Vintage pictures serve as windows to the past. Be it the people, things, or even the special events that happened years before we were born. But what if the pictures that were snapped represented the eerie and weird situations their subjects were in.
Not just historical mysteries, we cannot get enough of juicy celebrity backstories. We promise to take you on a journey down memory lane where you will get to see everything in a new light, one that’s quite spooky and eerie, to say the least. Let’s start the show, shall we?
The Holocaust was a nightmarish period for the Jews as the Nazis were hell-bent on eradicating them from the face of the earth. This photo of Istvan Reiner is held by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. This caption under the photo explains this innocent kid’s fate:
“Istvan and his mother were deported to Auschwitz. Upon arrival, other prisoners told Livia to give Istvan to his grandmother and to go through the selection alone. Livia told the SS men that she was four years younger than she really was and was selected for forced labor. She worked in a factory, was in the Allendorf labor camp, and was later sent on a forced march. She was liberated in either Bergen-Belsen or Mannheim. Istvan, then only four years old, was murdered together with his grandmother.”
If you receive a gunshot wound right in the middle of your forehead, only a miracle can save you from the pangs of death. Miller experienced this miraculous fate as he crumpled to the ground at first but remained alive. His own description of what went down is absolutely bone-chilling:
“At last, I became conscious and raised up in a sitting position. Then I began to feel my wound. I found my left eye out of its place and tried to place it back, but I had to move the crushed bone back as together as near together as I could first. Then I got the eye in its proper place. I then bandaged the eye the best I could with my bandana.”
It wouldn’t be wrong if we say that Marilyn Monroe was the biggest American sex symbol of the 20th century! In this photo by Richard Avedon, Monroe can be seen dressed in a Theda Bara outfit in 1958.
Theda Bara was also one of the most iconic sex symbols of the US and was renowned for her revealing outfits and her femme fatale screen roles. However, everything came to a sudden and sad end as we all know!
In a picture clicked for the Vogue magazine in 1939, Lisa Fonssagrives can be seen hanging from the Eiffel Tower, and reportedly, she was not secured in any way. No, we are not kidding!
Erwin Blumenfeld clicked this iconic picture. In an article dubbed “Billion Dollar Baby,” Time magazine described her as “the highest-paid, highest-praised high-fashion model in the business, considered by many of her colleagues the greatest fashion model of all time.” Things you do for fame!
Johnny Carson might be one of the most iconic late-night talk show hosts ever to grace the television; he wasn’t born with a silver spoon in his mouth. Norfolk, Nebraska, was his home when he moved there with his family when he was 8 years old.
Taking a look at his humble beginnings, he kickstarted his life as an entertainer by learning magic tricks. When he was 14, he started performing locally as “The Great Carsoni” and he used to charge $3 per show. Well, he definitely came a long way!
If you think that the millennials of this day and age come up with unique hair and beard combos, this ‘Man in the Moon’ look from 1895 will definitely make them stare!
Moreover, the guy featured in this image clicked by Nadar looks quite confident in his looks! Nadar himself was an interesting fellow and was a renowned French journalist, novelist, and caricaturist. He also became the first person to take aerial photographs. Yep, you heard that right!
Bob Ross is renowned around the world as host of the PBS show—The Joy of Painting which aired from 1983 to 1994. There were many factors that contributed to his popularity, such as his perpetually happy outlook, perfectly spherical perm hairdo, and his soothing voice.
But he also led a different life before he arrived on PBS as he was a Master Sergeant in the Air Force. He left the force in 1981, and two years later, his show marked its debut.
Steve McQueen is considered to be one of the all-time coolest cats in Hollywood. Apart from being super cool, he also used to live his life on an absolute edge. Wondering why we said that? Well, keep reading!
On June 22, 1972, he was arrested in Anchorage, Alaska. The crime? He was driving while intoxicated and speeding. At that time, McQueen was 42 years old. Reportedly, he was busted in his Oldsmobile Toronado while performing doughnuts!
Prince Harry was the second child of Prince Charles and Princess Diana. At the time of his birth, they were Prince and Princess of Wales. Born in 1984, he was third in the line of succession to the British throne.
When this picture was clicked, he was a month shy of his second birthday. As we have come to know by now that Diana was a loving mother, her displays of affection weren’t in line with the British stiff-upper-lip tradition. No wonder she’s no longer among us!
Torrential rains struck Cambridge, Ontario, on May 16, 1974, which resulted in overflowing the Grand River that further increased the level of floodwater in the low-lying parts of the city. A real threat of looting surfaced as goods and merchandise started floating out through broken windows.
In this picture, Constable John Shuttleworth can be seen guarding a drug store against potential looting. All this while, he was submerged in waist-deep water, which would be an immense problem in the years to come.
You must be wondering how short is this person in between? Well, that’s American photographer James Ricalton in a picture from 1903 standing between two men known as the Two Giants of Kashmir.
These twin brothers standing at 7’6″ and 7’9″ tall, were stationed as elite riflemen for the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir, which is now part of modern-day India. However, now these two men are nothing more than show puppets for people to take pictures of. A sad story, indeed!
Titanic, even after more than a century since its sad demise, remains one of the most iconic ships to ever sail on this planet’s oceans. This picture is taken from a brochure of the titanic, and the iconic Grand staircase is defined in the following manner:
“The Grand Staircase, sixteen feet wide, extends over sixty feet and serves seven decks, five of which are also reached by the Three Electric Passenger Elevators. It is modeled closely after the style so prevalent during the reign of William and Mary, except that instead of the usual heavily-carved balustrade, a light wrought-iron grille has been employed, a fashion found in a few of the most exclusive great houses of that period.” What remains now is a dilapidated underwater ruin speaking volume about the agony of those who might’ve been trapped when the ship went down with hundreds on board.
We see Tad with his father, President Abraham Lincoln, in this photo that dates back to 1865! If you are wondering about the occasion, well, here’s the back story.
This photo is taken from the set of photos that were clicked at President Lincoln’s last formal sitting. 10 weeks after this photo was clicked, he was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth.
Ever since the inception of airplanes, pilots have always had a knack for unique and stylish appearance boosted by their flight jackets, gloves, goggles, caps, scarves, and boots. It was described as a look waiting for the right woman to barge in their lives, and needless to say, Amelia Earhart wore it well.
She launched her own clothing line in 1932 called Amelia Earhart Fashions and gave American women more options. However, she couldn’t sustain it for long as she vanished from the face of the earth in her solo plane voyage around the world.
While her husband was away, fighting in the Pacific Teater of World War II, Norma Jean Dougherty commenced her modeling career. She went against her husband’s wishes to pursue modeling and soon signed with an agency.
After doing so, she started appearing in magazines geared toward a male audience. After a thorough makeover of her personality, a couple of screen tests, and a name change later, she went on to set the silver screen on fire.
The Aqua-Trail Terra Marina might not have been a great seller, but it was a proud attempt to make a go-anywhere camper/boat.
To give you an idea, there were only 35 units of this camper that were manufactured during its 1959-60 production run. To crunch some more numbers, it could attain a speed of 7 knots. It has become a collector’s item, and there are still a few of them around.
Violet Jessop, also known as the queen of sinking ships, has survived maritime disasters. In 1911, the Argentine ocean liner stewardess was serving onboard the RMS Olympic when it collided with the British cruiser, HMS Hawke. And that’s not all!
Moreover, it is also out in the open that she was also aboard The Titanic when it sank in the North Atlantic. ‘The Queen’ helped passengers get into lifeboats and also rescued a baby. Well, maybe it was all destiny!
Billed as a fair in the medieval tradition, music was the main focus of the Glastonbury festival of 1971. In the Celtic and Arthurian legends, it is mentioned that the Holy Grail can be found in one of the area’s landmarks, the Chalice Well.
The Catholic Church appointed priests who were part of a delegation that set up the Jesus Tent. The tent featured relatively young, shaggy, and handsome priests offering mass and communion twice a day alongside hippies!
Geishas are an important symbol of traditional Japanese culture, but their complicated role in society is often misunderstood because they are neither prostitutes nor courtesans. So what exactly are they?
They are basically entertainers skilled in traditional Japanese music, song, and dance. A Geisha’s status and career stage can be denoted by her hairstyle.
Paul Coze was a renowned French artist and photographer. Fascinated by the aboriginal people of North America, he captured this photo of a young couple near the Waterhen River, Saskatchewan, Canada, in 1931.
He has made several documentaries on the life of Native Americans, and the photo that you see here is one of 50 pictures included in the “Paul Coze fonds” collection held by the Royal Alberta Museum.
The ‘casual’ dinner party seen here took place at the Hotel Astor in New York City on December 7, 1904. It had been a couple of months only since the hotel became functional. It was the latest addition to the Astor family’s hotel empire. The empire also included the likes of Waldorf-Astoria and St. Regis.
Hotel Astor, by flaunting its themed restaurants, numerous ballrooms, and famous rooftop bar, soon became a key part of the entertainment hub of Times Square. Unfortunately, the iconic hotel closed and was demolished in 1967.
Aging slapstick-comedy actors Moe Howard (born 1897), Larry Fine (born 1902), and “Curly” Joe DeRita joined forces in 1969 and visited Yellowstone National Park to shoot footage for the pilot of their upcoming series Kook’s Tour. But fate had other plans …
While The Three Stooges were there at the Yellowstone, they decided to click a few snaps with the park rangers. Sadly, the series couldn’t take off as Larry Fine suffered a stroke in January 1970.
This large man with curlers in his hair and some unique clothing might look familiar to you because he went on to become a world-famous comedian.
This particular picture is special because when it was clicked, he was yet to taste glory and was going through his “that guy” phase. He was known for playing that guy in Stripes (Dewey Oxburger) and Vacation (security guard Russ Lasky). We are pretty sure that the next one will bring tears to your eyes.
War entails destruction, and the trauma has to be endured by family members left behind. Alexander Ivanovich Shirobokov, a private in the Russian Army, came to know that both his parents had been slaughtered by German soldiers, but he didn’t know about the status of his two sisters.
He assumed that they had perished too, but to his surprise, he discovered both of them alive in August 1943 when Karachev was liberated. Quite a heart-warming and emotional reunion it must have been!
It is sort of easy to claim that your dentistry won’t hurt, but the reality could be different, as this distressed patient found out after visiting a dentist.
In the age when Yelp was basically non-existent, the patient came up with a unique way to express his pain as he voiced his discontent using chalk! Indeed a “LIAR!”
Back in the mid-1890s, Hamidian Massacres that took place in the Ottoman Empire resulted in the killing of non-muslims as Turkish Sultan Abdul Hamid II attempted to hold the crumbling empire together. It is reported that between 100,000 and 300,000 non-muslims were killed.
It is a widely accepted fact that Armenian women fought in battle during the Hamidian Massacres, but the ones featured here are probably just posing with the rifles and are not actually fighters per se. As it was discovered later, the rifles and pistol are props.
Audrey Hepburn might have made the pixie cut famous but being one of the ideals of feminine beauty in the ’50s and ’60s, we cannot expect her to look bad with her hair down to her waist!
After her early hits Roman Holiday (1953) and Sabrina (1954), she began growing her hair. The picture was captured by William Klein for a Vogue feature showing off Givenchy gowns, but needless to say, Hepburn’s extremely long hair steals the show! Timeless beauty, even after so long!
Johnny Cash, for a change, isn’t seen in his backyard singing numbers from a Broadway show. Instead, it looks like he has been fishing or is about to fish as he flaunts his “thigh-high boots” in this candid photo that dates back to 1971.
The name of the boot does justice to the purpose it serves, as it was mainly developed to keep a fisherman’s legs dry as he wades out into the water of a lake or stream. Quite intriguing, ain’t it? A window to the past? Hell, yeah!
The 1970’s America was abuzz with the latest happenings in the world of showbiz and glamour. Dolly Parton and Mick Jagger are two such well-known names that everyone knows about!
On one such night in May 1977, when Dolly was performing her greatest country music tracks, attending were three great names—Mick Jagger, Bruce Springsteen, and John Belushi. No wonder they were blown away by this eternal talent! Next up, Clint Eastwood from when he wasn’t famous.
Before the Good, Bad, and Ugly fame, Clint Eastwood became a big name in the industry, he was a common folk with big dreams.
The Western superstar and heartthrob is clicked here alongside Sammy Davis Jr. checking out a beautiful gun. Something that you’d definitely expect of Eastwood, don’t you think?
Ventriloquist’s dummies are probably the creepiest thing on this earth, and no one can explain it better than creepy Don Knotts. Well, he can’t anymore as he passed on in 2006 unless we somehow connect with his spirit. LOL! Dreaming of a successful career in showbiz, Knotts developed a dummy which he named Danny Hooch, not knowing that this very dummy would become his arch-nemesis.
Knotts joined the army in the mid-1940s, and this photo is believed to have been clicked during his first year of deployment. Although Danny gave him fame and money, he found himself restricted. So, one fine day, Knotts threw the dummy in the sea while in a ship. Nonetheless, Knotts later confessed that he somehow still heard Danny’s scream while drowning into oblivion. Ugghh … sure gave us a chill!
Religion has often been a driving and dividing force in the history of any country. Same was the fate with 1960’s America when a Roman Catholic, John F. Kennedy was fighting the 1960 Presidential election. Even since the country’s freedom 180 years ago, no Roman Catholic had ever been elected in the position of power.
While campaigning during April 1960, Kennedy decided to go door-to-door to address any anti-catholic sentiments and explain his case. Winning over the Protestants with his humane approach, John F. Kennedy changed the course of history.
Who are these women and why are they dressed like this? These are the Clark sisters, the grandmother, and the aunts of photographer Frances Benjamin Johnston. What’s eerie about this photograph is the trouble they went through to immortalize themselves in the annals of history. Wondering how?
This image which is dated between 1840 and 1860, is actually a daguerreotype and not a photograph. Of course, technology wasn’t as advanced back then. It is a process of creating a photograph-like image using silver-plated copper. Trust us; it was a long and strenuous process. No wonder the expression on these womens’ faces is self-explanatory of the trouble they must have faced! YIKES.
This model was literally standing hundreds of feet above the ground, with no safety equipment whatsoever to pose for a billboard photograph. One wrong step, and it would all have ended in a disaster. Maybe it did; who can say for sure!
So, here we go, folks. These are some of the most iconic, disturbing, and eerie photographs ever clicked since the inception of image technology. Needless to say, some of them have astounding yet traumatizing backstories. So, which one did you find the most shocking? Don’t forget to let us know by commenting down below!