5 Scariest and darkest moments in history: Strange facts you did not know - The Comprehensive Minds

5 Scariest and darkest moments in history: Strange facts you did not know

5 Scariest and darkest moments in history

Scariest and darkest moments in history

History is a fascinating subject that is filled with people and events that have shaped our many cultures, belief systems, and traditions into what they are today. But it also contains some of the scariest moments and creepiest facts that have grown darker over time until brought to life by historians, historical documents, and archaeologists.

5. Anglo-Zanzibar War 

Anglo-Zanzibar War

The Anglo-Zanzibar War that took place in 1869 is not known to many, due to the weird fact that it is the shortest war ever fought in history, lasting a total of 38 minutes. It all started with the signing of the Heligoland-Zanzibar treaty between Germany and Britain in 1890. 

The treaty assigned spheres of influence between the imperial powers in East Africa and saw Zanzibar ceded to British influence while Germany was given control over the Tanzanian mainland. Britain decided to declare Zanzibar a protectorate of the British Empire and employed their own sultan to rule over the region. 

That position was given to Hamad bin Thuwaini in 1893 and he would remain in power for just over 3 years. But on the 25th of August, 1896, he suddenly passed away inside his palace. Though it is not certain exactly what the cause of his demise was, it is widely believed that his cousin, Khalid bin Barghash had him poisoned. 

A few hours later, Khalid had already moved into the palace and assumed the position of the sultan for himself without British approval. This caught the attention of the Brits and their chief diplomat,   Basil Cave, demanded that Khalid stand down. But he ignored their demands and instead decided to gather his forces around the palace.   

His army was well armed with weapons that included firearms and cannons that had been gifted to the former sultan by diplomats over the preceding years. By the 25th of August, Khalid had amassed an army of over 3,000 men, several artillery weapons, and an armed Royal Yacht which was moored in the nearby harbor.   

But simultaneously, the British had anchored two warships, the HMS Philomel and the HMS Rush in the same harbor, and troops were making their way ashore. This was done to protect the British Consulate and to keep the local people from rioting. 


That same evening, another ship, the HMS Sparrow, entered the harbor as reinforcement, followed by two more the next day. Khalid was given one more warning, but he replied that he didn’t believe the British would open fire on him and so, at 9am on the 27th of August, they did just that. 2 minutes later, most of Khalid’s artillery had been destroyed and the palace had started to collapse with 3,000 men still inside. By 09:40, Khalid had surrendered and the shortest war in history had come to an end. 

4. Charles Jamison 

Charles Jamison

The weird historical mystery of a man named Charles Jamison started in February of 1945   when a man was brought by ambulance to the entrance of Boston’s U.S. Public Health Service Hospital. The man was of middle age and unconscious and he was in such poor condition that he was immediately admitted. 

When an attending nurse asked the ambulance driver for the man’s name, he gave it as Charles Jamison and stated that he knew nothing more about the patient. He then climbed back into the ambulance and neither he nor the ambulance was ever seen or heard from again. 

At first, the medical staff was uncertain if Jamison would survive, as he was suffering from a bone marrow infection known as osteomyelitis. They found sores covering his body and noticed that he had scars on his back, likely caused by shrapnel. 

Also Read: 5 Unexplained Historical Mysteries That Has Not Been Solved

After a few weeks of treatment, he started to recover; however, the infection had left him paralyzed from the waist down. His speech was completely unintelligible and to compound matters,  he had amnesia and so, was unable to explain what had happened to him. Authorities tried to determine the man’s true identity, but he had no papers on him and his clothes contained no labels or laundry marks.  


No one ever called the hospital to ask for him and none of Boston’s ambulance services had any record of an ambulance being dispensed to that hospital on that day. A theory arose that Jamison had been aboard a freighter that had been sunk by a German submarine, but that was never verified. 

When his fingerprints were sent to the FBI and the military, both replied that they had no record of him. His photo was distributed to missing person bureaus across the country,  but this also yielded no results. In 1953, the hospital’s new director, Oliver C. Williams, devised a game that allowed him to communicate with the man. 

By this means, he was able to learn that Jamison was from London and that he lived in a grey house.  He had no living relatives but stated that he had served on a secret convoy in the British Navy. He refused to give any more information on his wartime duties. 

Many more efforts were made to discover his true identity, but he would eventually pass away in January of 1975 in the same hospital, still unidentified and named by one of his fellow patients as “the unknown soldier”. 

3. Renee MacRae 

Renee MacRae

The scary historical case of the disappearance of a woman called Renee MacRae is currently the longest-running of its kind in the history of the United Kingdom. Renee lived in Inverness in the Scottish Highlands and she was separated from her husband Gordon. 

On the 12th of November 1976, she left her house in Cradlehall and dropped her eldest son,   Gordon off at her estranged husband’s house. She then traveled south onto the A9 as she was planning to visit her sister in Kilmarnock. Later that same night, a train driver spotted her BMW 12 miles away in an isolated lay-by and he informed the police. 

When her vehicle was inspected, it was found to be charred and empty except for a rug containing biological matter that matched Renee’s. One of the largest and most intensive searches in the history of Scotland was launched,  but no trace of Renee was ever found. 

Witnesses on the A9 described seeing a man dragging something that they thought was a sheep not far from the car and it would later be discovered that Renee had been wearing a sheepskin coat at the time of her disappearance. Police also received reports of a suspicious man with a pushchair seen near Dalmagarry quarry

As police investigated her life, they found that Renee had started an affair with a man named William MacDowell in 1971 and that he was an employee of Gordon’s. MacDowell would admit to the affair but denied any involvement in her disappearance. 


It was concluded that Renee’s life had likely been ended and although a suspect was identified in 2006, there was insufficient evidence to proceed to court. 

On the 11th of September, 2019, 77-year-old MacDowell was arrested for the crime, however, in  June of 2021, it was discovered that he may not be fit to stand trial and the case is still ongoing. Renee’s whereabouts are still unknown and it seems unlikely that we will ever learn what her fate was 

2. Charles Bravo 

Charles Bravo

Charles Delauney Bravo was a British lawyer who married a wealthy woman named  Florence on the 7th of December, 1875 when he was still an up-and-coming barrister. Florence had previously been married to Alexander Louis Ricardo but she had separated from him after discovering that he had been having extramarital affairs and due to his violent alcoholism. 

Florence had also been having an affair with the much older Dr. James Gully who was also married and hence, she fell out of favor with her family and society in general. When she married Bravo, however, she terminated the affair. 

But from the beginning of their marriage, Bravo was controlling, mean and violent towards his new wife after she had decided to hold on to her own money which had only been allowed since 1870. 

This led to tensions in the marriage which were not off to a good start. Four months into the marriage, Florence had been suffering from a chronic illness and  Bravo had been treating himself with laudanum for toothache. 

One night, before going to bed, it is believed that he accidentally swallowed some of the medication and mistakenly took tartar emetic which is a form of antimony, believing it to be true emetic which would have helped him expel the opiate from his system. 

For the next three days, Bravo suffered from excruciating pain but refused to tell police who had poisoned him. It would later be found that he had been slowly poisoning Florence with the antimony, explaining her chronic illness, and Bravo’s fate was sealed when he mistakenly ingested it. 

This explains why he never named his killer, as there wasn’t one. But many other theories were suggested and two inquests were held, the details of which were considered to be so scandalous that women and children were ordered out of the courtroom while Florence testified. 

The first inquest ended in an open verdict while the second returned a verdict of wilful murder.   No one was ever arrested, however, and the bravo household broke up shortly after. Florence moved to Southsea in Hampshire and she passed away two years later at the age of 33, ironically due to alcohol poisoning. 

1. Louis Le Prince 

Louis Le Prince

Louis Le Prince was a French artist who mysteriously disappeared on the 16th of September, 1890. He was the inventor of an early motion picture camera and was possibly the very first person to film a moving picture sequence and hence, has been dubbed the Father of Cinematography

In September of 1890, Le Prince was getting ready for a trip to the U.S. where he would be premiering his new work, accompanied by his wife and children. Before embarking, however, he decided to visit his brother in Dijon, France, and following that, took a train to Paris on the 16th. 

But he had taken a later train than planned and his friends who were due to meet him in Paris missed him. He was never seen or heard from again. The last person to see him was his brother who saw him off at Dijon station. 

Also Read: Real-life unsolved mysteries that sound unreal.

The French police, Scotland Yard, and his family took part in exhaustive searches, but no trace of him was ever found. In 2003, however, a photograph was discovered of a man who strongly resembled Le Prince who was found deceased in the Seine River. It was never confirmed whether this was, in fact, Le Prince. But before this discovery was made, many theories were considered as to what happened to him.   

Some people believe that, due to a patent dispute, his life was ended by order of Thomas Edison, who was also working on his own motion picture camera at the time. Another theory, posited by Jacques Deslandes in 1966, proposed that Le Prince disappeared of his own free will as he had been struggling financially.   

The following year, Jean Mitry suggested that Le Prince had never boarded the train in Dijon and that his life had been ended by his brother. He added that, if he wanted to disappear, he could have done so at any time, leading him to the conclusion that his life was, in fact, ended. 

In 1977, a note shown to journalist Leo Sauvage by Pierre Gras, the director of the Dijon municipal library claimed that Le Prince had passed away in Chicago after he moved there at his family’s request when they discovered that he was homosexual. 

The last known remaining film from Le Prince’s single-lens camera is a sequence showing his son, Adolphe, playing a diatonic button accordion. As for Le Prince’s fate, it remains a weird mystery lost to history. 

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