People Are Sharing Some Of The Darkest Mysteries From History That They Just Can't Stop Thinking About, And These Stories Are For Adults Only

We recently asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to tell us about an unsolved mystery they just can't stop thinking about...and a number of them were actually ~old~ historical mysteries! So, we decided to round them up in a post of their own. Check it out...

Warning: Graphic content ahead, viewer discretion advised.

1.The princes in the tower. (1483)

Old drawing of two young boys holding hands standing on a winding staircase

"After the death of King Edward IV of England, his 12-year-old son was to ascend the throne, but the dead king’s brother, Richard of Gloucester (later Richard III) was appointed regent until the son came of age. Instead of bringing the young king to London to be crowned, the young king and his brother, the Duke of York, were placed in the Tower of London and never seen again. Two skeletons of boys about the age of the princes at their disappearance were found in the Tower of London many centuries later, but the mystery remains."


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What happened:

As explained above, Princes Edward (12) and Richard (9) were placed in the Tower of London by their uncle, Richard, the Duke of Gloucester in 1483. For a little more context, the young boys were born during the infamous Wars of the Roses (1455-85), which was essentially a series of wars between two rival sides of a family fighting for the throne of England. Suffice it to say, there was a lot of family drama and killing going on at the time. So, when their uncle put Edward in the tower, he claimed it was for "protection," and it didn't raise suspicions. According to reports at that time, the boys were seen less and less over time, and eventually never again. It's suspected they were murdered, but no one knows for sure, and if they were, by who.

2.The man in the iron mask. (1703)

Old drawing of a man wearing an iron mask, writing at a desk in a prison cell

"For unknown reasons, a French man was forced to wear a velvet mask when he was imprisoned under a pseudonym for 30-odd years until his death, which basically gave birth to centuries' worth of theories on who he was."


Duncan1890 / Getty Images

What happened:

In the late 1600s to early 1700s, an unknown man who wore a black velvet mask (not iron!) was imprisoned at the Bastille in Paris until he died there in 1703. From the 18th century onward, many people have had theories as to who he was, ranging from an English nobleman to a brother of King Louis XIV. Apparently, though, most historians believe that he was a man named Eustache Dauger who was likely a valet, and that he didn't actually wear the mask all the time.

3.The Dyatlov Pass incident. (1959)

Group photo of the hikers in the snow

"The Dyatlov Pass incident! It's crazy that they all just died in the weirdest ways and no one knows how! Personally, I like to think that a yeti got them, but who knows."


BuzzFeed Unsolved / Via

What happened:

In February 1959, nine hikers died in the mountains of Russia under very bizarre circumstances. Their bodies were found scattered around the mountain and some in horrifying states: skulls and chests smashed open, eyes missing, and one person even was missing their tongue. Apparently, an investigation at the time suggested the cause of death was an "unknown natural force." There have been many theories over the years as to what happened, but it's a mystery that still remains unsolved.

4.The Villisca axe murders. (1912)

An old house where the murders took place

"So many creepy and confusing details. Why did the Villisca killer cover all the mirrors?"


BuzzFeed Unsolved / Via

What happened:

Sometime between June 9 and 10, 1912, the Moore family — parents Josiah and Sarah, and their four children — and two guests (also children), were bludgeoned to death in the night at the Moores' home in Villisca, Iowa. The eight victims were killed with an axe that the killer(s) had found in the backyard. According to reports, the killer(s) had searched the house for pieces of clothing to cover the mirrors in the house and glass in the doors. Authorities also found a slab of bacon next to the axe, a plate of uneaten food, and a bowl of bloody water in the kitchen. Several leads were followed over the years, but it remains a cold case.

5.The murder of Elizabeth Short, aka the Black Dahlia. (1947)

Portrait of Elizabeth Smart, with curly dark hair
Bettmann / Bettmann Archive, Archive Photos / Getty Images

What happened:

Elizabeth Short, posthumously named the Black Dahlia, was a woman who was murdered in Los Angeles in January 1947. The case became highly publicized due to the gruesome nature of the crime. Her body had been severely mutilated, including being sliced in half. Oddly, there was not even a drop of blood at the crime scene, though. Many suspects were investigated, but no arrests were ever made. And, although there have been many theories over the years, her murder remains unsolved.

6.The Hinterkaifeck farm murders. (1922)

An old farm with a rundown barn in a wide field

"Why did the Hinterkaifeck killer spend days living in the victims’ home after the murders?"


BuzzFeed Unsolved / Via

What happened:

In the spring of 1922, six people living and working on the Hinterkaifeck farm, located in rural Germany, were killed by an unknown assailant. The six victims ranged from age 2 to 72. Four of the victims' bodies were discovered in the barn, battered and covered with hay, while the other two were found inside the house, also covered. Apparently, the killer(s) remained on the farm for a few days and even took care of and fed the farm animals. Although there have been some theories over the last hundred years as to what happened, the gruesome case still remains unsolved.

7.The disappearance of Amelia Earhart. (1937)

Earhart smiling for a camera while standing on the wheel of a small plane

"I'm surprised it hasn't been said yet, but what happened to Amelia Earhart. It's scary to think a brilliant pilot just seemingly disappeared off the face of the earth almost 90 years ago, and to this day, no one is even close to solving the mystery."


"When I can’t sleep, I google what happened to Amelia Earhart. As a result, I know way too much about her disappearance! I have my own theories, but every so often, there is new information that surfaces. I truly believe one day we’ll know for certain. There has to be definitive evidence out there somewhere! How can the world’s greatest aviator vanish without a trace?"


Bettmann / Bettmann Archive

What happened:

Earhart was an aviation pioneer who, at just 39 years old, disappeared over the Pacific Ocean in 1937 while attempting to become the first woman to fly around the globe. Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan were last seen taking off from New Guinea on July 2, 1937. And her last contact was a message to a Coast Guard boat saying, "We must be on you, but we cannot see you. Fuel is running low. Been unable to reach you by radio. We are flying at 1,000 feet.” And, finally, an hour later, “We are running north and south.” A rescue attempt and search were made, scouring 250,000 square miles of ocean, but it was called off on July 19. Although there has been a lot of speculation over the years, no one actually knows what happened to Earhart and Noonan.

8.The Sodder children disappearance. (1945)

Illustration of the Sodder family home in winter

"There was no evidence of their bodies having been burnt. The fire department didn’t come out until morning, the phone lines were damaged, and there were rumors the mafia got involved. Then, many years later, someone allegedly turned up saying he was one of the sons..."


BuzzFeed Unsolved / Via

What happened

In December 1945, a fire destroyed the Sodder family's home in West Virginia. At the time, the parents and nine of their 10 children were home, but only the parents and four of the children escaped. The other five children's bodies, however, were never found.

9.The death of Sir Edmund Berry Godfrey. (1678)

Old illusrtation of Sir Edmund taking a deposition

"Against the backdrop of anti-Catholic hysteria, and the political turmoil in Parliament at the time, there are so many interesting suspects. And the consequences of the widespread belief that he was murdered by Catholics is as fascinating as it is tragic."


Culture Club / Getty Images

What happened:

Sir Edmund Berry Godfrey was an English magistrate who died mysteriously on October 12, 1678. The details of how it all happened are not entirely clear, but he was essentially a victim of an anti-Catholic plot that had been created to make it seem like King Charles II was going to be murdered. Edmund's body was found in a ditch, impaled with his own sword. Apparently, his cause of death, though, had actually been strangulation, and he was already dead when his sword was run through his body. Several men were falsely accused and executed for his murder, but the case was never really solved.

10.Jack the Ripper. (1888)

An old illustration of police discovering a murdered woman in a poor part of London
Stefano Bianchetti / Corbis via Getty Images

What happened:

Jack the Ripper was an unidentified serial killer active in London in 1888. The victims were mainly sex workers who lived and worked in impoverished areas of east London. The kills were very violent including things like throat cutting, mutilation, and the removal of internal organs. Due to the rarity of serial murders at the time (that were known), there was extensive newspaper coverage of the crimes. None of the murders were ever solved.

11.Finally, the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa. (1975)

Hoffa waving to a crowd from his car

"People say two can keep a secret if one is dead. Multiple people had to have known about and been involved in whatever happened to Hoffa, but no one has ever said a word. Someone has to know! There might be a rumor here or there, but for decades, no one has ever known what happened to Jimmy Hoffa."


Bettmann / Bettmann Archive

What happened:

Hoffa, who had a history of being involved with organized crime, was a labor union leader and former president of the Teamsters union who disappeared on July 30, 1975. Hoffa left his home that day in Lake Orion, Michigan and allegedly met with reputed mob figures Anthony "Tony Jack" Giacalone and Anthony "Tony Pro" Provenzano. Although Hoffa called his wife from a payphone that afternoon, he was never seen or heard from again after that. The FBI soon got involved with the search for Hoffa, but he was never found and declared legally dead in 1982.

Note: Some submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.