They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but for some photographs, they are made all the more interesting (or in this case chilling) when you know the back stories behind them. Here are 14 of the most unnerving old photos, guaranteed to keep you up at night.
1. Evelyn McHale jumped from Empire State building in 1947, people called it “The most beautiful suicide” after seeing this picture 4 minutes after her death.
On May Day, 1947, after leaving her fiancé, 23-year-old Evelyn McHale wrote a note. “He is much better off without me… I wouldn’t make a good wife for anybody.” She went to the observation platform of the Empire State Building. Then she jumped. In her desperate determination, she leaped clear of the setbacks and hit a United Nations limousine parked at the curb.
2. Pennsylvania politician Budd Dwyer moments before he ended his life on live TV.
In 1986, Budd Dwyer was convicted of receiving bribes, he was scheduled to be sentenced on those charges on January 23, 1987, the day after his suicide.
3. The burned remains of a victim of spontaneous human combustion.
Spontaneous human combustion (SHC) describes reported cases of the burning of a living human body without an apparent external source of ignition. There have been about 200 cited cases worldwide over a period of around 300 years.
4. A women falls from the top floor of the Genesee Hotel in 1942.
Buffalo Courier Press photographer I. Russell Sorgi took a series photos of Mary Miller standing on a ledge at the Geneese Hotel. As she waved goodbye and started her fall, he reloaded the camera and caught the last second of her life, frozen in time 15 feet above the cold sidewalk below.
5. Taken in Bulgaria circa 1979 in the Dobritch region. A rural area known for high levels of occult and pagan practices, even today.
Interestingly enough, this area was avoided like the plague during this period because of disappearances and what was reported to be ‘an atmosphere of oppression’. And by the way, chances are that car is not empty.
6. Franz Reichelt “the Flying Tailor”, who jumped to his death from the Eiffel Tower while testing a parachute of his own design.
7. The horrfic aftermath of a terrible car accident in 1945.
8. The McQuilken brothers grinning, hair standing on end, unaware that they were minutes away from being struck by lightning while climbing Moro Rock in California’s Sequoia National Park.
Contrary to popular belief and some published reports, both brothers survived the strike, although another hiker was killed.
9. The red car contained bomb that went off shortly after the picture was taken in Omagh, Northern Ireland. The man and child survived but the photographer died with 28 other people.
10. This picture taken by pair of hikers. Unbeknownst to them, the body of Saylor Guilliams can be seen in the background of the photo. Her curly red hair is visible.
Guilliams and her friend Brenden Vega were hiking through the wilderness in Santa Barbara County, California. While they were hiking, both fell and seriously injured themselves. After calling out for help for hours, Guilliams left Vega where she went to go get help. Sadly on her way out of the wilderness, Guilliams fell again, and later died where she landed.
This picture was taken the next day. At this point Guilliams was likely still alive, but she was face down in the mud with multiple broken bones. She probably heard the passing hikers, but was unable to call out to them for help. These same hikers did eventually find Vega and manage to save her life.
11. In 1989 this polaroid photo of an unidentified young woman and a boy, both gagged and bound, was found in the parking lot of a convenience store in Florida.
The girl is believed to be Tara Leigh Calico who was kidnapped near her home in Belen, New Mexico, on September 20, 1988. The boy’s identity remains a unknown.
12. The last photo of 14-year-old Regina Kay Walters who was shortly after murdered by serial killer Robert Ben Rhoades.
Serial killer Robert Ben Rhoades toured the country in an 18-wheeler equipped with a torture chamber in the back. This photo was taken in an abandoned Illinois barn, where Rhoades killed Walters after cutting off her hair and making her wear a black dress and heels.
13. Flyover of the Jones Town Massacre.
November 18, 1978, over 900 people died in the remote religious Peoples Temple commune in Georgetown, Guyana.
14. A man is unable to get off the subway tracks in New York City with a train bearing down.
[easy-social-share buttons=”facebook,twitter,google,pinterest,print,mail” counters=0 style=”icon” message=”yes”]