Many people just wait for the next Steven Spielberg film to come out when it comes to learning about history, but the truth is, history can be just as interesting as anything you can see at the movie theater...if not more.
Here are some stories from history that are so crazy, they would be impossible to turn into movies.
Josef Mengele, the real-life Hydra villain.
Not only was this guy an SS officer at Auschwitz, Mengele was also a mad doctor whose experiments on captured jews often led to death. He's basically a comic-book villain from Hydra, the Marvel para-military organization that fights the Avengers. He mainly focused on studying twins. That's something the Nazis were very interested in, since they were into the idea of a homogeneous race. Nearly all of his human subjects died during the experiments.
Delphine LaLaurie, the cartoonishly evil slave owner.
This is exactly the kind of person that made it easy to hate the South during the Civil War. Dealing with Delphine LaLaurie's madness was no party for her slaves. She routinely tortured and maimed them. In the end, she killed her servants when they were no longer of any use to her.
Rosemary Kennedy, the forgotten Kennedy.
You may not have heard of Rosemary Kennedy (the sister of John, Robert, and Ted), and that's exactly how the family would like it to say. Born with intellectual disabilities, Rosemary grew into a rebellious young lady. To combat this, the Kennedy family opted to give her a lobotomy. It was supposed to calm her mood swings, but ultimately, it just made Rosemary even more inhibited. Eventually, she could no longer walk or talk.
Locusta, the world's first serial killer.
This Roman woman was renowned for her skills with poison. Locusta was once employed by Agrippina the Younger to concoct a poison to kill Emperor Claudius. When Claudius died, Nero hired her to poison 13-year-old Britannicus so that he could consolidate power. In the end, Locusta was killed along with others who were loyal to Nero. Nero even asked Locusta to brew a poison for his own suicide, but ultimately, he just asked his personal secretary to stab him instead.
The Bath School disaster, the Columbine before Columbine.
Predating Columbine by 72 years, the Bath School disaster was one of the first mass killings to occur in an American school, and to this day, it's the deadliest slaughter to occur at a school in U.S. history. Angered that he wasn't elected as township clerk, the school board treasurer, Andrew Kehoe, sought revenge by detonating a massive bomb inside the school. Almost 40 children were killed in the explosion, along with six adults. Kehoe then proceeded to blow himself up with a bomb in his truck.
Herculaneum, the city that somehow had it worse than Pompeii.
We often associate the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius with the city of Pompeii, but Herculaneum, another city that sat in the volcano's shadow, clearly had the worst of it. The citizens of Herculaneum never experienced the lava, since a thousand-degree cloud caused everyone's heads to explode before that could happen. That's right. The liquids in their brains heated up in such a way that they popped like Capri Sun packets in the microwave.
While many directors take certain liberties with history in their movies to make the action more interesting (looking at you, Inglorious Basterds), these stories are crazy enough on their own. The past was terrifying, folks, and we don't need Quentin Tarantino to prove that to us.