What makes someone so evil that they not only get their own TV series but their own list of the worst people ever? If you ask me, it’s people who think they are entitled to do whatever they want with no regard for the repercussions. That’s why so many of history’s worst people also happen to be dictators and serial killers – these guys didn’t care about anyone else’s feelings or opinions and thought that everyone was beneath them, so they took out all of their frustrations on innocent people by killing and oppressing them!
Here are 25 of the worst people ever based on their historical significance and their overall shittiness as human beings.
Attila the Hun
Attila was not just any Hun, he was the leader of the Huns, and under his rule, the Hunnic empire consisted of almost anything that didn’t fly a Roman flag. It has been said that there is no surviving first-person account of his appearance, which is not surprising considering the fate of most people who interacted with him.
Clearly, however, he was a man with a passion for invasion. In fact, it was a passion so great that on his way to pick up his bride, Honoria, he decided to stop in Italy…and destroy it. Razing a country on the eve of your wedding? Outstandingly wicked.
Generally speaking, revolutionaries tend to be lauded for their courage and willingness to take a stand. Max, however — although being a leader in the French Revolution — decided that he would rather live on in infamy and instituted what has come to be known as the Reign of Terror.
As we all know, anyone who starts something called a Reign of Terror belongs on a list of bad people…period.
This Japanese Emperor was the mastermind behind something that came to be known as the Rape of Nanking (what was the capital of China). Raping the capital city of the most populous nation on Earth? This list is for you.
Genghis Khan was born around 1162 in Mongolia. When he was still a teenager, he and his family were forced out of their home and on the run from enemies from another tribe who wanted revenge for an earlier dispute between Genghis’ father and uncle over who should be chief of their clan. They fled to China where they were taken in by a friendly Mongol warlord.
Genghis grew up among this new tribe with whom he learned the skills that would make him so successful as a leader: intelligence gathering, discipline, war strategy, and determination. He eventually became chieftain when his uncle died of old age. Genghis Khan founded the Mongol Empire, which became the largest contiguous empire in history after his death.
Four million to sixty million people are estimated to have died in Genghis Khan’s military campaigns. Four million to sixty million people are estimated to have died in Genghis Khan’s military campaigns.
For those of you who don’t know, Caligula was Roman Emperor from 37-41 AD. Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus also known as Caligula, was not only one of the worst Roman emperors but one of the most infamous rulers in all of history. As a child, he was loved by everyone in his family and would watch as his father and uncle fought in battles against his enemies.
In 37 AD Caligula came into power after the death of Tiberius and when he did he started to change things around Rome – including setting up a personal harem with 300 of the most beautiful slaves in the empire which included men and women (it is said that he had sex with both).
He also put on lavish displays of himself being worshiped as a god, like fighting lions or leading an army around Rome on horseback while wearing expensive clothing and jewelry. In short, his cruelty, sadism, extravagance, and sexual perversions portray him as a psychotic ruler.
Issuing soldiers Viagra to help them rape and kill women, indiscriminately executing his own people, and sponsoring international terrorists, he was only the second still-serving state leader in history to have arrest warrants issued against him.
Translation: he was really, really bad at his job. So bad in fact, that even Fidel Castro once described him as being reckless.
Jeffrey Dahmer was an American serial killer and sex offender who murdered 17 men and boys between 1978 and 1991. He committed many of the murders while he lived in his grandmother’s house in Ohio.
Dahmer sexually assaulted, tortured, mutilated, and killed his victims before disposing of their bodies by dismembering them with a knife or acid or both for easier disposal as he experimented with different methods for preserving body parts like skulls. Necrophilia, cannibalism, and the preservation of body parts-typically skeletons-were common themes in his later murders.
For over twenty years Saddam served as the President of Iraq instituting genocidal campaigns against the Kurds, Shabaks, Yazidis, Assyrians, and Mandeans.
Leopold II of Belgium
It’s impressive that from such a small country could come such a colossal tyrant. Deciding that his country wasn’t big enough Leopold did what any leader would do and went to Africa…to start his own. In what is the present-day Democratic Republic of the Congo, he managed to enslave, torture, and kill over 3 million people just so he could sell some ivory.
Osama bin Laden
Mao Zedong was a Chinese Communist revolutionary who led his country’s Red Army in a civil war against the Nationalist forces of Chiang Kai-Shek and by 1949 had established control over most of China. He then launched an ambitious program to modernize rural China by bringing electricity and other infrastructure to villages across the country.
This Great Leap Forward was an economic disaster, as crops were left unharvested and villagers starved because their meager harvest was taken by Mao’s soldiers for export abroad. Mao also persecuted those he saw as enemies of progress, including intellectuals and those he perceived as capitalist roaders within the Communist Party itself.
According to estimates, 80 million Chinese died as a result of starvation, persecution, prison labor, and mass executions during the Mao era.
Idi Amin Dada
Few people in history can say they are directly responsible for killing half a million people, and this Ugandan dictator is one of them. In power from 1971 to 1979 his resume included human rights abuse, political repression, ethnic persecution, extrajudicial killings, nepotism, corruption, and gross economic mismanagement.
Dr. H. H. Holmes
One of the first documented serial killers in American history, he built a hotel specifically for the purpose of killing his guests. Located less than 2 miles from the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, he would lure guests to “Murder Castle” where he had rigged all of the bedrooms with gas lines, soundproofing, lime pits, etc..
He would then proceed to torture and kill them, ultimately dissecting their bodies and selling the pieces to medical schools.
Vlad the Impaler
Born in 1431, Vlad Tepes-the Impaler earned his nickname from his favorite method of execution for enemies of the state and witches. He was the ruler of Wallachia. According to legend, he would impale his victims on a sharp stake or nail them head first onto a large wooden pole and then watch as they died slowly from blood loss.
His other favorite methods were boiling them alive in oil or water (or both), burning them alive with sulfur, and roasting them over an open fire. He also enjoyed hanging criminals upside down from poles and then cutting off their heads with a saber while they were still alive-just so they could see what was happening before they died.
He stabbed God in the back for 30 pieces of silver…enough said.
The leader of the Khmer Rouge and Prime Minister of Cambodia in the 1970s, he actually managed to relocate the entire population of Cambodia onto farms where they slaved away planting seeds that would grow into food that no one would be allowed to eat.
And this is why we study economics…so that unlike our pal Pol Pot, we don’t starve one-third of our population to death. But that’s not all, Pot and the Khmer Rouge were also responsible for mass executions in places known as Killing Fields.
And although no one can be certain of the death toll, it has been said that in order to save ammunition, the executions were often carried out using spades, axes, hammers, and sharpened bamboo sticks.
A Hungarian countess from the 1500’s who has been labeled the “most prolific female serial killer in history” and has come to be known as the “Blood Countess” or “Blood Queen”. We at List25 believe those to be appropriate titles for someone alleged to bathe in the blood of virgins in order to maintain their youth.
According to court records, Elizabeth and several accomplices would lure young girls to their lair and then proceed to beat them, burn them, bite the flesh of their faces, freeze them, perform surgery on them, starve them, and abuse them sexually.
Adolf Hitler is one of the most famous and hated men in history. He was born on April 20th, 1889 in Austria and raised in a German family during World War I when anti-Semitism was rampant throughout Europe.
In 1919 he joined a militant anti-Semitic group called German Workers Party (Nazi Party) and became their leader in 1921. Through years of speeches and propaganda, he convinced many Germans that Jews were responsible for all their problems since they had caused Germany’s defeat in World War I and economic depression.
World War II was launched during his dictatorship and he was heavily involved in military operations and the Holocaust. Approximately six million Jews and millions of others were killed in the Holocaust.
He was the first of the Tsars and with his resume, it’s surprising that the Russians allowed there to be anymore. During one of his escapades to Poland, he had 1000 prisoners brought before him every day to be executed.
Assuming that he got a full nights sleep (8 hours) that would mean witnessing 1 execution for every minute he was awake.
Joseph Stalin was born on 18 December 1878 in Georgia, then part of the Russian Empire. His birth name was Ioseb Besarionis dze Jughashvili. His father was a shoemaker and his mother was a housekeeper for an aristocratic family who had been exiled from Russia.
He became a revolutionary and adopted the alias Stalin, meaning man of steel. He rose through party ranks in Moscow. As General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (1922–1952) and Chairman of the Council of Ministers (1941–1953), he held powerful positions.
As head of state, he established an autocratic rule which he built upon throughout his life so as not to share power with other potential rivals within his own party or with those outside it who might try to impose their views either on him or on Russia by force. His regime was widely condemned for mass repression, ethnic cleansing, deportations, executions, famine, and thousands of deaths.
Heinrich Luitpold Himmler was born on October 7, 1900, in Munich into a conservative middle-class Roman Catholic family with strong ties to Prussian aristocracy. Heinrich was the Nazi SS (Schutzstaffel, or Protection Squads) officer who made the Holocaust happen.
His speeches and writings were often full of quotations from Hitler’s Mein Kampf and he also organized all aspects of the party’s terror apparatus including Gestapo (secret police) and concentration camps such as Auschwitz-Birkenau, Treblinka, and Dachau where over six million Jews were systematically murdered. Nearly 10 million people died as a result of his personal involvement.
He was one of the most powerful men in Nazi Germany as well as one of its most sinister figures.
There is no doubt that these are the worst people ever! Did we miss someone? Who do you think should be on this list. Or maybe you’d prefer to check out these 25 Leaders Responsible For The Worst Genocides Ever Committed.