It’s a sad irony we enter the world one way but have plenty of doors to make our final exit. Death isn’t ever pleasant but some ways are certainly much worse than others. If most people had to choose, we’d guess it would be to die in their old age surrounded by family. Unfortunately, we rarely get to choose and some deaths come thrusting upon us without notice and escape. But, of all the ways to die, which are the most horrific? Here are 25 most horrible ways to die we all want to avoid.
Being skinned alive has been around for a scary long amount of time. Since 800 BC, many ancient civilizations practiced it, including Greece, China, and the Aztecs. First, you’ll be tenderized before they filet large chunks of skin from your body. The pain obviously will be excruciating. Without your skin protecting it, your body will immediately be infected. You’ll get cold, numb, and your brain will do everything it can to make you feel better with endorphins. Eventually, you’ll go into shock and pass out before you die.
Death by hanging was a common type of capital punishment for quite a long time and still is in certain parts of the world. There are two ways it can kill you. The first is by decapitation in which the neck and spinal cord are broken. Dying that way is considered more humane than the second way. The second way is strangulation in which the neck doesn’t break but the airway is blocked. So, instead of dying instantly, it takes minutes of extreme pain due to lack of oxygen.
Imagine jumping out of an airplane, falling 13,000 feet, and your parachute won’t open. The chances of you surviving this scenario are very slim. Adrenaline will kick in. Your heart will be slamming inside your chest like a ram. And you have to live with the sheer horror of watching as the ground grows with nothing to save you, waiting patiently for it to be over. The only silver lining is it’ll be quick and, hopefully, painless.
Dying of starvation is a slow, agonizing process with several stages. Once your body has used up all your reserves of fat and muscle, then things start to get really serious. Starvation destroys your immune system which makes you susceptible to many diseases. Most people die of disease during starvation. If you don’t die of disease, eventually, your organs shut down and your heart gives out.
Terminal cancer is an evil that wreaks havoc all over your body. At the end of life, cancer can also cause a tremendous amount of pain. Usually, doctors provide medicine to remove or dull the pain but sometimes it’s not enough.
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Stoned to Death
Being stoned to death was a common form of capital punishment in ancient times. Today, it’s practiced in the Middle East, Africa, and Indonesia. Usually, it involves a group of people who repeatedly throw large, jagged stones at the accused until they drop dead.
A Dragging Death usually involves a carriage or automobile with a rope tied around your hands or legs while the vehicle drags your body down a road. Being dragged behind a car going at high speeds will scrape your skin, pummel your muscles, and break plenty of bones. Most people who have endured this torture have rarely made it out alive.
Water is vital to the body. You can’t last past three days without it. The process of dying by dehydration is slow and agonizing. The ravenous thirst alone will drive you crazy. But, on day three, if you haven’t had water, your body will overheat and your liver and kidneys will fail.
About 360,000 people die of drowning worldwide annually. Usually, children with greater access to bodies of water are at the most risk. Humans can’t breathe in water. So as the water fills up their lungs, they slowly asphyxiate. This process is slow, painful, and frankly, terrifying.
As far as human history goes, decapitation is one of the more common ways to die. Warriors cut off the heads of their victims as trophies. Governments utilized guillotines or axes to administer the capital punishment. And many accidents have occurred with the end result of a head coming off. The gruesome practice can sometimes be quick, but if administered incorrectly, could take much longer. Even if it is quick, scientists believe the acute pain could be excruciating.
Whether you’re buried in a coffin, in the ground completely, or in an avalanche, you’re likely to die from asphyxiation. Of those, being buried in a coffin is the longest and most drawn out which makes it that much more horrific.
Look up the notorious serial killer H.H. Holmes and you’ll fully know the horrors of dying by torture. The methods are numerous, the process unbearably slow and painful, but the end result is always the same.
Freeze to Death
If you’re stranded in a place with extremely cold temperatures, the likelihood of you freezing to death is high. Your body will shiver to try to keep warm but eventually you’ll lose color, become confused, and might even strip off all your clothes. Burrowing into a snow bank without your clothes on is the last thing you’ll likely do before you pass out and die.
Being crushed to death could happen in many different kinds of situations. Whether crushed by a boulder, a car, an elephant, or any other heavy and large object, you’ll likely die quickly if it crushes your head first. If not, It really depends on where your body is being crushed. The results could be slow and quite painful.
Eaten by Animals
For the most part, humans don’t have to worry too much about being an animal’s prey but it does occur from time to time. Crocodiles, lions, bears, wolves, and tigers are on the top of the list of animals that hunt, kill, and eat humans. We’re thinking it’s pretty painful and horrifying to feel teeth sinking into your flesh and bones before dying.
Being trapped in a tiny winged compartment with 200 people thousands of miles in the air is kind of like a giant flying coffin if something goes wrong. Surviving a plane crash is not impossible, but there are a number of things that could kill you. Because the plane will be descending at immense speeds, your limbs are likely to rip off your body and your internal organs will essentially liquefy on impact. If the plane breaks apart, you could also get sucked out of it. If miraculously that hasn’t happened and the plane crashed, there’s a good chance it’ll explode before you can get out. Your best hope is to land on the water where you might get hypothermia or for your neck to break so you don’t have to experience the horrors.
Considered the most humane option for capital punishment, Lethal Injection has also become the most popular in the United States and other countries. In three phases, they put the offender to sleep with Midazolam, stop their lungs with Vecuronium, and stops the heart with Potassium Chloride. The problem is these were never intended to kill people but are medicines used for other purposes. Many have questioned if these medicines are effective in killing people or if it only prolongs the torture they experience especially if the Midazolam doesn’t work properly.
Death by Sacrifice
Human sacrifice goes all the way back to Biblical times when Abraham almost sacrificed his son Isaac. Many ancient civilizations practiced human sacrifice like the Inca or Aztecs. The idea of having your neighbors surround your house, pull you away and throw you on a pyre to roast definitely ranks up there as a horrible way to die.
Death by Volcano
Lava coming out of a volcano is about 1,300 to 2,200-degrees Fahrenheit. If for some horrible reason you were nearby and fell into it, you’d catch on fire and your whole body would be incinerated, dying instantly.
In ancient Persia, a very sick individual made up the execution known as Scaphism, or “the Boats.” First, they’d strip the victim naked and put them in two identical boats, one on top and one on bottom, with their limbs hanging out. Then, they’d force feed them milk and honey to cause horrible diarrhea, after which they’d slather their body with honey. While floating in the water, honey would attract all kinds of insects, biting and burrowing into the victim’s flesh. The Persians would continue force feeding the person honey until they died of gangrene or some other disease. So, be thankful you don’t live in ancient Persia.
While the United States overall doesn’t use the electric chair anymore for capital punishment, Alabama, South Carolina, Florida, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Virginia all still do. The electric chair literally cooks you to death and has been said to catch some people on fire. Unfortunately, it’s not always consistent and some have had to go through the process twice. It’s said your eyes might pop out and your skin completely burns off until your heart gives out.
On the off chance you’re near an ungodly amount of ionizing radiation, you’re going to get really sick, really fast. It’ll feel a lot like the severe flu with vomiting, nausea, headaches, and fever. Your neurological system will be affected and you’ll suffer painful seizures and tremors before you die in 48 hours.
While rare and incredibly quick, explosive decompression is one of those deaths the victim won’t know about because it’s so fast, but everyone else around them will suffer severe post traumatic stress for life. One such incident was on an oil rig where the pressure of nine atmospheres decompressed into one atmosphere in a fraction of a second. Four men in the incident died instantly and one was severely injured. One of the four men closest to the highest amount of pressure was forced through a 60-centimeter opening, violently dismembering him.
Burned at the Stake
Burning at the stake was a common form of punishment in the middle ages especially for heretics and witches. While some might die of asphyxiation from the flames, if the fire was small enough it might roast the victim for much longer, causing unimaginable agony.
Have an interest in the macabre? You need to check out 25 Death Related Facts That Might Make You Glad To Be Alive
In the ancient world, especially the Roman Empire, crucifixion was so horrible the Romans wouldn’t do it to their own citizens and usually reserved it for rebellious slaves, foreigners, and soldiers who abandoned their post. First, the soldiers would brutally beat the victim until they had lashed lungs, broken ribs, and a damaged torso. Then, they’d be forced to carry their cross before it was set on the ground. After which they’d either tie up the person to the cross or nail them in. With the cross upright, it forces the prisoner to use their arms and legs to lift themselves to breathe. Most victims died of asphyxiation or cardiac arrest.
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