We're not saying these are the unluckiest people in history; we realize the world is full of starving children and cancer victims. But sometimes you see people who have weird, one-in-a-million instances of bad luck, often over and over again, and you can't help but wonder if they didn't piss off a Gypsy at some point.
We're talking about people like...
They've been attacked by terrorists more times than John McClane.
It wasn't just New Yorkers who were traumatized by the September 11th World Trade Center attacks. Tourists from all over the country and the world were in the city at the time, as they would be on any given day. Tourists like the English couple Jason and Jenny Cairns-Lawrence, whose relaxing vacation was interrupted by the worst terrorist attack in history, experiencing a once-in-a-lifetime horror.
Wait, did we say once in a lifetime? Because four years later, on July 7th, 2005, they happened to be in London, during the worst terror attack in their history. A series of bombs exploded across the city's transit system, killing 52 people.
At this point they may have felt cursed or, worse, that they were unknowingly starring in an action film that kept doing shitty sequels. But, you know, New York and London are both massive cities and really, the odds are that at least one family would happen to be in both places on those fateful days. Right?
But it wasn't over. Three years later, they took another vacation. This time, to the exotic Indian city of Mumbai.
There they saw the worst terror attack in that country's history, as shooting and bombing attacks killed and wounded hundreds.
News stories say the couple "refused to cut short their holiday" after the Mumbai attack. It's kind of hard not to imagine them as Clark Griswold, screaming "NO! Not this time! We took this fucking vacation and we're going to enjoy it, damn it."
By the way, if there is a support group for "I'm pretty sure I'm living in a series of horrifying yet increasingly unimaginative sequels", they can join Regina Rohde there. She was a student at Columbine High School during the worst school massacre in history, where 12 people were killed. That record was beaten eight years later, during the shootings of 32 students at Virginia Tech... where Rohde was studying as a grad student.
She almost went down with a sinking ship... three times.
Traditionally, sea captains considered it bad luck to have a woman on board when they weighed anchor. Women were said to make the sea angry. On the flip side, the superstition said, if the woman was naked, it would calm the sea. If only Violet Jessop had gone around showing off her hoo-ha, perhaps the Titanic would never have hit the iceberg.
Jessop's story doesn't start on the Titanic, however. It starts on board Titanic's sister ship, the Olympic. In 1911, Jessop was a stewardess aboard the luxury liner, getting her bottom pinched by mustachioed men in long coats who added a "harroomph" to the end of every sentence. Or so we assume.
On September 20, 1911, the Olympic collided with a British warship. No one was hurt in that mishap but Violet Jessop decided to move on, to serve on a much bigger, unsinkable ship: the Titanic.
Look how unsinkable!
There she brought not only the same bad fortune but also the captain of the Olympic, one Edward J. Smith. Then there was an iceberg and, well, you've seen that movie. Now, we know what you're thinking. It's hardly bad luck that she was on two boat accidents when it was the same captain both times. Clearly he was the problem, right?
We're not done.
You see, Jessop made it to one of Titanic's lifeboats and could only watch as the world's largest metaphor slipped under the waves, setting the stage for James Cameron's disappointing follow up to True Lies.
Then in 1916, after a short time away from the sea, Jessop signed up to serve as a nurse aboard the Britannic. Sure enough, it floated into a mine and quickly sunk. This time, Jessop's lifeboat didn't get far enough away from the sinking boat, forcing her to jump into the water. Her head klunked in to the keel of the boat but she survived and, for the third time, made it back onto dry land.
Violet Jessop died of congestive heart failure in 1971. She was buried at sea.
Knew numerous US presidents... and basically all of them got shot.
When your father eliminates slavery, pens one of the greatest speeches ever written and navigates the country through a bloody civil war, you've gotta have feet the size the U.S.S. Nimitz to fill those shoes.
Enter Robert Todd Lincoln, son of Abraham Lincoln, whose feet never grew to inhuman proportions but he did manage to gain a certain notoriety, mainly by helping the Grim Reaper pick off a number of American Presidents.
Robert Todd was 21 when his father was assassinated. Later, he carved out his own political career and was rewarded with the Secretary of War post under James Garfield's tenure. In 1881, only four months into the gig, Garfield invited Lincoln on a jaunt to New Jersey. Before either man could step onto the train, Garfield was gunned down, mercifully rescued from a trip to the Garden State.
Death took a holiday for twenty years but would track Lincoln down a third time, in Buffalo, New York. He was there by invitation from the recently re-elected William McKinley, who figured if he had to suffer a few days in Buffalo, he'd take as many poor bastards with him as possible.
Turns out McKinley was the next presidential target on Death's hit-list. While at a speaking engagement, an assassin shot McKinley twice. Lincoln did not personally witness this one, but was in the room and heard the gunshots. McKinley died eight days later from his wounds.
Knowing he was nothing but bad luck for his presidential pals , Lincoln turned down just about every presidential invitation that came his way saying, "...there is a certain fatality about presidential functions when I am present." which is a pleasant way of saying, "Fuck off, already! If I go, you die!"
She got hit by a fucking meteorite.
On November 30, 1954, Ann Hodges was taking an afternoon nap on her couch. Unbeknownst to her, a meteorite was fireballing its way across the sky. The chondrite rock, which we're assuming means "douchebag" in Latin, fragmented into three pieces during its descent. One of the pieces smashed through her roof and hit Hodges in the hip.
BowtiedDoctorsAndMeteoriteVictims.com: the most unsubscribed pornography site ever.
But that could happen to anyone, right?
Actually, no. She is the only one to ever be hit by a meteorite. Seriously, there's no other case in recorded history.
Mrs. Hodges' luck almost changed when she realized she had a rare toddler-sized fragment of potential money on her living room floor. This light was immediately burnt out by swarms of people who wanted to claim the meteorite for themselves.
The United States Air Force, who subscribe to the philosophy that getting crushed by something expensive doesn't denote ownership, helicoptered in and took the rock, presumably mooning Hodges and wagging their dicks as they flew away.
Eugene Hodges, Mrs. Hodges husband, hired a lawyer and got it back. With $5,000 offers coming in, their unfortunately-named landlady Bertie Guy tried to claim it to cover the damages made to the house.
The legal battles, public attention and dwindling offers finally become too much for Hodges and she donated the meteorite to the Alabama Museum of Natural History. We like to think she wiped her ass with it first.