Historical photos – There are certain moments in history that were so terrifying that even decades later we still get a chill looking at them in a photograph. Obviously, some of the more terrifying events in our world’s history, such as the Crusades or the Salem Witch Trials, could not be frozen in time on film, since the earliest cameras did not exist until the 1800s.
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But there are still plenty of great examples of historical photographs, both recent and not, that still do and will forever invoke within us a certain fear. And we as humans react that way for a few reasons, the main ones being that our fellow humans were capable of very inhumane acts, and that these inhumane acts could quite possibly happen again. After all, it is said that those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it, and I think we can all agree that there are those among us who have not learned.
Not all of the following 15 photos are accounts of evil by the hand of man, however. Nature is very capable of disaster on a much worse scale than any person could ever create. Our planet may be beautiful, but it is also dangerous. Between earth’s penchant for various kinds of natural disasters and man’s penchant for evil, history throughout the last 200 years has provided us with numerous frightening events to document on camera. Some of these events were so terrible, in fact, that the memories that live on in photographs have the ability to be chilling to this day.
Below are 15 iconic photographs of scary and tragic events from around the world that you have probably seen before, and that will still manage to strike fear through your heart. Unless y0u are sociopathic or something similar, these images will haunt you, or at the very least, send a shiver down your spine.
13. The San Francisco Earthquake
The frightening circumstances that all of these photos depict are frightening for one predominant reason: like I just said, they could happen again. There are always more bad guys out there to plan the next terror attack, and there is always going to be another natural disaster, as well. Earthquakes, tsunamis, tornadoes, etc. will always be a present danger on this planet, and sometimes they can be so bad that they go down in the history books, like the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake that brought the city to its knees.
That 7.8-magnitude earthquake that shook the ground for 42 seconds killed 3,000 people and destroyed 80% of San Francisco. Seeing the photos of the following fires that broke out and of the devastation caused in such a short amount of time is an ominous reminder that natural disasters can and will strike at any time, although with today’s technology we may have a better chance to prepare, and also to survive.
Still, that does not take away from the suffering that is so evident in this photograph, and others from our world’s many other natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina, the 2011 earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan, or the Haiti earthquake in 2010.