When we talk about ancient history, more than facts we encounter stories that are either myths or purely mysterious. Be it Jack the Ripper or what happened to Mary Celeste, there are numerous stories of the past that today serve the basic plot of modern horror movies. While some of history’s most famous theories are not the same as we suppose, there lay others that are left untouched. And the lack of answers only makes these enigmas even more intriguing.
Here are a few of the most chilling unsolved mysteries of all time!
Jack The Ripper:
Say it sociopath, psychopath, or narcissist, but one can never be able to know for sure the serial killers or even similar traits. A serial killer is typically a person who kills three or more people, usually in service of abnormal psychological gratification, with the murders taking place over more than a month and including a significant period of time between them. One of the most intriguing undiscovered serial killers of the past is ‘Jack the Ripper’, active between August and November 1888. Jack the Ripper murders remain unsolved to date.
During the 19th century, a series of the murder of female prostitutes of London started. He terrorized the streets of Whitechapel in London’s east end. Jack the ripper killed around 5 female prostitutes and mutilated their bodies brutally suggesting that he had a good knowledge of human anatomy. Despite countless investigations, several potentials could be ‘culprits’ such as the famous Victorian painter Walter Sickert, a Polish migrant and even the grandson of Queen Victoria. Yet Jack the Ripper was never captured and remains one of the world’s most infamous criminals.
Amelia Earhart was an American aviator who disappeared under unknown circumstances. She was one of the most famous women aviators in history who championed several awards. She was the first person to fly solo over the Atlantic Ocean. In 1937, on her flight to circumnavigate the globe, Earhart went missing. Even the crashed plane debris was not found and she was declared missing in the mid of the air. Her disappearance is one of the greatest mysteries of the 20th century.
Scholars and aviation enthusiasts, however, proposed several theories about how she went missing in the sea. One crash and sink theory indicates that she might have run out of gas and crashed somewhere near the Howland Island. Though, years of search proved otherwise.
According to Gardner Island Hypothesis, The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) states that her plane must have landed on the uninhabited island of Gardner Island. There she must have survived for few days but eventually died of starvation. Several artifacts like a woman’s shoe, improvised tools, and a woman’s cosmetics jar from the late 1930s are discovered suggesting that the theory might be true. However, no bones or DNA were recovered to verify the claims. While other theories suggest that maybe she was executed by the Japanese or she was the spy of the Roosevelt administration and stayed underground in the US itself.
What happened to the crew of British-American brigantine- Mary Celeste remains unknown to date. Another ship named Dei Gratia found the abandoned ship some 400 miles east of the Azores; around 8 days later the ship left the port for Italy. They were surprised to notice everything intact, the food supply, fuel, and even the boat’s condition. The only thing missing was the only lifeboat and the crew of 10 people.
The ship began its journey on November 7, 1972, with seven crew members and the captain of the ship Benjamin Spooner Briggs along with his wife and the couple’s 2-year-old daughter. When the crew of Dei Gratia found their ship, there was no sign of what might have happened to them.
Many theories have come forward since their disappearance. One of them came from Arthur Conan Doyle’s explanation of what happened to them. His interpretation of the story made the mystery worldwide famous. Along with Doyle’s theory, an episode from the Dr. Who series also portrayed the story suggesting that the crew jump overboard when the Daleks came on the ship while chasing the TARDIS. However, no traces have ever been discovered thereafter.
Grand Duchess Anastasia:
The family of Tsar Nicholas II was brutally murdered during World War 2. They were executed in a cellar along with their four servants, though no bodies were immediately found. Later when the bodies were recovered, only Anastasia and her little brother Alexie’s bodies were missing, and thus it was presumed that the duchess survived the firing along with her brother and eventually ran away. Rumors spread that they were shielded by the royal jewels they were wearing at the time of firing and thus survived.
Since then several women had falsely claimed to have been Anastasia. One of the most famous cases was of Anna Anderson, who claimed to be the lost princess. Two years after the family’s execution, a nameless woman jumped from a bridge but was saved by the police officials. She was brought to the asylum, there were no labels on her clothes, and a silent refusal to identify her only fueled the speculations. She had strange scars on her body and had a good Russian accent when she finally spoke after two years in the asylum. Many patients at the asylum identified her as duchess Anastasia; however, Anna never encouraged any of these.
But one night when she was showed the photograph of Nicholas’s family, she did confess that her grandmother was in the photo. When relatives came to identify her, they said that she was too short to be Anastasia, to which she replied that she never admitted that she was Anastasia. Though she resisted, words spread throughout the media and television. She only admitted to being Anastasia among her close circle. But later, when a DNA test was conducted it was proved that she was not Anastasia.
Years later, in 2007 the two missing bodies were found but after they were identified to be the bodies of Alexie and his older sister Maria. To date, no remains have ever been located of the Grand Duchess Anastasia.