Some of the Strangest and Most Unusual Beliefs and Quirks of Famous Historical Figures


From John Quincy Adams’ belief of the mole people to Ulysses S. Grant being a white supremacist. Historical people had some bizarre, disgusting and somewhat horrifying habits that you never knew they possessed. So prepare to take a look at the secret lives of the world’s historical people you thought you knew.

1. Nikola Tesla

Nikola Tesla has an obsessive-compulsive disorder. He was very obsessed with the number three that he would only stay in a hotel room that has a number which is divisible by three before he enters a building he would walk three times around the block, and he always eats his meals with three sets of six napkins. Nikola Tesla also does not want to touch anything that has dirt on it and he also does not like touching round things.

2. Winston Churchill

Sir Winston Churchill was a statesman, army officer, writer and most importantly, he was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945. But this respectable and noble man has a little secret, he loves walking and working around his office naked. Some say that Franklin D. Roosevelt had a naked run in with Sir Winston Churchill.

3. Howard Hughes

Howard Hughes is an investor, philanthropist, film, director, record-setting pilot, and business magnate. He was even named as one of the most financially successful people during his time. But did you know that because of his increasing deafness and his obsessive-compulsive disorder, he once stayed in his screening room for four months straight and he lived solely off milk, chicken, and chocolate bars?

4. John Quincy Adams

The sixth president of the United States apparently believed in mole people that he even agreed to an expedition in which people would dig into the depths of the Earth and form diplomatic relations with the mole people.

5. Lyndon Johnson

America’s 37th Vice President and 36th President Lyndon Johnson was not embarrassed to urinate in public. He was not shy at all and he did not mind flashing anyone who tried to call him out on his strange behavior.

6. Martin Luther

Martin Luther was a composer, monk, priest, professor of theology, a seminal figure in the Protestant Reformation, and the founder of the Lutheran Church. However, this wise old man had a very unusual eating behavior, Martin Luther would often eat a spoonful of his own feces because he believed that it had several health benefits.

7. Michelangelo

Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni or is more popularly known as Michelangelo was an Italian poet, architect, sculptor, and painter. And this artist had a weird habit of sleeping with his clothes and boots on. Maybe he was to busy thinking about his next masterpiece that he always forgot to change his clothes before going to bed.

8. Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin was a famous scientist, politician, activist, and statesman. But this respected man was really into older ladies. He said that he liked older ladies more because they were just like younger women when their—you know what—was covered.

9. Charlie Chaplin

This famous composer, filmmaker and comic actor held some twisted auditions back in the day. it is said that Chaplin’s style of audition was he would have the women strip naked and he would cover them with pies.

10. Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens is the famous author who wrote beloved books such as “A Christmas Carol” and “a Tale of Two Cities”. But behind these famous novels, Charles Dickens was fussy about his working habits. It is said that he kept a strict writing schedule in his study between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. and after that, he would go on three-hour walks. He often demanded silence in his house whenever he is working and he liked his pens and inks specially arranged with his small collection of statuettes on his desk to help him think. He also adapted his strange habits into his sleeping routine: Dicken’s often slept facing north because he believed that it aligned him better to the electrical currents of the Earth.

11. Beethoven

This world-famous composer did most of his work while on the move. His secretary said that after Beethoven finishes his morning coffee, he would often spend a few hours working on his desk before going out for long walks. As he walked, he would often write down a few measures of music in his large sketchbook.

12. Marcel Proust

Known for his 3,000-page novel “In Search of Lost Time”, Marcel Proust did almost all of his works within the confines of his bedroom. He usually worked while propped up on several fluffy pillows after he finished his meals.

13. Alexander Graham Bell

The genius man who gave us the telephone and connected mankind in the most convenient way possible was a devoted anti-deaf activist. Apparently, Alexander Graham Bell strongly believed that people with disabilities are a threat to the “normal” society and that they should not be allowed to “contaminate” the human gene pool. He was also in favor of the sterilization of deaf people.

14. King Edward VII

The eldest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha had lots of extremely kinky sex. It was said that he often embarked on several over-the-top sexual escapades up until he took the throne. These escapades included wife-swapping and bathing in champagne with prostitutes.

15. Ulysses S. Grant

The 18th president of the United States is well-known for his role in the Civil War. He worked with Abraham Lincoln and led the Union Army to have a victory over the Confederacy which ended slavery in the U.S. but this “hero” had a dirty little secret. Even if he helped end slavery, Ulysses S. Grant was a dedicated white supremacist. He believed that people of different races cannot live together in harmony that’s why he devised a plan to ship all the black people to an isolated island. He gave the Caribbean island of Santo Domingo a whopping 1.5 million dollars in exchange for taking in four million relocated slaves.

Did you know?

As baffling as these strange working habits may sound, these famous personalities have bizarre routines that will leave you speechless.

  • Thomas Edison followed a strange ritual whenever he needed research associates. Every applicant had to pass a simple test of eating a bowl of soup in front of the famous inventor. If the associates added salt to the soup before even trying, they would immediately be dismissed. The trial aimed to easily eliminate those who made a lot of assumptions before even starting. Simple yet genius!
  • Along with his other weird habits, Leonardo da Vinci practiced an irregular sleep pattern known as polyphasic sleep. This method became part of his working habit. It includes 15-20-minute naps every four hours, adding up to just 2 hours daily. It was enough to keep him creative, and he could work efficiently, 22 hours a day almost every day. Total great artist habit or plainly eccentric?
  • Maya Angelou, the famous writer of “Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” developed a habit of working in hotel rooms instead in the comfort of her own house. She believed that the comfort her home offers is too distracting for writing. She usually rented a room for months, arrived early in the morning, and had only her pen, a Bible, a bottle of sherry, and a deck of cards for entertainment. Now, that’s one way to make yourself busy!


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These are some of the strangest and most unusual historical figures we gathered for you. Which one is your favorite?

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