was a fire that ravaged the ship even before she had left port. The ship’s captain and crew were ordered to sail as quickly as possible to get to New York prior to the ship possibly exploding due to the fires below. The desire to conceal the fire and get everyone off safely without the embarrassing truth proved to be part of its undoing. The crew desperately tried to put the fire out, and there are reports that once the ship hit the iceberg, the fire was extinguished although some say the fire had been put out just hours prior. Either way, the orders to sail quickly due to the fire proved to play a huge role in the impending disaster that occurred in perfect sailing conditions. Another extraordinary backstory to the disaster was the death of talented journalist William T. Stead, who wrote a fictional story 20 years prior to the Titanic’s demise. In his story, a ship suffers a collision and doesn’t have enough lifeboats for the passengers, thus causing many people to die. What makes this even eerier is the fact that Stead was one of the many who died on the Titanic due to a lack of lifeboats.
8. John Lennon’s Death
Some tragedies don’t need to involve a large number of people. Some are just sad and senseless. Certainly, there are many tragedies that play out on a daily basis. But focusing on the death of one of the most beloved celebrity figures of all time, the former Beatle, John Lennon, is still a matter that disturbs many of his former fans. Mark David Chapman was a disturbed man. In the photo above, he is seen getting an autograph from John Lennon. On December 8th, 1980, it would appear that Lennon was just being his gracious normal self, giving Chapman an autograph. But just a few hours later, Chapman gunned down Lennon in cold blood, firing 5 times, 4 hitting Lennon in the back. After he murdered Lennon, he sat down beside the dead body and began reading Catcher in the Rye. It has been reported that Chapman, a huge Beatles fan, was also a Christian. And Lennon had made the statement that the Beatles were more popular than Jesus. That statement apparently contributed to Chapman’s madness. An eerie backstory is that Chapman, prior to the murder, told his wife he had been obsessing about killing Lennon. However, instead of informing police, she scheduled a psychiatric appointment. He vanished prior to that appointment, and she still did not alert authorities. We sadly know what happened next. Chapman has been denied parole 9 times and currently resides in prison where he belongs.
7. Thailand Tsunami
A massive Tsunami engulfed an unsuspecting shoreline of Thailand and ravaged the lives of thousands. This is the kind of epic disaster movie plot you see on the big screen. But there was nothing cinematic about the events that occurred in Thailand in 2004. The day after Christmas is meant to be joyous as kids revel in their Christmas bounty. But all around the Indian Ocean, tragedy struck after a massive underwater earthquake occurred in the Indian Ocean that sent an incredible Tsunami that hit 14 countries. The waves were up to 100 feet tall! The death toll in the countries affected were an astounding 230,000-280,000. In addition, residents in Thailand to this day, hear the echoing voices of those who were killed. One cab driver picked up strange-looking passengers one night, and they all disappeared out of his cab. He quit that night. A security guard near a hotel that was once affected by the tsunami quit because he couldn’t take echoing screams from a woman he heard during the late hours, night after night. Then there was an entire family who continued to get phone calls from deceased relatives with strange echoing pleads not to be burned. Those relatives had been cremated. All of it is quite creepy and the tragedy is terrible, to say the least.
6. Japan Earthquake/Tsunami
Japan is no stranger to tsunamis as well. The one which struck their country back in 2011 did catastrophic damage, nearly sending a nuclear plant into meltdown mode. It was all captured on live television as the devastation occurred. A huge earthquake in Northern Japan caused the massive tsunami and killed thousands of innocent people. The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant was suffering a nuclear meltdown. Nearly 16,000 people were confirmed dead with most of them dying by drowning while an additional 2,500 were reported missing. The Earth literally shifted because of the massive earthquake. Part of Japan’s northernmost coastline dropped by 2 feet, and Japan’s main island of Honshu moved eastward by 8 feet. Japan warned its residents of the potential of a small tsunami but greatly underestimated the warning. Their residents paid for the poor prediction. The ghost sightings have also been eerie. People have reported seeing faces of those who died in puddles. People have heard spirits in their homes and felt coldness as they moved through certain spots. Some have reported demonic possessions, and others have said they feel ghosts moving past them as they sleep. There have been so many reports that psychiatrists have had trouble keeping up. Residents have become desperate and resorted to exorcisms. Doctors have labeled much of the hysteria PTSD, but that hasn’t taken away from the impact of the event and the subsequent repeated ghost sightings.
5. Ten Bells Pub
The story of Jack the Ripper is an infamous one in England’s lore. The serial killer ravaged women and slew an unknown number of victims in his wake. One such victim, Jack’s last, was Mary Kelly. Mary was at the Ten Bells Pub back in 1888. She was in for a night of drinking as she normally enjoyed. Early in the morning, she left the pub and was attacked by “The Ripper.” Mary’s body would be discovered the next morning lying opposite the pub on the street, dead and mutilated. Her body was broken and terribly distorted. In the 1990s, a wave of paranormal instances started to be reported around the pub. Staff at the Ten Bells Pub claimed they would run into an old man who was wearing Victorian-style clothing. Some even woke up during the middle of the night with the scary old man lying next to them in bed. Many have stated they would see a “shadowy figure” on the Westminster Bridge precisely when the clock hits midnight on New Year’s Eve. That shadowy figure is believed to be Jack the Ripper’s spirit himself.
4. World War I (Trench Warfare)
World War I was an incredibly horrific battle in which so many soldiers from so many nations passed away in battle. The war was brutal in scope, physically and mentally, for the entire world. The war featured some intense trench warfare. The dug out trenches proved to be graves for many of the participants. Back in April 1917, Corporal Will Bird, along with two other soldiers, were trying to get some sleep in a trench. All of a sudden, Bird was awakened by a pair of warm hands. To his shock and surprise, it wasn’t one of his fellow soldiers — it was his brother. The catch was, his brother had died two years earlier while fighting in France. Without a word, Bird followed his brother, who led him out of the trench. They walked and walked until his brother’s spirit disappeared. Bird began to cry, exhausted. He fell asleep on the ground and several hours later awoke and headed back to the trench. That is where he found that all of his troops along that bunker were dead, getting hit hard by multiple shells. Bird was in shock and later wrote of the ghostly experience, believing until the day he died that his dead brother saved his life.
Some of the worst atrocities ever occurred back in Europe during World War II. This is where millions of people perished. The Nazis built death camps that were geared toward exactly what they were named: death. Over one million confirmed deaths occurred in those terrible gas chambers and from brutal firing squads. There are a ton of tourists and former family members who visit Auschwitz, one of the more prominent gas chambers in Poland. It’s a place of overwhelming sadness for many. As many people have entered the old gas chambers, they claim to have felt a hand grab onto theirs even though nobody was there. Others have sworn that birds go nowhere near the campsite, and if they do, they remain completely silent. Ghost hunters have never stepped foot in these settings, purposely avoiding the grounds out of respect.
One of the greatest tragedies ever was the dramatic eruption of Mount Vesuvius. When this volcano erupted, the explosion leveled an entire busy city. Pompeii was a thriving city by the ocean back in 79 AD. The combination of lava and suffocating ash swamped the community. People were killed and literally frozen where they died, an eerie reminder of the tragedy from the past. During a televised interview with the watchman of the ruins at Pompeii, Josh Gates claimed that he had regularly heard screams at night while he had been on duty. Furthermore, while they were filming the interview, a crew member felt her own blood run cold and swore that she had heard footsteps. The running feet spooked her, seemingly a ghostly reminder of the past. Other workers on the site have reported hearing screams and echoing cries filling the streets near the sad site.
Gettysburg is an epic site from the Civil War that rocked the United States of America during its infancy. The war caused the loss of thousands upon thousands of lives and affected nearly everyone alive at that time in the United States. On July 1st, 1863, a skirmish between the North and South turned into one of the most important battles of the Civil War. This was the largest battle of the Civil War fought with 97,000 Union (North) troops and 75,000 Confederate (South) troops. The battle lasted 3 days and accounted for nearly 10,000 soldier deaths and over 50,000 injuries. One of the victims was hit by a stray bullet that went through the wall of the Farnsworth House Inn. The victim’s name was Janine, and she was struck dead by the bullet. From the day of her death, people have smelled her rose perfume. They have said there may be as many as 14 souls roaming the halls of the Farnsworth House Inn. People have claimed to have seen blood running down the walls of the bathroom. Voices have also been reported to have been heard. Many guests have attested to the hauntings at the Farnsworth House Inn, a building that got caught up in the Gettysburg battle.