Strange Deaths in History – a glimpse at the lives and deaths of some who came before us.
Manner of death: Used anaesthetics to suicide
Horace was a dentist, born in Vermont and educated in Boston, America and was one of the pioneers in the field of anaesthesia. His research came about due to the fact that he grew ill whenever a patient screamed as he was working on them.
Eventually Horace became a travelling anaesthetic salesman, and his lifestyle led him to experiment with his own inventions, creating a chloroform addiction.
One night, when particularly delirious and deranged after a week of self-experimentation, Horace assaulted two prostitutes with sulphuric acid. He was arrested and placed in Tombs Prison in New York.
Once he had ‘come down’ from his psychosis, and realised what he had done, he was filled with guilt and shame. Unable to live with these feelings, he suicided by inhaling a large quantity of chloroform and then slitting his femoral artery, eventually bleeding to death but being blissfully ignorant of the entire process.
Cause of death: Died while trying to kiss the moon
Li Bai was one of the greatest poets to come out of the Tang Dynasty. He was very creative, and stretched the rules of verse in his time. In today’s age, around a thousand poems are attributed to him.
One night, when in a particularly romantic mood, Li Bai tried to embrace and kiss the reflection of the moon, while in a boat in the Yangtze River. Unfortunately he fell overboard and drowned.
Manner of death: Smothered by affection
Draco was responsible for replacing the system of oral law and blood feuds with a written code to be enforced only by a court of law, in Athens, Ancient Greece. The term “Draconian” is derived from his name, meaning ‘unforgiving rules or laws’.
In true ancient Greek style, his supporters showered him with affection, showing their support by throwing hats, shirts and cloaks on his head. Unfortunately, he was well loved and had many supporters, and this resulted in his suffocation.
Put together by Ashley Hall 2013