Hidden Photos From History Show A Chilling Side To The Past
By | November 9, 2020
The Village People, Michael Jackson, Jane Fonda, Valerie Perrine, and Bruce Jenner at Studio 54
Not all historical photos were meant to be seen by the public. The pictures that we've collected have been hidden away from history, and kept secret to spare their subjects from embarrassment.
Many of these photos show a chilling side to the secretive past of many of our most well known celebrities and historical figures. You'll blush with embarrassment after seeing some of these cringeworthy shots.
Proceed with caution while looking through these photos. Not every shot is meant for viewers of all ages, and many of them are far too hot for TV...
Think the of all the secrets being hidden in this photo. Sure, most of the members of The Village People were out and proud (save for singer Victor Willis who has firmly noted that he's straight), but it's an understatement to say that Bruce Jenner and Michael Jackson each had their extremely personal dramas going on behind the scenes.
While Jane Fonda was successfully rehabbing her career from the "Hanoi Jane" incident, Jackson was struggling with years of abuse from his father as he was breaking away from the Jackson 5 in order to establish himself as a viable solo artist. His following years were some of the most successful of his life, but this was also the beginning of a dark, strange road for the performer.
Following Jenner's gold medal win at the 1976 Olympics he was American hero, but he was dealing with gender dysphoria in a way that he couldn't even name at the time. After this photo was taken it was another 25 years before Jenner would come out as a transgender woman.
Lynda Carter as our favorite version of Wonder Woman
Lynda Carter not only played our favorite version of Wonder Woman, but she was strong and courageous behind the scenes as well. In 2018, Carter revealed that while working on the series she was sexually assaulted by an unnamed producer, something that made her feel small and weak while she put on the air of an unstoppable super hero.
While discussing her experiences on the series Carter refused to name names, only saying that the man who hurt her is "already being done in" and that there's nothing to gain from "piling on again." Although she later added she believes "every woman in the Bill Cosby case."
It's horrific to think that someone so strong could be a target of something so awful. Carter truly is Wonder Woman.
Hitler was seriously embarrassed by this ridiculous photo
Hitler was known for his power as an orator, for the way that held a crowd in his grasp not only by his words, but by his actions at the podium. It turns out that to make sure he was being dictatory enough he practiced his speeches over and over again, and even had Heinrich Hoffmann, his personal photographer, take photos of his actions to make sure he looked properly authoritarian.
As much as Hitler needed to check and see if his gestures and expressions were intimidating and inspiring, he was also desperate to look like he did everything off the cuff. He never wanted these photos to come out.
There are numerous photos of Hitler practicing his stances and they all look ridiculous - this is actually the best shot of the bunch and it still looks silly.
From the movie "Johnny Cool," Elizabeth Montgomery, 1963
For everyone growing up in the 1960s and '70s, Elizabeth Montgomery was an iconic performer. She started in small roles like Johnny Cool, but it was her turn as Samantha Stephens in Bewitched in 1964 that brought her into the homes of everyone in America. The show was so popular that after it ended she was haunted by the character.
Montgomery didn't want to talk about the series after it ended, not because she hated the role but because she knew that she could do more than play Samantha, it's just that viewers weren't ready for it. Even in the final season of Bewitched, Montgomery was over the series. Her biographer said:
The show was not the same — if you look at that last season, she’s dragging her feet. She’s just gone. She’s bored out of her skull and you can see it. Now everybody thinks ABC canceled the show because of low ratings. Elizabeth Montgomery canceled the show.
John F. Kennedy was unwell long before his untimely death
JFK may have been young and handsome when he was elected to the highest office in the nation, but he was in pain every day of his life long before his untimely death in 1963. Much of Kennedy's youth was spent in the hospital for painful intestinal problems, and it was briefly believed that he was suffering from leukemia.
Aside from his intestinal issues, Kennedy suffered from chronic back pain for his entire life, beginning with spinal problems as a child that were exacerbated when he rescued a fellow soldier during World War II.
After his election to the presidency he was in pain almost every hour of the day because of the extent of his back issues which was only made worse by fatigue, nausea, and dizziness from Addison's disease. That being said, whenever he was asked how he was feeling, he insisted that he was in "excellent shape."
A leader of the feminist movement, Gloria Steinem went undercover at the Playboy Club during its heyday
In 1963, feminist essayist Gloria Steinem got her start in journalism by spending some time working undercover at the Playboy Club in New York City. The expose, "A Bunny's Tale" didn't just show the cracks in Hugh Hefner's empire that claimed to be hip to the plight of women everywhere while putting them in saucy clothing (or none at all), but it also showed that the company's business practices weren't all that hot for the women working at the clubs every day.
Steinem was able to use a fake name, and never actually showed a birth certificate or Social Security Number, to secure employment, to work the floor of the Playboy Club. To do that she also had to undergo an invasive check up with a gynecologist, and agree to hand over most of her tips to her managers.
Steinem's piece didn't turn her into a literary star overnight, in fact it was quite the opposite. She was blacklisted from most magazines and periodicals for a few years, and was only offered jobs that would force her to use her body while undercover.
1923, The last photo ever taken of Vladimir Lenin, who by this photo had three strokes and was totally mute
Born into a middle-class, well-educated family in Simbirsk, Russia on April 22, 1870, Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov rose from a communist revolutionary to the head of the Bolshevik Party during the Russian Revolution of 1917. His bloody coup brought an end to the Romanov dynasty and centuries of imperial rule in Russia.
After leading the Red Army to victory in Russia's civl war, Lenin helped draft a treaty between Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and the Transcaucasus (now Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan) to form the Union of Soviet Republics, or the USSR. Although by that time his health wa sin serious decline. Between 1922 and his death in 1924 he suffered a series debilitating strokes that hindered his thinking and made it nearly impossible for him to speak.
Even though he was still considered to be at the top of the hierarchy in the USSR, Lenin was in hiding because of his condition, something that gave Joseph Stalin a chance to move in and take power. When Lenin passed away in 1924, he was only 53 years old.
Caroline Munro is an English actress and model known for her many appearances in horror, science fiction and action films of the 1970s
Known for her roles in Hammer Horror films like Dracula A.D. 1972 and Captain Kronos – Vampire Hunter, as well as The Spy Who Loved Me, Munro mostly appeared in B-Movie roles throughout the '70s. She may not have been a massive star, but that doesn't mean she didn't have to fight off members of the paparazzi throughout her career.
As you can see from this photo, Munro was ogled by cameramen across the pond wherever she went. She was vociferous in her refusal to perform nudity in films, which made her even more of a target for photographer who wanted to catch her in an embarrassing position.
With her refusal to appear nude in print or film, a creep shot of her would have garnered quite a bit of notoriety (and likely cash for the photographer), which meant that she had to stay ever vigilant wherever she went.
1945, German Prisoners of War reacting to a film about what happened at concentration camps
By 1945 the Allied powers were not only aware of German's concentration camps, but they were doing everything in their power close them, save the remaining inhabitants, and document their existence to make sure that something so horrific never happened again. With each concentration camp that they found, films were made of the findings and shown to German POWs as a way to show them the menace that their work accomplished.
Not just a way to spite the German military, this form of "denazification" forced German soldiers to accept the full weight of what they'd done throughout the war. The Allied program didn't stop at footage, but included visits to nearby concentration camps, and posters displaying dead bodies of prisoners hung in public places.
The process of making German soldiers confront the actions of their government was truly chilling, but they needed to know the horrible things they were fighting for.
Jessica Alba gets some rays in Miami ☀️
Jessica Alba has been in the public eye since the 1990s, but even though she's been famous since her teens that doesn't mean that she's not a private person. Alba has had a tough back and forth with the paps, with many photographers trying to catch her in delicate positions.
While speaking with NBC, Alba said that she's had run-ins with photographers, reporters, and a ton of invasive dirt sheet writers who just want a piece of her, and that this part of celebrity life isn't what she signed up for. She explained:
I think it’s mutual, just because it’s so invasive. It’s not like they’re standing 100 feet away. They’re in your face, not letting you walk, standing in the way when you’re driving. It becomes a situation and it doesn’t need to be.
Princess Diana hides in the back of a limo moments before it crashes on the streets of Paris
It's rare to see such a dramatic and chilling photo, but this shot of one of Princess Diana's final moments is so eerie that it's hard to look at for too long. After returning from holiday with her boyfriend, Dodi Fayed, the two went to Paris to continue their time together.
After leading the Ritz, Diana and Fayed hopped in a car and drove along the right bank of the River Seine – into the Place de l'Alma underpass, the last place Diana would ever see.
Shortly after midnight, the driver of Diana's car lost control of the vehicle as paparazzi flanked him from all sides, turning what should have been a short trip into a death drive. After losing control of the car, they struck the right-hand wall and swerved to the left of the two-lane carriageway before colliding head-on with the 13th pillar of the underpass, caving in the car. Diana died at the hospital at four in the morning, her final words were “My God, what's happened?”
Marilyn Monroe ❤️
There's no denying that Marilyn Monroe is absolutely gorgeous, but her beauty came at a price. Not only did she undergo constant hair bleaching and have plastic surgery done to make her face more "cloud shaped," but she suffered from a lifelong eating disorder.
To keep her small frame Monroe was on an extreme diet of milk and raw eggs in the morning with steak and carrots at night, which she supplemented with light work outs, sleeping pills, and alcohol. She stayed small but the cost was draining on her mental health. In her final interview before her death, Monroe ominously declared:
I’m one of the world’s most self-conscious people. I really have to struggle… Everybody’s always tugging at you. They’d like sort of a chunk of you.
Two autistic children tied to a radiator, Lebanon, 1982
Even as recent as the late 20th century, people of all ages have been forced to endure so horrific treatment at mental health facilities. While these should be places where people receive the best help possible, they're often a place for the unwanted.
As horrifying as this image is, it's not a one time thing. There are stories from as recent as 2019 concerning autistic children being tied to radiators and left to fend for themselves in forgotten hospital wings.
Sadly, there's no information about these two boys so we can't even offer the solace that they were rescued and taken to a better medical facility. Hopefully when someone saw this photo in the early '80s they were able to get these kids the help they deserve.
A Scandinavian Stewardess examines a new uniform proposal for Scandinavian Airlines in 1958, strangely enough it wasn't approved
In the years since aviation was in its infancy, the outfits that stewardesses were expected to wear have come quite a long way. In the 1950s and '60s, airline attendants were meant to be the embodiment of a man's dream while onboard a plane. They were expected to remove every bit of their personality and be in service to the customer.
This kind of in the air servitude began with racy outfits (although they were never quite as racy as this) and extended to the way they were expected to speak with their patrons.
Throughout the mid-century the outfits went from pillbox hats and mod looks to the psychedelic patterns and bright colors of the '70s - which was kind of the platonic ideal of the sexy air lady and women's lib. The form fitting outfits changed completely in the '80s, as airlines changed course to a job that welcomed everyone.
When we think of mermaids the idea of a beautiful half woman, half fish wearing a sea shell bra comes to mind, but it's believed that the concept of the mermaid actually comes from sailors and fishermen caching sight of a Beluga whale while underwater.
In most cases, imagining a whale as a sexy lady is kind of impossible, but this photo shows what looks to be a pair of legs beneath its skin. That's definitely not the case. The thing that's most likely the cause of this strange, leggy photo is the blubber "rails" which are kept beneath the skin of a beluga whale. However, it's just as likely that this is a one off store of ventral fat.
A German soldier disobeying direct orders to help a small boy across the Berlin Wall
Many of the most chilling historical moments come from the decisions made by our governments. On the night of August 12, 1961, the German military began to close to border between East and West Berlin, and whatever side someone was on that was the side that they lived on - no matter if they were a child like the one in this photo.
Anyone trying to escape their section of Berlin would be arrested or shot, something that this soldier refused to let happen to this child whose father abandoned him on the wrong side of the wall.
Even though he was ordered to keep people from passing into East Berlin, this brave soldier helped the boy in the photo travel through the barbed wire and get back to his family. No one knows what happened to the soldier, but we do know that he was removed from his detail.
Ian Curtis with his daughter, days before he hung himself in 1980
Ian Curtis spent his entire life trying to settle himself within real life. He married at 19, young for anyone, but when he became a star of the English music scene at the age of 22 he became even more unmoored in his own life. It's horrible when someone takes their own life, but the saddest part of this Curtis' daughter never really knew her father.
Curtis' widow, Deborah, wrote in 1995 that she understood why he was depressed because she was too. However, at the time she was trying to keep their family together while he was on the road. She wrote:
Our existence had become boring and the fact that we both hated our jobs didn't help. I became very depressed. Sometimes I was unable to stifle the tears on the long bus journey home. We had mistakenly saddled ourselves with a mortgage and a stability we weren't ready for.
Ian Curtis left us on May 18, 1980, but the music of Joy Division will be with us forever.
UFO featured some of the sexiest space babes
Debuting in 1970, the British series UFO explored the distant future of 1980 (wow!). It follows the adventures of a shady military operation working to stop alien invader across Earth who kidnap humans to harvest their organs. Called SHADO, or Supreme Headquarters Alien Defense Organization, the group stays on the alert for these creeps from beyond the stars.
What's wild about the series is that SHADO's headquarters is located beneath a film studio, a plot point that feels incredibly modern. Imagine hearing that an underground military operation was working beneath a film studio. It wouldn't really be that much of a surprise, would it?
These two may feel like total opposites - he was famously grouchy and the epitome of manhood, and she's one of the most delightful actresses of the 20th century - but after they worked with one another on Smokey and the Bandit, Burt Reynolds and Sally Field became inseparable for a time.
The couple starred in four movies together, but called things off in 1982 before moving on to other lives and other partners. However, Reynolds always thought that Field was the love of his life and he kicked himself after their breakup for not being able to make it work out. When asked about Reynolds' devotion to her after their breakup, Field said:
I was always flattered when he said that, but he was a complicated man... There are times in your life that are so indelible, they never fade away. They stay alive, even 40 years later. My years with Burt never leave my mind. He will be in my history and my heart, for as long as I live.
One of the four clowns bestowed with the title of Master Clown by Irvin Feld, the head of Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus, Otto Griebling spent his entire life performing. After arriving in America from Germany, he began studying the art of clowning under Albert Hodgini in Baraboo, Wisconsin.
Hogdini's entire family was involved in his act, and many of them went on to work with Griebling throughout his life. Initially, Griebling was a high flying clown but after a nearly life ending fall he was forced to change up his style or quit clowning altogether.
Griebling continued to work with the Hogdini family, but he became a more "sad clown" type of character. While other clowns made a big show of things, Griebling stalked the crowd attempting to find "Miss Jones," in order to hand off a large piece of ice. He would continue to do so until it was almost melted and someone took pity on him.
Bill Bixby and Lou Ferigno on the set of The Incredible Hulk
The Incredible Hulk may have come straight from the pages of Marvel Comics, but nothing about Bill Bixby's performance was cartoonish. He brought the realism of a man out of control to the role, something that the Hulk needs. His time on screen makes the audience believe that he's a man struggling with an inner demon.
Ed Robertson, television historian, author and host of the TV Confidential podcast explained:
That ‘real’ quality he brought forth comes from a very deliberate approach he took as a performer. Certainly when he did Eddie’s Father, you believed that he was this single dad trying to raise a son in the right way. Even something like The Incredible Hulk — and this goes as much to the team behind it as it does to Bixby — you believe, even though it was a ‘comic book story,’ that he was this man living with the agony of this dual personality. Not being able to control what happens when he Hulks out made it real. There’s a good reason the show lasted five years.
More so than anything else in his life, Elvis adored his parents. As an insecure boy he grew up with his mother and his father as his best friends, something that made him a bit of a target at school. He was so in tune with his parent's feelings that when a teenage Elvis saw his mother react to a high school football player who died of a blood clot he dropped off of his football team.
When Elvis started making money as a singer when he was 19 years old he made sure that his parents didn't worry about money, noting that they took care of him for 19 years, and that it was now his turn.
Sadly, shortly after this photo was taken Elvis' mother Gladys fell ill and passed away while The King was serving his country. He was never the same after this loss. With his mother gone, Elvis could only think of death. He said:
I don't know why she had to go so young. But it made me think about death. I don't feel I'll live a long life. That's why I have to get what I can from every day.
Actress Jocelyn Jackie Lane, 1964
Jocelyn Lane seemingly lived the dream of every young girl. After toiling in Hollywood for years she worked with Elvis in the film Tickle Me in 1965, and then in 1971 she married Prince Alfonso of Hohenlohe-Langenburg to become a real deal princess, just like in a fairytale. Sadly, her life didn't play out like it does in the storybooks.
In 1985, she and Prince Alfonso divorced, leaving her with a million dollar settlement, one that she later noted was "not really fitting for a princess." With her million dollars in tow and no longer a member of royalty, Lane went on to design jewelry that she sells in London and California.
Starring in a film with the King and marrying a prince isn't the worst thing that can happen to a person, but it's a shame to see her drop out of a public life so abruptly.
1957, Alfred Hitchcock serving tea to the MGM Lion
Taken by Clarence Sinclair Bull in 1958, this photo of Alfred Hitchcock serving tea to Leo the MGM lion was used as a PR shot for North By Northwest, the director's only film with MGM. There are rumors that Hitchcock actually directed the famous roaring lion intro for MGM, but that's not true at all.
In reality there have been seven MGM lions and Leo was the last. According to sources the lions were all treated fairly well, although who knows what the animal rights laws were like in the early 20th century. They definitely aren't what they are today, but the first MGM lion, "slats" was allegedly buried on the estate of his trainer Volney Phifer so there must have been some love there.
As far as Leo is concerned, he's still the lion that you see in the company's logo today, and was apparently gentle enough to be allowed on set with children, so maybe it's not all bad for these MGM lions.
The women of Charlie's Angels have never had it easy but they've always had one another to work with. As one of the original stars of this groundbreaking series, Smith has been a beacon for young women, but when she was diagnosed with cancer in the early 2000s she says that it was her fellow Angels who helped her get through it.
Smith says that at the time she didn't see the diagnosis coming because she was so healthy, and its this diagnosis that really made her take a look at the big picture:
The craziness of it was that I was so healthy, so energetic. How could this happen? I think people see you a certain way and that wasn’t part of the picture for my loved ones…but I guess it never is part of the picture.
Everyone knows Angela Lansbury. Whether you know her from her time in the theater, in Sweeney Todd, or as Jessica Fletcher in Murder, She Wrote, you know her work. Although that almost wasn't the case. As a vaulted theater actor, everyone in her life told her that it was going to be a bad idea to star as a television detective.
Lansbury was a Broadway draw throughout the '70s, so when she was offered Murder, She Wrote her agents begged her not to take the role. But after years in the industry she knew a hit when she saw one. She explained why the show was a hit and had more than 200 episodes to the Daily Mail:
I know why [Murder, She Wrote was a success]. There was never any blood, never any violence. And there was also a satisfying conclusion to a whodunnit. The jigsaw was complete. And I loved Jessica’s everywoman character. I think that’s what made her so acceptable to an across-the-board audience.
Natalie Wood monkeying around, 1960s
It was certainly better times for Natalie Wood in the 1960s. At the time she was riding high on a successful transition from child star to a legitimately talented adult actor. Many people didn't believe that she could rise above her roles in West Side Story and Rebel Without a Cause, but after starring in 1969's Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice she was a force to be reckoned with.
As much momentum as Wood's career had, her personal life was often up and down. She was married multiple times, and allegedly had a series of affairs while married to British producer Richard Gregson and again when she was hitched to Robert Wagner. Her relationships were always on the back burner, especially after suffering a sexual assault when she was a teenager at the hands of a producer. Her sister later said:
Natalie 'hated' her former screen idol afterward, 'shuddering' if she heard his name. She would keep the horrible secret, and behave as if nothing happened whenever their paths intersected, too schooled by Mud [her mother] in the politics of Hollywood to cross a powerful movie star.
An IRA volunteer on her active service in West Belfast in the 1970s
This provocative photo of what looks to be a female volunteer of the Irish Republican Army taken was taken in 1972, just a few years after the beginning of "The Troubles," a civl war that tore Northern Ireland apart and turned what had once been a peaceful place into a war zone.
What's strange about this photo is that the Provisional IRA was male-only, and women only participated in the auxiliary unit of the military that provided weapons transportation, communications, and other various forms of support.
Irish photographer Colman Doyle says that he doesn't remember much about the photo (he's in his 80s as of 2020), but he noted that he snapped the shot while coming back from the North Belfast neighborhood of Ardoyne, a republican stronghold. He says that as he walked back to the city he “came across this young lady [who] fired two shots, I think… then she just vanished.”
An Italian Girl from Tunisia - Claudia Cardinale
This Italian beauty is more than just a girl with a suitcase. Claudia Cardinale has spent most of her life performing in one way or another, dating back to the 1950s when she won a competition for the "Most Beautiful Italian Girl in Tunisia." What should have been a huge moment for her was almost ruined after she found out that she was pregnant following what she called a "terrible" relationship with a much older man when she was only 17 years old.
Cardinale kept her child, but was unsure about how she would continue to act. That's when Franco Cristaldi's Vides production company stepped in. They signed her to a seven year exclusive contract that allowed her to give birth in England, away from the Italian press, although that came with a price.
For the entirety of her contract with Vides she wasn't allowed to discuss her child, leaving to be raised with her parents and sister.
A real Japanese Samurai archer in 1870 having one last good photo of him before the government ended stipends for the Samurai
The Samurai are still what people think of when they think of Japan, but a few years after this photo was taken the Japanese government divested funds from the Samurai, opting instead to create a military where every citizen could join and defend their country.
Many Samurai had photos of them taken of them in their traditional garb in order to preserve their time as a members of an elite group. At the end of their time as members of the Japanese military with a full stipend, the men who made up the Samurai enjoyed their final years at the top of the hierarchy, but as the country modernized they no longer had a place in the world.
A Harlem Debutante Ball in the 1950s in the 1950s
We don't often think of debutante balls as being something that people do outside of the WASP community, but in the 1950s prosperous families of all races held these massive coming out parties for their children, and Harlem was the place where many wealthy African-American families in New York could be found.
Often held at the historic The Renaissance Ballroom on the corner of 138th Street at Adam Clayton Powell Blvd., and 7th Avenue in Central Harlem, this shot shows another side of an era that was rife with violence in the black community.
In the 1950s, racists went out of their way to paint people of color as the other, as incredibly foreign, but this proves that their belief couldn't be farther from the truth. Like most debutante balls, the young women in this photo were from distinguished and well to do families, and they were taking part in an experience that many young people never get. This really is a piece of history that's gone undocumented and it's truly fascinating to catch a glimpse.
An Ally halftrack bearing the head of an Adolf Hitler statue near the end of WWII, November 1944
At the end of WWII, huge parts of Europe and Asia were left in ruins. Statues and buildings were lying in rubble, so much so that members of the Allied army had the pickings of what they wanted - included statues with the head of Hitler.
Homecomings and mass burials were under way. Massive efforts to rebuild had just begun, and many soldiers brought home these statues and artifacts as spoils of war even though thoughts on that kind of pillaging ranged from frowned on to straight up illegal depending on where you were.
This shot shows just how despised the Nazis, especially Hitler, were by the end of the war. Soldiers genuinely wanted his head on the fronts of their jeeps.
This may look like a real deal ancient Viking tunnel smack dab in the middle of Iceland, but in reality it's perfectly designed film set that was constructed for a movie that never came to fruition. Located between between Höfn and Djúpivogur lies a Viking village constructed in 2010, and while it costs a little cash to check it out it's well worth your visit.
Built on a the land of a local farmer, the set was never actually used and was just abandoned so now the farmer charges visitors to check it out. While there's not a lot of research out there about Vikings carving tunnels through their home country, there are plenty of tunnels that have been used by Vikings throughout Europe.
Beneath York, England, a city founded by the Romans, lies a series of secret tunnels and passageways that Vikings and Romans used to get around the city undetected, and apparently they also used them for good places to gamble and plan whatever dirty deeds they needed to carry out.
Thomas "Tad" Lincoln III was the apple of his father's eye, but bad things seemed to follow the Lincoln family around. While growing up, Tad had the run of the White House. He consistently interrupted meetings, he charged politicians to speak with his father, and he was prone to collecting animals.
Tad's joy ended when his father was assassinated. President Lincoln's death brought immense sadness to the country, but it hit his youngest son the hardest. He wrote of the sudden realization that he was on his own:
Pa is dead. I can hardly believe that I shall never see him again. I must learn to take care of myself now. Yes, Pa is dead, and I am only Tad Lincoln now, little Tad, like other little boys. I am not a president's son now. I won't have many presents anymore. Well, I will try and be a good boy, and will hope to go someday to Pa and brother Willie, in Heaven.
Dreamt up by José María Bocabella, president of the Holy Brotherhood in the 19th century, the the Holy Family "Sagrada Familia" in Barcelona, Spain, was taken away from diocese architect Francisco del Villar. The architect planned the church to be built in the Gothic style and actually started working on it in 1882, however after a disagreement with Bocabella the design and construction of the church was handed over to Antoni Gaudi.
The construction of this church became Gaudi's lifeblood. He worked on the building until he passed away on June 10, 1926. In the time that he worked on the church he expanded its dimensions and design until people on the street were referring to it as "the cathedral."
The Sagrada Familia is a gorgeous piece of architecture, but it's important to remember that it was wrenched away from the original designed. A decision that left Francisco del Villar absolutely heartbroken.
Take notice of the craftsmanship behind this lock. Obviously it's incredibly ornate, but the important thing to take away from this design is that it was created to be on the inside of the door - where no one would see it. That kind of commitment to something that very few people are going to notice has gone out the window in the modern era.
Sure, there are some intricate designs out and about in the world, but it's rare to see something like this today. The design on this antique lock was likely made by someone who loved their craft, and loved giving something to the world. You'll be hard pressed to find anything like that today - and you'll really struggle to find a lock that's this beautiful.
Prince, at 17 years old, starting his iconic career
When Prince was just a teenager in Minneapolis he received immediate notice from Pepé Willie, the husband of his first cousin and band leader of the group 94 East. At the time, Willie was so taken by the young artist that he didn't understand how he could be so talented. That is, until one night when he followed Prince home after an all day recording session. Willie told Rolling Stone:
One night, at around 10:30, I tried to call Prince and I didn’t get an answer. So I went over to his house, because he wasn’t far from where I lived, and I see his car parked in front of his house. I rang the bell, knocked on the door and I didn’t get no answer. Then I hear this little tapping sound, and I went around to the side of the house and I peeped through the basement window, and Prince was down in the basement playing drums. I mean, he was wailing away. And this was after 12 hours of rehearsing. It was just unbelievable. So I had to tap the window in-between the drum beats so he could hear me, and then he came to the door and we talked. But after that experience, I had said to myself, 'Gee, no wonder why he’s so good. This guy practices all the time.'
It just shows that no matter how gifted someone is, they need to take their talent and sharpen it like they would a tool. That's the only way to become a truly powerful artist.
Romania is one of the most hauntingly beautiful places in Eastern Europe. It was once the land of royalty and gentry, but modernity hasn't been kind to this once grand country. Many of the mansions and castles of this formerly great nation are in serious disrepair, with only a few of them receiving normal upkeep.
Like many of the ornate palaces and casinos of Romania, World War II signaled the beginning of the end for these places. Some former mansions were turned into make-shift hospitals, and other necessary buildings, but after the war was over the repair costs were too great, and it was impossible to follow through on the upkeep.
The last breath of upkeep occurred in the 1980s, and since then many of the formerly beautiful places in the stunning country of Romania have been closed to keep tourists and explorers from harming themselves.
This beautiful abandoned castle sits in the heart of a sprawling wooded estate in Reggello, Italy. Built on top of a royal palazzo, this stunning piece of architecture was rebuilt and reconstructed multiple times between 1605 and 1853 at the behest of its very picky owners.
The castle you see today was built on-site over a 40 year period to the specifics of the Marquis Ferdinando Ximenes Panchiatichi. He wanted his guests to feel as if they were taken out of Italy and into a kind of imaginary world. The building is so unique in its design (there are various rooms dedicated to peacocks, stalactites, and "lovers"), that embedded in the walls is the phrase Non plus ultra, "nothing farther beyond."
After the marquis’ death, Sammezzano was converted into a luxury hotel. Following World War II the castle became a must-see destination for the European elite, but in the 1990s it closed its doors forever. As of 2020 the castle sits quietly in the forest waiting to be restored to its former glory.
The streets of Capranica, Italy date back to days when entire towns were built by hand, by the people who called it home. Sitting atop the Cimini mountains and overlooking the Via Cassia, this ancient town served an important function during the Middle Ages. Founded by the people of Vicus Matrini, who were pushed out of their town only to watch it be destroyed, Capranica offers its residents the freedom that comes with achieving the high ground.
Built on a rocky bluff, there are only two ways to entire this charming city. Today it's a quaint break from modern life, but at the time of its construction this was done to make sure that the citizens of Capranica never had to leave their homes under duress again.
You'll believe that fairytales are real when you visit Castelul de Lut Valea Zanelor, an eco friendly in the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains in the heart of Transylvania. The castle's name translates to “Clay Castle of the Valley of the Fairies” in English, which is fitting for a place that was built to resemble a "gnome village."
The architecture was created out of natural materials, with each window and door being completely different than one another. The towers and curved walls of this village is exactly the kind of place that you'd find in a storybook, likely with its inhabitants living in fear of a witch on the edge of the village.
This horse may look sickly, and like it's from another planet, but the Sorrel Leopard Appaloosa was actually bred by the Nez Perce people in 1994 as a part of a concept of crossbreeding Appaloosa horses and a breed of horses from Central Asia called the Akhal-Teke. This combination gives these horses their leopard-like look.
Financed by the Nez Perce tribe, the United States Department of Health and Human Services, and a nonprofit called The First Nations Development Institute, the horses that came from this group have a variety of patterns across their bodies, all of them unique and fascinating.
Not just spotted, the Nez Perce is long and lean, and built for running long distances - specifically when endurance is needed.
Houses in Groningen, Netherlands
It's hard to believe that such a beautiful place could come from conflict, but Groningen was built on the near continuous conflict between the town of Groningen and the surrounding districts known as the Ommelanden. The disputes occurred throughout the 1500s and were caused by the town of Groningen's dispute to the king of Spain.
Ommelanden was continuously at odds with Spain, but in 1594 Groningen and Ommelanden put their swords down, however they didn't merge into one province in until 1795 following an occupation by the French. This just goes to show that a gorgeous province can come from chaos.
In 1953, Laurel and Hardy were on their final tour as a duo, They began working with one another in 1927, forming a partnership that was irresistible to viewers, but by the 1950 the duo was no longer the comedy juggernauts that they once were.
Their final tour brought them to England where they put on a show titled Birds Of A Feather that sometimes brought in packed houses, but just as often the duo played to half full theaters. Writing home after a four week run at the Nottingham Empire, Laurel said that he feared that the bad economic state of England at the time was to blame for low turnout. He wrote:
They are all blaming the invasion of TV, which I don't think has anything to do with it. There is a terrific amount of unemployed plus a lot of labour trouble - strikes, etc. Just a case of bad conditions in the country. The TV programs I've seen, would certainly drive people INTO a theatre - even to see a bad show! They are awful!
Growing up, Angelica Huston was continually overshadowed by her father, the foreboding director John Huston, the man behind The Treasure of the Sierra Madre and The Maltese Falcon. The young Angelica spent time around the world often with her only friend being her brother, Tony.
Huston is a bonafide star today, but when she was just getting into acting her reviews were horrible. She didn't take the news well, she later said that she felt awful after reading about herself, but the reviews were nothing compared to the death of her mother when she was only 39 years old. She told Entertainment Weekly:
It was devastating. I was very fragile and extremely unbalanced by the time that whole outing was completed.
It was after losing her mother that Huston kicked her career into gear She moved to Los Angeles in 1973 and started getting solid work in low profile roles, which turned out to be exactly what she needed.
They really don't make trains like this anymore. These luxury sleeping cars were designed by George Pullman, an engineer and industrialist, who not only dreamt up these amazing trains but a company town where workers could build his orate trains before walking home for dinner.
Pullman got the idea for the sleeper trains after spending an uncomfortable night traveling by rail. He figured that his trains could have an upper berth that folded up like an overhead luggage compartment, while at night they folded down to create a comfortable bunk for snoozing.
The rococo design of the Pullman cars were phased out through the 20th century, but the cars themselves stuck around until the 1980s when the company was absorbed by the Bombadier.
Paris 1878 The Statue of Liberty's head at the World's Fair before it was given to the US
Today, anyone driving through New York City can catch an inspiring glimpse of the Statue of Liberty, the stunning gift that we received from France in the 19th century, but it wasn't delivered in one big piece. Instead, the statue was delivered in parts. This was for ease of travel and because it would have been impossibly expensive to ship as one big statue.
During the Paris World's Fair in 1878 the Statue of Liberty's head was on display for anyone who wanted to get an up close and personal look. In fact, the statue wasn't even delivered to the states until 1884.
As cool as the statue looks now it would be amazing to see it in pieces again, if for no other reason than to stand next to a big disembodied head. What a strange but beautiful way to celebrate America.
Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian at North Bondi Beach in Sydney, December 2006
Long before she was the queen of E! TV, Kim Kardashian was working as her friend Paris Hilton's assistant. That may sounds like a total nightmare, but according to Kardashian it actually wasn't that bad, as long as you don't mind cleaning and organizing. She explained:
I would work with Paris, and I would love to organize and clean out their closets and get rid of all their stuff and sell it on eBay and then shop for them, shop for her. That was my job.
Even with all of the arranging and eBaying, it's clear that these two socialites made plenty of time to party.
Polaroid of Farrah Fawcett taken by Andy Warhol in 1979
Most people know of Warhol's Campbell's Soup cans, but one of our favorite eras of Warhol's work was defined by his Polaroids of famous people. All of them were brightly lit and shot up close and personal, letting the audience into the star's lives while making them even more glamorous.
In 1980, Warhol snapped a photo showing Fawcett's gorgeous profile, and there were two paintings made from the portrait. When she passed away in 2009, Fawcett gifted one portrait to her old alma mater the University of Texas. The other portrait is in the hands of Ryan O'Neal, an actor whom Fawcett was in a tumultuous relationship for three decades.
UT claims that Fawcett left both portraits to the college, but O'Neal ended up with custody of both of them in 2013. At the time he told a jury that he needed to have the painting in his home because he missed his former flame. He said:
I talk to [the painting]. I talk to her. It’s her presence in my life and her son’s life. We lost her. It would seem a crime to lose it.
However, in 2018 he decided to sell the painting rather than leave it to any of his children. The painting is worth around $24 million, but O'Neal said that he was willing to let it go for less.
Sally Mann, Candy Cigarette (1989)
One of the most well known photos of the 20th century is also one of the most delicately composed. Photographer Sally Mann has been chastised for using her family members as models, but that's clearly who she most enjoys photographing. In the "Immediate Family" series, Mann posed her children in enchanting positions and the results are breathtaking.
"Candy Cigarette" doesn't just capture the delicate beauty of Mann's daughter, but the strange emotions of an adolescent young woman. The photo shows Jessie, Mann's daughter, holding a candy cigarette in her hand, almost as if she's trying to grow up faster than her mother would like. It's a haunting photo, one that gains more depth with every look.
There's a beauty in abandoned buildings, but there's something even more beautiful in a ornate mansion or palace that's crumbling. It's sad to see something that a team of people worked so hard on turning to rubble, but it's like watching history fall apart in front of you and it's really beautiful.
Portugal is well known for its abandoned places, and they're each so amazing to see up close and personal. In many cases, nature has slowly started take the grounds back from the places torn out by man.
It's special to see a place like this, which was once home to some of the wealthiest people in Lisbon, crumble back to Mother Nature.
Villa Zanelli is a shambolic mystery, most likely designed by architect Gottardo Gussoni. Named after the house's original owners, the home was decorated according to the concept of "new art" that was popular in Europe in the late 19th century.
In 1933, the home was sold to the Municipality of Milan who transformed it from a house into an international camp before using it as a hospital in World War II, a fate that awaited many 19th century homes and mansions across Europe.
The building now sits abandoned, waiting for someone to take it over and bring new life to a yearning property.
The staggered opening of the St. Pancras London Renaissance Hotel allowed for the people behind its construction to be creative and to add to the property between 1873 and 1876. The Victorian design of the Hotel was done to help the Midland Railway Company boost its business.
The staircase is seriously intricate, and it depicts the eight Virtues waking up from a long sleep to greet a blue-green sky. It's seriously mind blowing, but the addition of the eighth virtue wasn't done to be trippy or anything, it just comes down to math. Historian John Mercer explained:
Functionally, seven virtues cannot be spread across the ceiling. Four virtues on one side and four on the other side. They invented one virtue called, 'industry.'
That additional virtue makes sense, especially knowing that the hotel was created to help boost the local economy.
Every cast of Saturday Night Live has its drama, but the cast of 1992 was particularly cursed. Sure, guys like Adam Sandler and Chris Rock are extremely famous, but Chris Farley and Phil Hartman are no longer with us, and we almost lost Dana Carvey to a freak heart surgery in the 2000s.
In 1997, Chris Farley was taking every drug he could get his hands on. He was drinking constantly while taking heroin and cocaine, a recipe for death. After 17 stints in rehab Farley Weston a four day binge that ended with hi sprawled out on his couch. His brother found his body on December 18, 1997.
Less than a year later, on May 27, 1998, Hartman was shot to death in his sleep by his wife while she was under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Shortly after the murder Brynn locked herself in the couple's bathroom and shot herself in the head.
Hartman and Farley were two bright spots on the Saturday Night Live stage, but the darkness surrounding them cast a pall on this cast forever.
The Empire State Building before it was surrounded by skyscrapers, 1946
Long before New York City was a towering megalopolis full of massive buildings and high rises it was a simple town with the Empire State Building looming over it. It's hard to think about New York without its famous skyline coming to mind, although for most of its 400 year old history the city was fairly low to the ground.
At the beginning of the 20th century, architects were looking up to the sky and dreaming of ways to show the rest of the world that New York City was the greatest place on Earth. After the Empire State building went up it was only a short amount of time before the rest of the city grew up higher and higher.
There's nowhere better than a bookstore. If you love reading you can spend a day walking the aisles of a bookstore looking at the stories that dance all around. The only way to make a bookstore more magical is to turn it into an M.C. Escher-esque bookshelf that doubles as the actual architecture of the store.
The Chongqing Zhongshuge Bookstore, located on the third and fourth Floors of Zodi Plaza, Yangjiaping in Chongqing City, China is a pure delight for readers and architecture lovers alike. Inside, you'll find lampshade-shaped bookshelves that twist in and out of the store's lobby and bookshelves that are actually a part of the wall. A representative of architecture firm X+living explained how they were able to get such a surreal design into a normal building:
We utilized the mirror ceiling in order to make the space seem bigger. It is definitely a fantastic real-life experience that pictures simply cannot not offer. It has attracted a huge amount of visitors to the bookshop, nearly 200,000 people have visited the bookshop within the first 15 days of opening. Such big crowds even forced the operator to limit the number of visitors in a day.
The animal kingdom is terrifying. Sure, there are lions, and tigers, and bears (oh my), but what about shredded chimpanzees? Humans are strong, but we're really no match for these tough tree dwellers.
Researchers have determined that chimpanzees are about 1.5 times stronger than humans, specifically when it comes to tasks that require pulling and jumping. This isn't because chimpanzees have a rule against skipping leg day or anything, it has to do with the way in which the fibers in their muscles are distributed.
They don't just have added muscle mass, they're seriously strong thanks to all of the climbing they do on a daily basis. They're essentially born to dwell in the woods and beat humans up for their lunch money.
This Roman theater in Aspendos, Turkey is considered the best-preserved ancient theater in the world
The Aspendos Theater in Serik, Turkey, is the best preserved ancient theater in the world, which gives us a look at what life was like in 160 B.C. Constructed during the reign of the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius, this theater actually features inscriptions on its walls that tell us a little bit about the architect.
Zenon, a Greek architect who was born in Aspendos. The theater's acoustics are spectacular, and it's designed to fit between 7,300 and 7,600 people. Unlike many of the other theaters around the world, the theater of Aspendos underwent a 13th century reconstruction. While studying the theater in 1909, British archaeologist David George Hogarth noted:
This is not like anything that I ever saw before. You may have seen the amphitheaters in Italy, France, Dalmatia and Africa; temples in Egypt and Greece; the palaces in Crete; you may be sated with antiquity or scornful of it. But you have not seen the theatre of Aspendos.
In 1895, Winston Churchill was only 20 years old and getting into the life of a soldier. After leaving the royal military academy of Sandhurst he threw himself into the life of an infantryman. Churchill absolutely adored being in the military; the order, the rules, and the brotherhood all appealed to him.
When reflecting on his time as a young soldier, Churchill noted that while he made a lot of friends early on in the military, most of them were killed in action. Even so, he loved his time as a soldier with his boots on the ground. He wrote:
In contrast with my school days, I had made many friends, three or four of whom still survive. As for the rest, they are gone. The South African War accounted for a large proportion not only of my friends but my company; and the Great War killed almost all the others.
At the onset of the 20th century in Nebraska, the black population was confined to small areas, and in Omaha it was no different. Many people of color were forced to live in an area called "Portertown," named as such because of the jobs that many of the man held in the area.
Aside from being forced live in a segregated community, Omaha's shops and restaurants deprived the African-Americans from visiting their storefronts or even setting foot inside places of business, which makes this shot all the more fascinating.
It's clear that none of these kids realize that just by playing with one another they're carrying out a truly revolutionary act, one that wouldn't even be legally sanctioned in many parts of America for another 50 or so years.