It’s no secret that the public at large is, mostly, enamored with the glitz and glamour that surrounds the lives of celebrities. This isn’t just a recent phenomenon, either; it’s been the case for centuries!

Still, it’s often a celebrity’s death that really captures our attention. Whether they’ve died under questionable circumstances or in a tragic way that everyone saw coming a mile away, the details of these famous deaths are, ironically, shrouded in mystery.

These 15 celebrity deaths in particular might have never been known without the help of death records. And they’re all entirely unbelievable…

1. The king of Sweden’s death by indigestion. Yes, you’d better believe it! In 1771, Adolf Frederick, King of Sweden, died from complications from digestive issues. His final meal? Lobster, sauerkraut, smoked herring, caviar, and Champagne. Let’s not forget when he followed that up with 14 servings of dessert!

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2. Jane Austen died of Addison’s disease more than 30 years before it was discovered by doctors. When she passed away in 1817, she suffered from intense gastrointestinal irritability and a bizarre darkening of her skin. Luckily, doctors now know how she died, as she took detailed notes of the events leading up to her last days.

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3. Three of America’s founding fathers died on July 4. Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, who both famously signed the Declaration of Independence, died on the same day in the same year: July 4, 1826. Then, on July 4, 1831, James Monroe passed away as well.

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4. President James A. Garfield was shot by an assassin—though, that’s not how he died. In July of 1881, just 200 days into his presidency, Garfield was shot by Charles Guiteau. Luckily, the initial bullet barely grazed his arm, while a second one struck his back. Yet he actually died because of an issue regarding medical malpractice. While attempting to find the bullet in his back, doctors used their unwashed hands and unsterilized medical tools to poke at his wounds.

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Simultaneously, one of the doctors punctured the president’s liver. He was operated on by 16 doctors, who turned an initial three-inch hole into a 20-inch infected hole from his groin to his ribs. In the end, it was discovered that the bullet wasn’t even where they believed it to be in the first place. In just one month, he lost 80 pounds, plummeting from 21o pounds to just 130. He died later that year from a combination of infection and blood poisoning.


5. Syphilis used to be a pretty common way to die… until the invention of penicillin during the 1940s, that is. Among the most famous people to die from complications to the STD: Oscar Wilde, Al Capone, and Henre de Toulouse-Lautrec.

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6. Mark Twain had a strange connection to the sky. Not only was the famous author born when Halley’s Comet visited, but he passed away when it finally returned. This was especially strange, since the comet only passes by Earth every 75 years. Perhaps, most interestingly, Twain was famously quoted having said that, since he was born when it came, he “would go out with it, too.”

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7. Jockey Frank Hayes died and won a race simultaneously. In 1923, during a horse race at Belmont, New York, he suffered a massive heart attack. Even though he had perished before reaching the finish line, his horse finished the race in first place. So… yay?

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8. Sherwood Anderson, the author of Winesburg, Ohio, was killed by a toothpick from a martini olive. He was suffering from abdominal pain while aboard a South American cruise in 1941, and he eventually died in a Panamanian hospital. His autopsy later revealed that he’d accidentally swallowed an olive toothpick that damaged his internal organs, leading to the infection that later killed him.

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9. President John F. Kennedy, Brave New World author Aldous Huxley, and The Chronicles of Narnia author C.S. Lewis all passed away on the same day: November 22, 1963. It was a tragic day in the history of celebrities, that’s for sure.

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10. The first people to be killed in space all happened on the same mission. Aboard the Soyuz-11 spacecraft in 1971, cosmonauts Georgi Dobrovolsky, Vladislav Volkov, and Viktor Patsayev all died due to complications from depressurized re-entry. Since then, there have been no additional deaths outside of the Earth’s atmosphere.

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11. Known as “The 27 Club,” musicians Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Brian Jones, and Amy Winehouse all famously died at the tender age of 27. Furthermore, their deaths were all related to drug overdoses.

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12. It was falsely reported in the medical examiner’s report that A Streetcar Named Desire author, Tennessee Williams, died while choking on the cap of a bottle of eye drops. It was later revealed that the actual cause of death was barbiturate usage.

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13. Famed Motown singer Marvin Gaye was tragically killed just one day prior to his birthday. Furthermore, the “Sexual Healing” singer was shot and killed by his own father just a few hours before he would’ve turned 45.

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14. Beatles cofounder John Lennon, Mexican-American singer Selena Quintanilla-Pérez, and My Sister Sam star Rebecca Schaeffer were all murdered by obsessed fans. There is a definite danger to being beloved by millions, and that’s why a lot of celebs choose to hire bodyguards.

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15. Famous stand-up comedian Dick Shawn, known for his appearances in It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World and The Producers, died on stage from a heart attack. The crowd actually thought it was part of his act. Moments prior, he’d said, “If elected, I will not lay down on the job.”

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There always seem to be so many strange details surrounding celebrity deaths. These ones are just downright spooky!

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