The Grim Reaper Has The Final Say When It’s Your Time…

While most of us hope to live out long, productive, happy, healthy lives there is no telling just WHEN the Grim Reaper will show up to take you down the river Styx.  Here are some accounts throughout history showing us that the Grim Reaper has a slight sense of humor or extremely bad timing.  You decide and let us know what you think in the comments section below.

  • 620 BC: Draco, Athenian law-maker, was smothered to death by gifts of cloaks showered upon him by appreciative citizens at a theater on Aegina.
  •  401 BC: Mithridates, a soldier condemned for the murder of Cyrus the Younger, was executed by scaphism, surviving the insect torture for 17 days.
  • 162 BC: Eleazar Maccabeus was crushed to death at the Battle of Beth-zechariah by a war elephant that he believed to be carrying Seleucid King Antiochus V. Charging into battle, Eleazar rushed underneath the elephant and thrust a spear into its belly, whereupon it fell dead on top of him.
  • 9th century: The legendary Prince Popiel, leader of the proto-Polish Goplans and Polans, and his wife, were allegedly eaten alive by mice in a tower in Kruszwica. This curse arose as a result of not obeying burial traditions. A similar tale is the Mouse Tower of Archbishop Hatto II of Mainz.
  • 892: Sigurd the Mighty of Orkney strapped the head of his defeated foe, Máel Brigte, to his horse’s saddle. The teeth of the head grazed against his leg as he rode, causing a fatal infection.  (Lesson learned, “DON’T GET COCKY!”)
  • 1478: George Plantagenet, Duke of Clarence, was executed by drowning in a barrel of Malmsey wine at his own request.
  • 1649: Sir Arthur Aston, Royalist commander of the garrison during the Siege of Drogheda, was beaten to death with his own wooden leg, which the Parliamentarian soldiers thought concealed golden coins.
  • 1667: James Betts died from asphyxiation after being accidentally sealed in a cupboard by Elizabeth Spencer, at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge in an attempt to hide him from her father, John Spencer.
  • 1755: Henry Hall died from injuries he sustained after molten lead fell into his throat while looking up at a burning lighthouse.
  • 1814: London Beer Flood, 9 people were killed (some drowned, some died from injuries, and one succumbed to alcohol poisoning) when 323,000 imperial gallons (1,468,000L) of beer in the Meux and Company Brewery burst out of its vats and gushed into the streets.
  • 1912: Franz Reichelt, tailor, fell to his death off the first deck of the Eiffel Tower while testing his invention, the overcoat parachute. It was his first ever attempt with the parachute.
  • 1919: In the Boston Molasses Disaster, 21 people were killed and 150 were injured when a tank containing as much as 2,300,000 US gal (8,700,000 L) of molasses exploded, sending a wave traveling at approximately 35 mph (56 km/h) through part of Boston, Massachusetts.
  • 1920: Ray “Chappie” Chapman, shortstop for the Cleveland Indians baseball team, was killed when a submarine ball thrown by Carl Mays hit him in the temple. Chapman collapsed and died about 12 hours later. He remains the only baseball player killed by a pitched ball.
  • 1923: Frank Hayes, a jockey at Belmont Park, New York, died of a heart attack during the course of his first race. His mount finished first with his body still attached to the saddle, and he was only discovered to be dead when the horse’s owner went to congratulate him.
  • 1941: Sherwood Anderson, writer, died of peritonitis after swallowing a toothpick at a party.
  • 1947: The Collyer Brothers, extreme cases of compulsive hoarders, were found dead in their home in New York. The younger brother, Langley, was crushed to death when he accidentally triggered one of his own booby traps that had consisted of a large pile of objects, books, and newspapers. His blind and paralyzed brother Homer, who had depended on Langley for care, died of starvation some days later.
  • 1959: In the Dyatlov Pass incident, nine ski hikers in the Ural Mountains abandoned their camp in the middle of the night, some clad only in their underwear despite sub-zero weather. Six died of hypothermia and three by unexplained injuries. The corpses showed no signs of struggle, but one had a fatal skull fracture, two had major chest fractures, and one was missing her tongue. Soviet investigators determined only that “a compelling unknown force” had caused the deaths.
  • 1960: Alan Stacey, Formula One race driver, died in a crash during the Belgian Grand Prix when a bird flew into his face, causing him to lose control.
  • 1966: Worth Bingham, son of Barry Bingham, Sr., died when a surfboard, lying atop the back of his convertible, hit a parked car, swung around, and broke his neck.
  • 1974: Basil Brown, a 48-year-old health food advocate from Croydon, drank himself to death with carrot juice.
  • 1979: John Bowen, a 20-year-old of Nashua, New Hampshire, was attending a halftime show at a New York Jets football game at Shea Stadium on December 9, 1979. During an event featuring custom-made remote control flying machines, a 40-pound model plane shaped like a lawnmower accidentally dove into the stands, striking Bowen and another spectator, causing severe head injuries. Bowen died in the hospital four days later.
  • 1980: Monica Myers, the 70-year-old mayor of Betterton, Maryland, died when she slipped into a 25-foot tank of raw sewage and drowned in human waste.
  • 1982: David Grundman was killed near Lake Pleasant, Arizona while shooting at cacti with his shotgun. After he fired several shots at a 26 ft (8 m) tall Saguaro Cactus from extremely close range, a 4 ft limb of the cactus detached and fell on him, crushing him.
  • 1983: Dick Wertheim was an American tennis linesman who died from blunt cranial trauma at a match at the 1983 US Open. Stefan Edberg sent an errant serve directly into his groin, causing him to fall and hit his head on the pavement.
  • 1991: Edward Juchniewicz, a 76-year-old man from Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, was killed when the unattended ambulance stretcher he was strapped to rolled down a grade and overturned.
  • 1991: Carl Hulsey, 77, of Cherokee County, Georgia, was butted to death by a pet goat he had been training to act as a “guard dog”.
  • 1993: Garry Hoy, a 38-year-old lawyer in Toronto, Ontario, fell to his death on July 9, 1993, after he threw himself against a window on the 24th floor of the Toronto-Dominion Centre in an attempt to prove to a group of visitors that the glass was “unbreakable.” The glass did not break, but popped out of the window frame.
  • 1994: Jeremy Brenno, a 16-year-old golfer from Gloversville, New York, was killed when he threw his club against a bench in a fit of rage, breaking the shaft. Part of the shaft bounced back and pierced his heart.
  • 2004: Phillip Quinn, a 24-year-old from Kent, Washington, was killed while heating up a lava lamp on his kitchen stove. The lamp exploded and a shard pierced his heart.[
  • 2005: Lee Seung Seop, a 28-year-old South Korean, collapsed of fatigue and died after playing the videogame StarCraft online for almost 50 consecutive hours.
  • 2008: An unidentified intoxicated man from St. Petersburg, Russia, was accidentally killed, by the folding couch on which he lay, following a dispute with his wife. The irate wife kicked a handle that released a folding mechanism for the couch, left the room, and did not return for three hours. The couch had folded away, into the wall, trapping the husband within and killing him.
  • Jimi Heselden, owner of the Segway motorized scooter company, was killed when he accidentally drove off a cliff on a Segway at his estate at Thorp Arch near Boston Spa.
  • Mike Edwards, 62, a musician and a founding member of rock group Electric Light Orchestra, was killed when a 600 kg (1,300 lb) bale of hay rolled down a hill and landed on his passing van in Devon, England.
  • Jose Luis Ochoa, 35, died after being stabbed in the leg at a cockfight in Tulare County, California, by one of the birds that had a knife attached to its limb.
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